Hardcastle & McCormick Fame: Coyote X Kit Car

Jeff LaveryBy Jeff Lavery

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.

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Comments

  1. dan
    1+
    • 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
      Danno

      3+
      • 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.

        0
    • Dan mathis

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

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      • Mark

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

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  2. dan
    1+
  3. Bobsmyuncle

    996 as any 911 is unibody. Chassis?

    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.

    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.

    3+
  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 !!

    1+
  7. Howard A Member

    McCormick and who?

    0
    • Chimmy

      Hardass & McCormick

      2+
    • Rob

      Hardcase and What’s his face.

      0
  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.

    3+
  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

    0
    • Mark

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

      0
  10. jesus bortoni

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

    2+
  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.

    0
    • E. J.

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

      0
  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.

    1+
  13. Andrew Calverley

    I am looking for a Hardcastle McCormick real car

    0
    • 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

      0
  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.

    0
    • Burzel

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

      0
    • 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

      0
  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.

    0
  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…

    2+
  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.

    2+
    • 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.

      0
      • 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.

        0
  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

    1+
    • bog

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

      0
    • JC

      How much for just the Manta?

      0
  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%

    0

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