For whatever reason – muscular styling, sheer brute force or, perhaps, the image of ‘those Yanks’ taking on the urbane Europeans and kicking ass – the AC Cobra is one of the most desirable cars on the planet. It is also one of the most replicated shapes in automotive history, rivalled only by Chapman’s Lotus 7. Their immense value has precluded our featuring any of the three original ’60s Cobras currently in New Zealand, but we collected together three cars which either have strong Kiwi connections and/or extremely good lineage to the original Cobra
In a more normal world the hand-beaten alloy body of Rogan Hampson’s Cobra FIA 289 replica would have a more traditionally finished appearance. However, run your eyes over the car’s polished alloy body and every seam and every weld is immediately evident. Look closer and you can see a genuine expression of the craftsman’s art – observe how each separate panel has been formed, and how each separate part of the body has been assembled. In a lesser car, these seams and joins would have been carefully filled, sanded smooth and covered in paint.
However, quite appropriately, Rogan has decided to leave his Cobra’s bodywork in its raw state – appropriate because it gifts the car with a singular immediacy that perfectly fits most enthusiasts’ perception of a Cobra. This is one bad-ass of a car! Read the rest of this entry »
Ride the neighbourhood in style with one of these fantastic looking half-scale classics from the Vietnam-headquartered Harrington Group. These replicas use composite for both the body and chassis, and the quality of detail is good enough that they look convincingly like the real thing. That is until someone steps up next to it and you get a scale reference.
The range provides petrol engines that bring real internal combustion power and that familiar smell of exhaust to the party. Engines start at 50cc and can go all the way up to a disturbingly irresponsible racing kart unit.
You can choose from automatic and manual transmissions and there is enough room for adults to ride along with their six-year-old. Seats and pedals adjust, which means when kids are asleep, you can sneak out for a lap around the street without feeling like a circus bear riding a tricycle.
Price has not been determined but you are looking at well over $1000 for the unit not including the cost of getting it here from the States. Some of the models you can choose from include Mercedes-Benz 300SL, Porsche 356, Willys Jeep, Bugatti T25 and a Jaguar E-Type.
If we were to take a poll on the most desirable classic car for our readers, chances are the legendary Ferrari 250 GTO would rate pretty high. Unfortunately, as one of the most sought-after classic sportscars ever made they cost an absolute fortune and practically all of us don’t stand a chance of owning one. However, there are replicas, or rather “tributes.” But if you’re going to replicate a GTO, you’re not going to start with an old Toyota MR2 as your base vehicle, that just wouldn’t work. What you could start with another classic Ferrari. Just one not quite as valuable.
That’s exactly what you’re looking at here. This 1965 Ferrari 250 GTO “Evocazione” began life as a regular Ferrari 330 GT, and in 1993 was sent to Italy to have its chassis modified before being painstakingly fitted with handmade aluminum bodywork in the UK. Attention to detail is exceptional, right down to the gauges and the correct Borrani wire wheels.
Now this king of replicas is for sale, from newly created auction house Historics at Brooklands. Once it crosses the block there on September 25, it’s expected to get around £240,000 ($527k NZD) — which may seem like madness for a replica vehicle, but it’s a far cry from the $25.2 million NZD reportedly last fetched by an original 250 GTO.
BMW Classic has unveiled its painstakingly created replica of the 1940 Mille Miglia-winning BMW 328 Kamm Coupe.
Very few examples of the ultra-rare model ever existed with most coming to various fates after the war. The winning Touring Coupe model found its way to America, another example went to Britain and one went to Russia. A single 328 Kamm Coupe remained in Germany and was then scrapped after a crash in 1953.
The BMW 328 Kamm Coupe was named after the German engineer Wunibald Kamm and as a iconic vehicle for the brand it’s recreation became a long-term task. Over the years BMW Classic worked on the project in fits and starts until the Munich-based automaker found the right partners to do the work in time to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Mille Miglia win.
Classic BMW expert Rene GroÃŸe did most of the work, he’d previously restored the BMW 328 Touring Coupe and Mille Miglia Roadster for the BMW Museum. Making use of modern materials, such as plastic, carbon fibre and alumimum, GroÃŸe came as close to recreating the famous racer as was possible considering that the original design drawings no longer exist.
The replica was finished and presented to BMW last month leaving just enough time for the automaker to commemorate the classic model’s famous victory.
Check the image gallery below for images of the restoration.
Silhouette S40 Ferrari F40 replica built in New Zealand, seen here at Pukekohe Park Raceway, south of Auckland, New Zealand
Despite its relatively short list of on-track achievements, the original 1963 Corvette Grand Sport is arguably Chevrolet’s most iconic racecar. Built to compete with the likewise-iconic Cobra, the Grand Sport dominated the Shelby when the two competed directly, but the program was scraped by General Motors before it would make a significant impact on motorsports. Still, the five original chassis have become coveted collector cars and command prices into the multi-millions of dollars.
While the privilege of owning an original Corvette Grand Sport is limited to just a fortunate few, Superformance is now offering the next best thing. The American based company is well known for their Cobra and GT40 replicas, but a new licensing agreement with GM has opened doors to produce a Corvette Grand Sport model that will be available as either a coupe or convertible. Customers will also have the option of a street or race version (pictured).
As with their GT40, Superformance have gone to great lengths to insure that the Grand Sport is as identical to the original as possible. They even acquired the original blueprints and molds to one of the original racecars to help reproduce accurate components. Power train options will be nearly endless, as the engine bay has been designed to accept most of the GM Performance Parts crate engines.
In South Africa during the ’60s, Basil Green was earning himself an enviable reputation for extracting major performance gains from all kinds of cars. Although he is mainly known for his work on Ford cars, Basil — who once worked as a mechanic for the Cooper F1 team — initially began by tuning BMC cars, racing his own, much modified Mini in 1964. His Mini went so well that he soon had many others wanting their cars performance – tuned by Basil.
By 1965, Green had sold many conversion kits for Anglias, Cortinas and VWs. Along with a new partner, Ronnie Rosen, Green also turned his hand to tweaking Valiant and Barracuda cars. However, with the advent of the Cortina, Green’s business entered into the history books — he slotted an Essex V6 into the Cortina and named his new creation the Cortina Perana — the name being taken from the names of the engineers who helped Green design the cars (a popular misconception is that the name comes from the man-eating fish).
In 1969, Green got his hands on one of the first MkI Ford Capris to arrive into South Africa. He tossed out the V6 and fitted a 5.0-litre Mustang V8 engine, then up-rated the gearbox, differential, suspension and brakes.
Read the rest of this entry »
Coming to the eBay auction block in the states this week is every Corvette-loving Walter Mitty’s fantasy come true, a 1968 SCCA Corvette racecar. Perhaps that’s not everyone’s idea of the perfect Corvette, but for those of you old enough to remember the glory days of SCCA Trans-Am racing circa 1968, this car should hit all the right buttons. What started life as a perfectly adequate, four-speed 327/350 optioned ‘Vette, has had a transformation into the very special racecar tribute you see here. It’s a streetcar that closely resembles the Trans-Am racers of the late ’60s and early ’70s.
American restorers 2nd Generation Automotive are the ones who turned it into what you see here today, minus this car’s current fire-breathing factory race engine, a genuine Bowtie ZL-1. The current owner found one of the factory’s limited edition Ram Jet ZL-1 engines (number 155 of only 200 made) nestled in a ’55 Chevy show car. The engine had just 36 miles on it and needed a better home. This very car was featured in the August 2007 issue of Hemmings Muscle Machines and is selling for a Buy-It-Now price of $60,000 USD. Bidding ends later today.