Selling immediately after building?

#1
Hi guys I’m getting into the idea of owning an slc but one of the things that worry me is that some people sell the car almost immediately after finishing or buying it. An example is Eric McClellans, car number 17 sold twice in 6 mo, and a few others. But then it seems some guys keep it forever. I also see a lot of cars with 1000 miles or less.
Eric said he wanted a car that would scare him, but the slc scared him too much, so he sold it.
Can any guys with completed cars explain this phenomenon?
The only kit car I’ve ever owned was a poorly put together generic cobra a few years ago. It was terrible in every way and I sold it shortly after. I’ve owned many exotics and hard to drive cars such as a gen1 viper with no factory ac. Current car is a lambo lp640 roadster, which is a pretty extreme car.
How’s the slc overall? For a well built street example with a good interior - say a rapier or one of Allan’s does it feel like a kit car that’s wicked fast and handles good or does it feel more like say a Ferrari challenge stradale , early viper, or similar stripped down “race inspired” street vehicles.
How often do you guys who keep these drive them?
 
#3
It was about 20 years ago. The steering was sloppy, the chassis didn't seem set up right. It didn't handle well. Probably had the donor suspension, brakes, etc. Paint was a Maaco special with poor prep so you could see air bubbles in the fiberglass. Was a carbed (428 FE) so I flooded it often. It was loud and fast though but I didn't really feel safe in it. But I think that's a function of the fact that it was a really small car with no safety features, no head protection, a tiny fiberglass door being your only side protection. It could have been cleaned up with some bodywork, suspension work and some tuning but I was young and more into turning over cars every few months and trying something new.

Ironically the guy who bought it from me said he owned a real cobra back in the 80's - he bought it for something like $20k and felt like he ripped off the person he sold it to for $40k. He said he paid more for my replica ($25k) than he paid for a real cobra. It (the real one) got so hot your shoes started getting tacky on the floorboard and he said was just unbearable to drive other than on a racetrack. Years later he saw his car sell for high 6 figures at an auction. He was absolutely thrilled with my car and planned on cleaning it up. Made a couple grand and moved on.
 
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Roger Reid

Newbie
GT40s Supporter
#4
Having built a GTM I can say that a component car is never finished. There is always something else to finish or fix. I have seen many GTM's sold incomplete and many right after being made street legal and yes I still have my GTM and will leave it to my kids when I can no longer drive. There are many reasons why someone would build and sell almost immediately.

1. They are a compulsive builder and need to sell before starting another project.
2. When you buy a Ferrari or Porsche, you get a "finished" product. When you build a kit or component car the level of fit and finish is up to you. Most people don't have the skills or gumption to finish a project of this nature. For most people just getting the car to a street legal driver is a task. Taking the car to the level of "production car" fit and finish takes a rare individual. for example and I'm not knocking this car or who built it, check out this link currently in cars for sale. https://www.gt40s.com/threads/fs-2014-rcr-superlite-coupe-pearl-white-82k.52336/ . The key words here are "Interior: -Spartan to say the least, basically Porsche Cup car like."
3. To some the build is overwhelming and they sell.
4. Eric McClellan is a professional writer. I read portions of his blog and he said "my boss's gave me one year to finish the build". He had no time to put much attention to interior fit and finish.
5. Some sell or don't put on much mileage because it is a small envelope of a car. To take your kid to school, drop off the suit at the laundromat, pick up some milk and eggs, or go through the drive through for a burger without a window can be a pain getting in or out at each stop. But this misses the point of all the attention you get at each stop.

What I'm trying to say here is when some builders get the car to licensed and insured status, they are disillusioned in what they have, and sell. If you have Allan build your car and give him instructions to fit and finish the interior you will not be disappointed or disillusioned in the finished product. There are others who can take on the fit and finish aspects of a build. Shane who is a forum member here did the fit and finish on my GTM. He is not limited to GTM builds only. Other for hire builders chime in here and let us know who you are. The car listed above might be an excellent buy for someone who wants a cup car interior or for someone with vision who can themselves do the fit and finish work or take the car to a professional. Yes professionals cost money. Ferrari's are built by professionals and you pay for it. I would expect to spend another 10 grand on the interior fit, finish, instruments, entertainment, and etc to bring any component car to a production car interior level. Most don't factor this into their build.

