Hardcastle & McCormick Fame: Coyote X Kit Car

More commonly known as the “Coyote X”, this Manta Montage kit car rose to fame in the 1980s ABC television show, Hardcastle and McCormick. The seller claims he’s lost interest in the project due to his preferred fiberglass shop shutting down, and based on the description of a Porsche 911 Turbo donor car he’s purchased, it sounds like there were big plans for this kit car oddity. Find it here on eBay in Boca Raton with an $18,000 Buy-It-Now. 

This, like many other kit cars, is based on a VW chassis. The cockpit looks slightly better than some of the other fiberglass creations of the era, and the trimmings appear a bit higher grade. However, all it takes is watching five minutes of highlights from the show’s stunt drivers to realize this is like any other kit car: parts flying off, axles collapsing, and plenty of fake engine noises dubbed in to create the illusion of power.

The car in the television series supposedly used a Porsche 914 mill for motivation, but if you listen to any number of YouTube clips, you’d swear it had a blown V8 under the rear engine cover. All that said, the seller had some unusual plans make the Coyote X a formidable performer that could live up to its swoopy body lines: he put a down payment on a Porsche 996 Turbo to swap the kit car onto the Porsche chassis. A simple upgrade, that is not.

Here’s where it gets even more complicated: you can buy the Coyote X by itself, or you can buy the kit car and take over payments on the Porsche if you’re intrigued by the seller’s swap plans. Frankly, I can’t imagine even a trashed 996 Turbo wouldn’t be worth intact than hacked up for its chassis. Our impression is the price is rather high for an oddball like this, but perhaps some fans of the original television show still exist who might need this car in their lives.

Fast Finds


  1. dan
    • Dan mathis

      First off the original Manta was not based on a vw chassis it was tubular frame with small block chevy mid engine, used corvair four speed transaxle and 65 or later Corvair front end. I was in high school and wanted to build one so I cut out every article about it. I still have them today stashed in my shop

      Like 10
      • Tony L

        The Manta Mirage was a mid-engine, space frame car, designed for a V8. The Montage was a VW pan based car, the Montage-T was a V-8 design. I remember the cars, when I was in college I went to the manufacturer’s show room as it was nearby to look at them as I really wanted one. Too much $$ for a college kid.

        Like 4
      • Josh s

        Theres an Aussie company selling is corvette based v12 engine kits I wonder if it’s possible to make one for this

        Like 3
    • Dan mathis

      Thanks really cool stuff even at sixty it still does the trick

      Like 2
      • Mark

        It’s still for sale….I’m the owner…Mark

        Like 5
  2. dan
  3. Bobsmyuncle

    996 as any 911 is unibody. Chassis?

    Like 1
  4. LAB3

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if you want something unique you gotta pay the price of admission. $18k for a VW kit car? Not me.

    Like 2
  5. Van

    Funny thing about the car in the show. This car could catch anything on the road, but it couldn’t out run anything on the road.

    • Kool Keith

      You’re right about that but the car looks good that’s all

  6. Madmatt

    I always loved that show,although I was a teenager,and already deep into my own projects by then!!real cool 2 c one of these,always looked the part,but would need a bit more ooomph as they say ,than what they had ?really cool looking tho,and maybe scarce neato !!

  7. Howard A Member

    McCormick and who?

    • Chimmy

      Hardass & McCormick

    • Rob

      Hardcase and What’s his face.

  8. rustylink

    my recollection of the show was that one of the main characters name was Mark McCormick- and his racing buddies all called him “Skid” – So Skid Mark McCormick. I can’t tell you how I giggled as a kid to this.

  9. Dt 1

    It’s a nice car there’s only one problem you can’t register in Most states there is no registration on the car

    Like 1
    • Mark

      Incorrect…I have a title and it transferable to all 50 states…I’m the owner of this car

      Like 4
      • John Leak

        I really love the car I watched the show and said I wanted one when I got older and then in my 20’s I wanted to build one from scratch from building a chassis to actually making my own replica body now in my 40’s I still would love to build one from scratc

      • Andre

        Are you still selling it?

  10. jesus bortoni

    I suspect he’d GIVE you the kit if you took over the payments of the Porsche.

