Several months ago, the Globe visited Local Motors in Wareham, a kit builder that challenged an Internet full of aspiring car designers to create a wild, one-off ride for series production. At the time, the Rally Fighter, chosen from more than 21,000 submissions and 1,600 users on Local-Motors.com, was only a scale model (and at full size, a wooden mock-up). Now the company, run by retired Marine John Rogers, Jr., is taking $99 deposits on their $50,000 Baja-style off-roader.
Local Motors — and the buyers themselves — will build a maximum of 3,000 Rally Fighters, each with a custom-designed vinyl wrap (as shown in the P-51 Mustang-like graphic above) and adjustable ride-height suspension. The chassis and various parts connecting with OEM-sourced components are made in-house.
Local Motors hasn't revealed the entirety of those OEM pieces, but the gem is the Rally Fighter's 3.0 liter twin-turbo diesel from the BMW 335d, which bellows 425 foot-pounds of torque at 1,750 r.p.m. Power steering, anti-lock brakes, a double-A arm front suspension and solid rear axle round out the mechanical specs, but there's still no word on transmissions or what the interior will look like and offer for comfort and convenience.
But luxury isn't the Rally Fighter's mission. This is a road-legal car that, with some modifications, should be race-ready for the dunes. More details on the Rally Fighter should emerge as orders arrive and the first owners begin their building experience.
We hope to land a first drive before the year ends, with the car wrapped like one of our green Boston Globe delivery trucks. Impossible? Not with these guys.
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