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Thread: Why has everybody sold their 818?

  1. #1

    Why has everybody sold their 818?

    Hi there,
    I've been looking at the 818 for a few years now, and I'm almost to the point where I can start planning my build. Up until now I've been moving around and I haven't had a house for the last couple years (so no garage to work in). However, I'm a few months away from having my new house built and I'll finally have a garage again! Recently I started reading a lot of build threads to get some ideas and learn more about the 818 in general. They've been a great resource so far, so thank you to anybody that has contributed over the years.

    I did notice something strange while reading the build threads though. A lot of people put dates for when they bought, first started, first drove, completed, tracked, etc... their cars in their signature. I was surprised at how many of these signatures said they sold their 818 within a year of completing it. After spending a year building the car and putting so much money into it, why have so many people quickly sold their 818?

    Was it too unrefined, expensive to insure, impractical outside of a track? Maybe it was more fun to build than actually drive or you had an opportunity to sell it for a profit? Perhaps people just didn't want to store it or never found time to drive it?

    I'm just curious why somebody would put $20k+ into a car for less than a year of use. If you could, please share your experience or give some feedback.


    Thanks,
    Mike

  2. #2
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    Mike
    Lots of ppl build the car as FFR intends and when finished, realize the car doesn't measure up to their preconceived notions. Also, given the multiple body panels, body fitment is more difficult than some 1 piece bodies. Add in that many ppl don't have the facility nor the skills to build that exceptional car that they had envisioned. And don't forget that the 818 is in its early years, therefore many small but not incidental areas still need to be addressed, causing builders to engineer certain fixes as they go. And finally, there's that thing about revisiting certain aspects of the build which were let go or still needed more work, which rarely happens. These cars can be as big of a money pit as any other FFR car, it all depends on you.

  3. #3
    I haven't sold, but have certainly thought about it before. Living in Michigan means my car is in storage about 5 months out of the year which really kills it for me, and I'm pretty young and adventurous when it comes to driving it in cold weather. Obviously a full HVAC would improve that, but really it just needs a roof for the occasional passing rain. We have a 25% chance of rain here just about every day which makes it hard to take out for an all day or weekend adventure. Given the return on investment, I probably wouldn't even bother with the windows whether it was a hard or soft top, I'd just like something to keep the seats relatively dry.

    The second thing that would help greatly is a bit of storage space. With two people in the car you're limited to an area behind the seats about the size of a phone book and whatever your passenger is willing to hold in their lap. This is easy enough for me to fix with the trunk kit and I plan to do so before summer. It'll also give me somewhere to keep all the little things that normally live in your glove box (insurance cards, tire pressure gauge, etc.)

    And I'll second everything Lance listed above. Based on this forum it seems like less than 50% of all FFR cars are ever really driven. They're simply never completed, or become trailer queens due to investment/reliability issues.

  4. #4
    Senior Member flynntuna's Avatar
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    I agree with what's been said so far. I'd add that a few have sold their cars to fund other projects or toys. One sold to buy a boat, others have sold to buy another kit. I think I remember one sold to fund the expansion of their business.

  5. #5
    Lance, I could definitely see somebody building a half-baked car and being let down at the end result. I've read about the FFR issues, but I noticed more that a lot of people go off on tangents re-engineering parts and designing custom setups that seem to multiply their build time/costs. I've enjoyed seeing what the community has come up with, but personally I would stick closer to the book to keep time/costs down. While focusing on the quality of my work rather than doubling it and spreading myself thin. I feel like a lot of builders created their own issues and drove costs up when they ventured too far off the path. I think I'd be happy with a $20k car that's 90% perfect, over a $40k car that's 95% perfect. Also, my wife only agreed to let me use her half of the garage for 1 year so I'll be on a time crunch lol.

    Hey Phil, I hear ya about the weather. Columbus, OH isn't too different from the southern half of Michigan. I drive up north of Detroit every couple months for work and Columbus is similar but a little more mild (temp and precipitation wise). I would want to add an HVAC system though to extend my driving time in cool weather. Luckily we don't get much snow down here so that's a minor concern. I completely agree with you on the trunk. I had the same concerns when considering a motorcycle. Without any storage, there would be almost no trips that were suitable for it. I'm not going to go grocery shopping, transport boxes to work, or lug a suitcase home on it. It would only be good for joy rides which wasn't appealing to me.

    Flynntuna, I can understand that but I'm actually doing the opposite. I've been waiting to buy a house, so I could have a garage to build my car lol. What's better than 2 large investments?

    Thanks for your input guys. These are all great points to consider.

