Porsche Powered: 1966 Fiberfab GT

Jeff LaveryBy Jeff Lavery

Among the legions of kit cars offered during the 60s and 70s, fiberglass creations like the Fiberfab GT stood out for at least creating a convincing homage to the original Ford GT40. This example is a touch more special for it has Porsche 356 running gear, suspension from a VW, and trick custom-widened steel wheels. Find it here on eBay with the reserve unmet and a Buy-It-Now of $12,500. 

It seems the best project cars are the ones formerly owned by pilots. This Fiberfab was built by an owner that spent most of his time above the ground, which helps explain the level of detail in this creation. The Fiberfab was a road-going specimen, complete with a valid New Jersey inspection from 1974. The Fiberfab even made the trip from its New Jersey home to Florida to watch the annual races at Sebring. How cool must that have been – checking out one of the world’s great racetracks in a car you built in your garage!

The seller captures many interesting details about the component-sharing that was common with these kit cars: “Rear glass is from a 65- 66 Ford Mustang 2+2 Fastback. The windshield is from a 1965-69 Corvair Monza or Corsa. Side windows are custom made. This version has the more desirable short door with rocker panel, along wind-wing vent window from a 65 Mustang. Rear taillights are 63 Corvette.” So, some of the parts are at least easily replaced, along with the serviceable VW/Porsche running gear. The interior looks quite clean for a kit car project.

Given the running gear and custom steel wheels, it wouldn’t surprise me if this Fiberfab had a few other tricks up its sleeve. I would imagine the suspension is at least set up fairly aggressively for entertaining handling, or perhaps the 356 motor was bored out when installed. Kit cars come up for sale quite regularly as dilapidated projects heading for the scrap heap, but this one is the exception and appears ready for a proper restoration.

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Comments

  1. richierich

    You can probably pay for half the car with a sale of that 356 engine/drivetrain to a restorer of that model and vintage where it will carry more of its value to the end product. From there it’s an easy swap in with a more current VW engine that could be made hotter than the one it replaces. Win-win – better performance and half the cost.

    20+
    • Rob

      I wish I were in a position to buy it! I’ve wanted to build one since seeing this one and getting to know it’s owner: http://www.britishv8.org/other/richardmoor.htm

      4+
      • Bob

        That’s a nice looking car, but what’s British about it? The engine?

        0
  2. Dave Wright

    I was involved with one of these in the late 60’s…….saw it from the day the kit was delivered through attempts to make it run. The builder was a very high end mechanic that worked for a buddy’s dad’s shop. He used a Corvair 6 cyl engine on a VW drivetrain. The engine had a ton of HP, probably around 250. It was the biggest POS I have ever been around. We had built a lot of Manx type dune buggys and they were great, simple, clean, very fast autocross scooters with the Corvair engine installed. This thing was just awful. He was never able to get the rear body panel to stop bouncing so hard that it would tear out whatever tie downs were placed on it. I watched him try to get it started at an autocross one time, the rear hatch would bounce 6 inches as he released the (racing) clutch. It was scary to drive on the street just because you couldn’t see ANYTHING out of it…..windows were either in or out……making ventilation impossible. He had more money in the car than my buddy had in his sorted Lotus 23b. Highest and best use on this one would be to pull the running gear for use in a real car and make a coffee table out of the remainder. Brakes were a nightmare, tires didn’t want to fit under the fender wells with the wheel adaptors nessisary to mount good wheels, We came to the conclusion that the full length VW pan that it was built on needed considerable reinforcement to limit the twist allowing the body to lay down during acceleration and it was already heavy. Just an absolutely terrible Machine even after an incredible amount of money, the highest quality parts and craftsmanship were applied.

    22+
    • King Al

      Alwaus wondered and dreamed about building one as a kid in the 60s. 50 years on, I’m glad I could never scrape enough money together to wrap one of these disasters around my neck.

      3+
    • Dolphin Dolphin Staff

      I never got close to owning one of these. I just didn’t want to take the time away from fooling around with actual cars that had real bodies and some decent engineering to them.

      Some of the ‘glas cars look OK from a distance but start looking real crude and unappealing when you get up close. Then you add in the kinds of problems this Fiberfab had with something as basic as keeping that big rear clip down and in place and they start to sound like a real disaster.

      Dave’s description of those problems confirms what kept a me and every other serious car guy I grew up with away from these. With all the advertising with fancy color photos with ladies in bikinis next to these cars it becomes clear that outfits like Fiberfab spent way more money on advertising than they ever spent on engineering and quality control.

      Call me traditional, or elitist, or whatever, but unless the fiberglas is part of an early Corvette I’m not interested.

      4+
    • whippeteer

      Which is why most kit cars of the era were never completed.

      1+
    • Big Ed

      Don’t forget that the VW/Porshe floor pans were sturdy when mounted with their steel bodies. Put a “bird cage” in that Fiberfab and if tied in correcly you could keep the paint and panels on it. Use chrome moly and a 250 hp turbo Corvair engine shouldn’t have a problem moving it. Just sayin’.

      1+
  3. michael streuly

    Pile of junk.

    1+
  4. George

    part it out and scrap it.

    2+
  5. Boyhowdy

    Why is it that all of these kit car companies that try to make a replica always fail at the back half of the GT40? Starting at the nose, good, doors, good, side scoops, good, back end……trash. The rear section and tail lights aren’t even close (in my opinion). They just stop trying once they get to the tail lights.

