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Car design | 20.03.2014 - 10:50


Ever heard of restomodding? Taking an old classic and installing modern technology whilst retaining the car's classic looks. This is what I would do if I were to fuse classic with modern.
63 Thunderbird

The term 'restomod' comes from 'the words restoration' and 'modern technology'. Because the automotive industry has seen some incredable advancements over the past 50 years, both in handling and in power, people are now restoring classic cars and installing modern technology. The restomod project must keep the car's original appearance, but instead of sourcing old refurbished and matching parts, modern suspensions, brakes and engines are installed.


Whilst this may enrage the purists, and to some extent I can understand why, I am also attracted to the idea of taking a good looking classic and turning it into something you can drive every day, with extra power, handling and reliability. This does seem right up my street, as I adore the old school car designs whilst appreciating new tech, from phones to kitchen appliances. 




















One extreme example of resto-modding was the Ford Falcon featured on TV’s Fast N’ Loud. Gas Monkey Garage mechanic, A-Ron, took a shine to the old car and eventually decided he’d buy it. So he put a little extra love into this build and spent a lot more too.




















Purchased through a friend of the garage, the Falcon was originally owned by racer legend, Jim Hadden. The car was stripped back to bare metal and sprayed a shade of white used on the pace cars of that era. Because this was going to be an all-out racer, it seemed pertinent to the build. Along with new wheels and tyres, race spec brakes and adjustable suspension were installed, and a crate Ford small block racing V8 gave it an amazing 500+bhp.




























To complete the build, a roll cage and digital race display were added, making this Falcon one special little racecar – it just goes to show what can be done when you merge modern with classic.



So with this mind, just what classic and modern would you fuse together? For me, there's only one car I would definitely consider for resto-modding, and that’s the 1963 Ford Thunderbird. The third generation Thunderbird boasting the V8 big black is very rare and only 200 were built between 61 and 63. Its gorgeous space rocket fins and rear lights combined with its bullet nose and grille, the Thunderbird is an automotive icon. I could see it sitting a little lower on modern coil overs and wire wheels that would encompass disc brakes. The engine would have to go, and in its place, I'd transplant a crate 392 HEMI and suitable tranny. 


It would be badass but beautiful, a classic car capable pumping out 550-bhp.



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