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Ownership Change at Factory Five

Posted on March 9th, 2012

Dave Smith Buys All of Company

Over the past 15 years I have had the frequent honor of bringing important news of the company to all of you. Recently, I’ve spent some time looking back over our website archives and remembering so many Factory Five milestones and adventures with good friends since 1995. I was humbled by the sheer volume AND depth of the life stories that this company has been a part of! Mostly though, I was honored to have been at the helm and to have been the person whose job it is to tell the story, break the news, or attempt to put into words an important event in our shared journey.

I have yet another story to tell you about. I am happy to report to you that I have purchased the company in its entirety, buying my brother Mark’s half of the company. To me, it is deeply meaningful to know that I own this company outright and am finally able to share that ownership with the people who deserve it the most and who have done the heavy lifting of building the company. To many of you it won’t seem like much has changed right away, but the real effects will be huge and noticed soon enough.

The truth is that Mark had not worked at, or been an active part of the company since 2001. Although it was tough and it took a while to reach an agreement, the buy-out was good for both of us. It gives Mark the ability to follow his own path and it allows me to do what I love and to use a greater percentage of the company revenues to accelerate new products like the 818, reward the crew, and focus on ways to bring the Factory Five experience to more people.

I have been the President of this company since it began and I have worked here for six days a week for over 15 years. In that time, I have learned much about business and even more about what is important to me personally. The freedom to do something I truly love for a career has been, and is immensely valuable to me. Even more though, the chance to work with such great, intelligent, kind and decent people as the crew here at FFR is really such a pleasure.

I have been witness to so many great stories and I understand the special way this company and community of Factory Five owners has affected people’s lives. I have also been fortunate to have made great friendships along the way… friendships I wouldn’t trade for any amount of money.

While I want the company to be financially successful, and I believe the future will be more profitable than ever… I want even more, for the company to continue to fulfill its true charter of making a difference in people’s lives and, thru the medium of these cars, bring people together.

To me, Factory Five Racing is an amazing story that has been, and continues to be, literally BUILT by all of us. I am excited that the company, now with a single clear vision, has a better chance to grow and in so doing, build more great stories along the way.

My brother leaves with our thanks for his contributions in the early days and our best wishes. The road ahead for Factory Five is more exciting than I could ever have dreamed. The weight and responsibility to make the company even better is tremendous, but it is a familiar weight, and I shoulder it well. I promise to build on the strong foundation of our past, but also to bring the company forward into an exciting new chapter where the best stories have yet to be written.

David Smith


  • for years ive have been trying to save to buy 1 of your kits when i get to amount im safe with prices go up 4 the better i no i need a doner stang can i buy everything from you time i clean up parts paint time comsumimg and also can u set up 4 automatic trans girl friend cant drive stick thamk u 4 ur time yours truly glenn

  • Moving forward is always a good idea. Success to David and Mark in the future, and success to Factory Five in all of their futures.


  • Michael Bouley

    Awesome Dave, that was good news. I know that you will be successful in your company.

  • Hey Dave,

    My plan is to buy one of the MK4 kits. I have had the plan for a long time. I want my son to drive his date to the prom in it. I’m glad your making the company stronger as it will take me a year or two longer to be able to fully afford all that I want. I think your company is a true success story. I hope to be in a similar position before too long!

    Dave Fitzgerald.

  • Congratulations David!

    Although I am not yet an FFR owner, I have been part of the owner’s community for years living vicariously through my friends. I have helped friends build two and have been an avid follower of the website for years. Now that I am retired from the military and getting ready to drop some roots I am looking forward to taking the plunge. The main problem is which kit to go with…decisions, decisions.

  • Dear Dave,
    Congrets. I’ve been there myself and know how difficult these process with family are. I truly believe one eventually gets what one deserves. The FF5 legacy is/remains in very capable and most integer hands. I wish you all the best in realizing your (and our) dreams.
    Willemstad, Curacao
    “If you make your passion your work you’ll never have to work again”

  • Congratulations Dave. Glad to hear you worked it out with Mark.It’s hard to believe it’s been that long. Mark walked me through the shop when I first came up to see the operation. Keep up the good work. The people i’ve met and experiences since building mine are awesome. Thanks

  • Tim Schaefer

    Congrats Dave! I have watched your compnay over the years (all the way back to the Mark 1) and even though I have not made a purchase yet, due to raising three kids, my time will come. The assurance of having a quality product out there and a company that supports their customers will be an easy sell when my lovely bride and I get to go out on dates again in the near future…kid free.

