Rare Car Network

Rare Car Network
Unique Classics, Replicas and Build Culture
						Bivens Ffr Gtm 4
School of Rock

From build school to the driver's seat in an FFR GTM

As told by Michael R. Bivens

Photos by Steve Temple

Owning a high-performance sports car was always on my bucket list, but a friend introduced me to Factory Five Racing in 2008 as an alternative to the Porsches and Corvettes I’d been considering. After all, the streets are filled with production sports cars, and Factory Five’s GTM stands out as a one of a kind ride that you can build yourself.

Of course, that sort of endeavor is not for everyone, but I’d restored a 1971 Challenger R/T and a 1973 Jeep CJ5 previously, so I knew I had the basic skills to take on a project of this size. So with a little begging and groveling, I convinced my wife of 41 years that this would satisfy my need for speed. Before ordering the kit though, I went through the due diligence of fact-checking Factory Five and following the FFR blogs for build issues and solutions, getting closer and closer to pulling the trigger.

The next big step forward came in December of 2009, when my wife signed me up for the Mott Community College FFR build program as a Christmas present. Armed with the knowledge from building a Cobra at the school, and applying the tuition towards a kit discount, I ordered the GTM.

Next on the to-do list was locating the Corvette donor car, which I purchased in Texas and shipped to California. Step two was locating the Porsche G50 transaxle, which turned out to be one of the biggest challenges. Many internet searches and finally a tip from an off-road enthusiast led me to Sacramento to find a wrecked 911 turbo, fitted with a six-speed LSD transaxle.

With parts in hand and after disassembling the Corvette, the build finally started in 2010. Like most projects it was a lot of late nights and full weekends in the beginning. As time wore on though, other projects and work replaced the dream of building my own car. Then in 2010 I buckled down, and completed the go-cart stage of the build. It was then that I was able to drive my GTM down the street for the first time.

Hoping for inspiration, I entered the Factory Five Huntington Beach Cruise-In in April of 2010. To my surprise, I won the award for Best Under Construction.

With the bones of the car complete I decided to trust the completion of bodywork and final assembly to VRaptor SpeedWorks in Iowa. The owner Shane Vacek handled the fitment, fiberglass and final paint, adding carbon fiber accents to the House of Kolor Ice Pearl Yellow.

Vying for another trophy, I went back to the FFR Huntington Beach event in 2015, and my car won second place in the Best GTM category. Looking back on the experience, all four and a half years, it definitely took longer than I expected to get the car completed. But it was well worth the time and energy to own a supercar that’s truly one of a kind.

Comments for: School of Rock

comments powered by Disqus

Related Stories You Might Like

Filed Under

Factory Five GTM