A Different Volkswagen: 1979 Daytona Sebring Kit Car

These days kit cars seem to have gone the way of the dinosaur. They enjoyed a strong following during the 1960s and 1970s, but tighter legislative requirements have seen the industry shrink. This 1979 Daytona Sebring kit car hails from that era, and is listed for sale here on eBay. Located in Pontiac, Illinois, it is offered with a clear title. Bidding has only taken the price of this car to $500 in what is a “No Reserve” auction.

Based on a Volkswagen chassis and drive-train. These are an interesting proposition as a driver’s car. The fiberglass body is lighter than the original VW body, and they have lower drag and a lower center of gravity. This can make them a quite enjoyable thing to drive on winding roads. We get no real indication of the condition of the frame of this car, but at least rust in the body won’t be an issue. The seller states that the paint is faded, but should return to pristine condition with a buff. The pop-up headlights also occasionally don’t pop all the way up, but this is most likely an adjustment and lubrication issue. Thankfully the power top lift does work properly because lifting the top manually from the inside is not for the faint-hearted.

The interior is so reminiscent of kit cars of the era. They were always functional but there was never a chance that you would accidentally feel that you were sitting in a Cadillac. Having said that, everything appears to be neat, clean and tidy. The car is fitted with air conditioning, but it isn’t functional. One thing about these particular cars is that if you are starting to feel the onset of advancing years or you happen to be slightly heavy-set (and I’m both) getting into these is really easy, but getting back out can be a less than elegant exercise. Still, we can’t have it all.

Unfortunately, we don’t receive any shots of the engine, but what we know is that it is all Volkswagen under the skin. Judging by the exhaust hanging out the back it does appear that the owner has wanted the car to at least sound the part (those side-pipes are not functional). What we do know is that there is occasionally an issue with getting the starter to engage. The seller is under the impression that it requires a shim to get it aligned correctly. About the only other things that we know are that the car wears really good tires and that it has a new battery.

Honestly, there is no real point trying to put a definitive value on this car. Being a kit car the quality of the workmanship was determined by the skills of the person assembling the kit, and this means that there is no solid base-line to work from. As a purely enjoyable exercise to own and drive it is worth what someone is willing to pay for it, but having driven one similar to this I know that they are actually a surprisingly enjoyable little car.

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Comments

  1. Gaspumpchas

    the shape of this beauty is cool, but that appendage on the rear deck would have to go. Might be a cool starter project for cheap buy in. You would need to inspect the floor pan good. I never heard of shimming a VW starter, simple bolt on the bellhousing.
    Whoops!! its up to 5200!!!

    Good luck to the new owner!!!

    Like 3
    • MAB

      The “shim” is not a spacer between the starter and the bell housing. The shim is a brass bearing that is pressed into the bell housing. The end of the starter motor shaft rides in it. It can get mashed out of shape, which causes the starter teeth to jam in the flywheel teeth. It is a simple fix.

      Like 1
      • Gaspumpchas

        Ahh thanks for clearing that up. you would have to pull the eng to get at it. Never heard it called a shim!!!

        Cheers
        GPC

        Like 1
  2. Don H

    Just hop up the VW engine ,our by a VW hipo crate engine🤘

    Like 3
  3. RoKo

    It’s a funny thing with kit cars; you know the designers had good intentions and probably a great first sketch or two, but somewhere along the way the design made no sense anymore. Like they got 3/4 of the way done then said ‘the hell with this’. That’s what the back of this car is like.

    Like 8
    • Miguel

      That was my thought too. The front looks cool and the back is unfinished.

      Like 2
  4. Dean

    I’d lose the sidewinders. Neat car, but I understand jack-knifing in and out of low-slung cars :(

    Like 2
  5. Dolphin Member

    The thing I like the most is the dual + dual exhaust pipes, sticking out of the sides and also sticking out the back.

    I guess it must have both front & rear engines, the front one being a V8 by the looks of the multi-tube front pipes….otherwise somebody has a real good reason to be a tad embarrassed.

    Like 3
  6. Uncle Bob

    I agree with chas about the shopping cart handle, but there was a time (sadly) when that was “a thing”.

    This reminded me of another kit car known as the Cimbria SS which had gull wing doors. So I binged that and found this forum for enthusiasts of this style kit car; http://www.sterlingkitcars.com/members_n_forums/
    Seeing that I was reminded of the Sterling which this Daytona must be a derivative/rip off of using a similar top arrangement. In the heyday of kit cars (80s/90s), at least for the number of companies and publications involved, it was very common for fly by night companies to pop up having splashed a mold from a competitors body and doing a few tweaks. Nasty business that.

    Like 2
    • CS

      I was just about to bring up the Sterling. I can’t help but wonder if it was a “built under license” thing rather than a straight rip off. But it WAS the 70s, so….

  7. Bob A Weinberg

    I owned a Sterling, and I can tell you that with a built VW motor, these things fly. My wife and oldest son would never ride in the car because it always drew a crowd no matter where we would go. So it was my youngest son and I that enjoyed it. The Sterling and Sebring were definitely siblings, but I don’t remember which came first. I believe the Sterling originated in the UK and a company in the States bought them out. I’d buy this in a heartbeat.

  8. Nick

    Did this ever sell? My dad owned this car and brought it back from Arizona back in the eighties.

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