Hello, new to site, wondering what "real" cost is of a GT40?

Hello, been involved in muscle cars and some foreign for years. I've owned/worked on a 1970 Maserati Ghibli, 1967 Impala SS, 1970 Buick GS455, etc. I do all my own work Engine rebuilds, suspension, fuel systems, wiring, etc except for transmissions and rearends.. Just don't wanna go there.

Anyway, I've always been a real fan of 60's cars and just love the sound of them going down the road or on the track. I know a Ferrari is out of the question for me, but a replica GT40 seems like a viable option. 60's simplicity, relatively speaking compared to a new car with all the electronics and computers.

But I've never built a replica/kit car from scratch. And I'm wondering what the real cost is of building one. I liked what I've seen at RCR and there is a place in Ohio that seem to have the most cost-effective setups out there. I really didn't want to get in the Superformance level. But a car with a 428FE engine and a 5-speed from a Porshce or a Mendeola transaxle would be great.

I'm wondering what it would really cost to build after I spend the initial @$45K for the chassis/body kit. If I figured another $25K, would that be about right or am I dreaming and way low?

I've got the time to work on the car as I only work every third day. I've heard some cars are more complicated than others. I like the look of the GTM's, but read that they can be very difficult to build. And I don't want to be another Cobra on the road. I see way too many of those. But a GT40 would be something special pulling up anywhere. So I figured 1000 hours or so to get it done. I guess the manufacturer I choose could give me a reasonable estimate based on what they sell me.

I just don't want it sitting in my garage for 8 years and then selling it off in disgust unfinished. Thanks for any opinions or input.

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I think you should sit down with pencil and paper and mentally build the car you think you want. For each item you need and require in the build process write down a reasonable estimate of money and time. When your finished multiply both totals by 125%.

When you are done, consider buying a completed car. I think your swag of $'s and time are idealistic.
I figured $10K for the trans/clutch. I can get a 1966 428FE engine out of a rusted out Thunderbird for $1K and rebuild it for $6-7K. $4K for wheels/tires. So that would leave me $4K for incidentals.

I haven't been to any manufacturers yet. So I'm not even 100% sure I fit in one of these. I'm 6-2" and about 225 lbs. From what I've been reading on other posts, I'm close. And I don't think I want to spend an extra $30K for Fran's larger version. My wife would kill me and bury me in the car.

Car will be 90% street driven with a fun day or two a year down at Mid-Ohio or other road racing track. I'm an old drag racer a heart. So building an engine that's not for max power, but rather for longevity with decent power/torque will be a challenge. But I think a good set of heads and maybe a Weber-looking EFI setup would fit the bill if I can't get a Holley carb setup to run the way I'd like.

What I'd like to know is what am I not thinking of that gonna cost me.
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Paint and body work.. $8,000 to $12,000.. Heat/ a/c ... Battery... Pulleys... Belts...water pump.. Alt.. Brackets...tires...wheels... The list goes on and on..

Check the build logs.. If you can not afford several years of your life, you might want to rethink this.

Fran is a good guy. He may have someone that can do the build for you in short time.

Call fran and ask him for a list of parts
Well, the RCR deluxe plus kit seems to include just about everything, including heat and a/c, for the $42K. A few little add-ons would seem to nudge it up another 3 grand, hence my $45K guesstimate. He says the gelcoat can be buffed/sanded out to look pretty good. I'm not looking for a show car or trailer queen. Just a good 20 footer that I can thrash on a bit.

But I guess a paint job would probably be better in the long run rather than buffing out the gelcoat every year. Maybe better add another $10K to the guess. It's creeping up already.

And I'm a 27 year career firefighter who's looking to retire and I gotta find something to do or my wife will !! I like working on cars. That's the reason for a project like this. And if it saves me $ in the process, all the better.
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Ian Anderson

Lifetime Supporter
Welcome to the mad house

Have a read on the Tornado Sports car website, they say about 350 hours for theirs, which I think is very small. Their prices are in British Pounds but the exchange rate is great at the moment.

