custom fabrication

Rolling Restoration Project: 1971 Fiat 124 Sport Spider

May 24, 2017 in Engine Swap / Home Garage Build / Italian / Modification Thread

This 1971 Fiat 124 Sport Spider was the subject of a tasteful rolling restoration by it’s owner, a crafty home garage mechanic and avid Fiat enthusiast. With all of the high priced heavyweights we have been talking about here recently, we thought it was long past due for us to get back to our roots (and back down to reality) and feature a fun lightweight Italian convertible restoration, and this project hit that nail slam right on the head. Let’s take a closer look at it, shall we?
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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

Tastefully Built 1969 Datsun Roadster Resto-Mod

May 12, 2017 in Engine Swap / Japanese / Restoration Shop

This 1969 Datsun Roadster was built as a resto mod utilizing an assortment of interesting and clever features by the crew at Spriso Motorsports in Corvallis, Oregon. This project wasn’t exactly their first tango at swapping a modern SR20DE engine into one of the iconic Japanese convertibles. In fact, they had completed several before, using “test drivers” to sort out any possible bugs before selling their conversions to customers looking for upgraded power, handling and brakes featuring modern reliability all wrapped up in a vintage package. This particular ’69 S13 SR20DET came about as the result of one man’s new found interest in the vintage convertible after many years of 510 dedication, and the following story is about his build and what changed his perspective forever. Let’s take a closer look at exactly what would make someone simply walk away from a previous devotion and never look back…
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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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CSX2000: The Very First Shelby Cobra Ever Produced

April 28, 2017 in American / Engine Swap / English / Factory Photos / Patina / prototype / Race Car / Survivor

This innocuous appearing blue AC set before you just so happens to be one of, if not the most significant sports cars in automotive history to ever grace an American powerplant. You see, this vehicle is CSX2000, the very first Shelby Cobra to ever be produced. But you already knew that there was something special about this car, didn’t you? Upon first glance at it’s photos, the automotive connoisseur in you already immediately noted it’s well earned patina, ruling out the possibility of it being a later produced replica, especially when you consider that the majority of replicas wear wider flared bodies. This one’s narrow body, early unfamiliar looking vintage badges and all original looking interior were all tell tale signs that this was possibly an exceptionally iconic car that you are looking at, but would you have known that this Cobra should also possibly be considered the ultimate production car engine swap of all times? Perhaps a bit of a grandiose statement at first read, but let’s take a closer look at this car’s history and then you can be the judge yourself of that and also decide if it’s worth the claimed $20 million plus dollar estimate that has been placed as it’s value…
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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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The Rod Tempero Replica ’64 Ferrari Series 2 GTO

April 3, 2017 in Italian / Race Car / Replica/Tribute Build / Restoration Shop

The hot vintage car topic on the internet this week has no doubt been the ’64 Ferrari Series 2 GTO since Petrolicious.com released their video of an original one being flogged by none other than it’s original driver Phil Hill’s son Derek. Then another Rod Tempero Coach Builders-built ’64 replica popped up on e-Bay and was subsequently featured on Bringatrailer.com. Considering the current value of an original, it will be interesting to see where this one ends up selling at, but exactly how accurate to a real one is it? How about we take a closer look at the New Zealand custom coach builder on the following page to get a better understanding of how to answer that question…
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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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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…
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1971 Ford Transit Supervan

March 23, 2017 in American / English / General Discussion / Race Car / Sleeper / Video

Oh, okay now this is absolutely glorious. Not so sure this beast could get away with being labeled a “sleeper”, but nonetheless what we have here is a 1971 Ford Transit that is basically a GT40 wrapped in the body of a cargo van. It was built by Terry Drury Racing, who was no stranger to Ford GT40’s, having campaigned them in competition back in the days as a privateer. The “Supervan” had the chassis, along with independent suspension and brakes from the GT40, paired with a mid mounted 400 bhp Gurney Weslake V8 and 5 speed transmission. It first appeared at Brands Hatch on Easter of ’71 wearing typical Ford racing white paint and blue stripe livery and arched wheel flares to cover the wide rims. We’d love to know what happened to it since. Find a period video on the following page…

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Video Recommendation: Porsche 911 by Head of Design for Bugatti

March 21, 2017 in German / Video

In this short video, /DRIVEN takes a look at Achim Anscheidt’s 1981 Porsche SC. As the Head of Design for Bugatti, it is interesting to see his minimalist build, surely a sharp contrast to the luxurious power barges that consume his daily job duties. His 911 has been backdated to an early long hood car specification and was made extremely lightweight from use of Kevlar fenders, door skins and front and rear lids, as well as from gutting the interior, too. It’s beautifully simplistic yet effective build is exactly the kind that we like to feature here, and somehow we are sure that you’ll agree that this one was finished properly:

Please continue onto the following page for more recommendations in “Related Posts”..

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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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