"Restomodders iron out the stuff that couldn't be figured out properly when the car was originally designed."
STORY BY Mr. Rudi Venter – General Manager (Marketing), Audi Singapore
I love this idea of taking iconic, poster-worthy cars and making them up-to-date and so, so desirable. I’m of course referring to the craze of Restomods. Not a month goes by without someone, working in a shed and whom you’ve never heard of before, pulling the wraps off a re-engineered icon.
The best part is that 'Restomods' normally manage to iron out all the tricky stuff they couldn’t figure out properly when the car was originally designed – silly things like electrics, air-conditioning and braking. On top of that, they use new-fangled composite construction methods, fix the ergonomics and, more often than not, dramatically improve the way they drive. I guess, ultimately, making them the cars they were always meant to be.
The first true Restomod I recall taking an interest in was Eleanor, from the 2000 film Gone in 60 seconds. Of course the original film from 1974 featured a Ford Mustang Mk 1, but I much prefer the Shelby Mustang GT500 from the later movie. The best part is you can buy an Eleanor just like in the movie – for a small fortune of course.
Let’s talk for a moment about Singer. What they do to classic, air-cooled Porsche 911s is just on another level. I refer to its last creation – the one Singer worked on with Williams Advanced Engineering to create. I have never, ever had such a strong urge to sell a kidney or even one of my kids to get one. My goodness, it's a super-sexy thing!
I could go on for a while. What about the 1973 Alfa Romeo GTV 2000 Restomod. I saw one for sale on petrolicious.com at US$55k recently. That’s almost affordable… Or the MINI Remastered, by David Brown Automotive.
But the one that very really nearly pushed me over the edge was a remastered 80s rally superstar – the Lancia Delta Integrale Futurista. Like with Singer, the attention to detail is fanatical on the Futurista. And they paid attention to all the important stuff: They made the ridiculously wide wheelarches even wider, the rear spoiler even bigger, added a clamshell bonnet, sorted out the interior, and 'honored' the wheels by keeping true to the looks of the original. I. Need. To. Have. This. Car.
But, I hear you say, surely the quirks of the original are what made them special. Isn’t that what made these cars so iconic in the first place? And yes, you would be right, but I don’t mind knowing that my Integrale Futurista will start every morning, keep me cool with working air-conditioning and not leak fluids during the drive. And, from the outside at least, you are behind the wheel of an iconic machine – with few of the compromises.
There are two other cars I believe are ripe for the resto treatment: The venerable DeLorean (don’t judge me) and the Audi Sport Quattro. I want the DeLorean because of its cult status, gull-wing doors and stainless steel construction, but it would be even more awesome without the asthmatic Renault V6, sloppy suspension and wayward handling.
And the Quattro? Well, that’s perhaps not surprising coming from me. This car ticks all the right boxes: Performance, engineering, character and exclusivity, and a restomod version would just be epic – complete with a five-cylinder turbo, of course.