Here's something a bit different for this week's Ratty Rescue. There are rare cars, and there are Jackrabbit Speedsters. Apparently, fewer than 25 of these build-it-yourself cars were made; who knows how many still exist. It's perfect for someone looking for a truly unique ride.
Back in the 1990s, a former General Motors engineer sought to make a modern kit car. Unlike the Beetle-based kit cars of the 60s and 70s, the Jackrabbit Speedster uses modern watercooled engines and are front-wheel drive. Jackrabbits have a unique tube frame, so only the drivetrain and suspension are needed from a donor car.
This particular Speedster appears to have an interesting history. Herb Adams, the designer and engineer, allegedly built all the Jackrabbits, and this may be the original prototype. You'll need to do your homework to be sure. In doing our own research, a number of links popped up for classified ads for this very car in March and August of 2017. Since then the car has found its way to Reno, Nevada from Carmel, California and we stumbled upon it on craigslist.
In addition to moving, the car has also had some mechanical work done. The seller states the car starts and runs. The brakes now work properly. The seller updated the fuel injection system. The Jackrabbit has a new clutch cable and four "good" tires (the ad does not say they are new). Some things the car still needs: working gauges, fiberglass repairs, headlights, windshield wiper. The scissor 'doors' don't work: they are bolted in place, sadly.
So if you're looking for a unique project, this could be the car for you. While it won't set the world on fire with a 1.6L Rabbit engine, you can install just about any VW engine. This car is screaming for a 2.0L 16V engine with a freeflow exhaust. Since there's no top you can bask in the glorious sounds as you search for curvy back roads. Did we mention the car only weighs 1500 pounds? Marketing materials from the 90s stated the Jackrabbit could pull over 1G on the skidpad with decent tires.
Check out the ad on craigslist . The car is in Reno Nevada, and the seller is asking $5,000.