So you are in an excellent position to shop the market. Find the build that has been mechanically put together right. Take the car to the fit and finish of a production Porsche either yourself or with a professional. Fit and finish wont be cheep. You get what you pay for.
 

Will Campbell

Member
GT40s Supporter
#5
For many people, it's about the build, not the drive.

For others, the final product didn't match up to their vision, because of a lack of skill or resources, or taste.

Some people want a race car for the street until they get one, and then realize that driving a thinly-disguised race car on the street is more raw than they imagined. Who knew it wouldn't have cruise control and a plush ride like their Corvette?

There are some car guys who get bored very quickly with a project, and change cars about as often as they change socks. So an SLC for that person is just like the 911 turbo they just sold for the Viper they sold to get the SLC.

Other people drive their car and enjoy the experience. Mine has 5200 miles on it now, which isn't bad for a car of its type- and several have much more than that.
Every car, and builder has a story, and they are all different.
 
#6
For me its all about the build ...........All those boxes and packages to open .... waiting for the parts to arrive ... and the search through all the sites looking for that un usual part that could make all the difference ....... And it relaxes me no end ...
 

Howard Jones

Member
GT40s Supporter
#7
Your opening remark of " I am getting into the idea of owning one" is saying something to me. What percentage of the work do you intend to do yourself, other than paint, not the prep but the paintjob. If you just want to own one then buy one that is complete. What I am getting at is IMHO these kind of "kit" cars are really intended to be a build it yourself experience that is enjoyed for the challenge and the learning experience. Does that sound like why you what one? If you can't wait to get started with the build for the build sake then, well you have answered your own question.

The construction skills are not anything that can't be done in your garage with a proper set of tools AND a DESIRE to learn new things. Nothing that you can't learn on this forum, google, or available on Utube, but learn new stuff you will.

Another very valuable and important part of this is all the new people you will meet. Many will become new friends and a few you will know for the rest of your life. This can be overlooked at the beginning but can't be stressed enough.

Another thing is an SLC is a Daytona prototype, same weight, same power (or more) a bit less downforce but not much less, and more grip than just about any production car at any price. It IS a race car that can be driven on the street. It CAN be finished out with a nice interior but then it is a race car with a nice interior.

"Some people want a race car for the street until they get one" No truer words have ever been said. This is exactly why people used to sell GT40's after 3 months. They like the idea of owning one but don't like the tradeoffs of having and driving one.

Think 275HP superbike. Great, fast as hell, road race bike...………..but a Harley guy who buys one will want to sell it after the first ride. Think about why you what to do this...…………….a lot.

In the end, when the car is complete and you are asked "what is it, and where did you get it" You will get to reply oh...…………..I made it...…….myself.
 
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#8
Will - your car is phenomenal. Did you do the interior or sub it out? Can I ask what an interior like that will cost to replicate?

Howard - I'm not going to be building it myself. I'm sure I can't commit to the 600+ hours it takes to build it right.

I'm looking at either getting one that's as Roger says "finished" but really just "spartan-spec", and completing/subbing out the interior work and being able to make other changes easily. Other options are to buy a nicely finished example or to have Allan build one exactly to my spec.

Interior finish is a big must for me - while it may not be driven much, it has to be something you would enjoy driving to the local C&C meet or doing the occasional rally. I would be adding lots of sound deadening, trim panels, alcantara and leather. Cars like Will's, the Rapiers, are great examples of highly finished cars. The reason I'm looking at SLCs is that I'm looking for something edgy and unique and I honestly can't get the body lines out of my head. The question is - is it possible to put enough effort into finishing it so that it can be like say a challenge stradale or 430 scuderia... a very raw, edgy street car or is it always gonna be a full out race car thats loud, hard to drive, very race car/kit feeling no matter what.

I mention the 93 viper because it was essentially a dodge kit car - a big lumpy truck v10 dropped into a fiberglass chassy. No ac, plastic windows that clipped on, a top that was an afterthought. It leaked badly when it rained. No abs, no traction control. But I have some of the fondest memories in that car. At the time I owned it in early 2000's they were only producing 300 cars a year and the entire population of Gen1-Gen2 vipers was about 3000 minus the wrecked ones.

I think I'm starting to get the mindset of a slc builder though and why many people abandon it once its complete...

One of the forum members is letting me see their car later this week... can't wait... I suppose then I'll know if I want one or not.
 
