Fiberfab Jamaican Stash

fiberfab-stash

Every once in a while a Fiberfab Jamaican will show up for sale online. Normally, kit cars turn me off, but the Jamaican is different. It featured some very attractive curves and could be mounted to a variety of chassis from the likes of Triumph, MG, and Austin-Healey. That put them on a different level than most Beetle based kits. Finding one of these cars isn’t too hard, but this is first time we have stumbled upon a whole stash of them. The seller has a TR4 based one with the original drivetrain for $2,500 or one with a 302 V8 and 5-speed for $3,900. Another car is sitting on an AH frame that is setup to accept a V8 for $2,300! There’s also a handful of bodies available for $1,200 each. So, if you are looking for some fabricating fun you can check these out here on craigslist. Thanks goes to Philip R. for the tip!

TR4 Jamaican

The Florida location of the seller does make me wonder if some of those unused bodies were leftovers from the factory. Either that, or someone really liked to build kit cars! This gold¬†Jamaican is probably the best of the bunch. It’s sitting on a Triumph TR4 chassis, but I’m not sure what the seller means about the optional sale of the V8? The green one with the TR4 engine in place might be the one to get though if you don’t care that much about cosmetics. Heck, the car with the Austin-Healey under it might be worth buying just for the frame! Either way, I hope a few of these get dragged home and completed. We could always use a few more of these handsome Jamaicans running around!

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Comments

  1. Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

    Ouch! The Jamaican is my second favorite kit car body (I own a copy of my favorite) and two of them are on Triumph chassis. Love to have the green/copper one with the TR4 drivetrain…and it’s not that far to Orlando (and Disney’s a good excuse for a family vacation).

    Hmmm.

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      What’s your favorite Jamie? Could it be a Woodill Wildfire? Maybe a Kellison?

      • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

        Nope…I’m saving it for some decent pics of “my barn”… :-) It’s a true oddball that I fell in love with in high school and was finally able to find one in 2013.

  2. Chris B

    Greetings,

    This is quite a stash to fall out and become available. I also have one built on and powered by a 3-liter Healey, the 1st out of the mold as by brother and I worked at F-Fab. We are credited for designing the car body and I still daily enjoy looking at the resulting shape. My bro designed the Aztec ll, Avenger GT-15 and Valkyrie. Those were some interesting years, so long ago.

    • Mark Clapp

      Hi Chris,

      My name is Mark Clapp and I’ve been making plexi pieces like headlight covers as a hobby business for over ten years now. I make pieces for just about every vintage and replica car out there. I’m looking for a pair of Jamaican light covers to make patterns from. If you have a pair that I could borrow I would make you a free set and return yours promptly with any damage. You and your brother came up with some great cars!

      Thanks,
      Mark Clapp

      • John Bowe

        Mark, I don’t have a pair of headlight covers. I do know of a Jamacian that has them. I’ll try to talk to him about borrowing them. Thanks, John

      • Mark Clapp

        Hi John, that would be great if you can borrow a set. They wouldn’t be damaged at all and returned promptly. Please email me at: mclapp1 AT att DOT net if you are able to borrow a set. Feel free to call me anytime at: 816-286-6982.

        Thanks so much,
        Mark Clapp

  3. Dave at OldSchool

    ………I recognize a couple that came from my shop , years ago

  4. Dean at ConnecticutClassix

    I just purchased a uncut Fiberfab Jamaican
    Body a month ago. I was surprized how well made it is, quite sturdy. Mine is going on s TR-3 frame.
    I think the sellers prices are quite reasonable considering they are powered and have full glass.

  5. erikj

    neat looking kits!!

  6. Vince Habel

    Not a big fan of kit cars but this is a great find. I would go for the gold one.

  7. dave

    Looks like a opel

  8. sam

    Why are kit cars so hated now?
    12 years ago everyone liked them
    Corvettes are fiberglass
    I like all cars,metal,fiberglass,etc.It does not matter to me.

    • Tom

      Sam,

      I think the biggest reasons are so many scammers in the business and the ubiquity of Cobra/Ferrari/Lamborghini replicas that were shoddily constructed. If there are other reasons, I cannot think of them….but perhaps others here can.

      So many concept cars beg to be made into a kit-car today like the Cadillac Cien easily comes to mind. Northstar out of a XLR-V, dash out of a CTS, and bits and pieces for other Cadillacs.

      I’ve read that FiberFab is back…..kind of, but all I have seen is the website. Maybe the Carlisle show is full of new and exciting cars.

    • Brian

      Sam – I agree with Tom’s thoughts – but add that alot of them were poorly engineered and constructed kit when they were manufactured, add in the unknown quality/skill level of the home builder, the cost of buying and building one as compared to the manufacturers claims back in the day (even in the late sixties, did anybody actually build one for $500?), as well as the resale value of a well finished car as compared to what was spent on it, and – finally – the fact that some of the body styles were anywhere from impractical to downright goofy looking, did the kit car no favors.