  11. Roland

    I have a model of the Hardcastle and McCormick car and it has a small block V8 with dual four barrel carbs, don’t know how close that is to the show car creators vision.

    • E. J.

      That kit was not accurate. The lower half of the model is actually a GT40.

  12. Concinity

    Before all the TV stuff gave this car another identity, this body shaping and the moulds that formed it started out as the very first McLaren road car,the M6GT, being worked on by Bruce McLaren himself before his death.http://www.roadandtrack.com/car-culture/profiles/a30587/bruce-mclaren-would-have-turned-79-today/
    The December 1974 issue of Road & Track with the M6 on the cover was the first car magazine I ever bought and I saw an M6GT itself in a museum once.

    It was definitely worth copying.

    Like 2
    • Josh s

      Hah that article led me here small world lol. If this is still up for grabs I might snag it

      • Mark

        It’s still available

  13. Andrew Calverley

    I am looking for a Hardcastle McCormick real car

    • Mark

      I’m in the Manta club….my friend Joe spent $70k on his…Problems are with his…Plastic windshield, no wipers, no windows…It’s a car that you can only drive it on a sunny warm day…I’m the owner of this car in the article

      Like 1
  14. IanF

    That listing is odd – the photos look to be of two different cars. Notice there are two different styles of head lights.

    That’s a pretty high asking price to not show any pictures of the drivetrain.

    • Burzel

      Seller says “The square headlight photo, was how I got it, I had the LaMans style fiberglass headlight wells put in,”

      Like 1
    • Mark

      I’m the owner of this car…The LeMans headlamp wells were installed, then I lost my fiberglass guy…It is still for sale

      Like 1
      • david hill

        Id love to own this car if its available I have cash

  15. bog

    I remember being “wowed” by the V8 version of the Manta, as I went to Road America to watch McLaren “and friends” race real CanAm cars, and having a “copy” of Bruce’s car was a one time dream. Didn’t remember that there was this lesser VW based car. No thanks.

  16. Tim W

    I worked at a body shop in the early 80’s, and one of the guys there, Steve Walters had a Manta. 350 sbc. Good Lord would that thing move! He was always building some wild stuff. Good guy, great times…

    Like 1
  17. E. J.

    The Cody Coyote, as it appeared in Season 1 of Hardcastle & McCormick, was not a Manta Montage like in this ad. It was almost a dead on recreation of the McLaren M6GT road car that was being developed by Bruce McLaren before his death. McLaren’s coach builder was Trojan Cars. I always suspected the Coyote used one of the actual bodies by Trojan, but I cannot find any material to back that up. If you look at pictures of the two cars, the Montage and M6GT, you’ll see noticeable differences in the roll pan, fenders and overall stance. The Coyote was built on a Beetle chassis like the original Manta Montage kits, however it ran with a Porsche 914 engine and on TV, they used Ferrari engine noises for the soundtrack, a 308 I believe. The later Manta Montages used a space frame, that’s the Montage T. It was designed to use the GM 2.8 litre engine from the Chevy Citation and other GM front drive cars. The only V8 Manta was the Mirage. Pretty cool stuff if you ask me.

    Like 1
    • JP

      E. J. – see if you can catch up with Trevor Court (last time I looked on Google still in business in London), the guy who did the stunt cars. I knew his son, and IIRC there were at least 3 cars in the show – a “pretty” one for the close ups, a rough road car, and the stunt car, which had suspension from a tractor and an inch thick steel plate across the chassis to absorb the landings.

      • E. J.

        Cool. I’ll see what I can dig up if I’m able to contact him. I had talked to someone years ago who bought the season one Coyote from Code One (I was interested in purchasing it from Code One when I found it was for sale). Anyway, the new owner met with George Barris and Barris confirmed that that Coyote was the “money shot” car. That money shot car initially had a tan interior as can been seen in the pilot episode. It was modified after to open up the window area and given its black interior that it wears now.

        Like 1
  18. Mark

    I’m Mark, the owner of this car….The eBay auction expired.
    Nothing but a bunch of tire kickers wasting my time…Here is the original ad, and yes it’s still for sale…

    This vehicle is the basis for the 80’s T.V. show Hardcastle & McCormic.

