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Thread: Thoughts after building 10+ FFR kits.

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    PLATNUM Supporting Member
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    Thoughts after building 10+ FFR kits.

    I have been blessed to build 5 FFR kits so far and in the process of #6 and 7. 4 of them I built for myself and 1 for a customer. The 2 I am in the process of now are customer cars. I get asked a lot of which is my favorite and which one was the hardest to build. So here I go and I hope not to bore anyone with my answers. I will have the build threads here so I won't go into details on each one. My first build was a 33 hot rod kit. I did a lot of video watching as well as reading posts on this forum for help and ideas. It took me 199 days to complete. Great car, my wife's very favorite. Very practical as well as fun. I wish I would have kept it. But the new owner loves it and we stay in touch all the time. Super handling and good creature comfort IMO. I had so much enjoyment building this car. It set me on a course to build lots more of the FFR kits for sure. I would say this was the second hardest to build for me. I have since built an LS3 33 for a customer. Fast is not enough to say about this one.
    http://thefactoryfiveforum.com/showt...e18-s-33-build
    https://thefactoryfiveforum.com/show...d-by-wallace18

    33090.jpgIMG_2277.JPG


    Next was the 818S. A totally different build than the 33 for sure . Much easier to build and yet challenging at times. I was one of the early builders to finish one and reaped a lot of awards and such. The car was stunning IMO and extremely fast. Not as practical as the 33. IMO the 2nd easiest to build. I sold the car to a great pair of guys up in the NE. My wife was scared of it. Too fast she said, LOL. Took 283 days to build. Since I built 2 more including an all electric one.
    http://thefactoryfiveforum.com/showt...ot-s-818-Build
    http://www.factoryfive.com/whats-new...-tom-w-s-818s/
    https://thefactoryfiveforum.com/show...S-Build-Thread
    https://thefactoryfiveforum.com/show...E-build-thread

    818s 054.JPGIMG_1452.JPG

    Next I worked on a Type 65 for me and another 818S for a customer at the same time. The 818S was a different build than my first so it gave me a different set of skills. Still a great car and fun to build and drive. 195 days to build.
    http://thefactoryfiveforum.com/showt...S-Build-Thread

    IMG_1026[1].JPG

    The Type 65 was a cool kit to build for sure. I would rate it the hardest one for me. It had a lot going for it IMO. Looks, speed, storage, etc. Body work was the hard part. Car drove great and was very fast. It always drew a ton of attention anywhere I went. What is it? was the most asked question, LOL. A little hard to get into. But rewarding once you are seated. 340 days to build. Sold this to a great guy in Oklahoma.
    http://thefactoryfiveforum.com/showt...e-build-thread

    65181.JPG

    Next was the one I just finished the MK4. By far the easiest to build. Great overall car. A ton of fun to drive without the top on it. It is my favorite of all of them. 135 days to build. Kind of the best of all of the others rolled into one car to me. Since I built 2 more. By far the easiest kit IMO.
    http://thefactoryfiveforum.com/showt...4-Build-Thread
    https://thefactoryfiveforum.com/show...4-build-thread
    https://thefactoryfiveforum.com/show...d-by-wallace18
    https://thefactoryfiveforum.com/show...d-by-Wallace18
    https://thefactoryfiveforum.com/show...d-by-wallace18
    MK4166.JPGIMG_1482.JPG

    The GTM was the hardest to build IMO. The go-cart part was fairly easy. The body, doors and side windows are a real PITA. I won't build another. A customer actually bought this from me before I finished. He did a fantastic job finishing it. Figure 500-1000 hours IMO.
    https://thefactoryfiveforum.com/show...d-Thread/page3


    image2.jpeg


    The 35 Hot Rod Pick-Up is about the same difficulty as the 33, IMO. I really like this kit and it is my personal Kit car. I like the bench seat so we can bring our dog on cruz-ins and shows.

    IMG_3522.JPG

    https://thefactoryfiveforum.com/show...Hot-Rod-Pickup

    Everyone of these kits was rewarding to me to build and drive. I can not say enough of the customer support from FFR, the forum and vendors on the forum. The build times reflect total time till done. Some of the time was waiting for parts or personal time away from the build. I did not keep a total hours spent but would say from 150 to 400 hours before paint would be a good estimate. Feel free to contact me for any type of question you have.