  6. #6


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    I've been involved with Factory Five cars for the better part of 2 decades, having built for myself as well as for customers. Much of the time I think it comes down to expectations; some may look at the 818 and think that it is comparable to a Boxter that they can build for themselves---it isn't. There was a recent discussion on this exact topic. It was heavily Roadster related but the main points are applicable.

    https://thefactoryfiveforum.com/show...t=expectations

    Jeff

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Kleiner View Post
    I've been involved with Factory Five cars for the better part of 2 decades, having built for myself as well as for customers. Much of the time I think it comes down to expectations; some may look at the 818 and think that it is comparable to a Boxter that they can build for themselves---it isn't. There was a recent discussion on this exact topic. It was heavily Roadster related but the main points are applicable.

    https://thefactoryfiveforum.com/show...t=expectations

    Jeff
    That thread had some great info Jeff. Thanks for the link. As somebody that occasionally races, does all his own maintenance, and supercharged his last car (Acura RSX-S), I think I have the personality that would appreciate an 818's rewards over it's short comings.

  8. #8
    Senior Member AC Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcamera View Post
    These are all great points to consider.
    Consider this while your at it. The majority of guys building the FFR Cobra replica's (other than then the guys purposely building to sell), often hang on to their cars for years, and years. Perhaps the classic looks, and the roar of a an American V8 engine is more attractive in the long run.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by mcamera View Post
    Also, my wife only agreed to let me use her half of the garage for 1 year so I'll be on a time crunch lol.
    Her half of the garage? Man, we give up so much already!!

    I put up an interior wall so my wife could an office all to herself. And she already gets decoration authority over the entire house as well as supreme domain of the bedroom. Garage is MINE, and I let her park in it!!! Except Saturdays, when I'm working on the 818!

  10. #10
    In addition to the thoughts already expressed, some folks enjoy the build experience more than the ownership experience. Once that last screw is turned, they start itching for another project.

    BTW, we're in Columbus as well and I daily drive a 2002 RSX-S. Send me a PM if you want to come by and look over our 818S some time.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by AC Bill View Post
    Perhaps the classic looks, and the roar of a an American V8 engine is more attractive in the long run.
    I actually found FFR a few years ago when I was looking to build a Cobra. I do like the Cobra's a lot, but when I saw the 818 I knew it was more my style. I've seen several cobra's on the road and at car meets, but I've actually never seen an 818 in person. Their rarity is part of the appeal to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by turbomacncheese View Post
    Her half of the garage? Man, we give up so much already!!

    I put up an interior wall so my wife could an office all to herself. And she already gets decoration authority over the entire house as well as supreme domain of the bedroom. Garage is MINE, and I let her park in it!!! Except Saturdays, when I'm working on the 818!
    You're preaching to the choir. The garage will definitely be my area, but she was irritated that she would have to park outside for another winter if I was building a car in the garage. Our compromise was that I had to buy a remote start for her car. Is my leash getting shorter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug @ Forma View Post
    In addition to the thoughts already expressed, some folks enjoy the build experience more than the ownership experience. Once that last screw is turned, they start itching for another project.

    BTW, we're in Columbus as well and I daily drive a 2002 RSX-S. Send me a PM if you want to come by and look over our 818S some time.
    I know how that goes. I'm always looking for a project and I'm excited this one will take awhile. I'll definitely PM you. Like I mentioned above, I've never seen an 818 in person so I would love to check yours out. Thanks for reaching out!

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Doug @ Forma View Post
    In addition to the thoughts already expressed, some folks enjoy the build experience more than the ownership experience. Once that last screw is turned, they start itching for another project.
    This.

    It is about the journey and not the destination.

    I don't expect to own mine for long after the build. I will probably do a few mods here and there AFTER I sum up the build but knowing myself, I will move on to another build of some sort, rinse, and repeat.

  13. #13
    These 3 guys have it right . . .

    Turbomacncheese: "The garage is mine and I let her park in it!" (YES!!)
    [email protected] Formacars: "Once that last screw is turned they start itching . . ."
    Carlsonmj: "It is about the journey and not the destination."

    I've built 2 FFR cars. When there was nothing more I could do to my roadster, I sold it.
    Now, I'm having a tough time finding more projects for my 818, so I'm thinking of selling it.
    For me, the fun is in the garage more than on the road because it's a big fun project.
    If I wanted a fast, fun, cool-looking sports car, I would just buy one.
    But, they come already built. What's the fun in that?

