Are any replicas feasible as daily drivers?


I'm interested in these cars as a daily driver. I'm new to all this kit car stuff, so I'm not in the know. Although, I have been lurking around a bit and there seems to be a few manufacturers one should shy away from.

I suppose I'm one of the guys who would have to "do it the right way the first and only time," if that lets you know my situation. Of course, I do have a ways 'till I can afford ANY of these replicas, but it is a goal of mine. I absolutely abhor driving a car that a hundred thousand other guys are driving. I suppose the GT-40 fits that bill.

Anyhow, I'm interested to know if any of you can honestly say you drive these cars as daily drivers...not daily driven on the track, that is.

Anyone dared to drive theirs in the rain? If so, how's it keep out the elements? What about comfort level? Can you soften or stiffen up the chassis as you like?

Are there any other peculiarities that I should know of before I take the leap with one of these cars?

Mahalo for any and all replies.

If you don't mind way below average gas mileage, people crowding around your car every time that you park it, cars surrounding you on the highway to get a closer look, unwanted attention from the police every time that they see you,every
musclehead on the road wanting to race,and high "daily driver" insurance,then sure,you could drive a GT40 daily.
The love and work that people put into
these cars turns a simple parking lot door ding into a pretty major emotional crisis,
at least it does in my case.
You can drive a GT40 in the rain, however,
because of the light weight and high horsepower, it can be a bit dicey. My first
rain experience resulted in a 540 degree spin, which was exciting to say the least!
No contact was made with any solid objects,
Thank God! The one witness, who was checking his mailbox at the time, ran for his life, as he had no idea of where I was going to end up. For that matter, neither did I! Good rain tires would help that problem immensely.
As a result of my experiences, I avoid parking lots, rain, and solid objects religiously, but not necessarily in that order!
One thing that is a certainty... you would arrive at work every day with a smile on your face!
Best of luck in your quest!


[ February 15, 2003: Message edited by: Bill Bayard ]
A well-sorted out GT40, whether a replica or otherwise, is at least as usable a daily driver as any modern hot sports car. Jim (MkIVJ6) has driven J6 quite a lot on public roads from what I understand and he could comment on this. I drive my Ferrari as often as I can in good weather. All this issues mentioned by Bill apply- skittish in the wet, constant worrying about whether people can see you and will they stop talking on their cell phone long enough not to hit you
(answer was no in my case and a bill for $11,800 for rear-end damage to the Ferrari), door dings when parking (take two spaces way at the end of the lot where no one else is around), etc etc.
The fun in using an exotic car for occasional daily transport is not when you're stuck in traffic and everyone's craning their neck- that gets old after a while. It's when there's little or no traffic around and you get to exercise your car and your skills, and hopefully not collect any tickets in the process. Have fun.
Not too many owners drive their cars daily from my experience, however I believe James Shaw used his GTD40 daily when he was here in the UK, racking up some 30K miles I believe.

Malcolm MacAdam has also put quite a few road miles on 'J40GT' - I can personally vouch for some 'interesting' moments as a passenger

Have fun!

[ February 15, 2003: Message edited by: Paul Thompson ]
It certainely depends on where you live. It is -10f below zero here in the northeast U.S. with the roads thickly coated in salt. Even the SUV drivers are complaining that they cannot see over the snow banks. That takes a lot of the daily out of daily driver. But if you live in say Hawaii or Arizona (Gordon) your potential daily driver days goes way up. Even my 69 mini spends a good amount of time sleeping soundly between November and April. When I had a FFR Cobra replica I drove it as much as posible the first year and only put on 4,000 miles.
In a word no. These are wonderfull cars but it would be like eating a 10 course French meal at a 5 star restaurant every night.
I've used Ferrrari's as daily drivers for 30 years: 275GTB 50,000 miles, 308GTB 85,000 miles, TR 115,000 miles which I just traded in on a Maserati Coupe (Paddle shifter). That said I also have access to my wife's BMW. These cars are fine point to point but bumper to bumper on the West Side Highway on a 100 degree day gets old fast.
My MK-IV, Lola, P4, and Duesenberg are strictly early Sunday drivers. Even on thursday nights when I fall asleep I can still feel them. It's like when you were a kid. You could feel the waves at the beach later that night.
That's what these cars are about.
The RF is a very useable daily driver. It comes with A/C, has no water leaks or wind noise. I drive my demo's all the time wether it's 115 degrees out or raining.

Thanks for all the replies.

I suppose it does really depend on where you live. However, even in a rainy place like Portland (my other home), I would want to drive a car like this every day. I guess my philosophy is that they are made to be driven as much as possible, not just trailer queens. I also understand that most owners would flip-out if they had the slightest ding from a shopping cart, though.

