Hardcastle & McCormick Fame: Coyote X Kit Car

Jeff LaveryBy Jeff Lavery

More commonly known as the “Coyote X”, this Manta Montage kit car rose to fame in the 1980s ABC television show, Hardcastle and McCormick. The seller claims he’s lost interest in the project due to his preferred fiberglass shop shutting down, and based on the description of a Porsche 911 Turbo donor car he’s purchased, it sounds like there were big plans for this kit car oddity. Find it here on eBay in Boca Raton with an $18,000 Buy-It-Now. 

This, like many other kit cars, is based on a VW chassis. The cockpit looks slightly better than some of the other fiberglass creations of the era, and the trimmings appear a bit higher grade. However, all it takes is watching five minutes of highlights from the show’s stunt drivers to realize this is like any other kit car: parts flying off, axles collapsing, and plenty of fake engine noises dubbed in to create the illusion of power.

The car in the television series supposedly used a Porsche 914 mill for motivation, but if you listen to any number of YouTube clips, you’d swear it had a blown V8 under the rear engine cover. All that said, the seller had some unusual plans make the Coyote X a formidable performer that could live up to its swoopy body lines: he put a down payment on a Porsche 996 Turbo to swap the kit car onto the Porsche chassis. A simple upgrade, that is not.

Here’s where it gets even more complicated: you can buy the Coyote X by itself, or you can buy the kit car and take over payments on the Porsche if you’re intrigued by the seller’s swap plans. Frankly, I can’t imagine even a trashed 996 Turbo wouldn’t be worth intact than hacked up for its chassis. Our impression is the price is rather high for an oddball like this, but perhaps some fans of the original television show still exist who might need this car in their lives.

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Comments

  1. dan
    1+
    • Dan mathis

      First off the original Manta was not based on a vw chassis it was tubular frame with small block chevy mid engine, used corvair four speed transaxle and 65 or later Corvair front end. I was in high school and wanted to build one so I cut out every article about it. I still have them today stashed in my shop
      Danno

      3+
      • Tony L

        The Manta Mirage was a mid-engine, space frame car, designed for a V8. The Montage was a VW pan based car, the Montage-T was a V-8 design. I remember the cars, when I was in college I went to the manufacturer’s show room as it was nearby to look at them as I really wanted one. Too much $$ for a college kid.

        0
    • Dan mathis

      Thanks really cool stuff even at sixty it still does the trick

      0
  2. dan
    1+
  3. Bobsmyuncle

    996 as any 911 is unibody. Chassis?

    1+
  4. LAB3

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if you want something unique you gotta pay the price of admission. $18k for a VW kit car? Not me.

    2+
  5. Van

    Funny thing about the car in the show. This car could catch anything on the road, but it couldn’t out run anything on the road.

    3+
  6. Madmatt

    I always loved that show,although I was a teenager,and already deep into my own projects by then!!real cool 2 c one of these,always looked the part,but would need a bit more ooomph as they say ,than what they had ?really cool looking tho,and maybe scarce neato !!

    1+
  7. Howard A Member

    McCormick and who?

    0
    • Chimmy

      Hardass & McCormick

      2+
    • Rob

      Hardcase and What’s his face.

      0
  8. rustylink

    my recollection of the show was that one of the main characters name was Mark McCormick- and his racing buddies all called him “Skid” – So Skid Mark McCormick. I can’t tell you how I giggled as a kid to this.

    3+
  9. Dt 1

    It’s a nice car there’s only one problem you can’t register in Most states there is no registration on the car

    0
  10. jesus bortoni

    I suspect he’d GIVE you the kit if you took over the payments of the Porsche.

    2+
  11. Roland

    I have a model of the Hardcastle and McCormick car and it has a small block V8 with dual four barrel carbs, don’t know how close that is to the show car creators vision.

    0
  12. Concinity

    Before all the TV stuff gave this car another identity, this body shaping and the moulds that formed it started out as the very first McLaren road car,the M6GT, being worked on by Bruce McLaren himself before his death.http://www.roadandtrack.com/car-culture/profiles/a30587/bruce-mclaren-would-have-turned-79-today/
    The December 1974 issue of Road & Track with the M6 on the cover was the first car magazine I ever bought and I saw an M6GT itself in a museum once.

    It was definitely worth copying.

    1+
  13. Andrew Calverley

    I am looking for a Hardcastle McCormick real car

    0
  14. IanF

    That listing is odd – the photos look to be of two different cars. Notice there are two different styles of head lights.

    That’s a pretty high asking price to not show any pictures of the drivetrain.

    0
    • Burzel

      Seller says “The square headlight photo, was how I got it, I had the LaMans style fiberglass headlight wells put in,”

      0
  15. bog

    I remember being “wowed” by the V8 version of the Manta, as I went to Road America to watch McLaren “and friends” race real CanAm cars, and having a “copy” of Bruce’s car was a one time dream. Didn’t remember that there was this lesser VW based car. No thanks.

    0
  16. Tim W

    I worked at a body shop in the early 80’s, and one of the guys there, Steve Walters had a Manta. 350 sbc. Good Lord would that thing move! He was always building some wild stuff. Good guy, great times…

    2+
  17. E. J.

    The Cody Coyote, as it appeared in Season 1 of Hardcastle & McCormick, was not a Manta Montage like in this ad. It was almost a dead on recreation of the McLaren M6GT road car that was being developed by Bruce McLaren before his death. McLaren’s coach builder was Trojan Cars. I always suspected the Coyote used one of the actual bodies by Trojan, but I cannot find any material to back that up. If you look at pictures of the two cars, the Montage and M6GT, you’ll see noticeable differences in the roll pan, fenders and overall stance. The Coyote was built on a Beetle chassis like the original Manta Montage kits, however it ran with a Porsche 914 engine and on TV, they used Ferrari engine noises for the soundtrack, a 308 I believe. The later Manta Montages used a space frame, that’s the Montage T. It was designed to use the GM 2.8 litre engine from the Chevy Citation and other GM front drive cars. The only V8 Manta was the Mirage. Pretty cool stuff if you ask me.

    1+

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