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"Tribute" Replicas: Re-Living the past, Racing in the present

Lately, there seems to be a small spate of "tribute" replicas that seek to give the look and feel of vintage racing cars that are now so rare and costly they are only attainable for the super wealthy.  Although replicas have always been around, there is a new interest in replicating the historic "feel" of the original car rather than just parroting the looks (Like the infamous VW-based Bugatti T35 replicars of the 1970s, for example!) I think this is a great idea, because rather than try to fool people, it's about recreating a time period and a visceral driving experience that one can only dream of otherwise. Of course there are also some companies out there hand-making exact replicas of rare cars (like prewar Alfas and Bugattis, or Ferrari 250TRs) that are nearly indistinguishable from the real thing, but these line-for-line copies can be incredibly expensive in and of themselves. I'm glad that there are enterprising people out there who are making an effort to live their dreams and share them with other likeminded enthusiasts at a somewhat attainable price of entry.  Below are 3 of my favorite "tribute" projects:

1) The F1-67 Project

F1-67 seeks to recreate a late 1960s F1 car using a Smallblock Chevy as the powerplant. It looks the part, but more importantly, it sounds the part!! Makes clever use of a spaceframe to cut costs and increase safety, but with fiberglass shell to give the look of an aluminum monocoque. Not sure if this project is still going on, but it was plenty cool!  More HERE

2) Tipo 250

This replica is meant to evoque the legendary Maserati 250F Grand Prix car.  Again, it doesn't perfectly copy the lines of the original, but the feel is there for sure. The BMW straight six powerplant, detailed and finished in a very 1950's style, gives it a very convincing sound as well.

More info HERE

3) NuArt Can Am Car

Can Am was a virtually unrestricted racing series of earth-pounding machinery that truly separated the men from the boys in the late 1960s and early 70s.  At the time, the cars were the fastest on Earth, putting even F1 cars to shame.  The NuArt Can Am car seeks to re-create those glory days, but with modern saftey structures and newer, safer technologies cloaked in a skin that is almost indistinguishable from a car of the era.  The car looks sensational, and a spec series is planned, under the name "Unlimited Racing Championship." I, for one, would definitely like to see such a series materialize, and it seems like there is actually adequate funding to get it off the ground.  Max Papis was the development driver, and helped to tune the NuArt (terrible name, by the way) to be thrilling but predictable for the less skilled driver (Historic Can Am cars had notoriously vicious handling that still can and does kill drivers in vintage racing today). More HERE

Reader Comments (2)

what do you think of the HB coupe? (gimmicky website notwithstanding)

February 3, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermotoringconbrio
Oh yeah I had forgotten about that! I love their project too. Very cool. And definitely in line with this post.
February 3, 2012 | Registered CommenterBradley Price

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