People don’t easily give up on their Volkswagen Jetta Mk4’s (or any car that’s running well, for that matter), but if you don’t mind, and you’re brave enough and technically inclined with plenty of free time to spare, Smyth Performance may grab your attention with its Do-It-Yourself (DIY) “GF3” home roadster kit.
The Massachusetts-based kit-car supplier, which is also working on a pickup truck kit for the same Jetta model, introduced the final design of its Smyth G3F at the New England Dustoff event this month, after many beta testers. The kit turns everything around on the 2000-2004 Jetta, transforming the five-seater, front-engine, front-wheel drive sedan into a two-seater soft-top roadster with a mid-mounted engine and rear-wheel drive.
Smyth Performance prices the kit at $9,900 (about €7,600 at the current exchange rates), and for that you get all the parts, including body panels, front and rear sub-frames made of steel tubing, the top and detailed instructions – yes, you have to be prepared to get deep down and dirty with all sorts of tools to complete the car. It’s definitely not for the faint-of-heart….
Smyth Performance says that if you do it right, the G3F will be a safe car.
“No home built car can come close to the overall safety of a production car these days but we come pretty close with the smyth car,” says the founder and CEO of the company, Mark Smith. “By keeping all the front end bumper steel and the highly collapsible front structure from the jetta, we really have the first kit car since the silly old fiero lambo replicas of old that uses factory crash engineering. They may have been poser cars on the fiero but if they used the factory crash system from the fiero they were actually fairly safe.”
For more information and contact details, you can check out Smyth Performance’s page on FaceBook here. Below you will find a short description of the project from Smith along with photos of a completed G3F Jetta roadster.
Photo Credits: Smyth Performance
[From Mark Smith]
“Smyth TDI, 1.8T, VR6 Jetta and Golf 4 door based mid engine kit cars.
You should start with a straight 4 door mk4 jetta or golf. These are from 1999.5 to 2003.
I provide you with a front and rear sub-frame made out of steel tubing that reinforces the cut floor and nose structure of the jetta/golf and allows for the engine/transmission drive assembly to be mounted in a mid engine configuration.
The suspension is basically 2 front suspensions from the vw and we are providing four custom valved coil over shock units in the kit. The rear is a bit higher than the front to keep a higher rear roll center and also shields the oil pan from the dreaded crunch over bumps. The front is designed an inch lower than the stock Jetta for an aggressive stance that you expect in a sports car.
The top of the stock doors are cut off using a template. We am providing a bolt on door top cap that allows the use of the stock jetta/golf window lifts, wiring and speakers. These newly repositioned parts match up to a new longer windshield at a low and swept back sports car angle.
The seats and dash are lowered so that the low seating position of a sports car matches the new low position of the windshield and body.
All the dash and climate controls still work as designed for a true 12 month a year driving experience…a first for a kit car.”