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Discussion Starter #1
I'm interested in building a GTM for under 50k, what should I expect from this process? This'll be my first kit car build, and while the 818 is a lot easier to build than a GTM, the GTM is what I've decided on.

Factory Five's website says that most spend between 35k-50k building their car, but I've heard people say that a finished car is more like 70k+. I'm looking to have the car completely finished, mechanics, body, interior, all the bells and whistles. This will be a street car, so options like A/C will be added as well. Is this achievable?

I've got a few other questions as well:
1. To save money, would I have to exclusively use a wrecked donor, or just a base model C5 Corvette?
2. If I bought an automatic donor car, how would this change the build process? I still intend for my GTM to be manual, but since the transmission Factory Five recommends is from a Porsche 911, would it be exactly the same, or would there be some complications with an automatic donor car?
3. How much of the car has to be intact to make for a good donor car? For example, is it fine if the interior is an absolute mess?
4. What are the differences between using a C5 donor and a Z06 donor? I know each has the LS1 and LS6 engine respectively, but are those the only differences?

Before I undertake this huge project, what should I plan and prepare for? I haven't bought anything yet, but I'm going to get the GTM build manual just to see what I'm getting myself into. In the meantime, I'll probably get a job as an apprentice mechanic for a few months to get some experience and knowledge under my belt. Some people might say that a GTM is a terrible first kit car, and that I should build an 818 or stick an LS into a Fiero, but when there's a will, there's a way. I'll figure it out, and hopefully one day I'll be posting my finished GTM build on this forum.

Thanks for reading!
 

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I hope other owners who have built from scratch as opposed to buying will chime in. I came to the conclusion that by the time I added the $25K kit cost and the $10K donor car cost, trans - $5K, Paint - $7K, $2.5K - Wheels, plus tires, motor and trans rebuilds cost (make sure it is good before it goes in for good!), Rr wing, roof scoop. rocker extensns, misc parts that might be wanted....that I would end up with a COST that would exceed what a GTM can be bought for. Not to mention the MANY hours that would be put in to the car at $.25 per hour! LOL My guess is you will have $60K in costs in to the car and parts before you even start to build it! Would love to hear from others who built theirs. The one aspect I didn't mention is the learning experience and pride in building your own car the way you want it (actually I guess that is 3 things! LOL)
 

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We've built over 30 of these cars. To be honest, I'm not sure that your goal is achievable. The only way I can see coming close is to watch for someone who is selling their un-completed kit + donor parts for cheap. To order a new kit from FFR, by the time you include the AC option and delivery cost, you're already pushing $30k. You would have to get a killer deal on absolutely everything you buy, including the donor car and the transaxle (used Porsche) and then do 100% of the work yourself, including painting the car. $20k to spend on "the rest of what you need" might sound like a lot, but it's really not. Finding a transaxle is not going to be easy or cheap.

1. Yes, you'd have to buy a wrecked donor or cheap donor with all usable parts.
2. Auto or manual donor does not matter. Doesn't change anything...no complications either way.
3. Download the list of donor parts from FFR and you can see what you will need off of the donor. For the interior, you need the steering column, column cover/trim, stalk switches, seat belts, Ebrake handle/mechanism...
4. Yes, the LS1/LS6 is really about the only difference between them.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well, that settles it. I'm still interested in building a GTM, but after looking at the prices some finished builds are going for on the used market recently, I think I'm gonna look more into buying a finished car. On Bring a Trailer I've noticed that there's GTMs that have sold for as low as 40k! Other than Bring a Trailer, where should I be looking to buy a GTM? Any buyers advice for GTM specific things I should look out for?
 

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Occasionally on ebay. That is why I came to the same conclusion and recommended buying vs. building (better to buy a finished for less) you will need to take a look at the build quality and components!
 

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$40K maybe for a semi finished that still needs $$ to complete. Seems like turn key finished are MAYBE around $60K. Shane would probably be able to give you a better idea. I believe ebay cars were asking $69,995 and seemed to be pretty good quality.
 

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Asking and selling prices are a very different thing. Anytime someone asks me about building one, I tell them to look real hard at the finished market first. Almost cant buy all the parts for what most of these sell for finished. I bought an unfinished one a couple years ago for a customer. Paid $20,000 with everything. It was a running but no where near finished car.
Still needed tons of money spent in labor and paint.
Mike
 

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Well, that settles it. I'm still interested in building a GTM, but after looking at the prices some finished builds are going for on the used market recently, I think I'm gonna look more into buying a finished car. On Bring a Trailer I've noticed that there's GTMs that have sold for as low as 40k! Other than Bring a Trailer, where should I be looking to buy a GTM? Any buyers advice for GTM specific things I should look out for?
As far as what to look for...that is the thing about cars like this. Someone built it in their garage. Maybe they knew what they were doing. Maybe they didn't. That's the difference between a car that you won't be safe to make it all the way around the block without breaking down vs being able to drive for thousands of miles without problems. The reliability is built into the car as you build it. The quality is built into the car as you build it. The fit and finish are built into the car as you build it. I would strongly recommend seeing the car in person before purchasing and crawling all over the car and looking in every nook and cranny to see what it looks like.
 
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