A: see the pricing link.
A: It varies depending on our backlog. Usually about one month if your particular choice of frame and body is in stock. For special orders, it takes approximately six months. Some options are special order only and may take extra time, depending upon availability.
A: A $5,000 down payment starts production of your car. If the car is a special/custom order the deposit is 50%. The balance must clear the bank before the car is released. There are no other payments. Just the initial deposit and the final payment when we tell you the car is ready to go. Some customers visit to inspect the car before it leaves. Some only request photos. Some just want their car. We will work with you however you like. We encourage you to come inspect the car prior to delivery.
A: Yes, but it will be expensive and time consuming. We will sell the frame and body separate from the rest of the parts but it is more cost effective to purchase the car as a complete package. Buying the parts separately is also more expensive because of the added inventory, handling & shipping costs.
A: The customer is responsible for shipping from Provo, Utah. You are welcome to take delivery of your car in person, or have it shipped by the carrier of your choice. We use and recommend Rich's Classic Transport to ship cars in the contiguous United States. You can call them at 402.366.1848 for a quote.
A: Yes, a fuel cell is an option...BUT...fuel cells require a lot of maintenance. Fuel cell manufacturers recommend that you replace the foam inside on a yearly basis because it breaks down and clogs the fuel system. This usually lean-roasts the engine. The fuel cell bladder also has to be removed and sent to the manufacturer to be re-certified every two to three years. Our tanks are made from stainless steel and have internal baffles. Unless you need a fuel cell to meet racing rules, we recommend that you use our tanks.
A:Almost all of the wiring is completed. You will have to hook up the 3 alternator wires (stator, field, and power), the starter cable and the battery.
A: The lead time for a car depends entirely on what you order. If you order something for which we have the frame and body in stock the lead is very short--a couple of months and often less. Custom work it takes a lot longer--up to several months. A one-off variation will involve a lot of engineering work & expense. We almost always have the 427KMS/SC in stock, often the 289FIA's, very rarely any LeMans bodies. It is two months through the Polish manufacturing process and two months in transit. Then we have to put it together in our shop. So you will be about six months out, maybe longer depending on what is involved.
Contract: We use a Sales Order with Terms and Conditions. It basically describes our company policies as well as your order so we know for sure what to plan on for your car. When we make your sales order, we will give you an evaluation of the time required to get your car ready to go. Even so, things can happen that change the delivery date. We have experienced delays with radiators, side pipes, differential gears, etc. which we don't make. Sometimes we have to ship parts later than the car. If that is the case, we pay for shipping of the parts that follow the car. Other than the deposit, we don't get paid until your car is ready to go. If there is any problem with parts, we will let you know.
A: The filed finish is best for painting. There is no extra charge for this finish and it is the best finish for your painter to start with.
A: We have visitors here every week. You are always welcome Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. If you need a time other than this, just call. It is always a good idea to call before you come to ensure that we are not at a show or the track.
A: No. The bodies are aluminum.
A: Yes. Please make a list and give us a call.
A: We recommend the Tremec TKO 600 5-speed with the .82 overdrive ratio.
A: We recommend engines from the Ford FE (390, 427, 428...) or Windsor (289, 302, 351W) families depending on which replica you build.
A: Yes, for export only. For U.S. and Canadian customers we don't.
A: A completed car can weigh less than 1900 lbs. for a car with an aluminum small block and all the lightweight options, to over 2400 lbs. for a car with an iron big block.
A: We do make an aluminum hardtop for the car. However, since all our cars are hand made there is a slight variation in each car. For that reason, the top must be individually fit to each car. The top must be ordered with the car in order for it to fit.
A: Like originals, the body isn't removable. It's riveted to the frame.
A: No, not unless you are into serious modifications. You may want to get a hand rivet tool to help remove and replace splash panels. This makes it easier to install the engine and fuel tank but is not absolutely necessary. A small reciprocating saw is needed for the exhaust cutouts.
A: If you install side pipes you will need to cut a hole in the body--or, if you are a little squeamish, you can have us cut the hole for you. There is no other cutting you will need to do.