    Wishing FF continued success and look forward to new projects.

    Tim Schaefer

  • Dave,

    A Roadster’s never works well with two drivers trying to steer an adventure. I bought your 2007 Challenge Car and have made it into a cross-over racer/street car. It’s my “retirement” vehicle for occasional road racing, drag racing, wine country crusing with the wife, autocrossing, Detroit’s famous Dream cruise, car shows like Autorama, Automotive Hall of Fame display, 130 mph avg laps at Michigan International Speedway track day, display inside a McDonald’s, and…you get the idea. It’s an adventure, thanks for taking the wheel solo for the next Factory Five adventure.

    Gary Green
    Factory Five
    Green Dog Racing #10
    Detroit, MI

  • Tim Prusaitis

    Congratulations on this personal and professional milestone.I look forward to what you guys come up with in the future!

  • Bob LoSciuto

    Congratulations Dave. You’ve done a great job and I know you will do very well in the future. Factory Five is a great company. I have know you guys since it’s humble birth in that framingham garage when I answered an ad in the “Want Advertiser” for an AC Roadster for only $15,000.00. That’s when I met Mark. He told me that he didn’t have an “AC” Roadster .That he placed the ad to see how much response he would get at that price and that he really wanted to start his own kit car company based on this crazy idea of a one donor kit. I never did find out how many people answered that ad, but I did not see a line at the door when I came to see his first creation. That was in the winter of 1994. The next time I saw you guys was down in your Dartmouth garage. Thats where I met Dave for the first time. You were being written up in Kit car magazine and we had access to an airport to drive the cars on. Made a total ass of myself that day. Thank God the magazine didn’t notice. I still have the photo the magazine published of my friend Cindy driving down the runway. She had no clue how to drive a standard. Don’t know how she pulled it off. And last but not least, there was the day I picked up my new kit at your new facility in Wareham. You guys actually closed for half a day to celebrate the 1000 kit which I still drive to this day. Everyone that sees me driving around town asks why I’m grinning ear to ear. I guess they just have no clue how much fun I am having. Thanks for all the great memories and for the ones yet to come.
    Congratulations once a gain Dave. It’s been an honor and great pleasure to know you as well as all the people who make Factory Five what is is today.

    Bob LoSciuto

  • David,
    When I saw the heading “Ownership Change” my jaw hit the floor. I was hoping that the company had not changed as I knew it. I always enjoy hearing the news from Factory 5 and your continued success. You remind me of a hard working engineering company with a no fail attitude. I do hope someday I’ll find the time to set up a shop and start my own Factory 5 project. Choosing the car might be a bigger problem. I’m glad to know that the “Ownership Change” will only improve the future products.

  • I am the CEO and owner of EnviroTek Engine Technologies a subsidiary of EnviroTek International Limited of Hong Kong, Asia.

    I have known you guys since day one. Now that I have an engine company and a very special one at that – not your mega power unit but something that is ideal for a hybrid conversion or for the People Car of China. Please visit our site at etet.co. I am interested in the future possibility of hooking up to a “kit car” with our engine and hybrid drivetrain. While we like the GTM which may be too large but it is sexy. I like to do a turbo version of our engine when time permits in the coming year with our AMT – Automatic Manual Transmission. This could be good for 200 horse plus an eMotor of another 100 hp. Please let me know our thoughts.


  • Rodman Jay Fenton

    I am a 69 year old car guy that has walked with a cane for 30 years.I had Pertes disease of the hip when i was 11 years old but i did not let it stop me from being active…Baseball and other sports were ruled out so in my teen years to the present my sport has been hot rods..In 1961 i held the record for A/S stick nationally and have fiddled with.I had a 58 modified Vette that turned 12.8 in the quarter in 1962 on those skinny tires of the day.Wanna’build a strictly streetrod and yours is the way to go

  • Richard Malzahn

    Hi David,

    Congratulations. I noticed quite some time ago that I never saw your brother at the events or in the newsletters any more. You have become the face of the company and I’m happy that you have the control that you want and need to get things done your way. I’m very happy with my Roadster (ffr1300) and, although it’s become a seasonal driver since our move to Washington state, it still looks and runs beautifully. Thanks again for a great product and good luck with “your” company.

