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Differences between Ford/VW Bodies

Home Forums MGTD Kit Cars My Project Differences between Ford/VW Bodies

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    Bill Saurber


    Does anyone here know the difference between the bodies of the FiberFab kits from the VW based to the Ford based?  The reason I ask is I think I am about to “inherit” someone’s project and I’d like to make it into a front engine job from a v-dub based kit.  I know the front engine car needs a frame (no problem) and the front engine kits also had a floor tub of sorts to glass in.  Is there really any significant differences besides those that anyone has knowledge of?  If there is no good reason why it can’t work I may build a tube frame for it and transplant Honda vtec power or Toyota in it and make a screamin’ little beastie out of it.  If anybody has already done this I’d like to hear from them.  Thanks a million!

    Mark Hendrickson


    I’ve built both a VW and a Ford based CMC (FiberFab) TD kit. and they bodies are TOTALLY DIFFERENT. The amount of work involved doing what you describe is not worth the effort (my opinion). 

    First, the bodies are not even the same size. The VW TD body is smaller and the fenders are different (narrower). Their wheelbases are not the same, the Ford body, being slightly longer as well as wider. There is really not much in common other than the TD styling shape, the doors and grille. The bonnet and boots are not even the same.

    If you don’t want to build it as a VW based TD why not sell it to someone who does…put the cash towards finding a Ford based TD or whatever.

    The car you describe building is out there. It just doesn’t have the TD Body. These kits are much more economical to build too. Most of them are based on the design of the Caterham or Lotus 7.

    Next weekend is the Carlisle (PA) Import-Kit/Replica Nationals. These “pocket rocket” manufacturers will be there. You can also get more info from the Kit Car Magazines. Who knows, maybe there will be a used or unfinished project Ford based TD kit there too?

    Good luck…

    Steve Crites


    As a current owner of a Ford based TD, and the previous owner of 4 VWs, my 2cents agrees with PinkMG.

    You say the frame is “no problem”, but realize that not only would it be a complete frame from stem to stern,  but the body would have to be widened as well as lengthened due to  the need to change the running gear to front engine/rear drive. Unless you are a fabricator or own a shop the cost involved  would be  like puttin’ a forty dollar saddle on a ten dollar mule.

    I had to look for a while to find a Ford based TD since I knew I didn’t want a VW based. (been there, done that).  If you’re willing to build a whole frame then the sky is the limit and I wouldn’t limit myself to a TD  (even if I do love mine!!)

    Good Luck!

    Bill Saurber


    Well that answers that I suppose.  For the record though, I have my own machine shop and do fabricating and welding as well.  I have scratch-built frames for tubbed street rods and the like so I wasn’t really worried about that part.  I also have pretty good working knowledge of vw’s from building 6 rail buggys over the years.  Having no knowledge of these bodies (yet) I figured I’d ask.  I don’t know why the body would “have” to be lengthened and widened due to front engine rear drive.  We’ve stuffed v-8’s into chevettes, vegas, mgb’s, and even a big block in a late sixties beetle with a full cage, front engine, mustang II suspension, etc, but I guess I’ll have to size up the body a little better when I get hold of it.  I was mainly looking to see if there were any truly negative reasons why it wouldn’t be practical, and I have my answer now.  I’ll know more about this thing soon enough I suppose.  As to why I would want to vs. something else; I’ve always liked these kits since I was a kid, they have great classic lines, and I like doing things a little different than the next guy.  That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t v-dub this one and get another one to play with.  From what I read here it appears that once you have one, they get under your skin pretty good and you starting looking for another to save…

    Mark Hendrickson



    The VW body is made to bolt to a VW floor pan. It had no floor and the “rocker rails” are totally different than the Ford or Chevy bodies. the Ford and Chevy bodies have a molded fiberglass floor that the body gets bonded to. The rear TD “gas tank” piece is also different as are the splash plans. On the VW it’s a hinged engine cover. On the Ford/Chevy it’s fixed and shaped different.

    I agree the TD has “classic” lines. If I had the $$, I’d have a 99 point restored one.

    In 2001-2002, had an un built Ford based CMC TD kit. I bought it from a guy that had it “hidden” from his wife in his attic!

    The frame was 2×4 mild steel. I had planned to build a Cobra killer road racer, leaving the body white gelcoat and everything else powder coated bright red except for the grille, headlights and bumpers. Here’s what I had stockpiled for the build:

    3.8L Buick V6 (heavily machined, balanced, roller cam, roller rockers, performance rods, MSD distributor and 6AL box, Edelbrock, Holley 500 cfm 2bbl, .030″ over forged KB pistons), TH200R4 “tricked out” trans, 13 gallon ATL Fuel Cell, in dash Autometer gauges, road racing oil pan, 8″ Ford rear with 3.55 posi, 11″ rear disc w/GM “G” body calipers, aluminum driveshaft, coil over rear suspension, torque arm w/panhard bar, pinion mouned disc parking brake, coil over/tubular Mustang II front suspension using 11″ Ford Granada rotors and the same GM “G” body calipers as the rear, Griffin radiator, Minilite 15×8 racing wheels, ceramic coated headers and side pipes, 4 point roll bar, Kirkey vintage racing seats, the list goes on.

    I ended up selling the the car as a rolling chassis with the body and the balance of kit’s body parts sitting on it. The retired California buyer wanted the stock Pinto 2.3L/3 spd Automatic and all the suspension and running gear from the Pinto donor car I had. He wanted it built “stock”. He had it shipped from NJ to CA to boot!

    I am using most of the other stuff in my 1940 Ford Sedan, except the Buick V6. I sold that to a road racer to use in a “spec” car. He said it’s scary fast in his 1,300 pound car.

    I put a 4.3L Chevy V6 on steroids in the 40 Ford. I sold the gutted Pinto to the Garden State Vintage Stock Car Club who was restoring a ’70’s asphalt oval modified stock car.


    Pink MG39605.4455902778

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