The importance of restomods in today’s classic car industry

It seems that the term ‘restomod’ is a bit of a buzzword at the moment. Although mechanically-minded owners and long-standing specialist companies such as Alfaholics, Lunaz Design and Windsor Classics have been restoring and improving beloved classic cars for what seems like an eternity, the advent of social media and YouTube has seen the restomod community enjoy some much-deserved time in the spotlight.

In this month’s blog, we’ll take a look at the reasons why these bespoke, individualised takes on some of the most iconic classic cars play such an important role in the automotive industry. But first, we should probably answer the question of “what exactly is a restomod?”

Well, the premise is pretty straightforward, really: take a classic car – be it in relatively tired or near pristine condition – and modify it by adding everything from uprated chassis and drivetrain components (or by restoring the existing ones), to the latest infotainment systems to make it drive and perform like a modern car, while keeping the classic charm. The sky really is the limit in terms of the modifications that can be made, and the idea is that the end result is a unique, personalised interpretation of that particular model.

That all sounds very cheery, but it’s not to say that restomods are everyone’s cup of tea. Many enthusiasts argue that classic cars should be preserved or restored to their original specification, and that any modifications that aren’t period correct detract from the car’s classic appeal. Whatever your opinion on the subject might be, we here at Marc Brunel Recruitment are big fans of the passion and enthusiasm that comes from both sides of the classic car spectrum – after all, lively debate is a huge part of what makes being a car enthusiast so exciting!

For what it’s worth, we think the renewal of contemporary genius through the use of modern-day components and manufacturing techniques inspires huge amounts of technological innovation throughout the industry. Whether it be small-scale workshops or larger companies, the problem-solving that’s required to give these much-loved cars a brand-new lease of life helps to drive things forward. Take the Lunaz Group, for example, and its work in converting classic luxury cars such as the Rolls-Royce Phantom V to run on battery power, or Tuthill Porsche and its hot-rodded classic 911 models. Not only are these companies, and others like them, helping to turn younger audiences on to classic cars, but they also support numerous jobs within the industry, and we think that’s a pretty good thing.

Restomods are also important because they can provide a more financially accessible route into classic car ownership and restoration. While a “matching-numbers” or factory-specification full restoration can be prohibitively expensive for many, restomods allow the ability to move away from a period-correct specification and can help to lower the cost of re-engineering a classic car. Off-the-shelf componentry will, in many cases, be far more affordable and easier to obtain than parts that might be out of production and require specialist, bespoke fabrication to acquire. This opens up the market to a younger audience and those who want to take a classic vehicle and modify it to their tastes, be that either cosmetically or mechanically, all within a smaller budget or with just a little help from their friends.

However, not all restomods are a cost-effective route into classic car ownership. As mentioned earlier, for the lucky few who really want to put their own personal stamp on a classic car and heavily re-engineer it to offer the absolute best in modern engineering and technology, the sky is the limit in terms of how much you could spend to create your dream car. Everything from lightweight, high-strength carbon-fibre body panelling that maintains those gorgeous period looks, to bespoke performance engines and chassis componentry, can be added to enhance your restomod, provided you’ve got the cash to pay for it, of course. The specialist companies that work in building outstanding restomods are far and few between, but they are out there. You may even find a fair few in our client list!

Both types of classic car ownership and restoration (whether you want to keep your car’s originality or modernise it yourself or through a specialist) are equally worthy in our book, but the appeal of being able to save a bit of money while simultaneously improving and putting your own personal stamp on your dream classic is tough to ignore. Remember, the classic car world isn’t all about high-end Aston Martins, Ferraris and Porsches either; there’s a huge choice of fantastic older vehicles out there at more affordable price points that are dying to be treated to some restomod-inspired TLC. All you have to do is a bit of research.

Whatever your preference, we hope you’ll agree with us in saying that restomods play an extremely important role in the wider automotive industry. The great thing is that we know just how many opportunities there are out there to work on these fantastic vehicles, too. So if you’re looking for a career change and want to get started in the automotive industry, drop us a line at today, or click on our website’s Candidates section for all our open vacancies.

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