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1967 Renault R4 Restoration with Gordini 1387 cc Engine Swap

May 19, 2017 in Engine Swap / French / Home Garage Build / Modification Thread / Sleeper

This 1967 Renault R4 was the subject of a restoration complete with a 1387cc Gordini engine swap, as seen on www.Renault4.co.uk. We have always been big fans of tiny cars, which would be obvious if you follow our posts with any bit of frequency in the slightest. We especially appreciate them when they have been warmed over by enthusiasts who know which parts to pick from their various years of manufacture and then assembles them all together using the most choice pieces, which is exactly the case of this project featured here today. While it would normally be a bit odd to label a car with only 94 horsepower a “sleeper”,  one has to take into consideration that that figure is now more than 3 times the amount of power of it’s original stock 847 cc engine, which makes it quite befitting of the title now, wouldn’t you agree?
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2010 Nissan Skyline GT-R SCCA World Challenge GT Race Car Build

May 16, 2017 in Japanese / Modification Thread / Race Car

This Nissan GT-R was the subject of an SCCA World Challenge GT race car build thread on www.GTR.co.uk, by forum member “[email protected]”. In order to get a baseline before tearing the car apart, AMS Performance in Chicago began by weighing the brand new, 74 mile car. While not exactly a featherweight at a hefty 3,908 pounds, all of it’s luxo grand touring stock interior pieces were chucked out next in favor of gutting it’s interior and installing some serious competition hardware. Every bit of necessary engine, brake and suspension modifications were applied to help it to endure the rigors of fender to fender racing, and give it a fighting chance to win some too, of course. Now, time for us to do what we do by covering the dismantling and build process on the following page. Please join us, and bring a jack to help lift our jaws off the ground, won’t you?
AMS Performance Track Nissan GT-R Build

Twiggy’s 1968 Toyota 2000GT Paint and Body Restoration

May 10, 2017 in Japanese / Restoration Shop

This 1968 Toyota 2000GT (VIN# MF10-10130) was the subject of a body restoration and repaint by expert craftsman Shin Yoshikawa of Studio Time Capsule in Lebec, California. The million dollar car, which was previously owned when new by the supermodel known worldwide as “Twiggy”, was entrusted to Shin by the Toyota Museum to repair some engine compartment fire damage and an older botched bodywork job. We love the shape of these iconic Japanese sports cars, which look like a much more intricate and delicate version of Datsun’s later-introduced 240Z. With only 337 total built between 1967 and 1970, we are happy to see that this one was returned to it’s former glory.
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1977 Mercedes Benz 450 SEL 6.9 Restoration from Brazil

May 9, 2017 in German / Restoration Shop / Sympathetic Restoration

This 1977 Mercedes Benz 450SEL 6.9 is the subject of a restoration thread on www.mbca.org by “Joe Brasileiro“. His name and impressive work were immediately recognizable, so a quick search confirmed that it was the same person as “jbrasile” who had restored the 1970 Mercedes Benz 300 SEL 6.3 that we previously featured. After all, how many Joe’s could there be restoring vintage Mercedes in Brazil? We gave high accolades to his craftsmanship on the last 6.3, and this latest 6.9 project is no different. The color combination is equally as striking, and as we said before about the last car’s tones, it is so very period of that era. Come take a closer look on the following page, won’t ya?…

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1960 FIAT Abarth Monomille Duck Tail‏ Restoration

May 8, 2017 in Build In Progress / Home Garage Build / Italian / Race Car

This Fiat Abarth Monomille Duck Tail is the subject of an on-going restoration thread on affbb.com by it’s owner, forum member Andrew Schank. He took on the “resurrection” project for a client, starting with a rough car that had been sitting for the past 33 years. It’s always a crime to witness these rare vintage cars left outside to rot, and we can’t help but wonder if it had been rescued even 10 years earlier if some of that cool patina could have been savable. Sympathetic restorations are always favorable over full nut and bolts when possible, but this one was too far gone by that point, unfortunately. It’s previous owner had purchased it second hand in the early 70’s, and luckily it appeared to remain 100% complete with it’s original Abarth 1000 CC engine included as well as a set of rare magnesium Campagnolo “Electron” 13X4 wheels that it was still wearing. Original Campy wheels + roll bar + Abarth badges = always the right mix of ingredients when authentic. In theory it appears to be such a simple formula, but in reality it is oh so very elusive.

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2002 Porsche 996 GT2 “RSR” by 911Design

April 19, 2017 in Build In Progress / Engine Swap / German / Modification Thread / Race Car

This 2002 Porsche 996 GT2 “RSR” is the subject of an on-going, 4 year active project by 911Design in an effort to build one of the most extreme street/track 911 GT2’s, possibly of all time. The custom fabrication craftsmanship and attention to detail in the suspension, engine and brakes, and all of it’s associated hardware is just absolute art. No posing here. In it’s final iteration, the 3.8 Twin Turbo engine was dynoed at 843 rwhp at 1.1 bar while running 100 octane race fuel.

