At $78,000, Is This 2000 Factory Five Racing GTM A Complete Bargain?

At $78,000, Is This 2000 Factory Five Racing GTM A Complete Bargain?

Today’s Nice Price or No Dice Factory Five Racing GTM is a finished kit car that balances its exotic looks with solid Chevy pushrod performance. Let’s see if that mashup is worth what could be a not-so-exotic price.

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It’s been said that the two happiest days in a boat owner’s life are the day they buy their boat and the day they sell it. That’s probably true for owners of certain Alfa Romeos as well. The 1991 Alfa Romeo 164S we contemplated yesterday came with a mix of good looks and fiddly problems. A huge collection of parts and paperwork proved part of the deal, but instead of making the $4,300 asking price all the sweeter, that aspect tended to scare off many of you. The braver hearts prevailed, however, eventually earning the Alfa a 58 percent Nice Price win. Hopefully, that will lead to the present owner eventually experiencing a happy day.

While the slew of parts accompanying yesterday’s Alfa may have been cause for alarm, that wouldn’t be said when the prospect is purchasing a project kit car. One would actually hope to have all the parts necessary to build the beast right down to the last nut, washer, and bolt. That’s the biggest problem with kit cars; they tend to come with “some assembly required.”

Fortunately, that’s not the case with this 2000 Factory Five Racing GTM supercar, as it’s already had all its parts assembled along with all the sweat equity to do so invested. It’s now a turn-key car that the seller claims comes with a clean California title and, oddly enough, a get-out-of-jail-free card for its emissions testing.

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Factory Five Racing (F.F.R.) was founded in 1995 as one of the myriad of Shelby Roadster kit car makers seeking to cash in on the Cobra craze. The company based its initial product on a simple strategy — design the kit around a donor car and use as many parts from that donor as possible. The Cobra was designed around the Foxbody Mustang GT, extracting driveline componentry and other minor parts to create a homage roadster aping the original.

With the GTM, F.F.R.’s vision proved grander, but the basic plan stayed the same. Instead of a Mustang, the mid-engine GTM leverages parts from Chevy’s C5 Corvette, including suspension componentry, steering, and brakes.

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That’s all bolted to a steel space frame and capped with a fiberglass body that looks equal parts Ford GT40 and Porsche 911 GT1. The body’s design has been wind tunnel tested and hence matches its good looks with confidence-inspiring stability at speed. With a suitable engine mounted mid-ships, the GTM is capable of zero to sixty launches in the three-second range and a top speed that could tickle 200 miles per hour.

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This one is powered by an LQ9 V8, likely late of a Chevy pickup or Cadillac Escalade. That rocks through a Porsche G50 five-speed transaxle and exhausts through some of the fattest pipes you’ll likely find this side of a Kenworth.

According to the ad, the car has covered a mere 2,306 miles over the course of its existence, and in that time, it has suffered a few small paint chips and scratches for its trouble. Those appear very minor and would probably be an easy fix for the right detailer. Other issues of greater concern include the fact that the builder neglected to include any locks on the doors nor to wire up the A/C. That could prove to be a problem in a car with so small a cabin that has a big V8 doing its thing right behind it. For those picking nits, the windows apparently don’t seal properly either.

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Countering all that, the seller notes a fresh spate of fluids, new tires and alloy wheels, and a fully-trimmed interior with the benefit of some extra sound deadening. Even with the cabin upgrades, it’s hard to forget the GTM’s kit car origins. There is a subtle sense of cobbling here and there, plus some mismatch between elements. And, if you’re looking for active crash protection from things like airbags, you’ll be sorely disappointed.

You may not, however, be disappointed by the GTM’s price. Kits for the cars were originally sold at around $20K plus the cost of the Corvette bits and all the time involved in melding each together into the shape of a viable road-worthy car. This GTM speeds up the process by being already assembled and hence can ask a bit more. In this car’s case, that’s a $78,000 asking, and before you get your panties in a twist over paying so much for someone else’s project, consider that cost on a performance basis. It’s unlikely you’d find anything quite as rare, exotic, and capable anywhere near this price.

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But is it still a deal? What’s your take on this GTM and that $78,000 asking? Is that fair, considering the work already done to realize a car that’s so fun? Or does its kit car origin make assembling such a collection of cash out of the question?

You decide!

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