Big Block GT40? Not Really, But Interesting!

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Of course it’s not a real GT40; if you look closely it’s only a caricature at best. But it’s also not hundreds of thousands of dollars, either, and it does have a big block V8 engine! Thanks to reader MPatterson for this find, located in Lebanon, Tennessee and listed for sale here on craigslist for $1,800. 

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I’m sure most of our eagle-eyed readers have already identified this as a Fiberfab Avenger, which began it’s life as a VW Beetle-based kit car. Somewhere along the line, this particular one took a serious left turn, and ended up with a GM 455 cubic inch V-8 from an Oldsmobile Toronado mounted in the rear (with the automatic transmission as well).

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Given that drive train combination, I’m guessing this is the view most folks had of the Avenger! Thankfully, when the conversion was made, four-wheel disc brakes were added as well! We don’t really see enough of the car in the pictures to judge the quality of the work, but the seller describes the result as “a screaming rocket,” and I can believe it! I would lose the spoiler, though.

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Like most kit cars of the era, you’ll never mistake the interior for the real thing, but it does look like some thought went into the layout and more gauges were included than in many kits I’ve seen. Obviously it would need a lot of work now to make it look good, but consider the price compared to a real GT40!

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Obviously, my tongue is a little bit in my cheek when I’m comparing this car to a real GT40. But I do think it’s something one could have a lot of fun with once it was re-commissioned. The 455 should give it some real go power, and the transmission certainly won’t be stressed with the light weight of the car. The seller does say it needs new pans, but they are certainly available and inexpensive to boot. I like the fact that someone actually went to the trouble to upgrade the brakes; maybe that and the stainless steel hoses visible here are signs that someone put some effort into the original build. What do you think?

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Comments

  1. Brakeservo

    We’re any of these ever finished, driven and enjoyed ‘back in the day?’ All I remember seeing are rusting, decaying projects.

  2. Dave Wright

    I helped build one of these in high school. It was so scary to drive, even at that young age I thought it should be illegal for street use. You couldn’t see anything out of it.

    Like 1
    • Brakeservo

      So it probably wound up just sitting and decaying, deteriorating more as little parts were continually pilfered . . . right??

  3. alphil

    Don’t know much about kit cars,but if I were looking for a KC project,this would be it.The drive train really appeals to me,but I think a tube frame would be in order? I’d have to see pictures of the drive train installation,how it is mated to the VW pan.How long could this thing have stayed together with your foot in it? Again,don’t know about kits,but $1800. doesn’t seem too bad

    Like 1
  4. Francisco

    This could be a widow maker.

    Like 1
  5. Gary I

    If it has a 455 in it and in any way mounted to a vw frame it’s all bad!!! These were flimsy as hell to begin with being built off of butchered Volkswagens, but for it to have a big block it would have to have a custom frame made for it. Super low to the ground and go cart like, maybe a drag car but good luck on the streets.

    Like 1
    • Brakeservo

      When I was a kid, there was a guy doing business out of an old closed gas station called Kennedy Engineered Products or something like that, and he made adapter plates so you could mount just about anything to a VW transaxle. I remember seeing Corvair motors, Chevy V8s and even Pinto motors bolted to VW transmissions. I imagine it made it easy to destroy a gear box! But it made building a kit car easy and the driving exciting if not dangerous!

      Like 1
      • MikeG

        He’s still in business. He does a lot of VW Vanagon – Subaru adaptation parts.

  6. Adam Wright

    I bought one of these several years back for about $1500, the guy said it was built on a 356 chassis, couldn’t tell from pics but it was a 356 motor, so I bought it. It arrived on a bug chassis, so I pulled the motor and sold the car. It was kind of cool, until you got in it, then it was a little scary and crude.

    Like 1
    • Brakeservo

      Your comment “a little scary and crude . . . ” I’m sure an old girl friend or two has said the same thing about most of us!

      Like 1
  7. Adam Wright

    Another angle.

    Like 1
    • Brakeservo

      For $1500 with a Porsche engine, who could complain??

      Like 1
  8. Andrew

    2 things. 1. Where did the driver side door go in the photo of the interior? 2. What is the braided line plumbed into the intake runner? Dry nitrous system?