    VIN – DR137616MO This a low production high end exotic that did not use a standardized VIN

    This was a project car for me, but my fiberglass guy moved away, It is VERY hard to find someone good who knows fiberglass….Therefore I am abandoning this project.

    The square headlight photo, was how I got it, I had the LeMans style fiberglass headlight wells put in, and I also own the lens covers ($350) as well as the fiberglass front air scoop ($800) I still have the rear window(bubble style) and will include that in the sale, If the new owner wants it..

    I also, have put a $6,000 deposit on a Porsche 996 Twin Turbo that I was going to move the body off of the VW chassis on to the Porsche – The Porsche Is also for sale, but for an additional $6,000 and then the NEW owner of this vehicle can take over the Porsche payments….BUT NOT REQUIRED FOR ME TO SELL THE MANTA.

    This Manta Montage is a VERY rare vehicle to begin with, but this vehicle has A/C, a REAL glass windshield (99% out there are plastic) and it even has windshield wipers….

    Problems with the car – Drivers side window cracked, flat spots on the tires from lack of driving it…everything else works fine.

    Located in Boca Raton, FL

    Like 1
    • bog

      Mark – thanks for the update. Sorry things didn’t work out for you to do the upgrades.

      Like 1
    • JC

      How much for just the Manta?

      Like 2
    • Scott Young

      Hey Mark I have one and am looking for the front air scoop. Can you tell me where you got it or willing to part with yours

      Like 2
  19. Mark

    I’m asking $18k….But it comes with everything…Front air scoop($800), headlight covers($350) and I have a deposit on a Porsche 996 Twin Turbo, where the body was wrecked but the engine, trans, suspension and interior is 100%

    Like 1
    • C abbott

      Mark are you seek Worthing on selling this car? I know it has been a while but I do have interest if still available. Let me know. Abbott776@me.com

      Like 1
  20. Mark

    Yes,…I also have gotten some VERY hard to find and needed parts like the front wing scoop and the headlight covers…Those parts alone are worth $1,000

  21. John

    Hi Mark, is the car still for sale by any chance?

    • Mark

      Yes, It Is up for sale….There are MANY more Items that come with It…The dark headlamp cover, the front air wing scoop…It took me several years to find all of these additional parts.

      Like 1
      • John

        Hello Mark. I’m still interested in your Montage. Can you send me as much info and specs so I can see if it’s worth flying over to see you! A short video of it running would also be good.
        Hope to speak to you soon. John.


  22. John

    Hi Mark, could you to send me as much information and specs on the Montage as you can? and if possible a short video clip of the car running.
    Thanks and if all looks good we’ll be over to see it.

    • Mark

      Nope…ALOT of big talkers…But no one has the CASH

      Like 1
      • Jaydawg7 Jaydawg7

        Sorry to hear that.

        Like 1
  23. Mark

    Please give me another email address so I can send you MANY more photos…Your Hotmail address Isn’t accepting my email…too big

    Boca Raton, FL

    • John

      Thanks Mark,


      Hope this works!

    • Jaydawg7 Jaydawg7

      Just curious, did it ever sell?

      • anemone

        so did it sell?

  24. Mark

    Nope, too many BS’ers with no $$…I still got It

    • fred

      Still for sale at the time being ?

  25. Mark

    Yes It is still for sale

  26. fred

    Very interesting. I am from France, by the way.


    Like 1
  27. phil

    Hi, Mark,

    First and most important thing I have to get before going any further is the title of your car so as to check if I can make it street legal in my country.
    Please, don’t hesitate to email me a copy of the car registration (and some more pictures, if you can).

    Thank you.



  28. fred

    Hi, Mark,

    Most important thing to check before going any further is the car title.
    I have to see first if I can make this car street legal in my country.
    Please, do not hesitate to email me the full registration and the basic technical specifications of your car.



  29. Mark

    The amount I’m asking for is $18,000usd. If you are not In that price range, there Is no need to move forward.

  30. fred

    Ok, Mark, just send me a copy of the title of the car.


  31. fred

    Hi, Mark,

    I’m looking forward to hearing from you and the car title.


    Like 1
  32. fred

    Are you still on the line, Mark ?