  • David,
    My best wishes on the purchase of Factory Five from your brother. It’s sounds to me, now was the right time for both of you to part ways.
    I look forward to be able to purchase a Factory Five Roadstera in the future. It may be a “retirement” project if when I end my 40 year career at CBS. Please think positive for me.
    Factory Five is a 1st class operation. I know you will continue to keep it that way and make it even better.

    Ken Stowe
    Arcadia California

  • Awesome! Best of luck with the company…been following you guys for years and love your work. Also, can’t wait for the new roadster (really hope it has a convertible top and not just a removable top, btw).

  • Lee Arsenault

    Congratulations on your purchase of the company, that is a significant accomplishment! (from one of your thousands of fans who dream to drive one of your cars one day…)

  • Congratulations Dave. You’ve been the face and heart behind the company for so long. Best wishes for you and your team as Factory Five begins another proud chapter of what’s already been a great success story.

  • David-
    I happened upon your company by watching MegaKits on satellite last year. On a whim, I went to your site, imagining $100k or more for a kit, and I was STUNNED that the GTM was only $20K for a kit, and ~$35k for completed supercar! You can barely get a factory Ford Taurus for $25K. Hmm, Supercar or Taurus ;-)
    Since, I have been observing you and wish all business owners were as conscientious as you. As a SolidWorks designer, I have been tempted to throw my hat into the ring, but as a business owner, with commitments in Montana, I would think it impossible to be an employee anywhere, especially on the other side of the country. But I hope to build a GTM! And I am glad that you have sole ownership of the company and pray you will be able to take it to new heights and great financial success for FFR.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  • Congratulations! Can’t wait to see Factory 5 mature and grow as a company even more in the coming years, but I believe it’s already an impressive and solid company!!

  • Congrats. I wish you and your team all the best. Although I am not a FFR customer I hope that someday I will be as I have watched your progress over the years from your website. Again I wish you and all of your team all the best and I look forward to seeing you at the Turkey Rod Run this November here in Daytona Beach Fl.

  • Henry Pierson


    Congratulation on your acquisition. Having had business partners I understand your position and wish you well. I have been in the automotive business my entire life, have built several kits and even designed and built a car moulds, chassis and all. I am looking forward to doing business with you on the 818. I love the concept. Please keep me in the loop on the progress. I look forward to meeting you when you get a kit to market. Good luck, now that you can have it your way—I know it must feel great, I’ve been there.

    Henry Pierson

  • Dave,

    Why doesn’t your company build an electric performance car like the Tesla, but with your own designs and a much lower cost?

    Back in the 1990s, Ford made two prototypes of a Mustang Mach III, a two seater. It would be nice if you could do something like that.



    Take care,


  • I am sure FF will continue to flourish under your leadership. I’ve never purchased one of your vehicles, but i am impressed with the engineering technology applied to their creation, and your ability to succeed in the kit car market where so many others have failed. I think the 818 is a great project and I hope to purchase one someday. I also hope that you and your brother are on good terms.

  • Dave, Congrats on realizing your dream. Your passion is always evident. Re. Mark, remember business is business, and family is family. Godspeed!

  • about 3-4yrs. ago i talked with u about spliting the kit into 2 stages u said u were thinking about it.then u did it with the hot rod but not the roadster it keeps it just out of my reach i want the roadster not the hot rod oh well! still dreaming, doug

  • Mark Nardone

    I would like to congratulate you on “enjoying the ride” and thank you for sharing the experience with the Factory Five community.

  • George Reznik

    Dave the headline just about gave me another heart attack!!!! When I got up off the floor and read on I was immensely happy for you. I couldn’t imagine anyone else owning Factory Five. Congratulations Dave, your efforts are greatly admired.And best of luck to Mark as well. :)

  • Dave,

    I wish you well and hope for a prosperous future…iconic cars are rapidly disappearing as regulations tighten and I admire the determination of you and your staff at keeping “the dream alive”.


