28 Years of Building Excellence
Factory Five Racing was founded in 1995. Over the years we have grown from a start-up business in a small garage to become the world’s largest manufacturer of component car kits. Ours is a company like no other. Our success comes directly from our collaboration with our customers. Every Factory Five is built by a customer, and our names and reputations ride shotgun with each build.
At Factory Five, we make our products right here in the USA, in the heart of New England where American manufacturing was born.
We employ a full-time crew of about 40 people, and are located in Wareham, Massachusetts (about an hour south of Boston). Our company headquarters is a combined 62,000 square feet for our operations.
Factory Five customers are the driving force behind our success. The passion and support of our customers is matched by the dedication of our staff of committed car professionals. Combined, you get a formula that is reminiscent of Harley Davidson back in the day. It’s true. Meet any of us at a car show, here at work, at a race, or ask any customer… you’ll know instantly that you’ve joined a special club.
“Factory Five has quite literally changed the kit car industry… First and foremost, they build a decent car — actually, they build a truly awesome car. In fact their design philosophy is completely foreign to what is standard practice in the kit car industry. The car is built more like a GT racer than a kit car…”
TIM SUDDARD | EDITOR, GRASSROOTS MOTORSPORTS MAGAZINE
A Message from Dave Smith
The Blacksmith Story
from Dave Smith
More than a hundred years ago my great grandfather John Smith, like millions of European immigrants, came to America with not much more than a few bags, his new bride, and his skills as a blacksmith. He came here to America to BUILD a new life.
John and Francis Smith settled in a small town in the Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania. He would become the town blacksmith and they would have six sons, the youngest of whom was my grandfather: Ted Smith.
From our family stories, I think my great grandfather was a realistic version of Longfellow’s poem, “The Village Blacksmith.” After church on Sunday, his wife would have him open up his shop to let the neighborhood women gather and bake bread in his furnace. The tradition lasted many years and while metal was forged six days a week, friendship and community was forged on the seventh day. John Smith was known as an honest and hard-working man and I enjoy thinking of the way he built his business and his friendships in a small town a hundred years ago.
The advent of the automobile spelled the end for blacksmiths, and John Smith would tell his sons to seek other paths. When we started Factory Five Racing in 1995, it was my father who reminded me that this was a return to our family tradition of blacksmithing in a way. The tools were different for sure — The bellows and furnace are now CNC cutting machines and MIG welders, but modern-day Smiths we were, and the automobile that spelled the end of our family craft three generations ago would bring us back to metal a century later.
In many ways, we are all living and repeating the lives of those who came before us. I like to think that many of the things that have made Factory Five Racing successful come directly from this fact.
What we do at Factory Five Racing is design and manufacture affordable, high-performance “build-it-yourself”-car projects. How we do this is by using factory engineered running gear, modern technology, and a talented staff to make cars that deliver on the promises their good looks make. The what and the how are important, but it’s the why that is at the heart of Factory Five.
Friendships forged at my great grandfather’s blacksmith shop a century ago were made the same way we make them today. At Factory Five Racing, we build. We love to build things. We build cars. We build friendships. We build community. We build family stories. We build dreams. We build respect for labor and craft. The things we build make a difference in the lives of others. That is the why behind Factory Five Racing.
Every decision I make running this company is sifted and winnowed not against what will make us the most money, but against this standard of building something meaningful. On behalf of the employees and families of Factory Five Racing, I want to extend to you my thanks for giving us a chance to build a great car with you. The small fact that it will be the coolest, fastest car in town is a nice bonus.
If you decide to build your own Factory Five, we’ll be there for you each step of the way. We’re honored to share this heritage with you, and we look forward to seeing you at the next red light.
Tools of the Modern Craftsmen
Technology has consistently delivered more value and a lower price. The same general principles ought to apply to component cars. The application of new technologies in an old-world industry is what sets our company apart from the crowd.
Computers and CNC technology are the foundations on which the Factory Five revolution was built. We design our chassis parts, production tooling, and body shapes with the latest CAD/CAM technology. We use SolidWorks® computer design software and HP hardware to design all of our cars. Computer-based technologies drive everything we do, including design, pre-production quality assurance, pilot production, product bill of materials and packlists, manufacturing cut lists, CNC laser cutting, robot trimming, and welding.
By using technologies of CAD/CAM and CNC-based manufacturing, we have been able to reduce the costs of manufacturing while improving the accuracy, strength and finish of the product. “You get what you pay for” is yesterday’s thinking. Welcome to the 21st century where technology and innovation are the keys to getting more quality and more performance for less money.
Factory Five Mk4 chassis begins life in CAD.
Right Materials, Made Right, Made in the USA
While our talented engineering staff uses advanced computer designs up front, our manufacturing team finishes the job by using the right materials, tools and training to build a better part. Not only does Factory Five lead the component car industry in engineering technology, but we set the bar just as high in responsible, quality manufacturing. The end result of all this work is that this most American of cars is made by American craftsmen using the right tools and the right materials, the right way.
Powered by the Sun
Every Factory Five chassis and all of Factory Five’s operations are powered by our 181 kW solar energy array.
Where Computers and Tools Meet
Our certified welders use CAD/CAM-based welding jigs that are built with laser-cut tooling steel and hold parts to a high degree of accuracy.
Our Mitsubishi CNC laser cutting machine provides precision cut aluminum and steel parts for our welding and chassis assembly departments. Factory Five has earned the “Good Manufacturing Practices” Award from the Association of Handbuilt Automobiles three times!
Online Video Tour
Take a Tour of Factory Five with Kevin Byrd
We have people visit every day to tour the factory and look at the cars up close. If you can’t make the trek to New England for a visit, Kevin Byrd (host, Two Guys Garage) can take you on a video tour with Factory Five President Dave Smith.
Some things you just have to see to believe and the component car industry should be the poster child of Ronald Reagan’s mantra – “trust, but verify”.
When we open our doors for business, we also open them to our customers for personal tours and to have a chance to get a close-up view of our products and company. Let’s face it; the best way to judge a company and its products are first hand. We welcome you to come and visit and see everything for yourself. We understand, however, that some people simply cannot make it out to Wareham for a detailed visit – so we’re bringing the factory tour to you.
Grab a pair of safety glasses and come join us as we walk through the company and introduce you to each area from the showroom to the office and technical areas and lastly, all parts of the manufacturing process.
"...When it comes to bang-for-the-buck, Factory Five Racing's Mk4 is the Molotov cocktail of replicas..."
Steve Temple, Editor Car Builder Magazine
Former Director of Marketing, Shelby American
"Brawny good looks, high quality materials, outta-my-way exhaust note, abundant thrust. A primal brute that will confirm all your mother-in-law's worst suspicions."
Larry Webster, Editor | Car & Driver Magazine
"This car really works well in the turns. It has to be one of the best handling cars I've ever driven."
Dick Smith, six-time SCCA & USRRC Champion
and all-time winningest 427 Racer.
"...We like Factory Five not only for the level of enjoyment a person can have with it strapped to his backside, but for the great engineering and business feat it is..."
Jim Smart, Editor | Mustang & Fords Magazine