    1+
  6. Marty

    All Fiberfab cars had poor build quality backed up by poor design. The designer was a very talented glass man, but that wasn’t enough. The only thing of real value here is the engine. This company made a fine effort in giving kit cars a bad name as not one of their products would yeald a decent car without totally redesigning it inside and out. There are plenty of quality kit cars out there not to need to mess with this pos.

    2+
  7. PAPERBKWRITER

    Can you imagine bringing this to the local mechanic and ask him the work on it. Porsche running gear, Mustang this, VW that and who knows what else is improvised.Tearing into this would be a nightmare.

    1+
  8. Bob

    My brother-in-law moved to Oklahoma in 75. He was an engineer and he was going to build and sell these. He had the assembly manual, which was pretty interesting, but he never built, nor sold a single car.

    0
    • Tom S.

      How does moving to Oklahoma figure into that failed scheme?

      0
  9. Rob

    To the naysayers… http://www.britishv8.org/other/richardmoor.htm

    I’ve wanted to build one ever since I saw it.

    2+
  10. JLW

    I’ve been a kit car fan for 40 years and always wanted a GT 40 style one. Now in semi retirement I have the time and a little extra money to play with the one I found. Anyone considering getting one better be able to work on it and be able to fabricate. There are super deals to be had you just have to be patient. They are basically for show, not so much go. Although mine has a rear mounted 215 Buick V8 , I dont’ push it. It’ just cool. More pics available if interested.

    11+
    • Jim

      Mine is a 215 Olds aluminum mid engine. 50 years later I still have to work out the shift linkage. Yours looks good, did you build it?

      1+
      • JLW

        I didn’t do the main build. But I was lucky in that the builder was very experienced hot rod guy. It is very well done. Very fast with the 215 all aluminum V8 installed in the rear. Connected via a Kennedy Engineering adapter plate. The engine weight is a mere 40 lbs more that a 1600 VW engine. No handling issues.

        0
  11. jw454

    We built one of these kits when I was in high school shop class using a VW 1600 DP for power. One of the things I remember was that I was assigned to go to a local junk yard and procure the rear window and vent wings from a 65/66 Mustang fastback.
    Once it was all assembled, we took turns taking it out and running the heck out of it. It wasn’t tremendously fast but, it did run very well. At the end of the term one of the other students made arrangements to buy it from the school.

    5+
  12. Wayne

    JLW,
    Wow nice car!
    More pictures please!!!
    Thanks!

    1+
    • Moparman

      @JLW +1 What Wayne said! 🙂

      0
    • JLW

      Okay. Not sure how to get more than one pic on at a time but I’ll try. If anyone knows let me know , I have many.

      0
  13. PAR

    Looks like an McLaren M6 GTR.

    0
  14. OLDSTUFF

    A FEW of these actually made it into the hands of capable car builders, believe it or not… About 20 yrs ago when I was actively buying, restoring and selling all kinds of Antique, Muscle cars and older Corvettes,… I ran across one of these that had been built on a square tube frame, supposedly at the FiberFab Factory and used as a demo/ photo op car…

    The car, when I ran across it had a 350 Chevy in it, with a early ZF type transaxle and would FLY !… the handling on it was not so good and it was very noisy and very uncomfortable… both of which kept me from buying it even though the original GT40’s were one of my dream cars… I honestly do regret not buying it now as it was a fair asking price of $4500., (which I probably would have tried to dicker down some…) and the only one like it I have ever seen since, with no VW parts at all on it….I look back and just think that with probably some good ‘adjustment’ engineering and fabrication it might have made a nice ride… But as most here have pointed out,… almost every other one I have ever seen is …sadly, junk….

    2+
    • OLDSTUFF

      CORRECTION : Earlier I wrote that the GT40 Kit car I considered buying several years back, had a 350 Chevy on some type ZF transaxle in it… After talking to my bud who actually made the drive with me, the 200 miles to look at it, …it seems my memory could be running all those cars and engines from over the years together… He says he is almost sure it had a 327 engine in it with a (Beefed up) Corvair transaxle in it…he also said that he is POSITIVE that if he had not been along to drag me away from it, by repeatedly reminding me of the many ‘Projects’ I already had,… I would’ve brought that money pit to the house… LOL…
      Oh Well,… Memory…..Just another thing I can blame on getting older….

      0
  15. JagManBill

    ahh…no. I just passed on one of these about 6 months ago for $800. What I see here is a guy trying to sell a 356 motor with an attached kit car…

    0
  16. Ralf W

    We put a 350 ci in mine in the 80’s modified the chassis for a mid engine. We made the entire body lift up together…. No lifting the rear from it’s mount. I loved that gt 40….she put all the others to shame. Kept up with the vettes. If you build your car the way it should be built you will enjoy her like I did.
    A large tree and a big wind ended our love affair.
    Ralf W

    3+
  17. Adam Wright

    I bought one of these one time, the guy told me it was on a 356 chassis, it wasn’t, but it did have a 356 motor, I pulled the motor and sold the car, but it was cool to look at!

    0
    • Adam Wright

      He did badge it Porsche.

      0
    • JLW

      That looks sharp! I love them. They can be had on the cheap and then it’s just a lot of time and effort. The payoff is worth it in my opinion.
      Nice car, congrats.

      0

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