Many years ago I had the honor of testing out the Factory Five GTM. Truth is I wish I was filming back then the way I am now as it would be a completely different journey. Every time I run across one it's such a unique opportunity. These cars are literally as rare as hen's teeth, to associate a phrase. Most people wouldn't even know what it was if they even had an opportunity to witness this unique kit car in person. To see one in the wild seems impossible and yet I've seen probably a hundred in person thanks to my geographic distance to the factory that produces them.
Factory Five is a kit car company that specialized in Cobra kit cars for many years, but decided to expand beyond their meager roots and build something special. The GTM was the results. It can be powered by just about anything, but most prefer the LS series GM V8 motors that are notorious engine swaps and very plentiful. The GTM is perfect to contain one as its pounding heart, wrapped in a tubular frame.
To drive one is a special experience. Unlike manufactured cars that have many ways of reducing sound and making it more leisurely for the driver the GTM makes no promises and takes no quarter. It will happily make you aware of the powerful engine mere inches from your back while explaining in detail every bump in the road complete with footnotes. The feeling of sitting in the car is something like sitting directly on the ground it's so low and the window, albeit's tall appearance from outside, feels more like a peering through a slit cut from the frame as an after thought, a favor for the driver as the front fascia attempts to rise up to block what little view is left. To put it lightly, this is what driving a race car feels like. The driver is almost secondary to performance.
Although performance is based on the builder's goals and inevitably the depths of his pockets, the GTM does well regardless of the powerplant. The car is built to cut through the air, as it was wind tunnel tested like a jet, and its weight is reduced to the mere minimum to still keep it legal on the street.
Once it's all done what you get is something more than a supercar and slightly less than a purpose built race car, but due to its customizable nature it literally whatever you want it to be... as long as it's fast.
When the GTM's design first went to paper in 2002, but when it hit in 2008 it revolutionized how we saw kit cars and Factory Five. By 2010 350 GTMs had been sold. The GTM went through many phases, from just a kit car to companies building turn-key kits for customers and those dreaming of a production version using it as a platform, but that never really found fruition, leaving the number of GTMs low and in the hands of the most studious hobbyists.
Factory Five has moved on to bigger and better projects since, such as the F9R and new Baja Truck, but the GTM will forever be the car that started it all and it's still relevant to this day.
If you want to consider one you can head over to Factory Five at this link: click here.