In 1985 a couple of Canadian designers Paul Deutchman & Kell Warshaw manufactured in Montreal a kit car based on the first generation Honda Civic (1973-1979).
Spex Design Corporation was a kit car manufacturer based in Montreal, Canada. The company was founded by Paul Deutchman (also known for the T-Rex, Porsche Spexter and Callaway cars like the C7 Corvette and CS Camaro) and Kell Warshaw in 1985. The company made a kit called Spex Elf that was somewhere in the middle of a body kit and a kit car based on the first generation (1973-1979) Honda Civic. By cutting off the roof and side panels and adding a steel sub frame and fiberglass body it allowed a quite easy conversion of a Honda Civic into a roadster. The kit used many parts from the donor Civic, but the front light came from the Honda Accord and the rear light from Mercury Capri. The company made about 20 kits before selling the molds.
The Spex Elf was a two seater fiberglass convertible with a sub frame for added structural integrity. The styling was comparable to that of many Japanese cars of the mid to late 80’s. The Elf used the Honda chassis/drive train as well as other parts from the donor car, while the front lights came from the Honda Accord and the tail lights from the back of a Mercury Capri. A build up of the kit was featured in the September and November 1985 issues of Kit Car magazine published by Petersen’s. Kit value was approx. $3,750.00 basic and $5,995.00 for the deluxe. 20 Kits were built before the molds were sold.
The idea was fairly simple – take an early (e.g. 1970’s) Honda Civic 3-door. Cut off everything above the window sills and remove the doors and all of the bolted front panels (guards & bonnet). On to this shell was bolted a steel strengthening frame and the whole lot was then covered by a simple but elegant open body, complete with opening doors etc using the Honda hardware. The original Honda running gear was untouched so it was mechanically simple and reliable. Performance was improved a little by the slightly reduced weight. Looks and style were greatly improved.
Built on a 1978 1200 EB3 Honda Civic chassis
For more details on the design and construction click here: Kit Car