818 Storms Into 2014! Updates for January 2014

Just back from the SEMA Show, where the RHD 818S scored “Top 10 Carbon Cars” honors, our favorite photographer Dino Petrocelli captured the latest 818s in his studio.

The New Factory Five 818 Storms Into 2014!

The year-end is all about milestones for the newest Factory Five.  It’s hard to believe that only a year ago we pulled the wraps off our prototype 818S and 818R models at SEMA.  Now one year later, we’ve entered production and accomplished a tremendous amount.

A few weeks ago, we built and shipped the 100th 818 kit!  A few days after that, we built the first right-hand-drive 818R (the right-hand-drive 818S is already in production).  Following the Gran Turismo Award at SEMA 2013, the New York Times declared the car  “The Best Car You Can Build Yourself”.  Grassroots Motorsports’ build-up series is ongoing and article #2 is on the newsstands now.

2014 begins at full throttle for the 818 program and it is symbollic that the 818R is featured as January in the 2014 GRM calendar. While 2013 was exciting, you can count on us to do even more in the coming year.  Have a peaceful and happy new year!

Dave Smith

New Factory Five 818 Milestone: 100th Kit Built!


Only six months after we shipped the first 818 kit in June, the crew is proud to have built and shipped 818 kit number 100! Almost as exciting is the fact that we’ve almost completely filled the 2014 production schedule for the 818. There are exactly two spaces left before we begin booking dates for the 818 in 2015!

The New York Times – “The Best Car You Can Build Yourself”

Last Sunday’s New York Times Automotive section had a great year-end article by Ezra Dyer recognizing cars of 2013 with such distinctions as “The Loudest Exhaust” (Jaguar F-type) and drumroll please… “The Best Car That You Build Yourself” (awarded to our new 818 sports car)!

“I attended the open house event where Factory Five unveiled the car, and a mob of customers validated the appeal of the concept. I’ve since driven the car, and it’s as entertaining as you’d expect of a vehicle with 265 horsepower and half the weight of a Camaro.” – Ezra Dyer, The New York Times

The Boston Globe – George Kennedy from The Boston Globe visited us here at FFR a few weeks back and had a chance to check out the manufacturing of the new 818 sports car. George also had a chance to drive the street model.

818 Soft Top Update – The 818S prototype soft top debuted at the SEMA Show, and as soon as we returned home, we sent it back to Rod Tops for some minor/final adjustments.  The good news is that we should be ready to ship soft tops in February.  Pricing will be announced shortly.

First Right Hand Drive 818R!  – Last month, the right hand drive 818S debuted at SEMA.  Last week, the 818R, in right hand drive configuration, also entered production. Welding crew Mariah and Jon with Director of Operations Nate Johnson and the first 818R RHD chassis.

Factory Five Partners with Snap-On Tools to Build 818R!

As the new year approaches, we are beginning some exciting new projects, one of which is a custom 818R build for the guys at Snap-On Tools. Snap-On Tools has done a ’33 Hot Rod project and a Mk4 Roadster project in the past. The Mk4 was shown at the 2013 SEMA Show a few months ago. Now, after seeing the 818 at SEMA, the crew at Snap-On is going to be road racing and sponsoring a competition 818R.

Director of R&D Jim Schenck (right) and engineer Colby Whipple (left) prepare to start work on the Snap-On 818R.

818R Featured in Grassroots Motorsports 2014 Calendar! – Our new 818 earned Grassroots Motorsports 2014 Editors’ Choice Award and the crew at GRM are busy building their own car in the pages of the magazine.  Pick up this month’s copy for the second installment of a 10-part build series. The Factory Five 818R also streaks across the January pages of the 2014 GRM calendar.

Factory Five engineering intern Frank Kardok got a chance at fame as he climbed behind the wheel of the 818R at Virginia International Raceway for the 2014 Grassroots Motorsports calendar.