I just wanted to get some feedback from all of you guys who have been into these cars for quite some time. I can dream all I want about owning one, but I'd rather get the inside scoop before spending a whole lot of hard earned money on one than being disappointed with my purchase.

So...they do come with windshield wipers, correct?
Firstly, yes the RF40 comes with a windscreen wiper (singular) as per the originals.

Although I don't have my GT40 on the road yet, I would like to put in my 2 cents worth. All the reasons given above are valid, but the question would be, are any of these reasons show stoppers for you. Its all a matter of desire and compromise. I suspect that if you wanted a car that had no compromises, then you wouldn't be posing the question.

Incidentally, my daily "run-about" of choice for me is a high performance sports motorcycle. Talk about compromise. Hunched riding position, no carrying capacity, wearing riding gear even for short trips, carry the gear around with you when you get to your destination, putting up with ALL the elements, battling with traffic that thinks you're invisible... The GT40 would be a cake-walk after that
... although I doubt that I could bring myself to park it all day in a public car park


I think James Shaw racked up over 50,000 miles and when Tony Cooper got it it went another 30,000 miles afterwards! Thats the record in my books.

I was once asked to demo my car to a lady who lived in my home town who was going to place an order for a turn key car from Ray Christopher at GTD to use as her business car ie rep mobile! Whilst she was negotiating price with Ray, I took out her partner. He felt the handling was quite good especially after we got airbourne off a bridge which was more hump back than expected! Ooops. Paul knows about that kind of moment too. Ooops.

As to daily driver. Perhaps not.

Hi all.

I really appreciate this thread, as I have been wondering the same thing---is it really just a fair weather track novelty or can you take it to the office? Obviously, it depends where that office is. And it surely depends greatly on which car you mean. Are there great differences between ERAs, CAVs, real cars, GTDs, etc, etc. How could it not be so, I wonder. Even car no. 1 will differ much from car no. 14 from the same fabricator from what I have seen. E.g. early CAVs aparently had a screwed-on plastic rear window (like the side windows) I am told. Later ones are glass. Presumably the glass has a better seal and optics, and is less prone to scratch???Comments on these topics would be of great value. Even generalizations would be a start.

I would find it absurd to try to use these cars regularly in a climate with serious weather. Irregularly, for sure, but regularly, no. In ANY condition, I think it is essential to have a (cheap but reliable) car to depend on for those days --however few--when you really don't want to risk a mishap with your dreamcar. I.e.--Just always own a cheap old Honda to keep on the street. You'll absolutely need one anyway just to go to the market since these cars handle zero cargo!!

I live in LA and we have no weather, so everyone thinks. But here's my worry:
First, will a momentary traffic stall force you to the shoulder so you can keep speed above 30 mph just to avoid your motor blowing up from heat? This is a notorious disadvantage of many sports cars, and I would expect the later replicas to have solved this with their hi-speed fans, 6-core aluminum radiators, new electronics, better thermostats and switches, etc. Yes???? Please someone say yes....

Next, does the damn thing leak? As an Angelino, I don't even keep my Pantera windshield wipers on the car most of the time--they are in my trunk because I am vain. Imagine how iritating to have to put them on during a trip to Santa Barbara a couple years ago when rain cauught me by surprise. No way to turn back. But the worst of it was when I discovered the leak at the windshield that caused all my fuses to short out, including my cooling fans. Nice long trailer ride back to LA. My "daily driver" left a little to be desired until I found and cured the leak. So even here in LaLaLand, I want a car that seals. After all, I do plan to wash it..... (heresy I know).....

On this issue, I sat in a replica recently and was able to see daylight between the door and the roof when I closed myself in. Not too good protection against the errant rain event. Only one possible description--rickety! Are they all prone to this?

Lastly--ride. This varies too between makers,I am sure. How still are the shocks? How comfortable the seats? Is there any sound insulation? Are all the clutches like leg press machines?

While this is a very individual issue, if one could get a sense of all these issues, it would be easier to determine how drivable these things are for one's self. Thanks--you guys are great.
The problem of not being a daily driver is not unique to Replica/kit cars. Almost all of us have owned production cars before owning a replica. The “fair weather” issue applies to so many classics (real or replica).

I owned a 1968 427 corvette with 11:1 compression (500+ ft/lb Torque). The car was a dream, it was fast, loud and beautiful. The Ttops leaked, it did not like traffic and when fully warmed up it would refuse to crank over.

I could have owned a 1975 L48 corvette (160 HP!!!) and use it as a daily driver (may be). Look at it this way, none of these cars are daily drivers if you don’t like working on cars. On the other hand If you enjoy fixing /playing with cars then you can drive them every where
Aloha again,

The above post put it in good words. Do you love working on cars? I suppose most people who hate working on cars wouldn't even consider something like a GT40 replica. Personally, owning a 1967 VW requires me to enjoy tinkering with my car. I know a VW Bug is a far cry from a GT40, but the attention required for care and maintainence could be similar.

