1972 Abarth Osella SE/21 Restoration

March 24, 2017 in Barn Find / Italian / Race Car / Restoration / Restoration Shop

This 1972 Abarth Osella was the subject of a restoration by Robin Automotive in Sonoma, California back in 2000 and has since popped up for sale at Symbolic Motors in La Jolla. The first of only six confirmed to have been fully completed, it was originally used as Enzo Osella’s testing and development car and was also a “loaner” car, given to teams when their cars were out of service. We love the look of these mini Ferrari Can Am-esque racers, and this one’s 2 liter 4 cylinder engine was rebuilt and dyno tested at 244 horsepower at 7,900 rpm with 173 ft/lb or torque at 6,000 rpm when it was restored. Those aren’t exactly figures that you would want to be putting around town with but work as an absolute screamer on the track. Now this is what we’re talking about! Follow this one’s restoration and interesting history with us on the next page…

Restoration of First Avanti Ever Produced

March 15, 2017 in American / Build In Progress / Featured / Restoration

This 1961 Avanti is the very first one ever made (#1001) and is now the subject of a much needed restoration. The whacky metallic flake green vehicle, still containing it’s original engine and seats, was donated along with another one to the LeMay Car Museum in 2001, both in very poor condition. It’s restoration back to it’s original glory started in 2011 and is currently well on it’s way to completion. Get up to date on it’s story on the following page and then follow it’s progress in the link provided after. You don’t have to be an avid Avanti enthusiast to appreciate this one’s success story…

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1975 Alpine A110 Restoration

March 7, 2017 in French / Race Car / Restoration / Restoration Shop

This 1975 Alpine Renault A110 1800 VA was the subject of a restoration by the marque experts at AlpineLAB in Germany. Their site covers the history and restoration of several examples, but this particular factory race car caught our attention mainly because this Berlinette was the only 1 out of the 5 total that was built for “Client Competition”, and it had been sitting, rotting away in a field in Africa until only recently getting rescued and brought back to life. Follow it’s restoration process from the beginning to end with us on the following page while we take a closer look at it from it’s slumber to splendor…

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1968 Plymouth Hemi Road Runner Restoration

March 3, 2017 in American / Engine Swap / Race Car / Restoration / Restoration Shop recently profiled this ’68 Plymouth 426 Hemi Road Runner that was restored by Supercar Specialties in Portland, Michigan. It was an absolute mess when it showed up at the shop with rust everywhere and even cobwebs in the engine cylinders, but when it was finished it was sporting a 712 hp Ray Barton Racing built engine that was further tuned enabling it to turn the quarter in 10.92 at 126.92 mph. We dig the factory look of the finished restoration, which is now a show car but absolutely not a trailer queen by any stretch of the imagination. Check out the attached pictures of it’s transformation on the next page and then find a link to the full story following after.

Andy Rooney’s 1966 Sunbeam Alpine Tiger Restoration

February 24, 2017 in American / English / Restoration / Restoration Shop

We are back with another restoration recommendation from to take a look at, this time around a touching story about a 1966 Sunbeam Tiger that belonged to Andy Rooney from 60 Minutes. He had originally purchased it brand new and always thoroughly enjoyed driving while he was still amongst us, but unfortunately never got to see it’s restoration finished by Whitehall Auto Restorations in Massachusetts while he was still alive. His daughter Emily shares the story, which can be found in full in the link provided on the following page. But first, how about some pictures?


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1984 Porsche Rothmans Prodrive 911 SCRS Restoration

February 21, 2017 in Build In Progress / German / Restoration / Restoration Shop

Today’s Friday feature is the restoration of an authentic 1984 Porsche 911 SCRS which was originally built by Prodrive for racing in period with title sponsor Rothmans. This car is the real deal, 1 of only 20 cars built by the factory before being sent to the master gurus of Suburu WRC rally fame back in the day. It had been successfully campaigned in the Middle East in Group B competition before it’s latest owner here in the United States took custody of it. He had it’s engine rebuilt and had modifications given to it by Pat Williams Racing in 2005 so that he could street drive it when not participating in rally events here on our own home soil. Exactly our type of guy. More recently, Vintage Sports Cars Restorations gave it a full nut and bolt restoration, which is what you are about to witness on the following page. Behold…
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1991 Mazda 787B Restoration

February 16, 2017 in Japanese / Race Car / Restoration / Video

This 1991 Mazda 787B was the overall winner of LeMans that year, and was treated to a restoration by Mazda in 2011 to celebrate it’s 20 year anniversary of that victory. Mazda is the only Japanese manufacturer to have ever won the race, and this vehicle is the only car powered by a rotor engine to have won LeMans, too. Check out it’s short restoration video on the following page, and an on-board demonstration lap at LeMans with Johnny Herbert at the wheel. Great stuff:

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Reader Submission: 1960 Austin Seven Mk 1 Mini Restoration/Yamaha Engine Swap