    • T. Freeland

      Dry nitrous for just one cylinder? I am guessing maybe it is a vacuum line to supply a power brake booster up front.

  9. Al Moor

    My Dad built one in 1969. It’s still on the road, and completely sorted out. His started with a VW engine but now has a turbo Buick 3.8 V6. Google “Richard Moor Avenger” to see pics.

    Like 1
    • Brakeservo

      Wow – that is one good looking car
      !! What’s it like to drive?? Is outward visibility “Lamborghini-like?” There were no backup cameras in 1969.

      Like 1
      • Al Moor

        I’ve driven it once. It was uncomfortable. Dad is 5’6″. I’m 6’1″. The seat is bolted to the pan. Knees got in the way of the steering wheel. When I complained, his response was, “I didn’t built it for you”. lol It must be comfortable for him, though, he drives it from Indiana to California annually. And, obviously, it’s very quick, handles like it’s on rails.

        Visibilty isn’t any worse than a modern Camaro.

        Like 1
    • Paul

      Very nice!

      Like 1
  10. JW454

    In 1973 my high school shop teacher had one of these with a Corvair drive train and the 4 carburetor set up. I drove it several times. It was scary fast and cornered like it was on rails. I would love to have it now as it was one of the most well finished kit cars I’ve ever seen. We painted it Dodge Sublime green with a white stripe going right up the middle from the nose to the bottom of the rear panel. It had a number 7 in a white circle right in the middle of the front bonnet and all black interior. That was one cool car. Thanks for the memories.

    Like 1
  11. Sukey

    Gag me with a spoon
    This things ugly

  12. alphil

    Hey Adam,At least yours looks like it was well built and thought out.I suppose there isn’t much you could do about vision out of one of these,but I believe that with todays materials,technology,and a brain,could be made to act and feel right.Comments on this anyone?BTW,you did well several years ago with this.Wish you still had the 356 today??

    Like 1
    • Adam Wright

      I was happy with the outcome, I sold the car for around $4000 and kept the motor, which went into a 356 that went back to the Fatherland. As far was 356’s I hope to never run out…

  13. Mark S Member

    Judging by the way that steering column is mounted I would guess that the big block and trans attachment would be scary badly done. With out a lot rework being done by someone that knows what they are doing this would get you killed. It would in my mind be criminal to sell this POS to someone that did not know what they were doing. This needs to be in the hand of a professional fabricator to do this right. Up here in Canada that would never pass inspection.

  14. Ross W. Lovell

    Greetings All,

    If it was close, I’d probably look at it.
    Definitely would need a different frame.
    Had a friend in high school had a Corsa bodied Corvair, nice looking with a 454 in the back. Seem to remember that there was not a reverse for some reason.

  15. Doug Towsley

    hard to say without an inspection, but that appears to be a good deal. You cant touch the basic kit (just the shell, no frame, motor, wheels etc) for anything less than $5000 so all in all this is a good deal. Keep in mind this HAS the Olds transaxle and trans so could use a small block or rebuild this big block so that alone is nice. Certainly it needs beefing up and many upgrades, but all in all, it looks like a real bargain but thats conditional just on the pictures. I own a Fiberfab Banshee/Caribee and used to own a Fiberfab Jamaican. I built a Cobra kit on spec for a shop customer back in the day. Lets be frank, few people have the skills or endurance to complete a full kit car build, but thats why there are some real bargains out there for those of us who do. I vote 2 thumbs up on this one. Kit cars are cool!

    Like 1
  16. jerry

    Here’s mine.

    • Brakeservo

      Cool looking car! Most weren’t. Thanks for sharing

    • Doug Towsley

      NICE!! This is a year old thread and this pops up… we should all be so lucky but thanks for showing kit cars do get completed

  17. Jerry

    Just found the site. I actually thought it was a recent post. Forgot this is Jan. 2017. Anyway, I have a 40 year long love for GT40 kit cars. This one is 1967 VW chassis with rear mounted Buick 231 v8 all aluminum engine. Powerful. Still could use a few things. Always a work in progress. Lockport,N.Y.

    Like 1

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