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For $30K, You Can Be Your Own Automotive Magnate!

Peter Tanshanomi October 18, 2016 For Sale, Terrible Ideas 5 Comments

Willow kit cars

Have you ever wanted a car of your own? I don’t mean just owning one example of a particular car, I’m talking owning the whole model: tooling, design, manufacturing rights, the whole shebang. Instead of thinking, “If I’d made that car, I’d have done it this way…” you could make it be that way. If you wanted to call it the Bob Smedley Is Awesome or the Sex Gunner Stocking-Foot Martian Weasel, nobody could stop you—it’s YOUR car! You could make reality match your dreams. Okay, so your dreams can’t include being financially viable in the endeavor, but that’s a minor quibble.

Eric Seltzer designed the Willow kit car in the late ’70s, and marketed it for a couple of years before selling the project in 1984. The assets remained basically mothballed until he bought them back earlier this year. The whole ball of wax, including the two unfinished cars shows above, are currently listed on Ebay for $29,500, although he’s willing to consider offers.

Willow Kit CarSeltzer isn’t some fly-by-night goofball: he’s a mechanical engineer and racer who had experience designing and building open-wheel race cars before he developed the Willow. And it shows: as kit cars go, the Willow is a few notches above the norm. This is no Beetle rebody; it’s a clean-sheet design with a mid-engine drive train and stout, tubular chassis. There’s also a partially developed electric version (the tandem-seat spider in the foreground). Visually, Eric’s body design is fairly clean and purposeful, incorporating a lot of vintage can-am influences. The shovel nose is slightly dated, but overall it’s not nearly as gimmicky as most older kit car bodies. The Willow could be quite attractive with a bit of a styling refresh and a more modern drivetrain. The question is whether that sort of a head-start would be worth 30 big ones over simply starting fresh with your own clean sheet design.

Ebay Auction:

entry on Wikipedia

A hat-tip to the for sharing this.

  • “…including the two unfinished cars….”

    I just don’t think I can commit to that volume of production.

    • 0A5599

      You can do it. You have a great appreciation for unfinished cars.

  • JayP

    So much potential. CanAm design, update the suspension, ecoboost for an engine… beef up that roll bar and you’ll have a legitimate track car.

  • Alff

    Halfsies, Pete?

  • HycoSpeed

    Turns out this is 45 minutes away from me…