February 6, 2017 in Build In Progress / Engine Swap / English / Home Garage Build / Reader Submission / Restoration / Video

This 1960 Austin Seven Mk1 project is brought to us today by reader Joe, who wanted to share with fellow viewers his epic build that includes an engine and transmission swap from a 2003 Yamaha YZF-R1 motorcycle. The 11,000 rpm, 998 cc motor is said to produce in the range of 164 horsepower and weigh merely a scant 150 pounds. At 200 pounds less than the stock one it replaces and in excess of 30 more horsepower than a fully built 1275cc Series A engine, that’s a win/win formula which you will never find us arguing with. The project started almost 6 years ago and it is currently in it’s final stages of completion, so come take a closer look at it with us on the following page and then be sure not to miss his linked site that details his build in full.

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Video: Jay Leno’s Garage 1966 Lotus Elan 26R Restoration

January 20, 2017 in English / Race Car / Restoration / Restoration Shop / Video

Now thiss is what we’re talking about! Jay Leno’s Garage just completed the restoration of an amazing ’66 26R with many trick and custom fabricated parts, but we won’t spoil the surprise of what they are by letting them out of the bag beforehand. They filmed many stages of the build and wrapped it all up in the video below, and then followed it up with an epic drive. In our (not so) humble opinion, definitely one of, if not The finest Elan existing today. Enjoy:

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1973 Brumos Porsche 911 S Current Restoration/Build Thread

January 9, 2017 in Build In Progress / Engine Swap / German / Home Garage Build / Race Car / Restoration

There’s a really interesting 1973 Porsche 911 S home garage build thread currently unfolding on, which can be found linked on the following page. For those of you who want to be caught up to date with the Cliff Notes version first, all you got to do is continue reading here for the highlights before jumping in. The project starts with a long hood which was originally built by Florida based championship race winning Brumos Porsche as their own iteration of a factory lightweight RS or Clubsport package car. It includes an actual genuine “retired” IROC 3.0 RSR engine that was first installed back in ’74, the crown jewel of this project. Since it is being rebuilt as a street car still, forum member/car owner “chriskimmelshue” is keeping it’s electric sunroof and windows, heat and carpet and is building it exactly to his spec, regardless of others are suggesting he does with the rare race engine or original Brumos history, and here’s how it is going down…

Title Photo Speaks Volumes- Just a Pair of 1968 Alfa Romeo GTA 1300 Junior Restorations

January 6, 2016 in Barn Find / Italian / Race Car / Restoration / Video

I am re-posting this story which originally appeared on January 19th, 2015 to try and entice our CBI viewership to send in their own builds and restorations. The good, the bad, the ugly, the drop dead gorgeous, the expensive, the cheap, the mega horsepower, the sewing machine powered, we want em all. And if it has a roll bar, extra brownie points. “Stay tuned!”
This 1968 Alfa Romeo GTA 1300 Junior was the subject of a restoration on by its owner, forum member “donrencos”. He came across the barn find by chance in 2011 and found that it had originally been part of the 3 Autodelta-prepared race car team, Zetor Racing from the former Czechoslovakia. Research found that this example was over revved at its first race in Olomouce in 1969, then was used as a spare parts car for the other two until sold a few years later. During that subsequent ownership, it was updated with wider fenders, plastic doors with sliding windows and 13″ rims, as well some not so optimal modifications to the front air dam. He goes into more specific detail about each of the cars histories in the beginning of the build thread, but ultimately this example was put into a barn in 1982 after a strong racing career on tracks and in hill climbs, finally to be resurrected and restored over 30 years later…

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1999 Peugeot 106 to GTi Track Day Build

January 6, 2016 in Build In Progress / Engine Swap / French / Home Garage Build / Modification Thread / Restoration

I am re-posting this story which originally appeared on December 1st, 2014 to entice CBI readers to send in their own builds and restorations. The good, the bad, the ugly, the drop dead gorgeous, the expensive, the cheap, the mega horsepower, the sewing machine powered, we want em all. And if it has a roll bar, extra brownie points.
This 1999 Peugeot 106 is the subject of a GTi build thread on by its owner, forum member “Marv_106”. We always enjoy checking out hot hatches when undergoing a proper street/track day treatment, especially in a scenario such as this where it’s being done very tastefully and is a bit exotic considering we never got them on our shores here in the U.S. It already had a few modifications when he bought it which included Speedline wheels, a lowered suspension (unspecified), an induction kit and 306 GTi-6 brakes, making it a good base to start even though in the end all of those items got tossed in favor of more circuit oriented gear. Check it out with us in more detail on the following page…

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A Look at a Home Garage 1986 Lamborghini Countach 5000 Quattrovalvole Restoration Blog

January 6, 2016 in Build Site / Home Garage Build / Italian / Restoration

I am re-posting this story which originally appeared on June 9th, 2015 to entice CBI readers to send in their own builds and restorations. The good, the bad, the ugly, the drop dead gorgeous, the expensive, the cheap, the mega horsepower, the sewing machine powered, we want em all. And if it has a roll bar, extra brownie points.