  • Dave,

    Congratulations and best wishes in the future! I agree with all you have said in your letter. Since I finished my Mk2 Roadster (4538K) in 1995, I have not only enjoyed the driving experience but also the number of friends I’ve made. Our association with our Northern Ohio club (Lake Snakes C-car Club) is something that both my wife and I can enjoy together. One of your roadsters was featured in the Ohio C-car Club booth at the Cleveland Auto Show where we sold tickets for the London C-car Show raffle car. Our Lake Snakes club members were glad to work the show in support of the Cystic Fibrosis charity. We helped raise $100,000 each of the last several years.

    Thanks again for a great company and product!

    Phil Sprague

  • James P Verkaik

    I noticed that Mark was not as visible in the promo literature and videos as in the beginning. I had always wondered what had happened, hoping it wasn’t a falling out and now bad blood between you brothers. I do hope it is for the best and that whatever he persues, its what he wants. The best to both of you.

  • you guys should burn a ‘gt sypder’ out in the parking lot – like a viking’s funeral.

  • George Daulton

    Congratulations! I am very excited for you and wish you luck and happiness in your efforts. I am sure you will make it greater!

  • Dave,

    Thank you for sharing this importment turning point with us. I was and am proud to have built FFR # 1182 back in 1997. For ten years it was a part of my identity. The cars are only part of your legacy. You’ve changed our lives.

    Good Luck to Mark.

  • Congratulations Dave! I’m sure I’m speaking for many of us that we’re excited to see how the future of Factory Five progresses!! Look forward to hearing and seeing more!!!

  • Michael Parry

    Dear Dave,
    Congratulations on your ownership of Factory Five Racing and this new chapter of the company. I’ll always be glad to have met you in 2009 and worked with FFR when the hospital foundation I worked for at the time purchased a Mk3 kit, assembled it and sold raffle tickets as a fundraising activity. Wonderful memories! One of these days, I may own a FFR car of my own. Thanks too for all you do for the London OH C-car Club and Cystic Fibrosis. Best wishes for continued success.
    Michael Parry – Westlake OH

  • Wendell Finnegan

    Way to go Dave. Keep on doing the great job you have always done. You are special in God’s eyes and ours. Hope your family is doing well. Hope someday you come to Tulsa, Oklahoma Mid-America Ford Meet in June. So long from Texas for now. God Bless you and your family.

  • Jack B Brookshire Jr

    After watching your dvd and drooling over the iconic AC design, and I say that because we all know that Shelby did not invent the thing. I just want to report my joy in building the MK-4 !!! I can’t wait to put the 500 hp motor in it and turn it loose on New Mexico’s roads !! THANKS DAVE. And for everyone else out there; Do whatever it takes to buy one and live the dream that I am doing now.

  • David Santiago

    I have follow your progress for many years, help built many of your car with grate pride of how happy thay make the owners feel. The grate work that you and your crew have done in development and disine that make all the pieces all came together, many dreams become reality to many. That is a grate accomplishment! May you and your family as well as the friends you work with always find happiness and more pride in your labor. Congratulation!

  • Jack Sargent

    Great news and I wish you all the best. I bought my first kit in 1998 and have followed up with another cobra, a coupe and a GTM. Always a great product but more importantly a great company of people to work with!

  • Karl Pedersen

    Congratulations David!

    I can’t say this is a surprise. The future of Factory Five Dream lives on. I will own a Factory Five GTM in the near future and I’m even more confident in that now. Everyone I introduce FFR to gets excited and gitty. You are right about the fact that not everyone should be building their own car, but the mere concept/dream of being able to do so is an American dream you make possible every day.

    Thank you for doing all the things you do, just the way you do them. I swell with pride every time I explain to someone the entire concept of FFR and the fact that everything is AMERICAN made right down to the AMERICAN steel the parts are made from.

    Keep up the great work.

  • God Bless, the American dream in action. Only six days a week?

  • Congrats!

    I’ve been following your company and products for many years with the hope of owning and building one at some point. However, that point hasn’t arrived as yet but my hope is that FFR continues to grow and will continue to be the true American dream supercar company for the masses!

