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Lotus Type 79/1 Restoration

May 23, 2017 in English / Race Car / Restoration / Restoration Shop

This Lotus Type 79/1 Formula 1 vintage race car was the subject of a restoration by Classic Team Lotus in the U.K. The vehicle was originally used as a prototype for the development of under car aerodynamics with help from none other than Mario Andretti, and was also the first Formula 1 car designed using wind tunnel and computer design aids. Later, it was used as his spare race car for the 1978 season. When Lotus enthusiast Paul Rego of Regogo Racing in Texas found out that it was available for sale back in 2010, he took advantage of the opportunity to purchase the rare 1 of 5 car and promptly had it sent back to England where it received it’s renovation under the supervision of Clive Chapman, son of Lotus “add lightness” legend Colin.
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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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Custom Citroen 2CV Build

May 5, 2017 in French / Home Garage Build / Modification Thread / Video

This quirky little French Citroen 2CV snail was the subject of a custom home garage build thread on jalopyjournal.com. Forum member “mika112” in Northern France is the owner/builder and as you will see his metal work is extremely impressive, especially considering that he is in the chemical business as a trade and this was his first car project that he has ever completed. The H.A.M.B. site is home to some very interesting “kustom” builds, usually American iron, so it was refreshing to see one of these being modified for a change of pace. Mika’s overall goal was to retain the car’s original classic shape so that it wouldn’t be modified beyond recognition, and not mistaken for a modified VW Bug or Tatra when finished. Although it is illegal to modify or swap engines in France, everything else is apparently open to interpretation if the completed project is any indication, so come with us and take a look at the absurdly brilliant metal forming talent of this project’s owner as this build unfolds on the following page…
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Lamborghini LM002 Restoration

May 3, 2017 in Italian / Restoration

This Lamborghini LM002 was restored over the course of 2,400 work hours by the crew at Lamborghini Wycombe in the U.K. They started with what looked like a very nice blue on gray example, but then did what they had to do by stripping it down to the bone for completing it a to a full show quality restoration that included a color change to black on beige, their 6th LM002 rebuild to date. We have always been huge fans of the model and are trying to imagine a manufacturer today creating a modern interpretation that is as brute and so perfectly politically incorrect as the raging bull has proven to be, but somehow we just can’t envision anything to ever be as raw and sinister again…
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1989 Ford Transit Van with 640 hp Jaguar XJ220 Engine Swap

April 25, 2017 in Engine Swap / English / Sleeper

Being that we are the Car Build Index, it is our mission to bring our readers the most outrageous engine swaps, restorations and projects that we can possibly find. There are a lot of lackluster, uninspiring hack jobs out there, but every now and then we find something that we get excited about which fits the bill perfectly. That being said, it is only appropriate that we now present to you the following 1989 Ford Transit  Supervan. Normally, a plain white van would not be exactly earth shattering to the average car enthusiast, but we are certain that we could change that bleak outlook when we happily report to you that this one was originally a Jaguar factory test mule that is now fitted with a 640 horsepower XJ220 supercar engine…

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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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1986 MG Metro 6R4 Restoration by Mäkelä Auto Tuning in Finland

March 31, 2017 in English / Race Car / Restoration / Restoration Shop / Video

What car nerd among us doesn’t thoroughly enjoy seeing a race car being built from the ground up, especially when it is from the golden era of Group B competition such as this 1986 MG Metro 6R4 (AD570091)? Mäkelä Auto Tuning in Finland is the shop that handled the honors, who you just might remember from our previous feature of their Ferrari 308 to Michelotto Group B specification build (found in “Related posts” on the next page) from back in September. The shop completes some absolutely astounding, jaw dropping to ground, tongue rolling out, eyes bulging out projects, which we are sure nobody here would argue with after seeing some of their work. So, while we try to compose ourselves, why don’t you watch the build of this obscure little MG unfold on the next page, which we hesitate to label “hot hatch” in fear of some brutal retaliation from it. This evil machine is far too serious for that nomenclature, check it out for yourself…
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Ford F-150 “Raptor” 2WD Build

March 13, 2017 in American / Featured / Home Garage Build / Modification Thread

Over at fordraptorforum.com, an active thread by forum member “sodrty” has been chronicling the build of his 2wd Ford “Raptor” project. His day/night job is working with All American Racing and their radical Delta Wing Le Mans car.  With all of the unbelievably impressive custom machining and fabricating that has gone into this build, we can safely assume that he has a active key role within the race team.

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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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1955 Mercedes Benz 300 SL Gullwing Restoration

March 2, 2017 in Featured / German / Restoration Shop

This 1955 Mercedes Benz 300 SL Gullwing was the subject of a full restoration by Rare Drive in East Kingston, New Hampshire.  Although 300 SL’s are their specialty, they have also won awards on the lawns of Pebble Beach and Amelia Island for their restorations of Ferraris, Ford GT40s and Shelby Cobras too. Their website does not include any details of this specific vehicle, but since the car is such a classic we have included it here along with a bit of history on the model. Our interest has been piqued especially since featuring the 2nd SL ever produced in a previous story that can be seen here: http://www.carbuildindex.com/7856/1952-mercedes-benz-300-sl-restoration-by-factory-2nd-every-produced-2/.
By the time this road-going 300 SL was produced 3 years after the previously mentioned ’52, they had proved to be a force to be reckoned with at the track and on the showroom floors, and this particular example finally received a much needed restoration to bring it back to it’s former glory.

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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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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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UPDATED: BMW E30 M3 Race Car Restoration/Build

February 1, 2017 in Build In Progress / German / Modification Thread / Race Car / Restoration Shop

Update: Since our original November 6th post, this M3 build is almost finished and can be seen on the following page after the original feature starting below.

We ran across this BMW E30 M3 race car’s build featured on CrankAndPiston.com, linked at the bottom of the page. Appropriately titled “E30 M3 Perfection”, it is the undertaking of MSW Dubai’s Jon Simmonds, who’s goal was to restore it as a no expense spared project utilizing modern race technology. The quality of the build is nothing short of astounding. We have said it before and we will say it again…there is always just something about seeing a caged E30 M3 on jack stands in the corner of a shop that gets us all fired up, especially in white for whatever reason. Probably has something to do with the motorsports connection. And we always appreciate when the stock dashboard is kept in place in an otherwise stripped out interior. This one is already off to a good start…

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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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