Journal: What Car Would You Like To See As A Restomod?

What Car Would You Like To See As A Restomod?

By Petrolicious Productions
November 4, 2013

Singer, Icon 4×4, and Equus are some recognizable names in the restomod world these days. Singer for its remarkably detailed 911s, Icon for reviving off-road legends and Equss turing a muscle car hero into a luxury tire shredding machine.

So who’s next? Will someone turn a BMW 2002 into a wolf in sheeps clothing? Perhaps a Datsun 240Z will make its way out of backyard garages and into the hands of a craftsmen looking to take the platform beyond shelf parts.

I ask this question primarily because I can’t ever seem to afford the car and parts necessary to realize the aforementioned visions. It is, however, always nice to see your vision realized by other talented people with the resources to make them happen. Before you know it the car will be sitting right in front of you and you’ll think to yourself, “That’s exactly what I wanted to do!”

What car would you like to see as a restomod?

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Richard Stephen James
Richard Stephen James(@richard_stephen_james)
3 years ago

BMW E24 (late ’70s-’80s 6 Series), probably post-’82 for the better suspension platform. One of the best looking BMWs ever built. Current or recent M drivetrain, probably a tuned S55. Big brakes. Bigger BBS wheels for the right look. I do lust after a Singer Porsche, but this one might be attainable.

3 years ago

So, this might be unpopular, but, old school American land yachts. Be it a 65 Buick Rivera, or Lincoln MK coupe of some sort or a Cadillac of some sort. I think it would be great! You could one of those electromagnetic suspension on it, a modern engine that has both better Horse power, and better fuel economy, super fancy leather seats and real wood and metals. I think it would be great!

Dandé Csongor
Dandé Csongor(@dande_csongor)
3 years ago


T fergeson
T fergeson
3 years ago

BMW 2002

John Gartner
John Gartner
3 years ago

a BMW 2002

3 years ago

Datsun 510

Mich van den Bergh
Mich van den Bergh(@m-vandenbergh)
5 years ago

My 2002 (m2) restomod. Working on an BMW 1800 mod now.

5 years ago

I would love to see some master fabricator graft a 69 Corvair body on a 911 Turbo frame and drivetrain. I think that would be the ultimate sleeper.

cap\'n fast
cap\'n fast
4 years ago
Reply to  broadcouncil

my neighbor’s 1968 corvair convertable had a grafted a 1970 LT1 350 to a Hewland GS800(?) transaxle with a space frame starting at the front edge of what used to be the rear seat. this was in 1972. he was a repo guy for a national bank. it ran extremely…..extreme.
brakes were undersized. to be sure it was a terrifying ride along. very “loose” handling car. went along for a lark, never stepped foot into that car ever again. so if you were in Denver in 1973ish and got gobsmacked by a chevy baby shit brown corvair, that was Sam.

Callum Andjelkovich Meagher
Callum Andjelkovich Meagher(@fb_100000322832127)
8 years ago

I’d like to see a Audi quattro with the RS3 engine in it, and modern interior etc. Or maybe a W113 Merc SL, with a modern 4 cylinder and modern technology, but designed to look like it was made in the 60s 🙂

Colin Stickland
Colin Stickland(@fb_1035448195)
8 years ago

Others “Resto-mods” I’ve seen are the Interceptor and MGB GT. I think the early Celica would be a great candidate. I’ve seen a TR^ that looked pretty good as well. I reckon a 560SEC or Mustang would be the way to go.

Chris Saddler Sam
Chris Saddler Sam(@fb_100001298851019)
8 years ago

Ford Taunus TC1 (1970-75)

Alphonse del Rudo
Alphonse del Rudo(@adr)
8 years ago

Some of the older Japanese stuff is just begging for the restrooms treatment. Obviously the 240Z and Fairlady/ Roadster. I’d also love to see a modded Toyota Celica TA22.

For the Aussie readers, the ’71 Holden Monaro is a likely candidate. Give it an LSx transplant, custom interior and a Pro Touring stance… Tasty.

Chris Bono
Chris Bono(@fb_6416488)
8 years ago

Surprised it’s not on here yet but maybe I missed it…Datsun 510

Julian Gonzalez
Julian Gonzalez(@fb_829804128)
8 years ago

1967-1972 GTV 1750 with a new 4C engine and other modern parts.

Craig Brownstein
Craig Brownstein(@orson)
8 years ago

I’ve got a Swede-tooth these days for a SAAB 99 Turbo, or later 900 SPG. Even a Volvo 240 sedan or wagon would be sweet to really resto-mod. Still a tired 500E Benz brought back with a modern 6.3 and updates gets honorable mention

Mark Salomon
Mark Salomon(@marks71tr6)
8 years ago

TR6, of course.

Mike Suter Tibble
Mike Suter Tibble(@suitableclassics)
8 years ago

I have a ‘rolling resto-mod’ Mercedes W123 coupe at the moment. I’m aiming to bring it up to date a little by adding ABS, a better sound system etc while keeping it looking original, or even slightly back-dated using some parts from earlier models like the gear selector. Sort of like the cars Mechatronik build, only cheaper hopefully. The aim is to make the ultimate car for road trips across Europe on holiday.