Forget the 7 litre engine, you will break gearboxes with the torque. A decent 302 five litre will more than scare you in most situations, (I have a 3.9 Rover based engine in mine and it will do over 150!

Keep it light and you will have more fun.

You appear to have missed an exhaust, about $2000 I believe.then ceramic cote will add some more, this is a must to keep heat out the engine bay.

Build the car around yourself and you will fit, I am 6'3" and heavier than you.
Other people get in my car and cannot reach the pedals!


Terry Oxandale

Skinny Man
Good comments thus far. Ian's is spot on if you revert back to your old ways, and hole-shot this project with stickies, then there aren't many "affordable" transaxles that can take big-block pounding like that. The 25% add-on for unexpecteds seems a little low to me, but some kits may be very well supported.

Make sure your vision of this project is rock solid. If not, you may waver a bit after a couple of years when the project is still not completed.
Thanks. Guess I didn't consider that the "Bundle of Snakes" could cost so much. $2K!?!? Wow. And going with a 347 stroker or a 351W engine probably wouldn't change the cost of the engine. I don't need a 600 monster. But I sure don't want to be put in my place by a new Nissan Maxima.

The list keeps growing. I may be starting to get this dream priced out of my pocketbook.
Just a few thoughts and opinions here.....these car projects add up faster in time and money than you can imagine. That said, you shouldn't take shortcuts moneywise and hardware-wise for a car that can easily kill you.

Bundle of snakes will usually cost you more than $2k for a well sealed unit capable of EFI. If you go EFI, stacks, or with the classic Webers, then more costly. Big blocks will add a few hundred pounds of un-needed weight, and additional cost to handle the heavier weights (suspension?), and power. Cars like GT-40's and Cobras should be kept as light and "raw" as possible, in my opinion. If you need to add creature comforts then look elsewhere...

Also, you and/or your wife may not enjoy the cramped quarters, which is similar to a small plane. The ingress/egress procedure is unconventional, so try to get a test fit with the nearest GT-40 where you live, or go visit the factory (highly recommended) and feel comfortable with your decision before you commit.

My RCR took 8 years to get it to where it's at now. As the old saying goes, They're never done.

Good luck with your decision!

Doug S.

The protoplasm may be 70, but the spirit is 32!
Lifetime Supporter
The list keeps growing. I may be starting to get this dream priced out of my pocketbook.
My advice would be to buy a used project from someone who is tired of the constant maintenance and repairs, or buy an incomplete kit from someone who just can't afford to finish it. These things seldom sell for the $$$$ people have in them, so you might be paying less than the cost of a new kit. That would leave $$$ for customizing the build to your own purposes.

Read the build logs...there is incredible information and inspiration there!

The best advice I've gotten so far is that 350 rwhp will be enough power, so save the $$$ left over from that mondo motor build and put it into building for light weight and big brakes. As the poster told me long ago...if you do that "they" will never catch you!

Don't get discouraged, though. If you want to start with a new kit (less drivetrain) take a look at the offerings from Tornado, and read Scott C.'s build log to see what can be built from an (almost all inclusive) kit.

Regardless of what parts you use, though, paint, tires/wheels, and drivetrain will always be expenses not included in the cost of the kits.


Ian, 13.4 is not too bad a time in the quarter mile. I'm just used to my current car, a 1970 Buick GS455 convertible. With drag radial tires, it runs 11.8's at 113 mph. And it weighs 4250 lbs (1920 kilos). This car put down 396hp/476tq to the rear wheels on a chassis dyno. But the engine is a 462 cid, +.030 Buick 455. So lots of cubic inches. I built it with torque as the primary goal, and the horsepower just fell where it did. Shift point is 6000 rpm's.

Now I know I wouldn't be building a quarter mile car, but I think something closer to mid to low 12's will be more along the lines of the power level I'm looking for. I don't NEED a big block. Just thought it would be more period correct. And I don't think I really want an 8,000 rpm small block screamer. I think I can get what I want done with torque more so. And with the car only being 2600 lbs. or so with me in it, 450hp or so should do it I'm guessing.