A: We use a round tube frame that is geometrically identical to the original cars. The 427 frame’s main tubes are 4” in diameter. The original 289 frame main tubes were 3” in diameter. All cars come standard with the four inch main tube frame. The three inch main tube frame is available as an option on the 289 cars. Some customers prefer the stronger four inch tubes even on the 289 cars. The 427 frame uses the coil over suspension; the three inch frame uses the older technology of the leaf spring suspension. We put your version together however you prefer. Both frames are the same as the originals.
A: Yes, the frame we use is geometrically the same as the original car frames. However, we have increased the wall thickness of the main frame tubes of the car.
A: No, original frames are mild steel painted black. We use DOM mild steel material and black powder coat. The frame is also available in stainless steel for those who prefer the panache.
A: No, the function is approximately the same.
A: It is purely a matter of aesthetics. Stainless looks really cool.
A: KMS uses aluminum for our cars for two reasons: 1. It's original. 2. Aluminum has many desirable features, making it the material of choice for many/most high-end/exotic cars. Among these features is the stability of aluminum. Neither the heat of the engine nor the sun on a hot day will warp the aluminum. The lightweight of the aluminum will work synergistically with your engine to add muscle when performance matters.
A: If aluminum were more easily worked and a bit less expensive, it would probably be the material of choice for most consumer vehicles. Aluminum is both lightweight and strong, making it a high demand metal for the aircraft industry and exotic car manufacturers. In addition to being more expensive than other materials, it requires trained craftsmen to be able to massage the metal into more than the simplest of shapes.
If fiberglass were as light and as strong as aluminum, jet fighters & 747's would be made of fiberglass.
A: There are two ways to approach the repair:
The body began as sheet aluminum. It took a lot of hammering, coaxing, beating, tapping, etc. to make it into a Kirkham. Proper repairs are a continuation of the initial fabrication. Since all Kirkhams are handmade and different, it will be hard for anybody to say for sure where the repair is and where the original seams are. If your car is brushed or polished, you have only to re-brush or re-polish the repaired area, and it really will be good as new.
Paint is, of course, different, as a seamless body no break to transition the new paint from the old, so some really good blending or a new paint job would be in order. But that is no different from the fiberglass cars—they don’t have any body lines or breaks either.
A: This might be more of a challenge. Obviously that frame has to be repaired before any work begins on the body. But think about the original cars, most of them have been repaired no matter how bad the damage. One of our customers munched his car, then bought a new frame and body to replace the old. What happened next? Somebody bought the bent frame and body and restored it. And can anyone tell? It is doubtful. But we can always provide you a replacement frame and body.
A: KMS uses an aircraft alloy that is stronger, a bit thicker (0.059" compared to 0.050"), and more dent resistant than the original aluminum used in the 1960’s. As an option we will use the original alloy if that is what the customer wants—it is far easier to work than the aircraft alloy we use.
A: We believe the bare metal looks far superior to any paint coat.
For those who really want a painted car, there are many superb painters in the world. As a customer, you need to be able to work with your painter to make sure you get what you expect. If a ding comes along, your original painter should be the best able to correct the problem, so the closer he is to you, the better.
A: Yes, aluminum can be painted just exactly the same way that steel is painted. Aluminum is technically an excellent base for paint, in fact, aluminum and steel are probably the best surfaces available for automotive paint. All the original cars were painted. We don’t paint cars because that is not our specialty.
A: The mufflers in the side pipes control most of the sound coming out of the engine. However, the carpet and foot box insulation as well as the wheel well foam will all have some effect on the sound.
A: No. Normally the engine is more than enough heat in the car but unless the car has a top, adding heater will not be very effective.
A: Currently, we use the Trigo 15 inch pin drive rims that are copies of the originals.
A: We use aluminum knock offs because they are lighter than stainless steel. Reducing rotational, unsprung mass is critical to performance.
A: Remember, Cobras, GT40's, and a host of other cars used aluminum knock offs for years in the 24 hours of Le Mans. Aluminum nuts are still used for qualifying in F1. If they will last on an F1 car and at Le Mans they are fine for street/track use.
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