Garage Find Kit Car: 1964 Fiberfab Jamaican

The Fiberfan Jamaican is one of the more notable creations from the legendary kit car company, mostly because of the incredibly sexy body that was typically mounted over MG, Austin Healey, or Triumph underpinnings. While the company was certainly known for producing some of the better finished kit cars of the era, the Jamaican was exotic in comparison. Later editions even featured a Fiberfab-designed chassis that could accommodate V8 powerplants and looked like a viable alternative to a Corvette from the same era. This barn find Jamaican is the earlier model that’s mounted atop a 1964 Triumph TR4 chassis and listed here on Facebook Marketplace for $7,995.

The car is located near Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and has clearly been in the barn for some time. It still looks quite pretty, even caked in years’ worth of dust, and the wire wheels still look beautiful even if they’ve been dulled by surface rust. The Jamaican was an incredibly flexible platform in that many owners ditched whatever engine came with the donor chassis and found myriad ways to add more powerful mills, creating a sort of supercar on the cheap that went as fast as the svelte body would indicate. Some owners have even dropped in the 3.4L V6 from the Pontiac Fiero, but plenty of additional fabrication work is required.

The listing does not provide much detail on the Jamaican’s past or what sort of condition the chassis is in. The TR4 chassis is certainly repairable if it’s rusted through, and if it is, online experts seem to indicate that the MGA chassis is the way to go if you want to own a Jamaican with the best possible handling characteristics. Not surprisingly, plenty of parts like all of the body glass were lifted from other manufacturers, such as the windshield (1965 Chevy Corvette), side windows (Karmann Ghia), and rear window glass (Porsche 911). Years ago, one of the commenters on a previous Barn Finds story about a Jamaican mentioned he and his brother worked for Fiberfab back in the day – perhaps he’ll chime in again in case anyone needs help finding spares for this restoration project.

Courtesy of RCNMag.com

Here’s the later Jamaican II fitted with a V8 and mounted on a chassis built by Fiberfab to accommodate the larger powerplant. Very few of these are known to exist, but it really goes to show you just how much potential this body design ultimately had. It’s like a combination of a vintage Lamborghini and Corvette, all for significantly less money than either of those cars from the late 60s or early 70s would cost today. This barn find Jamaican may not have the same chops at the later V8 cars, but it can still be made to look like a piece of vintage exotica that would otherwise be near impossible to acquire for any number approaching this example’s purchase price and subsequent restoration costs. How would you restore it?

Like This? Get Our Daily Email

Comments

  1. chipsbee

    Well, I was just was directed to this one. Jeff, you have been the writer for most of the F-Fab cars on this sight, and I think have done a service in covering them all. I looked at the previous sale mentioned above and read so many questions I ought to have answered had I seen them. I would have donated my headlight covers for more to be made and appreciate the fella willing to reproduce them. One of mine is cracked. There is a Banshee for sale and I added to the comments there too. As I am near Milwaukee, this rough one intrigues me, but already have what I had worked toward. I like the shape of the “Healey” version the best and it is the ‘cleanest’ of the shapes we made. Let’s see if I can keep in touch with this sale and possibly answer questions as they come. Our family knew Bud and his wife in the 50’s in the Milwaukee area, Jamaica following him to California with the “Ottman Special” my Dad designed for him. My brother and I moved to Calif later, ended up becoming very involved with F-Fab and got into the design/build portions of the business. The Jamaican was our family shape, some styling borrowed from our favorite in Bertone and the flair he put into the Miura. I had a Miura in my shop for 23 years to rebuild the mechanicals and enjoyed having it and my Jamaican near one another. I was the last to see Bud, visited him in prison (there is a story here) to get the shop keys letting me borrow a ‘manufacture plate’ for my recently completed Jamaican. I offered to drive and show it for Bud, to the Detroit Auto Show. I visited the day before he died of a heart attack, unaware until my return weeks later.