    I hope this will help someone who is deciding on which kit to buy and build. IMO you can't go wrong with any of them. Take care and God Bless. TW
    Last edited by wallace18; 06-13-2019 at 08:36 AM. Reason: updated info

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    2bking's Avatar
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    Thanks for the review and observations. So I think the order from easy to hardest is:
    1. Roadster
    2. 818S
    3. 33 Hot Rod
    4. Type 65

    I'm thinking if you built a GTM it would come in at number 5.
    King
    Roadster #8127, ordered 7/12/13, received 9/11/13
    http://thefactoryfiveforum.com/showt...4-Coyote-Build

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2bking View Post
    Thanks for the review and observations. So I think the order from easy to hardest is:
    1. Roadster
    2. 818S
    3. 33 Hot Rod
    4. Type 65

    I'm thinking if you built a GTM it would come in at number 5.
    I think you are correct, LOL.

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    Tom-

    They are all great cars, and terrific builds!

    It had to be hard to say goodbye to them. I don't think I would be able to sell mine.

    Thanks for your thoughts on your experiences. I also enjoy your build logs. The detail has been great. Keep up the great work!

    Regards,

    Steve

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    Supreme Cobra Commander TimC's Avatar
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    I went thru two number ones and jumped straight to #4. The only other kit I've had any involvement with was an 818R and think it almost ties the Roadster for #1.
    Tim.

    Knowledge is good-Faber.

    I'm so broke I can hardly pay attention-Me.

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    Senior Member STiPWRD's Avatar
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    Time for a GTM right?

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    Senior Member Kalstar's Avatar
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    As a client of Tom, I highly recommend him!

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    When you say 150-400 hours before paint, are you including body work and fitment, or just leaving the body out of the equation all together?

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    Member Motor_Freak's Avatar
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    Big respect to you Mr. Wallace!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Plebeian View Post
    When you say 150-400 hours before paint, are you including body work and fitment, or just leaving the body out of the equation all together?
    I gap all the doors, hood and trunk. Align all the panels. I do not do the final sanding, filler and paint. I do everything else. I remount the body and all parts after paint. If you scan my build threads you can see how I send the car to Huegenics for paint. I am fortunate that I have skills and the tools and shop to do these builds. Unfortunately God did not gift me with painting skills beyond a spray can, LOL. I do not play golf or fish. This is my fun hobby. I really enjoy building the cars and then driving them. FFR and the forum has been such a great resource to me as well. It truly is like family to me.

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    Wow, you are fast. It seems like most 65 Coupe threads I see take longer than that, but I'm sure it helps you've built so many cars. Looking at the GTM, Stig's GTM thread scares the heck out of me. Thanks for posting your impression of the builds and cars. Cheers.

  13. #12
    Senior Member The Stig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plebeian View Post
    Wow, you are fast. It seems like most 65 Coupe threads I see take longer than that, but I'm sure it helps you've built so many cars. Looking at the GTM, Stig's GTM thread scares the heck out of me. Thanks for posting your impression of the builds and cars. Cheers.
    I don't think that the GTM is a car to be afraid of. But you need to know where your skill levels start and stop, as Wallace demonstrates. I was afraid that I may be putting too much detailed info in front of the FFR forum community in regard to my build. But it is strictly for informational purposes. Eugene, (Fast Things) put an outstanding series of videos together for people to watch and learn from. That has been my goal as well, but in text instead of video. Documentation is key with these cars.

    My posts are simply there to show things here and there that were not obvious to me, until they were uncovered something else. Hence the name, Pandora! But that did not come from the kit, as much as the previous work done (or not done) to her. My hopes have been that others can see these ahead of time, and use them to their advantage in their GTM or other builds.

    Don't be afraid of the GTM, but do have people that you can trust, doing the work that you're not able to.

    I think that there are A LOT of people on the sidelines that would jump right into a GTM build, if they had just a little more confidence in being able to complete it.

    For what it's worth...

    Sorry for hi-jacking the thread Wallace.

    Mike
    The Stig

    Some say, that I only know two facts about ducks, (both being wrong); and that if I could be bothered, I could solve the "da Vinci Code" in 47 seconds...
    All I know is that I'm called "The Stig".
    GTM #0081

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Stig View Post
    I don't think that the GTM is a car to be afraid of. But you need to know where your skill levels start and stop, as Wallace demonstrates. I was afraid that I may be putting too much detailed info in front of the FFR forum community in regard to my build. But it is strictly for informational purposes. Eugene, (Fast Things) put an outstanding series of videos together for people to watch and learn from. That has been my goal as well, but in text instead of video. Documentation is key with these cars.

    My posts are simply there to show things here and there that were not obvious to me, until they were uncovered something else. Hence the name, Pandora! But that did not come from the kit, as much as the previous work done (or not done) to her. My hopes have been that others can see these ahead of time, and use them to their advantage in their GTM or other builds.

    Don't be afraid of the GTM, but do have people that you can trust, doing the work that you're not able to.

    I think that there are A LOT of people on the sidelines that would jump right into a GTM build, if they had just a little more confidence in being able to complete it.

    For what it's worth...

    Sorry for hi-jacking the thread Wallace.