  • I fully recognize that growing a company is a massive feat. I was just about ready to purchase a kit in 2008 when the bottom fell out of the company that I ran. Now I have started my own business and respect completely what you do not only for your employees but for the car market.. I love what your doing and please keep up the hard work as it will take me just a little longer to be secure enough in my new business to take the leap into owning and building a Factory Five.. God Bless to you and Best of luck to both of you in the future!

  • Pat McGranahan

    Good news,
    I can buy one of your kits, all the best to you and your brother and his new adventures

  • Dave: Congratulations to you and Mark. I had the pleasure of meeting you last July for a tour of the facility. I was surprised to have you as a tour guide, and especially surprised by your excitement around your products. Imagine after 15 years you still love what you do and love talking to people about FFR. Keep up the great work!


  • Congratulations Dave! I’m not an owner -yet- (working on it!) but I’m an avid follower. I know the feeling of owning the rights and duties about having full responsibility of an enterprise, and it is the way to go. I’m in FL and hope I’ll be joining the rides down here any time (soon).

    Keep the awesome work.

  • Good luck Dave!Your future and the future of FFR are intertwined.As the proud owner of MK4 7514 I know firsthand the tremendous amount of effort and work you have put into this company.Ive grown to appreciate the way FFR does business and wish you continued success with your unique products.GO FOR IT DAVE! Thank you,Scott Cochran

  • yourdaddy10205@aol.com

    Congratulations on the take over and buy out Dave… You should start a finance and lease division to make it even easier to own one of these beautiful pieces of art and muscle. Once that option has been added it might become even easier for people that truly wish to own these cars.Today’s economy sucks and it’s hard for people to come up with all that money at once to buy build and own with the finance options it would breaks it down to a monthly payment. I know that would give me the chance to own my dream of a Roadster in my driveway

    Thank-you for you’re time. Gerard Hughes

  • Congratulations on finally reaching that goal. I enjoy your blogs and stories while I work at stashing away the money for my kit purchase.

  • Michael Butler

    Congrats on your tough decision. Sometimes working with family can be a drawback. To seperate is best, now everything can be your success or, lol, mess…Good luck,take care..keep up the good work..Mike Butler, Virginia Beach, VA

  • Hi David,

    This is wonderful news! I will miss your Brother Mark because I
    respected his mechanical knowhow. You however, I will be able to
    watch through the coming years. Your past record is one to stand on
    and if you pattern your future business life after Mr. Alan Mulally you
    will have a real mentor and build a Company at FFR to pass on to
    generation to come.

    I for one have enjoyed youd respect and friendship. Although I am
    OLD, I have sure enjoyed your family. Keep up the good work and
    grow that Company.

    Best to you and yours, Art Totten

  • Terry Choate

    David with the big chang in onership maybe we can now start putting in more turbo 4 banger engines in your cars, like the new Ford 40 mpg crate engine.

  • Dave,

    I, like many others have not yet been in a position (financially) to become part of the FF Family through ownership of one of your magnificent creations.
    I have followed you guys since the beginning when the dream of building my own car bit me as a young man. I’ve been to your place twice so far and have met both you and Mark. While I did not know that Mark had become less involved in the business, you obviously have never missed a beat as you have been following your passion, and it certainly shows in every positive way imaginable. Building more than one of your cars is certainly on my “Bucket List”, it’s just unfortunate that it’s not sooner versus later. I guess the old saying, “All Good Things Come to Those Who Wait” is still something someone up above is trying to impress upon me. I’ve studied the assembly manuals of all models, and need to save enough to build at least three of them, so I can experience the full glory of FFR. Anyway, thanks for everything you have done, and continue to do to make the world of FFR the benchmark that all others wish they could achieve. Keep up the impeccable work! The FFR Star Shines Bright and lighte up many lives in the process! GOD Bless!

    Gerard Tonno

  • Joe Schweinler

    Congrat’s Dave !

    I can clearly see that this change should be for the better and forges the beginings of a strong future for FFR.

    I LOVE being a part of this community and still look forward to meeting you in the future.

    Good Luck & Good Fortune !!

    Joe S. (aka “Pig”)

  • Dave, We are happy to hear your good news. We had the pleasure of meeting you at SEMA. We built the 67 Mustang from RTR in Albuquerque. You were so nice when I foisted the pictures of my Mk II on you! I am sure that You know how much I like all other Owner/builders of your great roadsters feel like we are a part of your company. You guys have made it possible for us to drive a sports car that brings pleasure to all wherever it goes! Keep up the good work. All the best for the future!

