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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Good morning Gents!

I have stalked Factory Five for quite a long time now.... probably since 2000, as I was 15yrs old at the time. Now 35yrs old and I have a 10yr old son who appreciates cars maybe more than I do. My wife knows that this dream will be coming true soon (hopefully) and I wanted to start nailing down some decisions so that I can proceed in a direction the second the time is right.

I know that this is a F5R forum, and I'm not starting a "which would you buy" thread, because your answer is clear since I'm on this site. These questions are more of me asking opinions and thoughts since you guys have lived through these things. Unique Motorcars offers a pretty nice "Deluxe Pallet Kit" at $32,100. Their kits seem to be be aimed at a really high standard of "authentic" and having the car the way it was whereas F5R continues to evolve things especially the frame structure and how the body attaches (and not relying on the body to do some of the supporting for the systems). Their kit seems to include pretty much everything including a Jag IRS and is mostly put together where the site quotes that the average person can do all of the things needed in under 100 hours. All that you need besides some odds and ends would be the motor, transmission and wheels. The site states that the footwell area has more room and that is a bonus for me being 6-6'1. Anyone have experience with this comparing to the MK4?

A few other thoughts/questions:
-Realistic time frame to build a F5R complete kit-total hours and generally how long it takes someone on a complete kit.
-Complete kit builds on YouTube that show quick stages of the build? Was wondering if someone had put together a video of this overall build that went through the steps and what they were doing.
-Any advantages of their kit or disadvantages? They do have a basic kit like F5R, but I'm not really looking to source parts and all of that. I want everything to come and I put it together or most of it come installed then I take the time to go through it and put the rest together.

Since y'all have done the F5R builds, I really wanted to know your thoughts. Building the car, I don't think I'm afraid of as I'm pretty handy and can do things myself, I just dream of the time he and I can fire it up and pull out of the garage (puts a smile on my face as I think of that!). Please don't suggest "well why don't you just buy a completed car then". I'm sure I'll have more questions as people hopefully answer, so I really appreciate it. No bashing, just looking for good guidance. Thank you!
 

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I don't even know where to begin except to say that Uniques are not bad cars but in comparison to FFR they're pretty technologically dated and a totally different animal altogether; truly an apples to oranges comparison. You'll find more traffic and consequently more responses if you post this same question on the other forum You are being redirected...

Jeff
 

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I guess it just depends on your desired level of involvement in the build. This is my first build and I'm 14mos in it so far. I estimate I'm maybe 2/3rds done with the build. Not sure how many hours I have in it, but most estimates are around 300-500 hrs for first time builders. The first part of the build went very quickly. Almost like doing a complicated Lego set. Parts were all there, and all I had to do was assemble them. The second third of the build took a bit more time. This included rebuilding my donor engine and deciding how the engine, drivetrain, fuel delivery (EFI vs carb), distributor, etc were all going to work together. Much of this phase was spent reading and learning about car topicsI had no idea about. I feel the final third of the build will be the finishing touches (adjusting brake balance, fitment of the body, finishing the interior, etc). FWIW I'm going to have someone else do the final body and paint work, which adds another 2 months to the completion date and additional cost. Admittedly, I didn't do a ton of research (reading other build blogs/threads) before my build and had to learned a lot of things along the way. I found that there are a few things that are a necessity for this type of project; time, space, money and desire. Some have done this in a 1 car garage space, but unless you're extremely organized, I find that this would be hard. For me, this was more about the journey than the final product. I'm sure I could have bought a completed kit for way cheaper, but wanted to say that I was responsible for every bit of this car. I enjoy doing projects (home improvement, etc) and this satisfies that itch.

I cannot comment on other kits, but know there are many out there. From my experience, the FF community has been nothing but helpful and supportive during my build process. I'm not sure if that can be said about the other companies/kits. Lots of smart people out here doing lots of innovative stuff. I would also say that the chassis of the FF cars seems must more robust and race inspired that anything else on the market i.e backdraft, ultimate classic cars, etc. Some of the other kits will offer rolling chassis where part of the build is completed if you have time/space constraints, but usually at the expense of added cost.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
I don't even know where to begin except to say that Uniques are not bad cars but in comparison to FFR they're pretty technologically dated and a totally different animal altogether; truly an apples to oranges comparison. You'll find more traffic and consequently more responses if you post this same question on the other forum You are being redirected...

