Why I don't like Restomods
I just want to start off by saying that I have nothing against what people choose to do with their cars. So long as they're not a risk to others, anyone should be free to do whatever, buy whatever and swap whatever with their cars. Therefore, I have nothing against people who choose to have a restomodded car.
People love the idea of a classic car with modern internals; in the same way that people would love to live in a Georgian house with televisions that rise up and heaters which can be controlled from an app on your phone. It's kind of a style and familiarity thing, I guess.
For me though, restomods are not my cup of coffee. And today, I'm going to be doing my best to explain why.
Pictured above is a Mercedes W111 Coupe with a modern AMG V8 crammed into it. You can actually order one to be done for around £400,000; and with it, you also get some more advanced air conditioning and new electrical gubbins installed in the cabin.
But I'm guessing you were surprised at the price, right? Because that's a big reason as to why these restomods don't appeal to me.
I'm not saying I don't like them purely because they're expensive - that'd be ridiculous. But usually, the cost of modernising classic cars costs substantially more than it does to just buy an original example.
I mean, you can get a 280SE 3.5 Coupe (flagship V8 one, for those who don't know) from around £80,000. It's still pricey, but it's undeniably better value than the AMG kitted-out one. To me, it's an absolute no brainer.
The same applies for all of them: the David Brown Mini is 100 grand for some silly reason, the Eagle Spyder GT costs more than the moon, and the list simply doesn't end.
Another issue - and this is my main one - is that with a restomodded car: you're just not getting the real deal. What do I mean by that?
Take the Singer 911 for instance: they start with an original 964, take it apart and convert it into a custom-built 60's lookalike. It's a very nicely-done 60's lookalike, for sure. But it's just not a 911 from the 60s, no matter how hard they try. And I don't know about you, but sacrificing an original 964 to create a hugely-expensive replica is an awful shame to me.
In the case of the Eagle Speedster: yes, it's based off an E-Type. But it's not the car that Enzo Ferrari described as the most beautiful in the world. It's not the one that captured the imagination of every young celebrity in the swinging 60s. It's just not the real deal, rather than a re-bodied version that's meant to be updated. In other words, you may have an E-Type underneath. But you sort-of haven't on a moral level.
For me, having a classic car is also having a piece of history. A time capsule from how things used to be. Swapping out vital components is essentially deconstructing it's soul, as far as I see it.
Now, some of you might say: "but you get the classic styling, duh!" And while that's true to many extents, there's much more to it than that in my eyes.
I'm also opposed to that 930 Turbo that has a 1.5 litre Formula One engine swapped into it. I saw it roar up the hill at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this year, and I couldn't help but think of how much of a mess it was.
I thought they ruined the exterior a little bit; the wheels didn't look right and the whole front bumper looked too square and awkward. But that's not the main issue I had.
Swapping out the iconic 3.3 litre turbocharged flat six is not something within my radar of interest. The whole reason why the 930 Turbo was literally because of that engine and the sheer savagery it provided at the time. It's heart was removed. A piece of history was sacrificed for a display queen meant to please the young-uns of the internet.
I know a lot of people will disagree, but it's not something I think should've been done.
Whilst we're on the subject of engines: the restomodding area that I disapprove the most is the modernisation of classic muscle/pony cars.
I've been lucky enough to experience a fair few examples of old muscle cars (most recently, a 1970 Chevelle SS) and they were nothing other than absolutely fabulous.
The main thing that defined the cars' characteristics were the engines: the old carburettored V8s ticked, squealed, burbled and were so beautifully un-smooth at low revs. They made sounds of Detroit at a time when Motown was swinging, streets were empty and social media was non-existent.
I feel like a modern LS or Hellcat engine would've just... killed the atmosphere - simply because they're very sophisticated compared to their elders. There's a great aura which you can only get with a classic American V8 and killing that experience is like swapping out a Tiger's growl for a far less-menacing spaniel's bark.
To sum up then: I do truly appreciate the hard work and effort that goes into restomodded cars, and I don't have anything against people who choose to own them.
But because they detract the history, atmosphere and character of a classic car, I can't say they're my thing... at all. No matter how nicely-built they can be.
Not to mention, that I simply cannot justify the extra cash over an original car that's usually way less expensive. But if the rich want something unique that isn't the cliche Ferrari, Lamborghini etc. then I can totally see the reasoning.
Restomods aren't for me though; I'm a true-blooded purist who craves originality!
Thanks for reading
I hope you enjoyed the article. I tried to get my thoughts out there as best I could. Do feel free to share your thoughts in the comments and we can discuss.