Bravery and insanity. Two essential traits for a buyer of a second hand custom built car. You need the former because anyone who shakes the hand of a mechanic/engineer/shed owner to purchase their bespoke one-off masterpiece is taking a right old leap of faith into the unknown. You also need to be mad, because it is almost inevitable that this leap of faith will see you dive head first into a money pit so deep you'll be headbutting koalas before the next MOT.
In short, beware the custom car.
Unless, of course, it is built by a company that is an expert in the art of bespoke production. Then the potential of financial ruin is drastically reduced and you could find yourself owner of a special that's built to a very high standard. Just look at the ever-popular replica market, for example, where buyers can own lookalike models of vintage sports and supercars for a fraction of the price and enjoy miles of reliable motoring.
A good example of such comes with a GT40 replica built by British company GTD. The company's GTD40 model that looked like Ford's iconic Le Mans-winning sports car but used a completely bespoke ladder chassis developed in-house by GTD. It also used a proven and reliable Ford-sourced 5.0-litre V8 mounted amidships - like a proper GT40 - sending more than 250hp through a five-speed gearbox, so it was quick but fairly simple to maintain. Little wonder that used examples of GTD40s still fetch well over £80k on the classifieds.
Today's spotted is much more special than even these, however. It comes from the same maker and even uses the same ladder chassis and V8 engine. But its body harks from the more humble beginnings of a Mini pick-up to create possibly the fastest, genuinely usable custom 'Mini' on the classifieds. It's truly one of the most bonkers custom cars this side of GTD's V8-powered milk float (seriously, see it here) and as rare as they come because, well, they only ever made one.
Far from a shed build, the half-Mini-half-GT40 replica uses adjustable rose-jointed suspension with coilovers and aluminium hubs with vented brake discs. The GT40-replica chassis that underpins it is much wider than a Mini pick-up body, obviously, so the tracks have been covered by enormous aluminium and fibreglass arches. Such is the standard of work that previous owners have used the car in the competitive environment of hill climbs.
At £15k it's not exactly pocket money, but as far as custom cars go, a specialist-built, V8-powered one-off must rank pretty highly as one of the most appealing models of the used market.
See the original advert here.