Jeff
How are they different besides what I said? There is way more traffic here than on the forum you told me to post on, right?
 

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Not trying to be a smart ass but this is the first I heard of the other company so I can't fairly comment. Some guys in our group have Superformance cars but most are F5R.

Build 2/7/14 - 3/25/15 elapsed time a few hours a day & long Saturdays.

MK-IV 8243 Coyote (2014)/TKO-600
Delivered - 2/7/14
Initial Engine Start - 11/12/14
Go Cart - 11/22/14
Chassis to Body Shop - 11/24/14
Body Painted - 1/8/15
Body on Chassis - 1/28/15
Dyno Tune - 2/19/15
Trailer home - 3/7/15
NCDMV inspection - PASSED 3/16/15
Plate - "COYOTE" Black/Yellow NC-1965 - 3/25/15
 

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I can't speak for the other kits. I can speak as someone who stalked FFR for the last 20 yrs. I did look at the other couple companies. FFR seemed the most advanced and user friendly for a novice. The company techs are amazing. This forum and group of builders are priceless.

I feel I'm the least experienced and knowlegable on this form and I have been pretty successful. Infact you would say I had 0 experience besides building the engine and these guys helped me all through that process too. This is a combo of the way the kit is designed and the support you get with owning a FFR. Plus look into the social aspect. It may not seem important but there never seems to be a lack of things to do based on the FFR MK4.

I spent a year before I got the kit building my engine. I bought a new trans.

There will be a major difference in time and effort between a complete kit and basic.

I bought a comete kit and everything new even the rear end. Almost all from FFR. Nothing donor and a tire package.

I feel FFR complete kit have me the best opportunity to be successful. Many people buy a kit and never ever finish it. This was a major scare factor to me. It's been difficult for me and with help I have been successful. I did not get that feel good vibe from the other companies.

Received my kit March of 2019

I am atleast 2/3 done on my end if not more. About half if I was doing body and paint.

Day 160est
312 total hour est
3-15-2020

I work on it some most days.

Jason
 

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IF you are looking for something that you only have to bolt on the side view mirrors, the wind wings, the front n rear bumper, why not look for a somewhat completed F5 that someone hasn't completed due to numerous reasons - they are out there, and would give you that opportunity to do some work to make the car "your car" and yet not strap you into a car [kit] you may or may not complete. I won't tell you to buy a completed car, you were explicit in that respect but also expressed the thought of not building one from the ground up and being able to drive it in a short period of time.
I bought my MKII from a local builder 2/3 complete. It still needed to have the dash wired and installed, seats installed, rollbar and all the things I mentioned above. Still had to send it out for body work and paint. Most of the things I did were cosmetic and more for "personalizing" the car; creature comfort things . . .

This might be an option for you.

Unique Motorcars makes a fine example of a Cobra, as mentioned above, with some "dated" technology / equipment. Not much of it can be upgraded without some $$$ and time to figure out HOW you will upgrade. F5 cars can be built any way you desire, within some restraints (engine choices, transmissions, tire sizes, auxiliary equipment), truly a car built the way you want it to be.

I've had my MKII for 18 years and can't imagine being without it . . .

Doc
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Not trying to be a smart ass but this is the first I heard of the other company so I can't fairly comment. Some guys in our group have Superformance cars but most are F5R.
I appreciate your response and timeframe. Timeframes and the amount spent on it weekly really help me gauge, so thank you.

It’s clear F5R does it up well. One of my main concerns is driver fitment. (Almost 6’1 and my legs are somewhat long or average. A 32” inseam usually works perfectly.) I don’t want one of the Cobras that are stretched too far but the idea of a couple extra inches in the footwell area had me looking more Into the other company. The only F5R that I’ve been in, it felt tight. It may have just been that example...?
The other is overall build time. The complete kit seems to be the way to go, but the kit manufacture putting some of it together really seems to be a nice touch for me since I’m trying to figure out overall time.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I can't speak for the other kits. I can speak as someone who stalked FFR for the last 20 yrs. I did look at the other couple companies. FFR seemed the most advanced and user friendly for a novice. The company techs are amazing. This forum and group of builders are priceless.

