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What is a restomod and why are they so cool? by Casper Heij

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Eagle Low Drag GT | photo by James Lipman

It has become a proper market now: restomods are all over the place. What is it with these old cars trying to be modern? Or are they modern cars trying to look old?

A few years ago you'd see the odd project car being modernized with some new technology, but these days almost every brand has cars being transformed into modern machinery. Some people hate them, others see it as the ultimate wannahave.

We stumbled upon this video by Top Gear, in which Chris Harris first of all explains the difference between a restomod, a continuation car and a classic car. It's all logic if you hear it explained by Chris (or when you simply think about it) but the term 'restomod' has been utilized quite randomly for the past few years.

Restomod: new tech, vintage looks

We will not bother explaining the other two, but a restomod is basicly a newer car that's being made to look like it's a lot older. Or sometimes it's actually an old car but it's fitted with a lot of newer technology, sometimes going as far as completely changing drivetrains, infotainmentsystems and so on. A fine example being the Eagle Low Drag GT pictured at the top of this article. It's base is an E-Type, but it has a Jaguar XK 4.2 litre V8 engine and a lot of other modern tech that simply wasn't available back in the day.

Singer, probably now the most well known restomod builder

But mostly it's just a (semi-) modern car, being made to look older. Which often is the case with Porsche 911 based restomods, like Singer (pictured above) creates. These guys are now world famous for building restomods, often using Porsche 911's from the 964 generation dressed up as early sixties cars.

Another great example of a restomod is an Alfaholics GTA-R. They completely rebuild old Alfa Romeos, using carbon fiber bodywork, newer Alfa Romeo engines with more power, advanced suspension setups, and so on. We want one.

Alfaholics GTA-R

It's a huge trend, and therefore to some a huge businessmodel. Obviously it's not the kind of car, single car owners would buy. It's often something someone would buy as a third, fourth of seventeenth car. It's a wannahave, and a proper expensive wannahave too. Don't be surprised if a restomod costs well over €250.000 / $300.000 dollar. Some of them even cost well over a million, like the Eagle Low Drag GT pictured at the top of this magazine.

Recently Top Gear had a bunch of these restomods together, to see which one is the king of restomods. The result of this test you can check out at the Alfaholics website for now:

Top Gear - Restogods - GTA-R | Alfaholics
Restogods article by Top Gear

For those who rather hear Chris ramble about the subject, check out the video below. You can certainly tell he's quite passionate about this concept of cars.

So a restomod is a car that looks older than it actually is, or is an older car that's been properly modernized. It takes away some, or maybe even most of the discomfort of a classic car. Aircon, smooth running engines, sophisticated suspension setups, maybe even ABS, ESP and power steering. Add wireless charging, heated seats or an impressive sound system. Or other comfort enhancing options, whatever you like. We see why people want a restomod, how about you?

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