Featured: Heaven is Handmade

Heaven is Handmade

By Michael Banovsky
July 17, 2015

Photography by: Amy Shore, Aaron McKenzie, Josh Clason, & David Marvier

It’s not uncommon to build a car yourself.

Toiling away, assembling components, restoring where needed—many of our videos have these things as a central theme. There are many out there, and often these one-offs fall to the march of history after a few decades.

The recent rise in really great recreations built to specifications similar to what heroic drivers like Fangio, Moss, and Ascari raced is a pretty modern phenomenon, however, and I think that one day, they will give historians a unique lens with which to view the last few decades of life here on earth.

Motor racing has developed so much that we collect (often for millions) and preserve now-cultural artifacts that featured at the centre of triumph both on and off the circuit. Some vehicles, like the Mini Cooper, have a name attached to them. Can you not think of Paddy Hopkirk when a Monte Carlo-liveried example pops up on your Instagram feed?

As the real objects get more expensive, recreations offer a way to tailor the experience of, say, a Jaguar C-Type to your lifestyle. Perhaps you have the real thing at home, and drive CMC-fettled recreation during official FIA classic car races—after all, many recreations are able to race in historic events.

For the star of our recent video, Peter Giacobbi, building a 1959 Ferrari 250 TR recreation from parts as similar as he could find to the real thing was an opportunity to experience what his heroes did. And why not?

I completely understand those who dislike the idea of a “fake”, say, Porsche 904, but isn’t it a good thing that we’ve started thinking about the preservation of these engineering marvels? Porsche made, what, about 120 904 “Carrera GTS” models? And how many have been damaged beyond repair, significantly altered, or cannibalized to keep another car running?

Even if there were 50,000 recreation Porsche 904s in the world, it would take nothing away from the originals. The same goes for most other cars that have been graced with a series of copies: the market for genuine Shelby Cobras is quite strong, for instance…even though there are probably more “Cobras” in my hometown than Carroll Shelby had in his shop at any one time!

Our tagline is #drivetastefully because it hints at being more considered when motoring. If a replica suits your needs and ticks your boxes, so to speak, it’s time to get your hands dirty and see what you’re able to build for yourself…

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Thanos123D WalkerDrew SchumannFrank AnigboEvan Bedford Recent comment authors
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D Walker
D Walker

Who’s are the workshops? They look like they could tell a few stories…

Frank Anigbo
Frank Anigbo

If the most revered cars — cars like the Ferrari 250 GTO, Porsche 904, etc. played by the rule of diminishing value relative to the passage of time, would anyone complain that someone built a well-executed “fake”? I think that this is an issue only because many people cannot separate the financial value of a thing from its utility. Ferrari built a grand total of 32 first series GTOs, that means that at best only 32 enthusiasts the world over can enjoy this most hallowed of cars at any one time. What fault would you assign an enthusiast with the… Read more »

Christopher Gay
Christopher Gay

I make my living making things by hand. As far as vehicles are concerned, I’ll sometimes make parts to help a project along, and I’m happy to do so. But the idea of making a full blown nut and bolt recreation doesn’t immediately interest me, unless it is a commission. If I had the time and/or money to go that far on my own projects, I would surely be working off my own designs. After all, aren’t our own designs inspired and derived from others? This is not to say that one approach is better or worse, wrong or right;… Read more »

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger

I beg to differ when it comes to recreations . First off having 50,000 of anything immediately cheapens the breed taking anything that might of been special about which ever car you’re recreating then making it common place and mundane . Simply stated part of what makes something special is its rarity . Second as I stated with the TR video …recreations negates the creative spirit of man when in fact an updated [ tastefully ] and improved version [ e,g, a Resto-Mod ] of something old [ for instance improving on the hideous and when the original was built… Read more »

Evan Bedford
Evan Bedford

I would beg to differ. What makes something special is — to me, at least — how it makes you feel.

Drew Schumann
Drew Schumann

I agree with Evan. Nothing wrong with doing something that makes one feel good.