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#9
I don't have an SLC so discount this for what it's worth (probably not much)....

If you're coming from an lp640 then you're going to find just about any of the component car options a very, very big change. An SLC or GT40 or anything similar won't have anywhere near the level of fit and finish and driveability of your lp640....even with a lot of attention to detail/fit/finish. Hand stiched Italian leather, extensive road testing in wide variety of conditions, and extensive concern for comfort and ergonomics are not part of the package...at all. You might be better off with a newer Ford GT or a McLaren or something like that.
 

Howard Jones

Member
GT40s Supporter
#10
I wouldn't say that A SLC is hard to drive. As a matter of fact the car has so much grip (with high quality summer only tires) that you can drive it at very high simi crazy corner speeds and never really get it out of shape. What you have here is a F challenge car (2800+lbs) or a Ford GT (3000+lbs) at about 2500 pounds (I think my track version is closer to 2300 than 2500) and with 500HP it is GT3 capable.

But it can be driven at 80-90% and remain in a safe envelope while going very quickly that it feels easy. In any case it's not hard to drive.

It looks like that white SLC for sale at $82K would be a great start point. It really can't be duplicated for less and you have a 1-2 year head start at least.
 
#11
I watched Demuro's video on the Challenge Stradale and it sounds like a terrible car to drive on the streets - are you looking for an SLC that's as good as this, or better? Overheated cabin/no AC, super loud (no sound deadener), tons of noise, atrocious turning circle ... Throw AC into any SLC and I think you've got a more comfortable car ... The interior of the Stradale that Demuro reviewed also looked "Spartan" - exposed roll cage and nothing soft other than the little bit of seat padding he had.


The issues you had with your cobra seem like they can (mostly) be summed up by poor build/finish. I can't say much about the dynamics of the car other than to ask whether you had the chassis properly setup, or you left it as-received?

The SLC is a fantastic foundation for building any level of car you want - bare bones race car to over the top supercar. It's just a question of how deep you want to go digging into your pocketbook, especially if you won't be the one doing the work. Find a local car customizer and take a look at their past projects to see what you can expect for interior finish and workmanship. Any deficiencies in the parts offered by Superlite can/should be addressable by them.

Regardless, there will ALWAYS be some kind of compromise with the SLC. It was never designed from the outset to be an oem type car. The engineering hours were put into the chassis, suspension, and aero. The rest was tacked on and addressed as best as possible to begin with, and has been refined with time - but the interior of the lowest level Kia (no offense to Kia owners) will best what most people will be able to do with an SLC. Street-configured SLCs can be quite comfortable and easy to drive, just be sure you set the chassis and suspension up appropriately.

The one note I'll make about safety is I do feel somewhat vulnerable from the side. You can get the optional track/side bars but most compact/full size SUVs will mow right over those bars and into your head if you get t-boned. Race cars will run halo seats and drivers wear helmets, but that's not realistic for a street SLC. No helmet and no side curtain air bags mean there's a good chance you're going to bonk your head in a full on T-bone. The good thing about the SLC design is the driver is pushed fairly far inward from the outer edge - but again, tall vehicles can jump that side pod (it's only fiberglass) pretty easily.

Realistic expectations are key when it comes to happy ownership of an SLC (or any other component car). I think those who sold their cars shortly after completion likely fall into the category of misaligned expectations.

I recently took my car for a ~300 mile drive and had a blast. I was wearing noise canceling headphones during the long highway stretch portion but I think similar headphones were included gratis with your order of an Enzo back in the day. Otherwise my back was fine and I had no complaints about cabin temperature.
 
#13
Lol I can assure you the Italians considered neither comfort nor ergonomics when designing the LP640!

Cam, that's a Challenge, its a full blown race car. The Challenge Stradale is below (Stradale means "Street"). See 8:42 where it shows the interior, basically all carbon and alcantara, some bare metal floors.



Thanks for all the feedback guys. I think you're right it is misaligned expectations.




I don't have an SLC so discount this for what it's worth (probably not much)....

