Resto-mod's all the rage, and you saw that throughout the 2017 SEMA tradeshow in Las Vegas. Below are three standout European car-based projects from the show floor that set jaws dropping, thumbs typing, and imaginations ablaze.
JOHN & EDISON SARKISYAN'S 1963 PORSCHE 356 & 1968 912
Our first entry is a two-for, and boy do they set the bar almost impossibly high. The Sarkisyan brothers' matching restored Porsche sat in the Toyo Tires Treadpass booth in between the Central and South Halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center and draw inspiration from the likes of contemporary keepers of the Porsche faith Rod Emory and Rob Dickinson. Alternately spare yet completely ornate, the cars are a platform for insane artisanship; you need look no further than the intricate copper detailing, upholstery, and leather work throughout both builds, seemingly more suited for lowriders we thought until seeing these cars. Both Nardo gray masterpieces roll on aptly matched Fifteen52 Outlaw rims, and John was in the running for SEMA 2017's Battle of the Builders for the 356.
WILLY IZAGUIRRE'S 1973 BMW CSL 3.0
Izaguirre hauled his CSL to Las Vegas from New York on an open trailer, which strikes us as pretty gutsy considering it was a display vehicle in the biggest aftermarket industry tradeshow on the planet. Luckily the classic Bimmer survived the commute, and it's a good thing, too, because passersby in the Toyo Treadpass could not stop themselves from staring. Going for a motorsports theme, the E9 rocks a Group-4 widebody conversion, single-lug BBS Motorsport wheels, and a damn near perfect carbon-fiber dash. Motivation comes from a swapped turbocharged S52 mill out of an E36 generation M3, updating power by some 20 years.
EMORY MOTORSPORTS' 1960 PORSCHE 356B T5 COUPE "RSR OUTLAW"
Rod Emory's Franken-Porsche wasn't ready for SEMA but he still set it up in the Momo booth so enthusiasts could get a look at the bonkers project so far (we've been told it will be ready for 2018's Rennsport Reunion). Emory is basically taking the high-performance bits from a 964-type RSR — a racing spec version of the 911 from the 1990s — and adapting them to a 1950s-era sports car (hence the hashtag #356RSR). The photos seem to suggest right now the tunnel, rear seat area, and suspension and engine mounting points from the 964 are in, while the floor pans, forward trunk, and greenhouse and doors are pretty clearly 356. Custom 935-inspired five-spoke Momo wheels are at each corner, and when it's done it will supposedly have a one-off 964-based flat-4.