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July 2013 Editor's Letter - When A Replica Is A Restomod

Greg Emmerson
Sep 16, 2013

The kit car industry has been its worst enemy, creating Frankenstein cars for men in shiny jackets. It's a bit like a bad wig: you try to pretend it's the real thing but everybody can see it isn't. Embarrassing...

Fortunately, most of the "toupees" have vanished, replaced by accurate replicas of classic sports cars, based on chassis with superior handling to the originals.

So while Ezekiel keeps visiting concours events and classic car auctions, tempting us with cars we'll never afford, we thought it might be fun to look at an alternative.

While most people think of the AC Cobra, GT40 or Porsche 356 when you mention a replica, there are lots of alternatives for you to choose from. As well as the Porsche 550 Spyder replica featured here, the same company could build you a gorgeous Porsche 718-RSK or 904/6 Carrera GTS. They even have a Ferrari 250 GTO.

What attracted us to the 550 Spyder from Carrera Coachwerks was the restomod approach taken during its construction. The company has altered the body slightly to make it more muscular, and fitted late-model 911 wheels under it, with big brakes and a modified 2.7L engine.

Admittedly, it won't appeal to the purists, but they're still able to build an exact replica if they choose. But restomodding a classic sports car like the 550 Spyder is something you could never do to the real thing, making this car somewhat unique.

We have to think CCW is onto something here. Applying new mechanicals to classic shapes to create new interpretations of the cars we love. And all at a fraction of the cost of the genuine article.

Budget

This issue has something of a budget theme. We've transformed our 2008 Audi TT 2.0T into a RS replica at a fraction of the cost of the real thing. We've also covered an Audi A5 project from Black Forest Industries that aimed to mimic the performance of the S5 model. While Jeff Lockhart has spent nine years building his 2003 VW Jetta into one of the cleanest cars you'll ever see.

So while we can't all own the latest Porsche or Lamborghini, we can still enjoy and appreciate the cars that are within our budget, as well as those we might aspire to.

Video

Hopefully you caught our Range Rover video to accompany last month's test at europeancarweb.com or saw our FR-S vs GTI vs M3 video is on Motor Trend's YouTube channel in the Head2Head section. Admittedly, we took some stick for deciding the GTI was a better car than the FR-S, even if the Toyota might be more fun on the track.

As we mentioned, we have more videos planned but a series of logistical problems meant we have nothing this month. However, we're hoping next month's cover story will bring another dose of European performance that will get everybody talking.

If you often struggle to find your copy of european car magazine on the newsstand, why not subscribe at europeancarweb.com - It's only $11.97 for one year, $23.94 for two. You can also get our digital edition on your phone, tablet or computer for $11.99.

Greg Emmerson
Editor
european.car@sorc.com

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By Greg Emmerson
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