Earlier, Mad Science had a post with a high-desert Fiberfab kit car that could be yours for only a few benjemins. Now, in case you’re presently the high-bidder on that eBay auction – or just wondered what it took to build a kit car in the ’70s – we’ve got the crudely illustrated assembly manual for you to flip through.
If you like a challenge – and own a Sawzall® – then you could build a Jamaican. The original car was designed to fit onto the frame of any Triumph TR, or Austin Healey 3000 – cars that today go for a lot of money, but back then were just cheap old cars. A funny aside noted in the manual is the following, also representative of the state of sports cars in the early 1970s:
A NOTE OF INTEREST: A Japanese import appeared on the American market in 1970. An immediate hit with the American people, the import bore a remarkable resemblance to our JAMAICAN series. Not surprising though, since it has been reported that a Fiberfab JAMAICAN V8 was in the possession of the American importer of this car, some 18 months before the imported two-seater appeared on the American market.
Not only did the Jamaican require the sacrifice of a car that, in hindsight, it would have been a better investment to leave intact, but the design required some somewhat esoteric parts to complete, including a Corvette windshield and ’66 Mustang fastback rear glass. Thankfully the tail lamps only required the killing of a Pinto or Maverick. An interesting factoid is that the Jamaican nose was originally intended to fit onto the ’66 Mustang, to freshen, and give it a more European look. Some Jamaicans slapped onto the willowy British chassis eschewed their donor-powering iron lumps for Mustang-like V8 horsepower, as the body and lack of complete inner-fenders provided plenty of room. The car that’s presently up on eBay looks to be a Jamaican II, which fits the VW Beetle platform, limiting your engine choices a bit.
The assembly manual feels somewhat incomplete, but then so did the cars when originally sold. Building a kit car is sort of like removing your own appendix, something not for the feint of heart, and most were probably completed without consultation of the manual at all.
Fiberfab went out of business years ago, but the kit car community never says die and there remains today a dedicated individual cranking out new Valkyrie bodies and chassis, and hosting the history and legacy of Fiberfab’s founder, Warren “Bud” Goodwin.
Fiberfab US not only hosts the manual for the Jamaican, but for the original GT-40 aping Valkyrie, and gull-wing Aztec 7. You can grab the full Jamaican Manual here. Browse all the manuals here, or crack open a Red Stripe and read the Fiberfab family history.