If you're coming from an lp640 then you're going to find just about any of the component car options a very, very big change. An SLC or GT40 or anything similar won't have anywhere near the level of fit and finish and driveability of your lp640....even with a lot of attention to detail/fit/finish. Hand stiched Italian leather, extensive road testing in wide variety of conditions, and extensive concern for comfort and ergonomics are not part of the package...at all. You might be better off with a newer Ford GT or a McLaren or something like that.
I watched Demuro's video on the Challenge Stradale and it sounds like a terrible car to drive on the streets - are you looking for an SLC that's as good as this, or better? Overheated cabin/no AC, super loud (no sound deadener), tons of noise, atrocious turning circle ... Throw AC into any SLC and I think you've got a more comfortable car ... The interior of the Stradale that Demuro reviewed also looked "Spartan" - exposed roll cage and nothing soft other than the little bit of seat padding he had.

 
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#14
It's hard to say whether interior noise is loud in the Challenge Stradale based on that video; I find my cabin to be loud but I'm sure others wouldn't. I spent some time as a trained BSR (buzz/squeak/rattle) engineer so ... no car sounds good to me.

This is video shot with my dashcam, microphone inside, next to the windshield:


Drive-by shot via iPhone:


I'm fairly certain I have more carpeting and carbon in my interior than that Stradale ... :)

https://socalslc.com/2018/09/16/49-working-from-the-inside-out/

I'm sure there are several folks here who've owned lambos, ferraris, and the SLC/GTR/GT40 who could give you better first-hand real-world comparisons. I don't know what it's like to drive a lambo/Ferrari/insert your exotic name here, but the SLC attracts attention unlike anything I've experienced before. Best of luck whatever you decide to do!
 

PeteB

Member
GT40s Supporter
#15
I sold mine not long after I finished it. Main reason I sold it was I just didn't enjoy driving it. I also had a long list of things I needed to change before I'd really be happy with it, and I'd already passed the break even point when it came to resale. So, rather than dumping a bunch more money into it that I'd never get back and hoping I'd be happy with it, I decided it was time to move on.

I replaced the SLC with a Lotus Elise, and I love it.
 
#16
I have a Murci and SLC. I drive most of my cars once a month at most. Wouldn't sell either, but it's 2 different beasts. Lambo you can drive all day and enjoy it, SLC (or my 917, or cobra) are more like 45 minute cars - after that it's exhausting. Not just because it's a race car on the street but because of the mental attention required because of how stupid other drivers are - veering across the median trying to capture you in their cell phone, etc.

And also restrictive. I always leave my Z06 parked anywhere without concern. I'm somewhat more reserved with the lambo, but typically don't mind leaving it somewhere. SL-C, haha, fvcking forget about it.

You can throw a dumptruck worth of money and time at it and it will never begin to meet the fit/finish of a production car. That's not to say you'll feel like you're inside of a stretched fiero - you won't, it will feel like a raw race car - but production car level, not a chance.

If you can only have 1 fun car then I imagine wanting to sell it in short order - it's fun but a restrictive type of fun. If you can afford 5-10 cars then you'll likely keep it for a long time.

Mustang, corvette, viper, lambo, it doesn't really compare to any of them. It's just a totally different experience, more raw and connected with the road.

Btw, a lot of cars you see up for constant sale have stories very few people talk about. For example, Eric's car - he somehow convinced a large number of people he was a youtube celebrity with his 50 followers and got the kit, drivetrain, tires, fuel, almost she-bang either free or massively discounted. So of course he's going to sell it, he found a way to grind his all-in costs 50% lower than most of us (plus built it like a clap-trap in order to get it done for his youtube channel). No hate for Eric - wish I could have convinced vendors I was a superstar and to give me stuff for free - but I do dislike his sale tactic of 'have to sell, my wife is sick .... oh yes, will definitely take trade for race prepped Viper and 911!'
 
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#18
Btw, a lot of cars you see up for constant sale have stories very few people talk about. For example, Eric's car - he somehow convinced a large number of people he was a youtube celebrity with his 50 followers and got the kit, drivetrain, tires, fuel, almost she-bang either free or massively discounted. So of course he's going to sell it, he found a way to grind his all-in costs 50% lower than most of us (plus built it like a clap-trap in order to get it done for his youtube channel). No hate for Eric - wish I could have convinced vendors I was a superstar and to give me stuff for free - but I do dislike his sale tactic of 'have to sell, my wife is sick .... oh yes, will definitely take trade for race prepped Viper and 911!'
Which SLC is Eric's?
 
#20
Some people enjoy the building of a car more than driving it so they jump into another build as soon as the last one is finished. I've also seen this phenomenon with experimental aircraft builders.
 
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