    Mike
    Thanks for the insight. I am not afraid to build a GTM, just I know the level of difficulty is slightly higher than the rest. Hopefully in the future I will get to build one.

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    Senior Member The Stig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wallace18 View Post
    Thanks for the insight. I am not afraid to build a GTM, just I know the level of difficulty is slightly higher than the rest. Hopefully in the future I will get to build one.
    I have no doubt that you could build a GTM and have an extremely nice car when you're done. And based on the results of your previous builds, I can't wait to to see it when it's finished.

    Mike
    The Stig

    Some say, that I only know two facts about ducks, (both being wrong); and that if I could be bothered, I could solve the "da Vinci Code" in 47 seconds...
    All I know is that I'm called "The Stig".
    GTM #0081

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    I think it would be also helpful to summarize the typical cost of building each of the models so potential builders had that info along with the difficulty scale to use in their decision process. I know that FF puts out some estimates but numbers coming from a customers build carry a lot more weight in my opinion because no two are exactly the same and the FF numbers are too generic for me. I have seen some estimates that the GTM can run to $80K by the time they are complete.
    Stig;
    Is that fairly accurate?
    DB

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    DB-

    I am not sure that Mike (Stig) is the right person to ask about the cost of a GTM build! Now, he is the right person to ask for how to build a stunningly beautiful GTM, but I think there are some other folks who might provide a number that might not cause you to go running far away screaming into the night! HA

    Tom builds some great cars, and his build quality is excellent. Take a look through some of his build threads, and you will see what I mean!

    Regards,

    Steve

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    Steve
    Thanks but I'm not planning to build a GTM;
    I am currently building a 7L Hemi 33, I was just saying that Tom's thread is very helpful and that as a serial builder he might be able to give a good price range on the types of kits he built and I was using the GTM's as a worst case scenario where a kit buyer could jump in deeper than his pockets can stand. I do scan the other types of FF's from time to time and see the depth of talent on guys like Stig and Tom and it pushes me to up my game wherever I can.
    DB

  19. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by myjones View Post
    Steve
    Thanks but I'm not planning to build a GTM;
    I am currently building a 7L Hemi 33, I was just saying that Tom's thread is very helpful and that as a serial builder he might be able to give a good price range on the types of kits he built and I was using the GTM's as a worst case scenario where a kit buyer could jump in deeper than his pockets can stand. I do scan the other types of FF's from time to time and see the depth of talent on guys like Stig and Tom and it pushes me to up my game wherever I can.
    DB
    I will try my best to answer your question. I tend to build my cars with lots of high end parts and creature comforts. I will give my thoughts on high end vs low end without paint. Paint can go all over the place as far as cost so I will not include that cost.

    818- used lots of new parts but I got a free long block. Cost approx. 30K
    33 - approx. 35K used a donor car.
    Type 65 approx. 48K
    MK4 approx. 40K
    GTM - approx. 60K
    35 P/U - approx. 40K

    These are my builds. I will not list customer builds. That is a private matter between me and them. I hope this sorta answers your question. In reality you can do it for less and also a lot more. No 2 of these builds are alike. That is what I like about them. They are all unique.
    Last edited by wallace18; 06-13-2019 at 07:03 AM. Reason: update info

  20. #19
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    Tom
    I think those are very realistic numbers and the GTM would likely be 60K ish from what people have disclosed on both boards.

    That's exactly the type of average numbers that will help newbies make their decision. When you add those to your ranking
    of difficulty to build list it really helps potential buyers make an informed choice. No custom builder should disclose the cost
    of a clients build which is why I said price "range" so it would be an average of all your builds personal and custom projects.

    The body prep/paint numbers are always going to be a large variable so that has to be set aside for personal preference vs cost.

    Sorry I missed you at BG KY this year.
    DB

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    Newbies and people that have not done car work need to know that there is a lot of money can be spent above and beyond the cost of kit. Tools, paint, other parts, things that we change as we go along ,
    dam it all cost money! I still need to get wheels and tires, have to fit fenders and car= more money. I am alright with that but it is more than was laid out.

  22. #21

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    It would be interesting to me to know if people think the MKIV is easier due to better availability of information and kit development. 1932 brings up a good point about non kit expenses. If I was younger with less "inventory" the 818 would have been my first choice. Certainly the 33 is the most flexible of the builds with regards to choices in drivetrain and body configuration.
    Thanks for staring this thread Wallace!

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    IMO the MK4 is easier due to the fact it is the 4th generation and has lots of updates to it to make it better every where. Also it is less parts to deal with, IMO. It does not hurt to have 21 years of builds on it either,LOL.

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    Thanks for taking the time to post all of this, Tom.

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    Updated this post to 6/18

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  27. #25
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    Updated post to 6/19

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