I was looking on Hemmings Motor news today and found a real GT40 for sale. The guy wants $385,000. Now, when I see that I could have a replica for around $80,000, it becomes a real attractive possibility. Even if an $80,000 car would normally be prohibitive, I can now have a dream car (literally, for most of us). The reason I point this out, is that this generally applies to ALL the replicas of famous sports cars of years past. Be it a 550 Porsche, Porsche Speedster, Cobra or GT40 replica...I want to know if the companies putting these cars together produce something as good as or BETTER than the original. Originals are nice, but they are also expensive. Replicas, in my opinion, should be constructed with current technology to allow today's driver to actually use the car reliably, as often as possible. Any schmuck can go by a VW pan and glass a GT40 body together and shoe-horn a smallblock in it...but would you still drive it?

I have no problem driving a little Honda or Toyota pickup around when its really horrible weather, but other than that, if I bought a GT40 replica...I would want to drive it. Not just rub it with a diaper in my garage.

Sorry for the rant.

Ron Earp

I will be short, and I am sure other might comment.

But, the replicas are far better cars than the originals as far as fit, finish, and useability go. And, given modern Windsor tech, power.

RF, ERA, CAV, etc. all make nice cars that won't leak and won't short out when it rains. Ride does vary, depending on what you want. They won't overheat either, and (as long as CAV and GTDs change) will cool in hot temps with a front mounted AC condenser (from other thread).

But, if you are building it yourself it is up to you to decide what it will have. Lots of the track only GT40s don't have AC, good seals, or any real interior, they don't need too. There are lots of shades in betweem - from full leather clad AC having with all the options to just bare metal and gauges - you can have what you want as all were available.

I've driven a few, not as many as our UK counterparts, but have found that none of them have heavy clutches or are uncomfortable, but I'm only 5'8" and 152 lbs, I fit in most anything. I'm sure some go against what I've said, but I've not been in them.


[ February 16, 2003: Message edited by: Ron Earp ]
My MK-IV does leak but the wipers,from a Boeing 707, work pretty well.
As far as more power goes anytime any of you want to try and beat 223MPH I'm game...

Howard Jones

I guess You could drive it every day, but I will NEVER park it anywhere out of my sight!Hell I intend to pack a pistol just to defend it from the carjackers. I mean can you amagine walking out of the market and its not there. Some 19 year old boy has just stollen all your years of hard work and is about to stuff it into a telephone pole at about 100MPH for you. Come on, get real,I can't believe anyone would really comute in a GT40 they built themselfs. These are saturday morning before the traffic wakes up cars. This car is the most fantastic woman you ever met and you want her to cut you lawn! Get a honda!!!
quote:Originally posted by Howard Jones:
"...I guess You could drive it every day, but I will NEVER park it anywhere out of my sight!Hell I intend to pack a pistol just to defend it from the carjackers. I mean can you amagine walking out of the market and its not there. Some 19 year old boy has just stollen all your years of hard work and is about to stuff it into a telephone pole at about 100MPH for you..."

The chances of having your GT40 carjacked are so slim, they're positively anorexic. The chances of having your car stolen in a parking lot are infinitesimally small. Why? Everyone is looking at your car. Even when you're not around your car is a draw.

People don't steal high-end cars if they're at all smart. They steal Toyotas. Cars that blend. The last thing you want is to stand out so the police can easily find you.

And can you imagine parting out a GT40? Yeah, that's going to be subtle, easily hidden.

If someone is going to steal your car, they're going to stalk you. Find out where you live, break into your house late at night, steal your keys, push your car down the street, load it into a truck and disappear. Unless they're stupid, in which case they'll stalk you, break into your house late at night, steal your keys, push your car down the street then drive it around until their caught.

There are very, very, VERY few Thomas Crown thieves out there that will steal your car in broad daylight in front of a crowd of people.

Your pal,
Hi all,

Meat makes a good point. I think for safe reasons it'd be good to have "Low Jack" anti-theft (if available) so you can have a daily driver.

Have fun!


Dave Wharran

I certainly didn't buy my car so it could set in the garage and only be driven 1 or 2 days a week. I drive 70+ miles a day to and from work, and I fully intend to do it in the 40. Parking at work would be the biggest worry, buy I have a reserved wide spot, so that's not an issue.
It will be like my current summer ride. Drive it every day from usually April till either snow flies or the temp drops into the low 30's. Then park it for the winter.
If it were an original car, no, I probably wouldn't drive it every day. But it's not. I intend to enjoy my investment to the fullest.