  33. fred

    The line’s dead !…


  34. Mark


    I was under the weather with the flu…

  35. Mark

    See the attached photo of the title

  36. fred

    Hi, Mark,

    Sorry, Mark, but this doesn’t help me much, since I still can’t see how the car is actually registered… I would need the “identity card” of the car, if I may say so and if you see what I mean…


  37. Mark

    Please see the ID card

  38. fred

    Ok, registered as a Manta. Good.

  39. fred

    Hi, Mark,

    After enquiring, it appears that kit cars entering France are subjected to a tax reaching 20% of the price tag… (one thing I can’t understand: why is it considered as a kit car in France when the title clearly mentions MANTA ?) (bloody country of mine !).
    If I add something like 2,500 US dollars for shipping, the whole cost reaches more than 6,000 dollars…
    I’m trying to see if I can work this out in a more desirable way for me…


  40. Mark

    Check out other countries like Estonia…Way cheaper to Import vehicles …Then transfer It to countries like France….I know this, my wife’s family Is Estonian, and they In port cars & boats from the U.S. all the time

  41. fred

    Hi Mark,

    I tested a French Manta yesterday, quite similar to yours. It’s fully road legal and drives perfectly, just beautifully restored and ready to be driven back home. The guy’s asking 28,156 USD (25,000 euros). I think I’ll get a deal with him, it’s gonna be much less mind-teasing for me.

    I wish you good luck with your car and I thank you for answering all my questions.

  42. Mark

    Does this vehicle have the blacked out headlight covers or the front wing scoop for the downward draft?

    That there is $1,000…If you can find these parts…I already have them, and they are Included in the purchase price…

    Good luck

  43. fred

    No it doesn’t, Mark, it has the original Manta headlignts. But one thing at a time… I’m currently running on head-ache medicines with all that excitement !
    The car is not that easy to handle with… I’m too much used to comfortable Porsches.. ;)

  44. fred

    Hi Mark,

    By the way, Mark, would you strongly advise a A/C for hot summer days or can you do without ?


  45. Mark

    It does have A/C…A glass windscreen and wipers

    That’s why my Manta Is SO RARE

  46. fred

    So does the one I’m interested in…
    Anyway, that car is not what you can call “easy to live with”.
    Most disappointing, the VW engine and the driving position.
    I’m trying out this Manta again in a few days, “She was not at her best last time”, the seller told me.

  47. Mark

    Well, good luck to you…

    Mine Is In top condition

    As a person who spent 6 years finding ALL the correct parts..Make sure It has a glass wind screen…Many are plastic, they warp and fog up…A/C Is a must, wipers as well and the headlight wells and covers that are blacked out…And If you want FAST make sure It has the downward air scoop..

  48. fred

    Hi, Mark,

    It does have a glass wind screen, I knocked on it ! ;)
    But, frankly, I’m still hesitating, since I’d like it to be a long-tourer… Dunno if this kind of stuff would do… The very small 1300 vw engine makes me very doubtful… How could this be fast when considering the considerable weight of the Manta ?
    The owner is honest making it clear that it just drives like a 1300 VW ’69 beetle…
    I currently drive my 2.0 914 Porsche as a daily car (I’ve had it for 25 years now) and use a non-turbo 944 for very long trips to the other end of the country (bought it in 2006).
    A mid-80s C4 Corvette, manual gearbox, is also in the game, got to see her soon…

    See u !

  49. Joe Jones

    Please email me if still for sale. Been looking for a Manta for along time. Very interested. Thank you. mrjoethompson@yahoo.com

  50. Mark

    Yes, It’s still for sale…100% plus all the parts to tun It Into a Coyote..

    Asking $18,000…Located In Boc Raton Florida…Iv’e had MANY time wasters, or people with no $$$

    I am VERY short with these kind of people….My time is valuable

  51. Jim Lemburg

    I would love to see someone put a V10 viper motor in it then you would need a pilot license

  52. Claudio

    There is a reason why people are NOT willing to pay 18k for an underpowered pos project!
    You may have been collecting parts for it for decades , it is still a project! 18k can buy you instant pleasure why spend 18k for instant headache !

    Like 1
  53. Bryan Rudiak

    Hey Mark,
    Are you interested in selling the headlight covers?

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