Some cars are absolute pieces of art. They are rolling sculptures, delighting man, woman, and child alike. Also, they drive like crap. Here's a list of classics that could use a little juice under the hood, a little spring in their suspension, or a little re-do of the interior.
We should be wise to remember the "resto" part of "restomod." A lot of the work that would go into these cars is to restore a classic, not to create a Frankenstein's monster of a hot rod. Better cooling, better brakes, yes, maybe a bit of tune to the engine that helps the car lose none of its character, and some real quality seats.
This is about restoring a car not to how it was, but to how it should be remembered. If a car was not great but we remember that it was, then why not re-live the memories?
Here are ten cars that deserve a refresh.
10.) Jeep Wagoneer
It may be a little weird to think of the Wagoneer as a classic, but the first examples were built in the 1960s. Replace the vinyl seats with some fine leather, maybe a modern suspension that is both cushier and it stops you from bouncing around, and a new engine that's both more powerful and a bit more miserly at the pump and you've basically got a brand new luxury SUV.
Except this one has WOOD on the sides. Awesome.
9.) Lancia Fulvia Coupe
The Lancia Fulvia is a desperately pretty little car, and already makes a great noise. With a few subtle tweaks (like a turbocharged I4 to replace the weak v4 it started out with), it might be able to compete at all the local rallies it used to dominate.
8.) Nash Metropolitan
The Nash Metropolitan was one of the first cars that taught us that just because a car was small, didn't mean it didn't have to come without a big chrome bumper and a heaping of style. Too bad it also came with a boat-like suspension and a wheezy engine.
7.) Alfa Romeo Montreal
Reader BiTurbo228 - Rust Magnet has this one already all thought out:
The 2.6l V8 is derived from Alfa's race engine from the Tipo 33, so there's lots of scope for development. It's easily punched out to 3.0l, and sounds like a banshee when it is.
At 1312kg, it's not a particularly heavy car, but with aluminium or CF panels and other lightening measures you could probably drop it under 1000.
I reckon it's also look even more badass than it does already with slightly widened wheelarches. The short-lived racing version is testament to that, but I reckon flares that follow the contours of the wings would be better, rather than ones that stick out of the sides like these.
There are also a couple of little flaws that could be improved upon, primarily the live rear axle could be swapped out for IRS.
They're the Alfa equivalent of the 3.0l CSL, and if they'd received the same amount of development as the BMW they could have been very serious machines. That's where we step in.
The only issue I can see is that it might drive the price of them above the £20,000 you can find them for now, and I'd be even further away from getting one myself.
6.) Facel Vega HK500
The Facel Vega's airplane-inspired design made it look like it was capable of taking to the skies, and when it was built in 1954 it might as well have. With a big V8 engine, it could do more than 110 mph and could hit 60 in just under ten seconds. Those numbers were very impressive at the time, but for a French luxury car it's performance is closer to a tiny Citroen DS3. Why not throw in a smooth Mercedes-Benz V8, and let it be the high-speed cruiser it looks like?
5.) 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback
You could probably just change the brakes, suspension, and put in some body-hugging seats and call it a day.
4.) DeLorean DMC-12
Although it looked like a sports car, the rear-mounted PRV6 engine was notoriously weak and may have hurt the car almost as much as its creator. That said, restomods of DeLoreans are already starting to pop up, even in electric DeLorean form.
3.) Chevrolet Corvair
A lightweight Subaru boxer engine to replace the original one, and some suspension parts from the guys at Porsche who knows how to make a rear-engine car handle, and baby, you got a stew goin'. Also, it won't kill you.
2.) BMW 635CSi
This may be sacrilege, but a number of our readers suggested it and hey, I'm just the messenger who happens to choose what actually goes on this list. Many wanted a re-worked and re-vised suspension, along with an engine swap from a current BMW like a 335i. Switching up the interior materials from the basic black or cream leather probably wouldn't hurt, either.
1.) Ferrari 308 GTB
It's a real shame that one of the prettiest and most affordable cars that Enzo Ferrari ever made is also one of the slowest. With only 235 horsepowers in US-spec it will get passed by many a family car in a drag race these days, and will have ten times the cost in maintenance (the guys at the Classic Car Club will be the first to tell you that). If you're going to be spending a fortune on it anyways, why not throw in the parts it deserves?
Welcome to Answers of Last Weekend - our weekly Jalopnik feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous week's Question of the Weekend and shine it up to show off. It's by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy! Photo Credit: Pauls Imaging