Entries in replica (7)


And now your Alfa Romeo Moment of Zen

Or more like 3 minutes of zen.  HVR, is a custom restoration shop in Australia, who have crafted this breathtaking recreation of a 1939 6C 2300 MM.  I don't know if the car is based on a real period chassis and engine, or if it is 100% re-creation. But the result is undeniably spectacular, and HVR's artisans deserve a round of applause.

See their facebook build journal HERE


This Sharknose Replica takes my breath away

The 1961 Tipo 156 "Sharknose" Ferrari was the first mid-engined grand prix car to wear the prancing horse, ushering in a new era for the marque.  Sadly none of these remarkable Carlo Chiti-penned creations still exist.  A few replicas have been made over the years, and this latest one wears the bright yellow of Belgium.  The makers of this re-creation released this pretty cool video which appears as if it was shot on the roads that used to comprise the old Spa circuit.  The music is melodramatic, but the camera work is pretty decent!

via Motorsport Retro


"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


Intriguing eBay Alfa Mystery

I have been watching a Belgian eBay auction lately for what is described as an Alfa Romeo Barchetta Sport, from 1954.  I was quite taken with the car's lovely, voluptuous lines, but perturbed because I had never seen a car quite like this before, and was sort of shocked at the lack of detailed information in the eBay listing considering the rarity of this vehicle:

"Rare Alfa Romeo Barchetta Sport, Totally rebuild over the past 2 years, Aluminium body, Freshly rebuild 1900cc engine, 120hp, 4-speed gearbox, Renewed brown leather interior, Black wirewheels, Adjustable suspension,.. Outstanding condition!  FIA regularity passport available."

I emailed the seller for more info about the car's provenance but received no reply yet. Does anyone know what this car is, or if it is even real??  The only similar car I can find is the "flat sided" Disco Volante also known as the C52 1900.  I don't know how many were made, but one is in the Schlumpf museum (see below). If this is a sister car, wouldn't it be worth a hell of a lot?? Anyone share to shed any light on this puzzle? Replica or Real??

-UPDATE: I received this reply from the seller regarding the car's history:

This is a car that we bought it this current condition. No racing history found on this car.  We suppose this car was build somewhere in the 60’s by a private coachbuilder and never really raced in the past. We have imported this car from South America. During it’s restoration the car received some modifications regarding it’s suspension and chassis has received some modifications too to adopt this body. The complete technical aspect of this car has been rebuild or restored to new. It is really a great joy to drive. A FIA passport was also obtained for rallying the car in Europe if the  new owner would consider.


Alaskan Fool's Gold - You heard it here first!

I had been corresponding for some time with Syed, the man behind the IEDEI blog, and we frequently discussed cars that we would like to own. We had lately been salivating over a Lancia Fulvia track car that was recently put up for sale in Michigan.  But when someone sort of got the jump on him regarding the Fulvia, he seemed unfazed.  “I’m working on something else right now,”  he mentioned cryptically.  “It is truly a victory if it does happen.”  But he wouldn’t divulge what it was until we met up in person.

  After a few drinks and a lot of car talk, conversation began to drift towards this mystery car of his, and when he told me it was a BMW 2002 Turbo that he had found on Craiglist in Alaska, I was sort of floored. When he said that the seller would trade it for a new ATV, my mouth dropped open wider than if I were attempting to inhale a party sub.  It seemed as if he had hit upon a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.  For those of you who don’t know, the 2002 Turbo is a highly collectible car, and only 1,672 were made. Even fewer made it over here, as BMW never actually exported this progenitor of the M3 to the USA.  We guessed that most likely this car might have made it here from Canada, since it was way up in Alaska.

Now these Turbos are highly sought after. Like Unicorns, they exist only in white or silver, and I could now understand his reasons for secrecy. I leaned forward conspiratorially across the table. “You need to buy that sucker and flip it, even if you can’t register it here. Someone will want that car bad!”  “Yeah," he replied, "I was thinking if I can’t afford to restore it or if it is impossible to register, I could advertise it in Japan!” Our conversation continued for a while in this vein, and closed with him disclosing that he had an acquaintance in Alaska who was interested in going out to see the car for him, and that he’d keep me posted. 

Two days of speculation and suspense passed. Would the car be in good shape? Would it be original or molested by previous owners? Would Syed actually pull off the deal before someone closer or with a bigger pocketbook got the scent?

I didn’t have to wait too much longer before I received this message from his ipod touch:

“It’s a fake! I’m crushed!”

I must say I was a tad disappointed myself, as I was at this point living vicariously through my friend. But the photos he sent really disappointed me. Even if it were real, the condition was really dire. The bodyshell, adorned with the requisite fender flares and “turbo” stripe graphics, was so riddled with rust that it was doubtful whether it could be saved. The engine, while turbocharged, was not correct in the slightest, and neither was the interior, which was blue vinyl and bore aftermarket Recaro seats. The boost gauge and other supplemental instruments for the turbo were a home-made affair, but the highlight of the interior was a rather nice racing wheel. 

I refuse to speculate as to whether the person who made this car up like a turbo did so to just please himself or to deceive others, but to all those turbo prospectors out there, just remember that in Alaska, all that glitters is not gold!

Click the image below to see the whole wretched photo set.

more photos can be found HERE.