    There are many other like-minded lunatics who love building more than driving so a low mileage 818 may have been built with great care and pride by a guy looking for his next project.
    818S/C : Chassis #25 with 06 WRX 2.5 turbo, ABS, cruise, PS, A/C, Apple CarPlay, rear camera, power windows & locks, leather & other complexities.
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  14. #14
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    I am with you Pete, the build is a big part of the fun factor for me. The second phase of the fun factor I enjoy is tuning and development my 818R so it has its place in the shop for a while.
    And yes I have started another build project. Plus it gives me a really good excuse to buy more tools and equipment.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Doug @ Forma View Post
    In addition to the thoughts already expressed, some folks enjoy the build experience more than the ownership experience. Once that last screw is turned, they start itching for another project.
    I've already begun to prepare my wife for the next project, and I don't even have my engine wired up yet. Next round will have to be much more affordable, though. Like an 80s semi-restoration.

    Quote Originally Posted by mcamera View Post
    You're preaching to the choir. The garage will definitely be my area, but she was irritated that she would have to park outside for another winter if I was building a car in the garage.
    That's fair, I think. See if there isn't some way to clear up enough space that she can still park there. We both park in the driveway while I'm a-wrenching, but I clear out a space for her to park at night.

    Quote Originally Posted by mcamera View Post
    Our compromise was that I had to buy a remote start for her car. Is my leash getting shorter?
    Yes, yes it is. But it happens to the best of us. Well, the best of us who stay married, anyway...

  16. #16
    Well, when you guys that would rather build than drive want to sell your 818's just let me know.
    I would like to build but just don't have the time and in the end the only reason I want to build is so I can drive it.

  17. #17
    My deal with my wife had been that I get the garage spots when I need them, however, I would need to scrape ice off her car in the morning if I was taking up the spot. I was happy with that deal but somehow I have convinced her, or possibly she convinced me with some mind trick, that we should buy land with enough space to build a large outbuilding garage workshop for me. She loves making things herself, so she has always been really supportive of my projects. That is a large part of how I view the Factory Five cars though, as projects. Yes, I think it will be great fun to drive around in it afterwards, however, some of that will be pride in building it for me. I expect that I will keep the car I build for a while but I can certainly see how many people build it and move on to another project once they are finished with it. After all, there is always the next project and who knows how much that is going to cost.

  18. #18
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    My 818 is getting close to ready for inspection/registration and it has been a fun journey. That said, for some reason I feel like the car has not taken on the life that I thought it would while I was reading about the cars development. I was probably expecting too much, but I had hoped that it would catch on in the tuner world, be seen on covers of tuner magazines/websites, maybe even make its way on to an Xbox or playstation game..... It kind of seems like the car has fizzled and is need of some new development injection. It would be nice if there were more going on with the 818 at the factory, but it really seems to be languishing. Probably just my imagination.

    I like my car, but there is a good chance I will try to sell it once there is nothing left for me to build on it. Unless the factory keeps releasing new improvements and upgrades that make it fun to keep......targa top kit? New aero kit? Updated rear end design? New engine option(s)? Interior kit (more OE like)? Better door design/implementation? Soft top/S windshield frame revision that works with power side windows (this is a must in my opinion....cant believe they havent done it already).

  19. #19
    Senior Member AC Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DND View Post
    Well, when you guys that would rather build than drive want to sell your 818's just let me know.
    I would like to build but just don't have the time and in the end the only reason I want to build is so I can drive it.
    Here's a replica for sale..lol

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/2018-Replic...-/282834228642

  20. #20
    It is all about taking the time to create what want. The 818 structure provides alot of options and there are amazing examples being built here. Enjoy the journey.

    Here is the rendering of the front of my 818 I started in 2014...still carving it out. Getting Close. 818 BC draw.jpg

  21. #21
    I haven't even received my Type 65 kit yet... but I can already tell you MOST gear heads I know... we tend to bore. We work on the car to cure boredom, and when the build is complete... boredom returns. I'm building a Type 65 coupe to build... sell... and fund a GTM. PERIOD. It's probably the sexiest kit car I've EVER seen... and my 3 C5s (two Z06, one Z51) have been my MOST favorite cars... EVER. So that's my motivation in all this. I'm sure i will need a year or two before I WANT to build another FFR, judging from the this forum. But that's fine, too!

    Order your kit man. Enjoy it. But remember it's a project... not a budget build!

    Good luck man and keep us in the loop!
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  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by ben1272 View Post
    ... for some reason I feel like the car has not taken on the life that I thought it would while I was reading about the cars development. I was probably expecting too much, but I had hoped that it would catch on in the tuner world, be seen on covers of tuner magazines/websites, maybe even make its way on to an Xbox or playstation game..... It kind of seems like the car has fizzled and is need of some new development injection. It would be nice if there were more going on with the 818 at the factory, but it really seems to be languishing. Probably just my imagination.
    I took mine to an autocross in Toledo this summer and was very surprised at the number of people (nearly all in the 25-35 age range and driving subarus) that knew what it was and were very interesting in trying it out for size as they had at some point put some thought into building one. The big thing that they all complained about was pulling the trigger on a $20k project at this stage in life without being able to see and poke around one in person.