Day 160est
312 total hour est
3-15-2020

I work on it some most days.

Jason
Love the approach you took. Would love to chat about the engine build sometime if you don’t mind.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
IF you are looking for something that you only have to bolt on the side view mirrors, the wind wings, the front n rear bumper, why not look for a somewhat completed F5 that someone hasn't completed due to numerous reasons - they are out there, and would give you that opportunity to do some work to make the car "your car" and yet not strap you into a car [kit] you may or may not complete. I won't tell you to buy a completed car, you were explicit in that respect but also expressed the thought of not building one from the ground up and being able to drive it in a short period of time.
I bought my MKII from a local builder 2/3 complete. It still needed to have the dash wired and installed, seats installed, rollbar and all the things I mentioned above. Still had to send it out for body work and paint. Most of the things I did were cosmetic and more for "personalizing" the car; creature comfort things . . .

This might be an option for you.

Unique Motorcars makes a fine example of a Cobra, as mentioned above, with some "dated" technology / equipment. Not much of it can be upgraded without some $$$ and time to figure out HOW you will upgrade. F5 cars can be built any way you desire, within some restraints (engine choices, transmissions, tire sizes, auxiliary equipment), truly a car built the way you want it to be.

I've had my MKII for 18 years and can't imagine being without it . . .

Doc
I’ve always dreamt of building ground up, always. As I get older and my time with my 10 yr decreases quickly before he is 18... I’d really like to go cruising with him and that’s why the other car in a go-carted status intrigued me. Looked at their published instructions, you have to take a lot of things apart or off in order to separate the body for finish work. Flip slid of that thought is what if I had the ground up memory of building it with him... that seems to be a little more priceless.
 

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Count me as another that knows little/nothing about Unique and not many on here will. Don't know that it's fair to ask us to compare. As you said, we already made our choice. Only two points to add to those already made: (1) The other site as much more traffic than this one. You're impression about that is incorrect. (2) There are ways to deal with your height. Drivers taller than you fit. Mainly with different seats (thinner, lower) and there's some adjustment possible with the pedals. Be careful looking at other builds. Current models have more room than some of the older ones. Factory Five has made every effort to maximize the space. Plus big difference in what seats are used and how they're positioned. At the end of the day, it's not a large car so you're not going to have a bunch of space. I'm very average 5-10 and it's comfortable for me. But it's also not like riding in our SUV. There are some videos out there. But many including me do build threads. Couple links below in my sig line if you're interested.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
(1) The other site as much more traffic than this one. You're impression about that is incorrect. (2) There are ways to deal with your height. Drivers taller than you fit. Mainly with different seats (thinner, lower) and there's some adjustment possible with the pedals. Be careful looking at other builds. Current models have more room than some of the older ones. Factory Five has made every effort to maximize the space. Couple links below in my sig line if you're interested.
1) My apologies as it seems like there is more activity on this forum than the one on the manufactures site. I’ll make sure I review theirs just as much.
2) That instills confidence for sure and I will make sure to note on how to make extra room. It’s not that I want a Cadillac ride, it’s that it needs to be comfy with the pedal arrangement and not have a “stuffed” feeling where I can’t relax and control the 3 pedals. When I sat in the one I mentioned prior, I felt like my knees were in the dash. I understand that it was his setup, so it sounds like I can alter as needed to some degree.
 

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I am 6' 1/2", 200lbs, wear a 32" inseam, and size 14 shoes. I don't have any issue fitting. I think you would have to be 6' 4" before you have to do anything special. And we have several of those tall guys with FFRs.

My seat is mounted to the floor and all the way back. My wife doesn't drive, so I didn't have to add sliders.
My friends car has seat sliders and that does get my site line close to the windshield frame. But it is still fine. I have driven his car on the road and autocross.

