In this day and age car companies are often run by guys who have never changed an alternator, let alone engineered a car from scratch. Mark Smith is the real deal in the auto industry. He started Factory Five Racing in a small garage in Framingham, Massachusetts in 1993 by designing a cobra replica as a solo mad scientist (he actually was a chemist) while working on his MBA and day job in R&D at Avery-Dennison corp. He invited his brother Dave out to the south coast of Massachusetts a few years later and officially incorporated Factory Five Racing, Inc. As CEO of FFR he led the company from zero to 12 million in sales in an amazing 7 years. FFR became the largest component car manufacturer in the world and shipped over 10,000 kits to home car builders and professional shops over the next 25 years. Mark left the day to day management of FFR to Dave in 2002 after successfully defending FFR from the $10 million federal trademark case filed by Carroll Shelby and Ford. He later sold all of Factory Five to younger brother Dave in 2012. While the sale was progressing he joined forces with Harvard MBA and Marine Jay Rogers and co-founded Local Motors, Inc., which created a worldwide network of vehicle micro-factories and was based in Chandler, AZ. LM developed vehicles as outrageous as the "Transformers" featured Rally Fighter, the world's first 3d printed car and an amazing autonomous shuttle.
With the sale of his beloved FFR to his brother Dave as the backdrop, Smyth Performance was launched as Mark's third car company and the result of a four year effort after the Factory Five Sale. This time Mark knew that he wanted to focus on easier to build kits based on existing vehicle platforms and systems that customers could build yet drive every day. The mark 4 VW (1999.5-2004) was the first car to be modified as it is arguably one of the highest quality and longest lasting small cars in the world. Mark was limited for 5 years in his non-compete clause in the sale of Factory Five to just modifying VW Jettas. So with this constraint, he seized on the beautiful dash, floorpan, mechanicals(the only small car with a diesel, 1.8T and VR6 engine range) and safety features of the mark 4 VW as the basis for his next kit car company. What started as a go-fast mid engined diesel sports car project and shop car-truck concept in 2012 has blossomed into a growing company that transforms Jeeps,VW's, Audis,Chargers and Subarus into sporty trucks or "utes".
The founding principle of Smyth Performance is to use as much of the modern automobile as possible in the build of a component car. Everything that makes the car work remains where it originally is supposed to be, we simply designed a complete system of panels and sub-frame assemblies to reinforce these already robust platforms and transform them into a beautifully strong small truck. The result cruises the highway like the sporty cars that they are, while allowing you to use a 5-6 foot bed(7 foot plus with the functional steel tailgate down) for your stuff that you carry with you in life. An extruded aluminum 1/8" thick bed floor bolted to a thick "b" pillar plate support structure and thick aluminum bed walls, allow the street cruisers a beautiful custom finish while providing the strength and durability that make it a great work truck when needed.
Mark is joined by Kim, Casey, Cooper and Tim as well as a great crew of molders next door. We all drive the models we sell. The cars designed in this shop are fun to build, safe to drive, and provide a performance/fun/price ratio never seen before in the kit car industry.