Resto­bod­ding for the best of both worlds

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SUNBIZ -

US au­to­mo­tive coach­builder Starke wants to re-box the Porsche Boxster as a vis­ual homage to the iconic 356 Speed­ster – just don’t call the fin­ished car a “resto­mod”.

In­stead, the Starke Rev­o­lu­tion Speed­ster, set to make its global de­but on Oct 20 in Las Ve­gas, has been dubbed by its cre­ators – father and son team Wade E and Maxwell Mor­ri­son – as a “resto­bod”.

Be­cause rather than take a 1950s 356 Speed­ster and up­date its en­gine, sus­pen­sion brakes and steer­ing for the 21st cen­tury, and in do­ing so de­stroy its value on the col­lec­tor car market, Starke starts with a mod­ern Boxster that it metic­u­lously re-bod­ies and re-trims so that on ini­tial in­spec­tion, it looks just like a clas­sic Porsche.

The Rev­o­lu­tion Speed­ster is the re­sult of thou­sands of hours of devel­op­ment. The body alone took 18 months to per­fect; but now that ev­ery­thing is ready, the firm hopes to pro­duce an ab­so­lutely be­spoke car in 120 days fol­low­ing fi­nal de­sign sign off.

Prices for the Rev­o­lu­tion Speed­ster CS (pix) start at US$59,950 (RM257,185) and its per­for­mance and crea­ture com­forts will be lim­ited to those of the donor car (a 19972012 Porsche Boxster, the cost of which is not in­cluded in the price).

How­ever, plump for the Speed­ster Out­law and things go up a notch. Wider and lower to the ground than the CS, it can be spec­i­fied with Bil­stein ad­justable coilover sus­pen­sion, a sports ex­haust sys­tem, a hand-built 375hp rac­ing en­gine and a body formed en­tirely from car­bon­fi­bre rather than glass­fi­bre. How­ever, the en­gine up­grade alone will add US$40,000 onto the Out­law’s US$79,950 base price. And again, none of those prices fac­tor in the cost of the donor car.

Nev­er­the­less, resto­bod­ding is cer­tainly de­vel­op­ing as a trend within the higher ech­e­lons of the au­to­mo­tive market. For in­stance, David Brown Au­to­mo­tive in the UK has had huge suc­cess with its Speed­back GT, a Jaguar XKR con­vert­ible with a hand-fin­ished be­spoke in­te­rior and hand-formed alu­minum body rem­i­nis­cent of an As­ton Martin DB5. In Italy, Tour­ing is pro­duc­ing coach­built clas­sics based on the ut­terly mod­ern Alfa Romeo 8C and Fer­rari F12 Ber­linetta. Even Rolls-Royce has got in on the act with the Swep­tail, a one-off com­mis­sion based on the Phan­tom Coupe. And when one con­sid­ers that prices for the Speed­back GT start at £500,000 and that the Swep­tail is be­lieved to have cost over US$10 mil­lion, the Starke starts look­ing like in­cred­i­ble value for money. – AFP Re­laxnews

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