Poor man's Elise: 1,500 pounds, 170 HP, $25k

Our infatuation with the lightest means of four-wheeled transport has put a number of cars on our must-have list. Today, it's grown by one. La Bala, Spanish for "The Bullet" is the brainchild of Steve Graber, "an average guy in an average garage," whose only goal was to distill outright performance into a compact package.

Beginning with a friend's MR2, Mr. Graber, now the founder of Graber Cars, stripped the mid-engined coupe down to the frame, performed a number of chassis modifications, and then clothed his masterpiece in simple, yet attractive, body panels. The dry weight of La Bala is an even 1,500 pounds, and when mated to a 1.6-liter, 170 HP turbocharged motor, allows the quirky track toy to reach 60 MPH in a mere 4.3 seconds.

Pricing for the kit was just announced and it comes in at cool $25 grand, sans engine and transmission. His site, Grabercars.com, has an overabundance of information about La Bala, including videos and a journal of the buildup. We're only halfway through it now, but we're totally sold.

[Source: Grabercars.com via Inside Line]

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