      In fairness, I’ve never been a fan of the kit cars, my only weaknesses are for some of the dune buggy bodies and the Fiberfab Avengers. Generally speaking, I’ve always felt that the money spent to build one was better spent restoring a “real” car. However, with the cost of restoration, especially rust removal and damage repair and rechroming, I’ve softened alittle on some of the kit cars as a viable alternative that will allow you to do more of the work yourself in your garage, especially with the VW based cars, where mechanical parts are still relatively cheap and easy to find. Body and trim parts will likely be a mixed bag depending on the make and model you’ve chosen and how many were produced, survived, and their popularity. Overall, I still think your going to take a hit on resale value compared to restoring a “plug and play” model, but if your buying it because you love it and the value in it is that you want to learn as you go, then a kit car can be fun, educational, and rewarding – with the added bonus of getting kit car building out of your blood forever!

  9. KLHarper

    I looked at one of these several years ago in the mountains of VA. It was mounted on, of all things an Alfa Romeo Giulia chassis. It kept the Alfa Firewall, and drive train and the body was fiberglassed to the chassis. It was cheap, but the chassis was pretty rusty and everything needed to be done to it. Even so I wanted to get it and take it to an alfa meet, but in the end sanity prevailed

  10. 365Lusso

    Pretty car, one of the best looking kit cars out there imo. Miura-esque in the back half. It’d be interesting to see one with covered headlamps.

  11. Chuck F 55chevy

    This is one of my fav kits also, I remember seeing one in Ft Wayne IN way back with a Healey chassis and a Chevy 283 for $800. 6 or 8 hour drive, tempting except I have too many projects now, and a couple local ones to check out as well, field find 66 GTO with no dog house or windows and a 56 Chevy 2 dr wagon, among others, there seems to be an abundance of desirable project cars.

  12. Jim Salmonsen

    I have a very complete one, 350 chevy powered with 3 spd auto..has interior and all glass, was on the road a couple years ago. $8000.00 , upstate NY.

  13. andy

    Thought anybody interested might like to see an image of my FiberFab Jamaican which I bought from the US in 2013 and totally rebuilt to UK spec. It is mounted on a TR4A chassis and has all TR running gear. A lot of work, but a lot of car! More images if anyone interested.

    • melvin longhurst

      Superb looking car, credit to your hardwork, seriously jealous ! I would love you to post more images of it if you can.

      • Andy Somerville

        Hi Melvin, hope these come through (thru) OK, otherwise send me your email address. Andy

    • Bert Bennett

      Beautiful Jamaican. Mine is running and driving very well on its TR3 chassis, all rebuilt to stock TR spec. I now have all the glass, etc ready to go in but can not figure out the best wy to do the door latches and handles (none are there) or the hood latch. It specifies Triumph spitfire side latches but it appears you went another way. Photos and info on your door latch and hood latch set ups would be VERY welcome. All the best from sunny California.

    • Johnny B

      Andy, I just received the October issue of “Sports and Classic Car” magazine. Great article about you and the Jamaican. During this Winter 2015/2016 I’ll be starting to work on my Jamaican. Thanks, Johnny B

    • Ivan Hore

      Andy Nice car , I am also i the UK and looking at one of these . Can I call you ?

  14. Johnny B

    Just bought the one from Dean at Ct. Classics. The body has never been touched, uncut, not mounted, still has the window “flashing” from the molds. The window regs are in doors, but that is it for work done. I wanted one of these back in the early 70’s, but found an Avenger GT12,locally, on a VW frame and powered by a Turbo Corvair. Many problems with the Previous builder’s work. He never flipped the ring gear in VW trans, there fore you had 4 speeds reverse, 1 forward !!!! That was real interesting the first time I fired it up….. I ended up getting it about 75% done and then saw an actual GT40 and I lost all my interest in Avenger, the body size/style wasn’t even close to GT40. Traded it for a 39 Buick streetrod and quickly sold that for way more money than I could have ever got for Avenger. Now 40 years later, I am going to start this project with the knowledge/skills I did not have back then. I feel this time around it will be easier, and I have developed more skills and tools/shop equipment. There are some parts in instruction manual that are the same as Avenger. This is going to be mounted on a TR3 chassis/driveline. Maybe an upgrade to Rover V8? Not sure too early right now. Thanks, John

  15. Chris

    Here’s mine. Runs, licensed, insured, but all I do is putt it around the airport and do a burn out every once in a while. Needs complete resto, built in Columbus and went through a ton of owners and no one put it on the road. I have two bodies and two Healey frames, the good one is not under the car. The green body has a good bonnet but the white body has better rear half with round tail lights and no trashing of the rear valance like the Camaro lights forced the gas tank of the green one. I’m going with the Ferrari look of two round tail lights. Chevy 327, Muncie 4 speed, I’ve got a pretty good stash of parts to complete it with wheels and seats being the last big questions. I’m thinking Dayton 15×6’s centerlaced jobs with 185 Avon’s for wheels and tires, but what seats. The roofline is so low, Andy what type seats are yours? Looks great, BTW. Beautiful use of the TR gauges, nice detailing from the pics.

  16. Mario

    My son is building one as a resto-mod on BMW Z3 2.8 frame

  17. Mario

    Ok see what we are building here….A Jamaican on a BMW Z3
    all pics on http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=7833954

  18. Mike

    I just bought the one one on ebay with the Ford big block engine. I also have one with a chevy engine. Want to correspond directly?