Once I’ve finished that(!) I’d like to work on a Porsche 924S; either with a 944 turbo engine or 968 engine, partially stripped interior, and really sorted handling (the 924S must be one of the best bargains around at the moment, they can be made to handle really well very simply).

I also keep thinking about a Rolls Royce Silver Shadow or Silver Spirit with a modern diesel engine (BMW or Audi probably), and a few handling mods. You’d get the RR style and luxury with better Mileage.

Alex Clise
Alex Clise(@highonchai)
8 years ago

Fiat x1/9, MGB GT, Triumph GT6. Because they are all vehicles on the fringe, under-appreciated because their brothers did it better, or appeared more approachable. The cars truly deserving of a resto-mod because they were great driving cars, but weren’t overall performers.
Honorable mention: gen 1 Toyota MR2

7 years ago
Reply to  Alex Clise

The mgb’s been done: See the LE50 from frontline developments.

7 years ago
Reply to  Alex Clise

Midwest-Bayless in Columbus Ohio is doing a Honda K20 in the X1/9. Real sweet.

8 years ago

Off topic, but Equus in the same sentence as Singer, that just doesn’t fly. Singer makes sense. Equus just does not make any sense. Recent videos here of the Ring Brothers, or that awesome Mustang, they make sense. There is something just so wrong with Equus, besides being sinfully fugly.

Jake Williams
Jake Williams(@shred316)
8 years ago

I would like to see someone do something with the more common roadsters (Triumph Spitfire, Alfa Romeo Spider, Fiat 124, etc.). Eagle remastered and perfected the Jaguar E-Type. There are so many of those 60’s and 70’s entry level roadster, I don’t know it hasn’t been done.

Ib Erik Soderblom
Ib Erik Soderblom(@kaiserpingo)
8 years ago

There are several cars I would like to restomod.
But concentrating on the affordable bottom-level, I want to do a Fiat Panda 1 !
A little turbo on the engine, and a total restyling inside the car !

Bart Mulder
Bart Mulder(@streetscreamer)
8 years ago

Ow yeah ! I had this Panda 1 too. Just with 34 hp 4 speed. Color red with one whote door. So.. went to the supermarket for some paint and rolled it two tone green. Later I ditched the 34 hp engine and put in a 70 hp UNO engine. It was slightly wider which gave headaches with the suspension, because the oil filter was on the edge of the engine. So, a little torch fire and a hammer helped me to reshape the suspension 🙂 Still I used the 4 speed gearbox so the car became a true sprinter. Don’t mention the corners, they were horrible…

Lee House
Lee House(@mrlee335)
8 years ago

The Gordon-Keeble is one of my all time favorite body styles, so it was a thrill to see it mentioned by Nate Jones. I also like the idea of re-doing a 1980s station wagon of David Talmage, which is my current project . My 1984 VW Quantum wagon is going the engine and suspension performance route, instead of high tech interior electronics. Yes, a restomod can be more desirable than a new model car.

Alec DeJovani
Alec DeJovani(@250berlinetta)
8 years ago

-Mercedes Benz 190SL
-Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider
-Land Rover Defender (110 and 90)

The 2002 by the way has already been done by a guy named Marc Norris. There’s a video showcasing his work on youtube.

JanMichael Franklin
JanMichael Franklin(@jmfranklin)
8 years ago

First generation RX-7

8 years ago

I’ve been dreaming a 1967 Alfa Romeo 33 Stradalé… But instead of the 2.0L V8 in the original, mine would have the Ferrari California’s 4.3L V8. Most importantly would be a modern, more refined interior, much like Singer’s 911. No compromise.[url=””]Your text to link…[/url]

Nate Jones
Nate Jones(@computinateor)
8 years ago

Oooh, tough question. I think a modernized version of the classic Gordan Keeble GT would be awesome. Elegant style girded with, let’s say, an LS7 from the Z06 Corvette and modern suspension from the C5 Corvette would make for a gorgeous and tempting package. Hey, we can dream, right?

Jim Bair
Jim Bair(@5280jb)
8 years ago

I had this question rolling around in my head about a fairly odd choice – the ’66ish Rambler Marlin. Always wondered if a little modern take on suspension, wheels/tires, and other subtleties could raise its style points a few notches. Then last year, at the Vail Wheels & Wings show I stumbled upon one done in just that style. Although always a dark horse, I thought it looked pretty good 🙂

Mo Schmo
Mo Schmo(@vroom)
8 years ago

For sure the Volvo 1800s or variant. A high -performance 275hp modern 4 cylinder would easily best the original 110hp-130hp unit and would make the approximately one tonne car move out.

motoring con brio
motoring con brio(@motoringconbrio)
8 years ago

To be honest, none. But that’s just me.

John Gronberg
John Gronberg(@fb_4601096)
8 years ago

I would really love to see a well done Alfa 105/115-series GTV. One of my favorite designs of all time, updated with modern mechanicals and electronics.

The other interesting car to see would be a Volkswagen Type III Coupe. There was one with a Subaru WRX engine swap I saw a while back, but it wasn’t beautifully done. I’d love to see something like that done right.

