The Restomod, a relatively new term used in classic car customization, has quickly been gaining popularity over the last decade. Unlike classic car restoration, which is basically repairing a classic car using original parts, Restomod involves fixing the car with state-of-the-art fixtures like updated engines, new drive trains, and other new, more convenient technologies. In other words, it is like getting all the advantages of a modern car in an old classic beauty.
The Restomod concept, that was once completely disregarded by purists and old time classic car collectors, is now said to clinch winning bids in popular auctions. A 1955 Chevrolet Nomad, fitted with frame-off “rotisserie” restoration, LT1 motor, electric fuel injection, 4L60E electronic overdrive transmission, new glass, rubber and seal was sold for $58,300 at the Barrett Jackson, Scottsdale auction in 2012. According to Steve Davis, the Vice President, for Consignment at Barrett Jackson, “Initially, it was a big deal, with a very negative connotation, but now it’s considered cutting edge. We like to think we have our finger on the pulse of what’s happening in this industry, and we’ve really gotten behind it”.
Jay Leno, famous comedian and avid classic car collector, helped to popularize the Restomod concept. He, with his mechanic, Bernard Juchli, fixed up his 1955 Buick Roadmaster, with a 620 horsepower V8 from GM – custom made for hotrod projects. This, in addition to many other customizations done on the car, resulted in an original piece of classic art that ended up with higher speeds and state-of-the-art technology.
· Restomods are much easier to drive. The 1955 Chevrolet Nomad, for instance, with its original drum brakes, bias ply tires, and a two speed power glide, can be difficult to handle, especially for those drivers used to handling modern power brakes, automatic gears and so on. A Restomod gives the driver the convenience of modern handling with the look of classic elegance.
· A Restomod car can help to enhance safety, performance, and comfort in usage. By increasing and updating the technology on these cars, we can add safety features that were not in existence when the cars were made (things as simple as seat belts), thus complying with current road laws, and helping to keep drivers and passengers safer.
· Restomods are a great solution for those classic cars whose original parts are difficult to find. In situations where it is nearly impossible to recreate the car’s authentic originality through classic restoration, Restomods can keep the original idea of these cars alive, instead of letting the bodies go to waste in an old garage.
Whether to choose a Restomod or classic car restoration largely depends on two factors:
1. The cost involved.
2. The purpose of owning the car.
Classic car restorations can be costly due and often hard to complete because of the difficulty of finding original parts; although it is often worth the cost based on the resale value of original restorations.
Restomods are the best choice if you are looking at owning (and keeping) a classic beauty to show-off, and yet, you wish to enjoy driving it as you would a modern car.
No matter what kind of restoration you choose to perform on your classic autos, be sure that Classic Auto has your back! Check out our wide variety of classic and muscle car insurance policies, and make sure we’re in the passenger seat of your Restomod!
About the Author
Drew Yagodnik is Vice President of Classic Automobile Insurance Agency, Inc. Classic Automobile Insurance Agency has been protecting collector, classic and exotics since 1992.