The SEMA Show is chock full of 1,000s of amazing custom vehicles, many of which are built by some of the world’s most famous car builders. But there are also a few shining examples of “home-built” cars amongst the sea of pro-built rides on the SEMA floor. Factory Five Racing is a company that stands behind the DIY and home-built rides, as they are responsible for designing, building, and providing the world’s DIY crowd with the very best in “home-built” kit cars from start to finish.
This year at SEMA they wanted to show case some of their loyal customers and their builds so they sent out a special invite to have them appear at SEMA. With everything on hand from the GTM, and ’33 Hot Rod to a Type 65 competition coupe and Mk4 Roadster builds, Factory Five received a great customer response and it just goes to show how loyal FFR customers are. We got a chance to talk with three of Factory Five’s customers about their experiences with Factory Five and what’s all involved in building a Factory Five vehicle from the ground up.
First up we met with Bob Bailin and his amazing 600hp GTM build. Bailin’ is a member of the Monticello Motor Club and promises us that he pushes his FFR GTM to the limits every single weekend. Bailin’ tells us that he built the car himself from the ground up in just over a year and a half.
That’s probably one of the coolest things about the FFR customers and their experiences is that they all gleam with pride having a hand in every step of the way.
We also got to meet with Karen Salvaggio who has been racing for 25 years in the Nascar dirt track circuit. Karen moved on to road course racing in early 90s, and now she is an endurance racer in her Factory Five Racing type 65 competition coupe.
She races in the 25 hour endurance races and was the endurance racing champion last year in her FFR Type 65. Equipped with a 331 Ford base engine that’s of course received plenty of love and paired with an IRS, Salvaggio’s Type 65 reaches a top speed of 175 mph and always brings a smile to Karen’s face.
Peter Skoglund is a factory five customer from Sweeden. That’s right, he ordered his ’33 Hot Rod Kit shipped to Sweeden, built the car with a little family help, and then made it’s debut right here at SEMA.
This ’33 Hot Rod is special, not just because it was built in Sweeden as father/son build with the Skoglund family, but also because the unique race touches throughout.
Peter and his sons really wanted to pay homage to the “race design” of FFR and combined custom racing lips and touches throughout. Looking to match that racecar look with the Hot Rod stance, this family-built FFR ’33 is the perfect example of how radical you can go with any of these custom kits. They even tied in a little motorcycle influence using headlights from a Harley! The Skoglund clan are extremely pleased with this build, the FFR product, and the outcome – so pleased in fact, that they are ready to build another. If it’s planned to be anything like the unique creation here, we can’t wait to see what they come up with.
During our booth visit we also got to check out Factory Five’s latest development – the FFR Project 818. The name stems from it’s lightweight hitting the scale at a tad over 1,800 pounds, or 818kg. Recently in our Shop Tour look inside the FFR facility we brought you the inside scoop on the new 818 and what to expect. Project 818 goes out of the domestic car sphere and instead embraces one of the most popular imports on the scene, the Subaru WRX. The 818 will utilize components from the WRX, including the engine, transmission, and suspension in a mid-engine, two-seat open-roof roadster design that is unique to FFR.
“We want to reach new markets, both outside of the U.S. and our target age demographic.” Dave Smith, President of FFR shared with us. The Subaru WRX is sold in more countries than the Mustang, the primary donor vehicle for most FFR vehicles. Furthermore, the Subaru WRX appeals to a younger generation of automotive enthusiasts and those who may find the idea of a forced-induction Boxer engine more appealing than a large-displacement V8.
”In order to thrive FFR must always think outside the box and innovate to stay ahead of the curve and continue to bring new products to new markets.” The two-seat, mid-engine setup combined with a weight of around 1,800 pounds means that Project 818 will be capable of some incredible levels of performance, perhaps besting even FFR’s own Mk IV Roadster model.