When you first get into the car, you may feel that the steering wheel is close. But that is exactly where it should be in a race car. I don't have any issues with knees with either the dash or the FFR wooden steering wheel. My friend has the leather wheel, no issues with that either.

I do have to wear driving shoes. That is for both width with the close pedals (my feet are long but not wide) , and my heel catches with regular shoes. There is some adjustment with the Wilwood pedals.

A big decision is do you really want to BUILD a car? If you think the manufacturer putting some of it together is nice, maybe building isn't what you are looking for? There are a couple professional FFR builders. There are also ready to go manufacturers out there like Superformance and Backdraft. Or there's Kirkham if you have 6 figures to spend.
 

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FF has the best customer service follow through I think I've experienced. Always answer the phone, have the right answers and ate most of my problems without charging me extra. Plus with 10k of these things built there's not a problem you'll experience alone.
 

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Uniques are a nice car. My one negative is the Jag IRS. That design is so old and it is horrendous to work on. It wasn't any fun in the Jags back in 60s-70s when I worked on a few and it isn't any better now. It was designed for 5 inch wide wheels and tires while the FFR IRS is based on the 2015 Mustang GT and was designed to be raced in a 3300# car w/ 11 inch wheels. I may be a little weird but for that alone I wouldn't even consider a Unique.
 

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I actually know someone with a Unique Motorcars Cobra and he likes it really well. When he was at the house looking at mine he had one very “unique” comment though…. He said he wished his was built like mine that way he could have driven it before the body was on and make any changes and adjustments beforehand because once the body went on, it made things a bit harder to get at. I could see his point. Other than that, he really likes his car.
Personally, I understand your comment about FFR making changes every now and again to their designs but for me that is simply a company ever improving its product. I have a MK3 that I’m making all sorts of changes to for my personal preferences, but that’s just me. I know several people that have built the FFRs (right out of the box as it were) and the end products are outstanding in every aspect.
In short, I guess it all depends on how much of the vehicle you want to actually build and how much you want someone else to do to help speed things along. As others have pointed out here already, I feel like the Jag rear-end is a bit dated and although the one Unique car I know of has been on tracks before and done rather well, I feel that with FFR’s choices if rear-ends and their track tested frames and engineering they are kind of hard to beat. And as for size, my son is 6’2” with a size 12 shoe and he fits in my car just fine.
But this is all just my opinion, and we all know about those…..right?
No matter what direction you go, when you pull the trigger and get your car I hope your end results are fun and just what you are looking for.
J.D.
 

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A friend that helps me work on mine, owns a Lone Star. He often says, I wish mine was built like that. I have yet to hear him, say anything negative about the F5.
Some of the things he had to do to the Lone Star make you glad F5 is designed well.
 

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The the F5R evolution of the cars is a key to their success. Especially when the incorporate changes we the builders have made into the product.

Was an early COYOTE builder. They already had the COYOTE install kit but it did not include a engine side footbox sheet with a bend to enable more clearance at the throttle pedal. A number of us fabricated a replacement sheet to fit & now that part is included with the car by F5R.
 

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I feel FFR complete kit have me the best opportunity to be successful. Many people buy a kit and never ever finish it. This was a major scare factor to me. It's been difficult for me and with help I have been successful. I did not get that feel good vibe from the other companies.
Give some thought to the comment above before you commit. I know many FFR builds that are 2 or more years in and not looking like getting completed any time soon. True car enthusiasts will always make time to work on the car, it's therapy. It took me two years to complete mine spending a couple of hours most evenings and 8 to 10 hours most weekends in between kids soccer, hockey etc.... For those that don't absolutely love building things it can get frustrating at times and tough to commit time to. If learning to assemble, drill, rivet, torque, align, wire, do bodywork etc. excites you then an FFR build will be perfect. If you want to drive rather than build sometimes life gets in the way and takes priority over the build. It just happens.

Ask yourself if there is anything you don't like about the Unique or the FFR. In the long run that will bug you more than anything else. Our local Cobra group includes a wide range of makes and they all put the same huge grin on the owners faces. I considered a Unique before buying the FFR and know Unique owners. They are great cars.
 
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