David Talmage
David Talmage(@talmage)
8 years ago

I’ve had this pipe dream for mods to my 1987 Nissan Sentra 4WD station wagon. It was my father’s. He gave it to me about four years ago. It has a little rust and needs some work, which I’m undertaking, in order to make it nearly like new.

In my pipe dream, this car gets [url=””]hydropneumatic suspension[/url]. It might be the one made by [url=””]Citröen[/url].

It gets sound insulation because the car came with nearly none.

The back of each of the front seat head rests gets a built-in touch-screen monitor that communicates with my HTC One phone on the dash board. The phone streams music to the (existing) Bluetooth stereo. The phone is used for navigation, too.

The car’s after market stereo gets two upgrades. First, the two-way coaxial rear speakers get new enclosures that fit over the existing ones, making a larger sound box. Second, a small, removable subwoofer complements the four main speakers.

The car gets its own Bluetooth GPS receiver. The antenna is mounted on the roof, near the tail gate, and it’s hidden by a little radio antenna fin. The receiver itself is secured in the trunk, behind one of the removable interior panels. There is a Bluetooth multiplexor that supports four clients. It reads the stream of location information from the GPS receiver and transmits it over each of the four BT transmitters. In this way, I and three passengers can monitor our location at the same time without exhausting our phones’ built-in batteries.

The car gets lighter wheels of the same size as stock.

There might be a mural on the ceiling. It would be one of my photographs.

Sid Widmer
Sid Widmer(@sid)
8 years ago

BMW 507

[url=””]Your text to link…[/url]

Stephan P
Stephan P(@alfettaracer)
8 years ago

I like pretty much any restomod. I just hate modern wheels on them, make the effort to use vintage look wheels even if they are in modern size. I think that’s one reason the Porsches work so well, most of then stick with Fuchs style wheels

8 years ago

Bmw E30.

David Wiles
David Wiles(@fb_100004069304693)
8 years ago

1956-57 Corvette, Lotus Elite, Pontiac GTO.

Dustin Rittle
Dustin Rittle(@mosler)
8 years ago

Wow great question!! I would have to say id like to see a restomod of 1968-70 AMC AMX. I always believed that car had alot of potential if it was in the right hands. Also i wouldn’t mind seeing a restomod of a second gen corvair. It is a pretty looking car with a very decent suspension and relatively low weight. Another odd but cool choice would be a first gen Oldsmobile toronado. It would piss off old school traditionalist because of the front wheel drive but you could give those ricers a hand full to look for in their rearview mirror. Last be certainly not least id love to see a 1967 big block stingray get the same treatment that Eagle gives the E type with their Eagle speedster! that is something we can all drool about

8 years ago

I’d love to see a couple actually.

A Triumph TR6 would be good, especially if they made something of the Rover SD1 6. There’s a couple of teething problems with oil starvation, but solve that and you’ve got a Triumph-built SOHC I6 with a tough bottom end that can be bored out to 3.0l. Add into that some Group44-style flared wheelarches and I reckon it’d be excellent. Even if you used a BMW I6 it’d be pretty cool, although in my mind that sullies it a little.

Another good one would be an Alfa Montreal. The 2.6l V8 was good for around 200bhp, but it can certainly be stretched much further. The flat-plane crank 2.0l version in the 33 Stradale made 230bhp at 8800rpm, so there’s evidently scope for development. Add into that all of the goodies that have been developed for the Giulia GTVs and GTAs (which share a chassis) and there’s the capacity for a pretty amazing car.

An MGB GT V8 would also make a great candidate. They look excellent with flared wheelarches, the V8 can be stretched a long way and Jaguar IRS rear suspension swaps are a proven modification. The only real issue with this is that it’s been done before.

Lastly, and probably most challengingly, would be a Triumph Stag. Gorgeous cars, but hampered a little by their engine. It’s a reasonable enough engine, but it can’t really be pushed all that far. Tony Hart has got around 280bhp in his racing Stags, but that’s on a heavy race setup. However, if you put in the capital and knowhow to graft on the 16v heads from two Dolly Sprints (theoretically possible, if very tricky), along with some fairly solid cooling solutions I reckon you could go pretty far with the original engine.

Of course, you could swap in a Rover V8 and get the same power for half the price, but that’s not the point of Restomods. They’re about doing things right above doing things cheaply.

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange(@365daytonafan)
8 years ago

Are the Singer and Equus resto mods? Both are modern (or in the Singer’s case fairly modern) cars made to look like older classics rather than an upgraded classic? A truer restomod would be the marvelous [url=””]Eagle E Types [/url]

As to the original question I think a Ferrari 308 with 360 running gear would be an interesting drive?

Zachary Simard
Zachary Simard(@fb_699907889)
8 years ago

This is the same thing that I said for the “do something ridiculous” thread, but I would like to see someone take a first generation Datsun Z and modify it enough to win trans am. Someone did something sort of similar with a 260Z in Hungary and called it [i]Aardvark[/i]. You can see some of the work here:

Ryan Lopez
Ryan Lopez(@fb_100004968843639)
8 years ago

ford falcon oor jeep jeepster why not