And I have been scouring the internet looking for possibly a project that's been left for dead that I could possibly scoop up and finish. I'm keeping all my options open.
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Ian Anderson

Lifetime Supporter
Now to put that into perspective.
I drove to Santa Pod, standard road trim, road tyres, normal for the UK 95 octane unleaded, tyres are Kumho ecst tyres, probably more akin to a 4x4 tyre.
I had tools, some stuff I had taken up for a mate, couple of bottles of Coke and a sandwich, jacket etc in the car! Tanks were about 3/4 full.

Car was around 1150kg at first registration test.

After the day at Santa Pod I drove home again

Keep looking, register with the clubs and keep looking, projects, come up, cars get sold on etc. Some come up at real good prices and need work so would fit your project, to buy, dismantle, and rebuild as you want and need it.

This could have been your dream car! A Tornado that had a BB Buick engine, was owned by a Paul Smith of UK, car is now in NZ and has had the Buick engine & whatever trans it had replaced with SBF & ZF?
Pic taken from TSC website, I did have some pics taken locally but must have deleted. I assume extra scoops etc were needed to cool that big hunk of iron.


This could have been your dream car! A Tornado that had a BB Buick engine, was owned by a Paul Smith of UK, car is now in NZ and has had the Buick engine & whatever trans it had replaced with SBF & ZF?
Pic taken from TSC website, I did have some pics taken locally but must have deleted. I assume extra scoops etc were needed to cool that big hunk of iron.
Oh yeah baby. That thing must really be heavy in the ass though with that engine in the back.
Oh yeah baby. That thing must really be heavy in the ass though with that engine in the back.
Mk1 with 289 ~2000lb 46% front 54% rear, MKII with 427FE 2682lb 38% front, 62% rear. FE engine probably a bit lighter than Buick.

Not many FE fans on this website and you probably need a better than ZF transaxle if your going to explore the torque curve and perhaps resale might not be as good... but its your car, do what you think you want. I quite like the old dears, but then I spent many years working on them! Spoke to the 6th owner of a 390 I built back in ~80's a while ago.. its still going strong.
I think a 428FE and a 455 are probably very similar, @600-625 lbs. Here's my current weekend ride. I've had it since Y2K and I think it's time for a change.

But like I've said, I'm not against a 302 which becomes a 347 or a 351 which can both make a decent amount of power. I'm guessing I'm looking for right around 500 flywheel HP to meet my performance goal.

I've always used new Corvettes as a benchmark. As long as I can beat one of them, I'm happy. My car runs 11.8's on drag radials and around 12.1's flat on street rear tires. All polygraphite bushings in the suspension, boxed control arms, etc. So it handles fairly well and does well on the highway up to about 120 mph when it's aerodynamics of a brick take over.

I also checked on registering a car in Ohio. Seems that it would just go through the same inspection as a salvage-titled car goes through before it can be put back on the road. So that shouldn't be too bad.


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Congrats on your upcoming retirement. I retired last year after almost 30 year from the police force. I have been planning a GT40 build for about 4 years and was ready to pull the trigger, but then we had a deal come up on a second home in Florida which was way to good to pass up on so the GT40 is placed on hold until next year. After owning a Ferrari and not doing much research before buying it I decided this time to do more homework before buying. I live close to RCR and have visited them numerous times. What I can tell you is RCR builds outstanding quality cars and offer the best value. Fran is a great guy and will go above and beyond for his customers or in my case a once again future customer. You should really take a day and make the drive to meet with Fran see the shop and you will be sold.
Thanks. I was planning on taking a trip up to Detroit once the kids were back to school. What Ferrari did you have? I looked, but just am not that impressed with anything from the early 90's on up. And the maintenance costs are outrageous. I had a Maserati and it was the same thing. And that was a 1970 Ghibli. MIE out on the west coast has the market locked up on parts. It was crazy. I figure a GT40 is mostly, if not all, American parts and should be easier to maintain.
I had a 1987 328GTS beautiful car, but as you stated maintenance was outrageous especially when you only have one Ferrari authorized service/dealer in the area. Another reason I like RCR close to home and American made.