    In my opinion, FFR does an abysmal job of selling kits. They rely almost entirely on current builders and owners to be their sales people for them. It works well, but if they wanted to improve sales they should be at every Autorama and similar event around the country. If they sold just 1 or 2 kits at each show they'd probably re-coup their investment, and I imagine they'd sell a lot more than that. They could even "borrow" local builds to save on transportation/logistics costs and give some of the higher-end builders a free entry to show off their work.

    Also, other than Wayne's attempt at the track day car challenge, they don't seem very interested in helping out the R guys. If they want to boast that they are selling "race cars" they should be more interested in showing results at Thunderhill and the lot.

  23. #23


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    Jeff Kleiner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clover View Post
    ...somehow I have convinced her, or possibly she convinced me with some mind trick, that we should buy land with enough space to build a large outbuilding garage workshop for me...
    That's a good woman---like mine! A couple of years ago my wife pronounced "We need less house and you need more garage." Not being one to argue I built us a smaller 2,200 square foot house with 3 car attached garage and a separate 30x48 shop for me



    Jeff

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by phil1734 View Post
    I took mine to an autocross in Toledo this summer and was very surprised at the number of people (nearly all in the 25-35 age range and driving subarus) that knew what it was and were very interesting in trying it out for size as they had at some point put some thought into building one. The big thing that they all complained about was pulling the trigger on a $20k project at this stage in life without being able to see and poke around one in person.

    In my opinion, FFR does an abysmal job of selling kits. They rely almost entirely on current builders and owners to be their sales people for them. It works well, but if they wanted to improve sales they should be at every Autorama and similar event around the country. If they sold just 1 or 2 kits at each show they'd probably re-coup their investment, and I imagine they'd sell a lot more than that. They could even "borrow" local builds to save on transportation/logistics costs and give some of the higher-end builders a free entry to show off their work.

    Also, other than Wayne's attempt at the track day car challenge, they don't seem very interested in helping out the R guys. If they want to boast that they are selling "race cars" they should be more interested in showing results at Thunderhill and the lot.
    Well said Phil, I was at the build school when the first Subaru donor arrived and I predicted the 818 would change the customer base for FFR. I don't think it has, and much of that is for the reasons you mention. I almost built one, and almost bought a finished one, but, continue to procrastinate for a number of reasons. My daily driver happens to be an Impreza and my son has an older Impreza so a Donor build sits in his driveway, yet we like our "subbies" as is (AWD). When I showed up for my first auto cross with the Hot Rod we had lots of conversation about the 818. I even offered a bay in my garage to do a team build. The impression I got is most don't want to take on the effort required. Drivers often aren't always builders and people just don't have the time.
    I have also mentioned on other posts that the "R" designator is misleading along with the company name. I stand by that statement. When you come out and change the car twice in the first couple years then it gives the community Beta caution. When you cant get a chassis certified its very frustrating. In some cases you have to run in the most competitive class due to the car weight, power, and tire size. This can intimidate a new driver.
    Yes FFR should take a couple 818's and a Daytona to some driving schools and let people run them for sure. I would rather have a day at Watkins Glen with an 818R or a GenIII Daytona R than look at one in Syracuse. Sign the waiver and drive!

  25. #25
    I live 8 miles from the build school and was able to look at theirs before I committed. If that hadn't been an option to me I never would have bought in.

    It's shocking to me that living in southeast Michigan where we have some of the largest hot-rod and antique car shows in the world (or so I'm told - I've never fact checked the brochures) the closest FFR event is Oshkosh WI. That's over 7 hours away.

  26. #26


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    Quote Originally Posted by phil1734 View Post
    It's shocking to me that living in southeast Michigan where we have some of the largest hot-rod and antique car shows in the world (or so I'm told - I've never fact checked the brochures) the closest FFR event is Oshkosh WI. That's over 7 hours away.
    The London Show in Columbus Ohio is only 3-3 1/2 hours from you. Although it is not strictly FFR (nor is Oshkosh) they are definitely predominant.

    Jeff

  27. #27
    Factory Five only brought Cobras to that show. No 818s, Hot Rods or GTMs. Though to be honest, I'm only assuming that they even bring anything else to Oshkosh or anywhere else, and the Forma guys did show up with their 818.

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by AC Bill View Post
    i made an offer of 1 dollar, it was rejected. The nerve of some people.
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  29. #29
    [QUOTE=Jeff Kleiner;314166]That's a good woman---like mine! A couple of years ago my wife pronounced "We need less house and you need more garage." Not being one to argue I built us a smaller 2,200 square foot house with 3 car attached garage and a separate 30x48 shop for me
    [/IMG]
    uhhhh, jealous over here....

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