It looks like the open source model can work for building new cars after all. We finally managed to track down the Local Motors Rally Fighter here at SEMA, and it is even more awesome in person than in pics. The interior on this pre-production car obviously still needs some work, but the rest is really impressive. Looking like some crazy mashup of a fighter plane and a SCORE rally truck, we hope this is the vehicle Mel Gibson picks to replace the last of the V8 Interceptors in Mad Max 4.
We spent some time around the vehicle, soaking in all of the details, listening to the reactions of passers-by, and talking to the folks from Local. The passion of the principles is obvious and it's clear that the vehicle has been well thought-out. While much of the Rally Fighter is unique, they weren't bashful about borrowing off-the-rack parts where they knew good ones already existed – Ford F-150 uprights that have been proven at Baja, a Mercedes bumper support system, Fox off-road shocks, a healthy but frugal BMW diesel from the 335d, and the list goes on and on.
Local Motors CEO, Jay Rogers, also pointed out some of the fighter plane styling cues that made it into the final Sangho Kim design. We especially like the cockpit-like greenhouse and the P-51 Mustang-inspired underbody flaring. Jay says the company has already taken 34 orders and that customers will be able to help build their cars by June of next year.
That's right, you get to spend some time with the Local Motors gang, either at their current home in Massachusetts, or at a future facility in Phoenix. They'll spend two weeks with you teaching you how to build your own Rally Fighter, never assuming too much of the owners. We like to think of it as a type of Habitat for Humanity for car people where you put some sweat equity into your new property. We look forward to getting behind the wheel of this beast soon, heck, we'd love to build one ourselves, but until then you can read the press release and view the gallery below.