For over 14 years, a Florida Man™ has provided car enthusiasts an option for when literally anything else is just too normal. The Mike Vetter ETV is an “Extra Terrestrial Vehicle” that can be plopped down onto the drivetrains of a variety of cars. Another one of these has surfaced in the UK, and it’s certainly the weirdest Chevrolet Cobalt that money could buy.
The folks of Silodrome unearthed this creation. It was for sale through a Bonhams auction, but as of writing the auction appears to have been withdrawn. I’ve recovered it through the Wayback Machine just to stare at the thing. We’ve written about this car a number of times dating all of the way back to 2009. Yet, despite all of those years the thing is still striking.
Mike Vetter got his start in the kit car world by first building Ferrari and Lamborghini kit cars riding on the humble Pontiac Fiero. Making such vehicles came at odds with the aforementioned automakers’ legal departments, so he decided to build kit cars of his own wild designs.
I’ll let alum Jason Torchinsky give you an eloquent lowdown on this ride:
ETV stands for “Extra Terrestrial Vehicle” and “Mike Vetter” stands for Mike Vetter, owner of the Kit Car Factory, a Florida-based make of elaborate body kits for Boxsters, MR2s, Chevy Cobalts, and more. His stuff looks to be pretty dramatic and probably not to everyone’s taste. Personally, I love seeing people doing novel things like this, and I think the world would be a better place with more crazy-arse kit cars out there.
So the story goes, the ETV is the result of Vetter wanting a sports car that had space for his daughter. He began modifying a car, and much like so many projects like this, it became far bigger than the original idea. I’m glad it did, because the result is incredible. I mean, how many of the cars that you’ve driven came with a five-foot-long windshield?
The spaceship-esque body is made out of fibreglass and as you could guess, the wheels are hidden behind wells.
Pull open the gullwing doors, and the illusion of something futuristic is broken by the outdated and uninspiring dashboard of a Chevrolet Cobalt.
At least you get to sit in pretty cool seats. Visibility looks frankly awful, though.
Now here’s where things get muddy. This car was on display at the London Motor Museum for many years until the museum went bust during the pandemic. Now, because of a high court ruling in the UK, it ended up on the auction block.
Bonhams doesn’t know much about the car’s powertrain, noting that at least some ETVs were built out of Chevrolet Aveos with 1.6-litre fours. Bonhams didn’t even know when it tried to auction the vehicle last year — another withdrawn auction. The dashboard suggests that this is not an Aveo.
A search of the vehicle’s VIN notes that this started life as a Chevrolet Cobalt, first registered to Vetter himself. Power should be coming from a 2.2 litre Ecotec four good for 148 HP to the front wheels.
Clearly, this is more about the looks than speed.
This example also needs work as the vehicle’s air suspension and camera systems are both non-functional. It also hasn’t run in some years. Bonhams was expecting to get $US10,400 ($14,437) – $US15,600 ($21,656) for it, a far cry from the car’s $US95,000 ($131,879) original price.
With the listing withdrawn for a second time it’s hard to tell what will happen to this car. Hopefully someone puts it back on the road someday.