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2012 Volkswagen Scirocco R Modification

March 1, 2017 in Build In Progress / Featured / German / Home Garage Build / Modification Thread

This 2012 Volkswagen Scirocco R is the subject of a 79 page modification thread on http://www.vwgolf.net.au/forum.php by it’s owner, forum member “Rev555”.  While we normally don’t feature slammed stance rides with flat wraps here, we have made the exception for this particular car because of it’s impressive list of modifications. Also because we have a soft spot for the “new” Scirocco that is unfortunately not being imported here into the United States, which makes it even more difficult after seeing these photos. In any case, when a car is as modified as this feature R, there are always decisions to personalize it to one’s own unique taste that not everybody will agree upon, but we can respect that when the overall end result is more about performance than appearance. With 513 ft lbs of torque, we have no problems at all here. Moving on…
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Lamborghini Countach S Rosso/Rosso Bare Metal Repaint

February 14, 2017 in Build In Progress / Italian / Restoration Shop

Over at ferrarichat.com, member “sp1der” left his Rosso/Rosso Lamborghini Countach LP5000S in the hands of the experts at U.K. based Alsa Automotive for a bare metal repaint, as well as for removal of it’s rear wing and ariel antennae. Anything that mentions a Lamborghini Countach and our ears immediately perk up here at CarBuildIndex. We love Marcello Gandini’s exotic wedge car design, which just seems to get better with age.

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1977 Lotus Esprit S1 Restoration

February 10, 2017 in English / Featured / Home Garage Build

This 1977 Lotus Esprit S1 has underwent a full nut and bolt restoration by it’s owner, who chronicled the whole process on a website that he dedicated to the 4 year build. His goal was to bring this Esprit S1 back to the way it had left the factory over 30 years ago. The end result exceeds these expectations, a car that certainly would have made Colin Chapman himself proud.
The Lotus had only 18,000 original miles on the clock when he purchased it back in 2009, and he began dismantling it before ever even driving it.

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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 CarBuildIndex.com 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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1968 Fiat Dino Spider Restoration

January 30, 2017 in Home Garage Build / Italian

This 1968 Fiat Dino Spider’s restoration project was posted in a thread on Fiat500USAForum.com by it’s owner, forum member “fredfrey”. The car was light blue when it originally left the factory 40 something years ago, but had been re painted resale red at some point by a previous owner. We are guessing that the Ferrari prancing horse emblem was slapped on the front grill at the same time, which is something that was never applied by either factory during their production run. A small quibble perhaps, considering otherwise discerning good taste is witnessed by both the light blue “Ferrari” Dino color that was chosen for it to be resprayed in and the fact that it has an awesome Alfa Romeo Jr. Zagato and a Fiat 600 both as stablemates. Sometimes, just seeing a garage with interesting cars gives their owner credibility to some of their personal choices that are made during another car’s restoration. Call us car snobs, but would we be second guessing his color choice and emblem decision if he had a PT Cruiser instead of a Zagato as one of his other cars? Probably.

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2011 Fiat 500 Abarth with Mid Engine and Rear Wheel Drive

January 10, 2017 in Engine Swap / Italian / Modification Thread / Video

This 2011 Fiat Abarth was taken and made into something that more closely resembles the original classic Abarth by moving it’s engine behind the seats and giving it rear wheel drive. Although this one has mid engine placement rather than rear, we would have to agree that it was a better choice than having it hang out over the rear axle like the classic version. It’s called the “Motore Centrale R230” (which we hopefully don’t have to translate for you) by the Italian aftermarket tuner Aznom, the “R230” representing what the little Fiat engine’s horsepower was tuned up to. With a custom cradle made to hold it, suspension by Bilstein and larger brakes by Tar-Ox, could this be the closest thing to an Renault R5 that we have seen since the Ford Shogun? We say take it one step further and give it flares, more horsepower and less weight, which sounds like something close to what they have planned for it with a possible track day version in the future. Until then, check out the pictures and videos on the following page for a bit of entertainment…
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Volkswagen Golf Build for U.K. Time Attack Series

January 3, 2017 in Engine Swap / English / German / Modification Thread / Race Car / Video

This Volkswagen MKVI Golf is the subject of a race car build thread on VWVortex.com by forum member “[email protected]”. The car started as a wrecked plain Jane base model Golf, but was given the full work over for Time Attack racing by Milltek Sport in the U.K., which included a warmed over 415 hp Golf R 4 cylinder turbo engine. There is no mention whether it received the R’s 4 Motion drive system too, so we are left to assume that it retains the base model’s front wheel drive platform, perhaps for weight savings or race class regulations. We have always been big fans of modified VW’s when they are tastefully and properly built like this car, which shouldn’t be confused with a drift car, not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course. Otherwise, the name of the series that this VW is racing in wouldn’t be called “Time Attack”, since going sideways isn’t exactly the quickest way around a track…
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Ex-Jim Clark Lister Jaguar “Flat Iron” Restoration for Goodwood Revival

