John’s “Aardvark”, FFR Mk 4 build

Factory Five customer Col. Gale L. from Michigan purchased a Factory Five Mk4 Roadster complete kit. He successfully installed the running gear and brake lines, displaying his enthusiasm for the project. Unfortunately, due to health complications after his service as an Air Force pilot, Gale faced limitations in progressing further with the build.

A fortunate turn of events occurred when Gale’s brother Neil introduced him to Factory Five friend, John Phillips.

Generously, Gale decided to sell the kit to John, who is committed to completing the project and driving it for a charitable endeavor. Together, they are turning a dream into a force for good!

In 2021, John drove to Michigan to pick up the kit, and loosely assembled it with Gale and Neil before making the trailer trip back to North Carolina. 

Fast forward to summer 2022, and the final construction began. John’s grandson Jack documented, and traveling mechanic Brendan Dougherty joined to help with wiring and the engine, which ran perfectly!

On September 5, 2023, they installed the body. John’s plan is to finish, register, insure, and take a drive in the gelcoat before sending it to Jeff Kleiner for bodywork. Why the rush? John plans on driving the car in a 5,000-6,000 mile charity road trip in May 2024.

What makes this build special is that it is dedicated to Col. Gale L., a retired Air Force pilot who couldn’t finish it due to health issues. John named the car ‘Aardvark’ after the F-111 bomber aircraft. It’s a Mk4 complete kit with a souped-up crate engine, and upgrades like electric power steering. John added “Jeff Kleiner’s paint artistry will make this the prettiest Aardvark ever seen!”

In May 2024, John will drive Aardvark on Route 66 to raise funds for Cystic Fibrosis, Colon Cancer, and Children’s Health charities. Follow his journey and get involved at Aardvark will rack up 5-6,000 miles, continuing a legacy of FFR travels!