Read The July 2014 Editor’s Letter – When A Replica Is A Restomod


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

Fortunately, the majority of the toupees have vanished, replaced by accurate replicas of classic sports cars, depending 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 alternate.

While most people think of the AC Cobra, GT40 or Porsche 356 once you mention a replica, there are several alternatives that you should 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 business has altered the body slightly to make it more muscular, and fitted late-model 911 wheels under it, with big brakes along with a modified 2.7L engine.

Admittedly, it won't entice the purists, but they're still capable of build a precise replica once they choose. But restomodding a classic sports vehicle like the 550 Spyder is a thing 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 make new interpretations of the cars we love. And all sorts of at a small fraction of the cost of the genuine article.


This issue has something of a budget theme. We've transformed our 2008 Audi TT 2.0T in to a RS replica at a small fraction of the cost of the genuine article. We've also covered an Audi A5 project from Black Forest Industries that aimed to mimic the performance from 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 happen to be within our budget, as well as those we might aspire to.


Hopefully you caught our Range Rover video to accompany last month's test at 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 when the Toyota might be more fun around the track.

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

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