    12
    • Brian S

      Hi- do you know who is reproducing the headlamp lenses? I recently purchased a Jamaican that I’m putting on a TR IRS chassis with Rover 3.5 V8.

      1
      • Chipsbee

        Click on “Previous Barn Finds History” seen in red coloring where the author, Jeff, suggested looking at a previous series of comments under Jamaican sales. One of the postings is from someone who does this sort of work. Is it possible to send photos in this comment section ?

      • LotusS777

        I have a contact of a fella in the KC area who is making these. He made a set for me for my Healey Jamaican, and covers for a couple of Kellisons I have. All very nicely done.

        1
    • Bruce W. Birdsall

      would love to talk with you chipsbee
      please contact me
      Bruce

      • Chipsbee

        Unsure of how we might reach one another, Bruce. Does this find its way to you ? I’d be uncomfortable posting my eMail address.

        1
      • chipsbee

        I’ll try this in two messages, dunno why I’m so sensitive over this. seeb

      • chipsbee

        b7@hot

  2. bobhess bobhess Member

    Right car, wrong price. chipsbee’s information is great and agree that the design was one of the best out there. Very few of the kit cars had all the dimensions right from any angle. Neat piece of history chipsbee.

    2
  3. Frank Sumatra

    There is no middle ground on these kit cars.

  4. Bmac777 Member

    I’ve never seen one of these and I must say these are the best looking kit cars made IMO. Like the article says, these look complete, where other brands always seem to have something that makes it awkward.
    The only “off” feature that would take getting used to is the blank space in front of the steering wheel and the angled viewpoint of the gauges.
    A small block in one of these would be a fun car.

    1
  5. Bruce W. Birdsall

    I have owned and sold and bought back a Jamaican for over 40 years. originally on an Austin Healey frame. Since then I fabricated a tub frame 20 years ago and am now finishing the car I think.I would love to connect with anyone working on this kit and anyone that worked with or for Fiber Fab.
    please contact me
    Thanks
    Bruce

  6. Mark Clapp

    Hi Guys, I make the light covers for the Jamaicans and the Banshees/Caribees. I live near Kansas City, MO and am the guy LotusS777 mentioned. The plastic I use is crack proof. The Jamaican covers are curved and not flat like the OE covers. I’m asking $90USD/pair. Email me at: mclapp5526@gmail.com so I can send photos and feel free to call anytime at: 816-286-6982 to talk about your car and the covers.
    Thanks,
    Mark Clapp

  7. LotusS777

    For anyone needing headlight covers for a Jamaican, they can contact Mark at mclapp5526 at gmail.com. I can vouch for his work. The headlight covers really finish off something like this. I originally got connected looking for headlight covers for a Kellison J5 with the quad headlights which he makes also, plus the single style J3.

    1
    • chipsbee

      By chance, have you a Lotus Super 7 ? and, … Are the headlight covers of a similar plastic that can become scratched yet polished out ? I’ve an old Lotus 11 needing some covers. Thanks for this posting.

      • LotusS777

        Chipsbee, yes how did you guess? it’s a 62 Super Seven set up for vintage racing. I also have a 74 TCS Europa. See my note just above for Mark’s email and you can contact him direct re: the headlight covers. I’d think that they could be polished as needed. Mark seems to be able to make a variety of covers, and if he doesn’t have what you need he can make others if you can provide an old part to go by. I ask Mark if it would be OK to post his email here, and he was fine with it. If you want to contact me direct you can send a note to Mark and ask that he forward it to me. Rodger

    • chipsbee

      I also have a ’64 racer, campaigned it for many years as a national driver in SCCA, continue bracing and stiffening rear axle housings from the TR-10.

  8. Bruce W. Birdsall

    Thanks for the info
    Bruce

    • chipsbee

      were you able to sort out my e-mail by the two hints, Bruce ?

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks. Don't post your car for sale in the comments. Click here to get it featured on the homepage instead.

*

Notify me of new comments via email. Or subscribe without commenting.