Is the art of restomod resurrection about to become an automotive trend? That's a big question raised by three 'new' car launches over the past week that all have one thing in common -- they're taking genuine 20th-century automotive icons and driving them into 2017.
FC Automobili Type H
This novel idea will be produced by Italian company FC Automobili as a tribute to the original Citroen HY van that is 70 years old this year. Co-designed by David Obendorfer and Fabrizio Caselani, the van is essentially a fiberglass exterior reimagining. It will fit a current-generation Citroen Jumpy like a tailor-made suit and turn it into something that fuses the looks, lines and character of the iconic HY but adds all the reliability and practicality that vans of today offer. And to make it a little bit exclusive, only 70 kits will be manufactured.
David Brown Mini Remastered
For his first bespoke automotive trick, industrialist turned carmaker David Brown designed a hand-formed aluminum homage to the original Aston Martin DB5 on a modern Jaguar convertible chassis. The resulting million-dollar Speedback GT was a surprise hit among the ultra-wealthy. For his latest car, unveiled on April 6, he picked a much more accessible British icon. The Mini remastered is, on one level, a nuts-and bolts restoration of the classic city car from 1959, but with an overhauled 1250cc engine, a coach-built shell that smooths out crease and shut lines; and a luxury, period-influenced interior complete with infotainment system and Apple CarPlay compatibility.
High-end car customization companies taking mass-produced SUVs and giving them bespoke internal and external features is nothing new, but this special-edition Land Rover (capped at 53 examples) promises to be something special. Announced officially on Monday, it will be developed by Italian design studio Ares in partnership with JE Motorworks, the world's oldest and most respected Land Rover and Range Rover tuning specialist. The British firm will be giving each vehicle a specially developed Rover engine and transmission, a serious all-terrain suspension set-up and uprated drive shafts and differentials, so that it will can go fast on the road and go much further off-road. The idea behind the special car is to offer the ultimate Land Rover Defender in terms of all-terrain performance, comfort, reliability, and exclusivity.