December 28, 2016 in Build In Progress / English / Race Car / Restoration Shop / Video

This ex-Jim Clark Lister Jaguar “flat iron” is the subject of a two part restoration video series on FortyOneSix.com. The iconic race car was being finished for the Goodwood Revival meeting by CKL Developments in the UK. The car was originally built with a Bristol engine, but after it was crashed badly during it’s early racing career, a privateer team bought it and a Jaguar XK engine found it’s way into the bay. Jim Clark recently had a few choice words to say about the driving experience…

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1974 Alfa Romeo GTV Restoration

December 15, 2016 in Italian / Modification Thread

Follow this 1974 Alfa Romeo GTV’s restoration from start to finish as it’s owner takes us through a detailed account of the process on a website that he dedicated to the car’s re-build.  Although he states that it’s not intended to be a show car, it looks quite impressive from the pictures. The list of modifications clicks all of the right performance mod boxes for us. We would have probably foregone most of the red accents, but hey, that’s personal preference and he has every right to do whatever he wants with his own project.

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Video Recommendation: Canepa Shop Walk-Through

December 5, 2016 in American / General Discussion / German / Italian / Race Car / Restoration Shop / Video

We always find it fascinating to see what is currently going on in Bruce Canepa‘s Scott’s Valley, California shop during their weekly video walk throughs. No sound is necessary, the images speak volumes. We have had our eye on the black Interscope 934 in particular, but wonder what the lowered Duesenberg with stock wheels all about, too. In fact, everything in the shop peaks our interest, it’s absolute sensory overload! Enjoy..

Ferrari 512 BB Boxer Restoration by Foskers

November 2, 2016 in Italian / Restoration Shop

Since featuring the notorious classic photograph of a crashed Ferrari Boxer down the side of a snowy embankment a few weeks ago from the back page of a 1983 issue of Road & Trackwe have been on a quest to find a worthy 512 BB restoration to feature hereIt turns out that Ferrari marque experts Foskers in the U.K. took on such a project starting with the purchase of one in 2008, although no model year of their car is given. Using our knowledge accrued from years of studying the pages of our car magazine subscriptions instead of doing homework at an early age, we would have to say that this example is probably a late ’70’s or an ’80. Whatever it’s actual model year, what we have here is a Ferrari BB Boxer being slowly and methodically taken apart and then exposed in all of it’s glory, only to be put back together to better than new, absolutely stunning show condition by experienced professionals. We got your attention? Then come along and take a closer look at it with us on the next page…

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The Brilliant Shin Yoshikawa. Part 1

October 31, 2016 in Japanese / Restoration Shop / Video

We set aside the day today in order to focus on Shin Yoshikawa, an awe-inspiring man blessed with multiple automotive related and unrelated talents and skills. If his name sounds familiar, it may be because last month we featured his stunning restoration of the 1968 Toyota 2000GT which was once owned by the un-licensed 1960’s supermodel Twiggy, a rare model of vehicle that Shin has become an expert of. Since we want to make sure that his multi-faceted talents are given the proper justice they deserve, we decided to break his story into 2 features today. Additional upcoming features will include a glimpse into the cut-a-way drawings that he is so well known for and of his book about the Toyota 2000GT, too. Watch out for them in the coming week.
Part 1 begins below with a Vimeo video presentation about the man described as a professional photographer, designer, writer, restoration specialist and concert pianist all wrapped up in one package. From Silly Thing, please enjoy “Into the Wilderness“. Make sure to watch it in HD and full screen. Shall we begin?

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VIDEO SERIES: BMW i3 Production

October 27, 2016 in Build In Progress / Factory Tour / German / Video

The following 4 part video series by http://www.testdriven.co.uk/ shows a 2014 BMW i3 being produced on film just the way we like ’em, with no narration or background music playing at all. As a little bit of background before viewing, the rear wheel drive electric cars are able to be driven between 80 to 100 miles. A “range extender” version is available which has the addition of a 650cc two cylinder gas engine, increasing their range an additional 180 miles per tank. There is reportedly a good amount of torque to be felt right off the line from it’s 250 Nm, 170 hp engine, enabling it to achieve a swift 7.2 second 0-62 mph. While these appear to be fun little runabouts to drive while that restoration project is still in pieces in the garge, we’d like to see a convertible version made available too.
To find out more about the car, find a link to testdriven.com’s i3 article after the videos on the following page.
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