  19. Paul Yaxley

    Hi ,

    This is my 69 Jamaican in NZ built on a TR4A chassis running a worked 2.5 motor.

    Cheers

    Paul

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Beautiful car! (I love Jamaicans!). Was it you that solved the headroom issue, or another owner? Neat! What’s the powertrain?

      • Paul Yaxley

        Hi ,

        Previous owner as he used it for club rallys hill climbs etc and needed room for a crash helmet.
        Running a 2500 PI motor, lightened flywheel, cam, flows etc.

  20. Paul Yaxley

    Hi ,

    This is my 69 Jamaican in NZ.

  21. Francis Pointon

    Hi Paul hope you enjoy my old car! Francis Pointon

    • Paul Yaxley

      Thanks Francis, great little car, very well set up.
      Cheers
      Paul

  22. Mike

    How did you solve the headroom issue?

  23. Paul Yaxley

    A previous owner did it with the creation of a “Gurney Bubble” to accommodate a racing helmet. I’m over 6ft tall and can wear a helmet with no headroom issues.

  24. James

    I bought this one in February of this year. It is sitting on a VW chassis, barely runs but I have driven to the parts store and gas station a couple of times. I’ve been on the fence on selling it or fixing it. It needs the motor pulled and rear main seal replaced I listed it last week to test the waters and my phone is still ringing with questions like “What is it?” and “How fast is it?”. The Jamaican body style definitely gets attention.

  25. Paul Yaxley

    Mine just changed colour.

    • Joe C

      I helped my neighbor put a Jamaican body on a Datsun 2000… it was a great deal of work..he was an absolute perfectionist…it was fun, interesting, a learning experience and hard to work with him all at the same time… he had missile construction training before circuit boards became mainstream. Every wire connection had to be perfect. He was obsessive about every detail. We put Ford GT air scoops on the hood and side panels. He routed air to the air intake on the carbs, to the brakes front and back and interior from multiple added functional air scoops. He sent away for burl veneer for the dash and console, we hand cut the burl and hand built the dash and console. All lucas gauges….he had seats fabricated to uniquely fold so you could lay down for sleeping while on the road. The windows were a tough fit. We worked on them for months to get them perfect. Beautiful racing steering wheel. I’ve never wet sanded so much in my entire life….the finish was immaculate …if it had the slightest orange peel or imperfection we would redo that section …it was …perfect….. Within a month of completion it was rear ended hard cracking the entire rear section …devastating ….For him even fixing was not really satisfying ….because it could not be perfect any longer….. It was a show stopper…. people would motion us to pull over while we were driving…..gather around at fuel stops. Be waiting for us in the parking lot at restaurants….. I was with him when a wealthy businessman offered him an open ticket to build him one….we started the project together….after a few weeks we noticed odd characters coming and going from his house while we worked in the back in a garage….we decided we may be in the wrong place at the wrong time and we quit the job….turns out it was a wise choice… lets just say he was an entrepreneur of “modern chemistry”…. it was an unbelievable car… in everything he did or owned it HAD to be THE BEST. He had a wooden racing boat, it was beautiful, it would fly….. a screamer…..he offered …..I wouldn’t even drive it…it was a one seater.

      He would research the heck out of everything…this was in the 60’s no cells phone of course the internet wasn’t even an idea…. The world had to be RIGHT …he became a police officer for that reason…He didn’t stay in law enforcement but he was compelled to try it… amazing man…. good friend… kindred spirit… IT HAD TO BE RIGHT ..and that Jamaican WAS RIGHT….

      Your is beautiful by the way ..well done sir

    • John Bowe

      Paul, I really liked the Yellow car, but this Red version is even better….. I do have a question for you. What are the wheels? size? backspacing? and what size tires are on them. They seem to fill wheel wells, and don’t look too big for car. Thanks, John Bowe Jamaican on TR3a

      • Paul Yaxley

        Hi John,

        They are ALDIC racing rims, tyres are 225/60/14 and 10cm from rim.

        Cheers

        Paul

  26. Mike

    So how close is to being finished? How about some pictures?

  27. Paul Yaxley

    Hi Mike,
    It is finished and is very tidy in the body now running gear is great. It’s the only one in my part of the world so always gets attention . Cheers Paul

  28. Paul Yaxley

    Another image from the back.

    • John Bowe

      Paul, Thanks for the info on wheels and tires. See ya, John

  29. Mike

    Actually, this one is close to being finished. I could put a Mustang ll front end on it to replace the Corvair junk that is there now. It has a chevy 496 with a T10 trans. I have driven it around the Torrance area, mostly to shows,
    I since bought a red one, the on that was on ebay, with a Ford 514 & an automatic.

  30. bill s.

    Nice to see all the Jamaican fans.

    This one is mine – 1956 MGA based

    • Paul Yaxley

      Beautiful car :)

  31. bill s.

    The minute you put mags or a hood scoop or flairs on them it becomes obvious that they are a kit car. I wanted to keep mine as if it had come from a manufacturer as is.

    Not so stock under the hood, though.

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