By Tom Gillespie @TomGillespie1
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Videographer / Director: Michael Vetter
Producer: Tom Gillespie, Nick Johnson
Editor: Kyle Waters
Outlandish Michael Vetter takes ‘donor cars’ from paying customers, and makes a series of modifications to create his extraterrestrial vehicles - or ‘ETVs’ as he calls them.
The 42-year-old family-man, who owns custom garage The Car Factory in Micco, Florida, came up with the idea after the birth of his daughter, when he was unable to squeeze her car-seat into his sports car.
Michael said: “My wife Shannon and I had our baby girl.
“We had driven and owned many two-seater sports cars as this is what we do for fun and work.
“We do not drink or smoke, so our social time was mostly cars.
“Once we had our little girl we could no longer drive a two-seater and be together.
“At this point I started drawing up sports cars with a back seat for the baby seat.
“These cars ended up looking too weird to consider a sports car so I went completely off the deep-end and decided futuristic could work.
“I used a Chevrolet Aveo when building the first ETV.”
Michael’s wacky-looking creations are always road-worthy and can hit speeds of up to 100mph.
He started building the ETVs in 1998 as his sole source of income.
And now he has converted everything from a Toyota Prius to a Porsche Boxster into one of his futuristic models, which have sold from as much as $75,000 to a staggering $250,000.
The horsepower of his space-age road cars have ranged from 95bhp to 300bhp and the creative process begins with splitting the original car in two.
Michael said: "The modifications I make to the donor car usually include cutting the car in half and stretching it to get a longer wheel base.
“I use steel tubular metal to build a complete new frame inside of my custom fiberglass body.
“I fiberglass this frame to the body, and then weld this frame to the donor car in at least 20 places.
“I try to find headlights from other cars.
“The ETV glass however has to all be custom made. This is a very expensive endeavour.
“Next I usually build my own door hinges from scratch out of steel and or aluminum.”