The Aquila Gullwing is a forgotten kit car made in the 1980s by American Fibre Craft that has recently created a lot of noise for a 40-horsepower, VW-based kit car. This exact car, number 137 of 150, sold for $9,500 at Mecum in late January, and a similar one sold in June for $9,995. Plus, the original Aquila molds just sold in January. Something is afoot. If our hunches are right and someone is starting a spec racing series for these, this is your chance to be part of it. Find this 1963 Volkswagen Aquila Gullwing for $4,050 with no reserve in Austin, TX via eBay. Words by DT contributor slowcarSLOW-MPGlol.
Great pictures show excellent exterior fit and finish for a kit car. The resulting effect is outlandish proportions, like something that shouldn’t be on your computer at work. The Aquila’s gas tank is located in close proximity to the VW Type-1 1200 engine for optimal fuel line distance (surely nothing bad could come from that set-up). A generous rear vent is actually a rear vent and definitely not made from chicken wire. Original exhaust is pure art for tailgaters.
It’s “modeled after the BMW M1” as much as a Kia Amanti is modeled after a Jaguar. Don’t read into that description. Gas station gawkers will say it looks like a Bricklin SV1, Lotus Esprit S2, or Saab Sonett III (sounds like an awesome gas station) and we’re not sure who that compliments. On the inside, the Rubbermaid synthetic composite panels’ fitment won’t be mistaken for anything but a kit car’s. That wire spaghetti by the driver’s knees and duct work by the passenger’s are likely low enough to be hidden from view, and again, acceptable in a car with the “for a kit car” qualifier.
Sure, you could say Aquila should have based the Gullwing the 1969 Beetle for its double-joint axle independent rear suspension, or a 1971 for its 1600 dual port engine. You could say that someone in the market for a mid-engined two-seater with a VW engine could spend the same amount and get a Porsche 914 that ranks higher in every subjective category. Or you could enjoy this hand-crafted wedge of automotive imagery that ranks among the best VW-based kits out there.
See a better car with gullwing doors for less? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
slowcarSLOW-MPGlol knows how many licks it takes to reach the center
of a Tootsie Pop, and he’s not telling. As someone with a B+ blood type,
he considers himself an optimist. Unless it has structural rust.