You all know how we love a good car restoration blog, so it should come as no surprise that when we recently ran across this 1986 Lamborghini Countach 5000 Quattrovalvole getting a thorough refresh detailed on a website dedicated to the rebuild, we felt we had hit the vintage car demigod jackpot. After two long years of Jason Jones working on his Italian exotic in his own home garage, it is finally road worthy once again with just a few minor modifications needed to be complete. Luckily a previous owner had already fronted the $70,000 bill for the 455 hp 5,167 cc V12 engine rebuild, although Jason had no certainty that it was done correctly so that was one of the biggest concerns he had to face going in. Regardless of whether critics have called these wedges nearly impossible to drive with the slightest bit of any comfort at all or not, or even capable of having any rearward visibility for that matter, we are huge fans of the Marcello Gandini design that just seems to get sexier and sexier as the years pass on. A lot of that certainly has to do with a height of only just over 40 inches (isn’t that how the Ford GT40 got it’s moniker?) to give the impression of an impossibly angular and low slung toy when standing next to it. In total, only 610 QV’s were imported to the United States between 1985 and 1988 so it’s good to see this one being brought back to life to terrorize the streets by a real Lamborghini diehard with 2 other Sant’Agata stablemates, as well. Check out a few of the highlights on the following page, where a link to the site can be found for the whole shebang…

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THE TOP 15 POSTS OF 2015: Starting with #15- 1972 BMW 2002 tii “M2” Build with 2.5 Liter E30 M3 Engine Swap

December 31, 2015 in Drivetrain Swap / Engine Swap / German / Restoration

1What’s not to love about the combination of meshing a ’72 BMW 2002 tii roundie with a bored out 2.5 liter S14 engine from an E30 M3? This “M2” can be found on, a site that any lightweight vintage car enthusiast can easily find themselves getting lost in for quite a while. It wasn’t easy to choose just one to feature here out of the bunch, but there was just something about this particular example with its…

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THE TOP 15 POSTS OF 2015: #13- 1985 Mercedes Benz 500 SEC AMG Restoration

December 31, 2015 in Build In Progress / Drivetrain Swap / German / Home Garage Build / Modification Thread / Restoration / Shared Feature Story

1 1If this Mercedes Benz 500 SEC AMG wide body were on the market for sale today, then it’s current owner/restorer would be exactly the kind of guy we would want to buy it from, and this would be the car. As a “pre-merger” AMG enthusiast and expert (the period of time before Daimler Chrysler purchased AMG in 1999 and moved them in-house to Mercedes Benz), Henric shares his 115 page-and-counting build story with us that was originally featured on The project begins with just a skeleton plucked out of an Arizona junk yard and ends with it fully complete back to the custom condition that it was in when first delivered…

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THE TOP 15 POSTS OF 2015: #10- Two, Yes 2 Lamborghini Countach Barn Finds! Be Warned…

December 31, 2015 in Barn Find / Build In Progress / Italian / Restoration

12 (two) Lamborghini Countach barn finds, you say?!? We say, bring them on! Follow along with the story of both of these as information comes up in their currently active thread on For those of you who are not yet registered there, I have included the photos of both cars on the next page, but be forewarned- both have some rather, shall I say, “funky” modifications, so proceed with caution…

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THE TOP 15 POSTS OF 2015: #7-Updated: The Unbelievable But True Full Story of 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO #3589

December 31, 2015 in Art / Barn Find / Italian / Race Car / Restoration

5Today we take an updated re-look at the story behind one of the neglected cars from one of our past “Abandoned Cars-A Sad Sad Pictorial” features. Every single car pictured in that gallery is a horrific display of abuse and deterioration, but one car in particular that stood out and caught our attention was the 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO sitting outside, dilapidating in a field. Low and behold, we have now finally run across the shocking full story of that particular car, which we share on the following page for the inquiring minds of our fellow vintage car enthusiasts who want to know….

Restoration of an Uber Rare John Coombs Modified (In Period) Jaguar Mk 2 Saloon

December 29, 2015 in English / Rare / Restoration / Restoration Shop

4 1This Jaguar Mk II Saloon was restored by the marque experts at Classic Motor Cars in the U.K. and certified as an authentic example that had been modified in period by John Coombs. The restoration shop is becoming a familiar name around here, as they seem to keep popping up every time a Jaguar with any sort of historical significance attached to it is brought up. This particular car was purchased off of eBay from an owner who had it stashed away in his barn since the mid 1970’s. He had plans to eventually restore it into a daily driver but finally sold it more recently when he realized that he would never get around to the project, so it’s good to see that it fell into the right hands…

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