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Got a restomod?

Who doesn’t love that new car smell? Untouched leather, impeccable plastic finishing, controls that are visually pleasing and always work. These are just a handful of things people love and why so many buy new cars every year. However, there is also a love for vintage cars out there. Google a 1960 Jaguar E-Type, for example, or a 1964 Chevy Corvette – gorgeous rides that hold up no matter the year or decade, the present included.

But what if we told you having your cake, and eating it too was indeed possible. You’d call us a baking team with an unlimited budget. Well, we don’t bake, and the budget is limited, that’s for sure. But there are some folks out there who are dedicating themselves to outfitting vintage rides with 21st century bells and whistles. A cake you can eat!


restomod is a growing category of older cars retrofitted to be driven in 2019. Gateway Bronco from Hamel, Illinois is a company that is leading the charge here. They famously restored a 1974 Ford Bronco with carpeting and heated seats, an infotainment center and a 6-speed automatic shifter. This very car is now headed to an auction house (Barrett-Jackson) where it is expected to fetch $348,060. Many of the potential buyers on the auctioneer list are younger than the actual car!   

In parallel, an interesting phenomenon has occurred where the restomods have begun to outsell the normal vintage car (untouched). Craig Jackson is Chairman of Barrett-Jackson and believes this comes down to use. Folks want to use their cars, not sit and look at them. Granted, there is still a massive market for the latter, but driving around town in that 73 Bronco is what you really want to do. Baby boomers are still the biggest market for restomods but Generation X and millennial buyers are a rapidly growing segment.

Troy Trepanier

Another company, also out of Illinois, is Rad Rides by Troy. An iconic name, owner Troy Trepanier works with high-ticket, U.S. cars. A custom build with Troy can run anywhere from $500,000 on upwards. The average is $750,000 and Troy’s shop has a waiting list of 5 to 6 years. Some manufacturers have also jumped into the restomod game, with Mercedes’ in-house performance division, AMG, modifying 300SL models with V-8 (381 hp) engines, air conditioning, Recaro sport seats and much more.

The potential danger here is folks overdoing it, destroying the “classic” that makes a classic ride. But tell that to the 63 Jaguar owner who can now control his retrofitted ride with a 21st century infotainment center. Good luck with that argument … Protection Status
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