    Craig Nelson RTRods Albuquerque, New Mexico

  • Generally I don’t leave posts on blogs, however I wish to say that this write-up forced me to check out and do so! Your writing style has amazed me. Thank you, quite great post.

  • Boy, when I read “New Ownership” I had to take another breath. I thought “oh no”.
    Congrats Dave and best wishes to Mark.
    Coupe #285 is on the road, not painted but what a beast. I recommend it to any gear head. Its the most fun you can have with your clothes on.
    Thanks to you and all at FFR for these great cars.

  • Magnificent points altogether, you simply gained a new reader. What may you suggest about your publish that you made some days in the past? Any positive?

  • Congratulations Dave! I had a partner, now I too own my own company. It’s so much better now! Enjoy!!!

  • Magnificent items from you, man. I have remember your stuff prior to and you’re just extremely fantastic. I actually like what you’ve got right here, certainly like what you are stating and the way in which wherein you are saying it. You are making it enjoyable and you still care for to stay it wise. I can not wait to read much more from you. That is actually a tremendous web site.

  • Congratulations………..continue the good job…

  • Amando Pestana

    Congratulation Dave… I want to thank yu and everyone at ffr for making it possible for me to own my dream. FFR # 5562

  • Best of luck Dave! I well remember meeting you at Knotts’ right after my kit was delivered. You promised building it would be easier than I thought…you were right. The car came out beautiful! Another thing you told me was to call you personally if I needed to.
    Thanks again!
    Bob Clary

  • Ben Hegenderfer

    There is nothing harder than starting and surviving your own step out into the world of self sufficiency. I am glad to see that your vision has become such a strong contender, especially during these hard times. I have been reading and researching “kit cars” (I hate this term) for over thirty years. A friend of mine built a VW based Lamborghini back in the eighties when I was about eleven, and to be honest with you, your company really is the first one to offer a serious product. Most companies cannot even provide a decent web site. I am so glad to see someone put a good dose of common sence into their future, and I will be a customer soon. My only issue is that I love all of the cars, and depending on the time of day and mood, I end up wanting to have them all. A very hard descisions, and that means a lot! Just selling me one one car would usually be an extremely hard thing to do, but your entire line has won me over. Great job, keep up the improvements and personal touches, and tech guys like me, who notice every detail will always be happy!

  • Ken Scarlett

    Dave, you write well and you have dramatically improved the kit car industry.

    FFR #1938

  • I and all your customers wish you all the very best in this new phase to FFR. I am like many, planning to be an builder and owner of a Mk4 Roadster. As I’ve read your monthly news letters over the years, its your passion for the company, your product and customers that make me look no further in choosing who I will be buying my kit from. Your enthusiasm is infectious. As I tell my U10 soccer team – standing still is for spectators, go for it.
    DC – Portland, OR

  • Robert E. Hunt

    Dave, we wish you and your company all the best success in the future. Both you and your brother have been Champions in the kit car field. We also wish your brother success in his future business dealings.

    I was at Sebring last month for the 12 hours and got talking to the gentleman at Olthoff Racing and he asked; “Why did you purchase a FFR Mk3 kit, when you could have had one of his kits already finished?”. Soooooo…..I needed to explain to him that many of us find considerable enjoyment in reserching the car and then actually building it. Somehow I don’t think he got the point! Imagine that.

    I am close to finishing one of your Mk3 kits (4 years since I purchased it) and have enjoyed the ride as they say. No, not the fastest build by any means, but pure enjoyment. My day job gets in the way.

    Best success to you and your staff

  • Dave, I have watched you grow the company during the last 10 I years and have seen the improvement over the time.

    Congratulations, you have done a spectacular job.


  • John L. Holmes

    Congratulations on the ownership and best of luck to your brother too. At first glance I thought ” Oh no. The best kit car co. is gone.” Glad it is not so. Looked at many kit cars over the years and started a couple. Sold off the pieces when it got very messy due to bad engineering. To deep into a street rod at the moment, but when it is done… I will follow my son’s lead and build a MK 4. Keep up the good work!

    John L. Holmes ’39 Nash 2 dr Street rod