If you had to pick two extremes for a scale of automotive badassery, you could reasonably peg the low end of the scale with the yawn-generating Chevy Optra, and the high end with a Mustang-based Shelby GT500. That would provide two extremes pretty much anyone could understand. Which is why Big Daddy Custom's conversion of the bad-ass deprived Optera into a famous GT500 is so amazing.

Yes, those Indian kooks have taken the same car used as Top Gear's "Reasonably Priced Car" and turned it into an 'Eleanor' replica (1967 Shelby GT500) from the second Gone in 60 Seconds movie. It's both pretty great and kind of awful.

The Optera started as a four-door sedan, and ended up as a two-door fastback. The body changes are very extensive, and details like door handles, mirrors, and some lighting equipment seem to be sourced directly from old Mustangs of the era. They've also done a very credible job of recreating details like the flush-fitting Mustang rear bumper at a smaller scale.


The sub-scale and slightly-off proportions make this thing even more fun, in my opinion. An exact replica would be, well, an exact replica, and what's the point of that? Something that just barely hints at its improbably origins, something that makes your brain writhe just a bit when you see it, trying to figure out what's not quite right, that's where this gets really fun. I only wish they had a place where they could get enough room to photograph the whole thing.


Mechanicals appear to be stock Optera, which means this dog's bark is far worse than its anemic bite. We'll give it the benefit of the doubt and say it's got the 1.8 engine, which makes an actually not too anemic 120 horses.

I'm a huge fan of these sorts of perverse conversions. Big Daddy Customs has a history of these, most recently converting a Tata Safari into a credible-looking Evoque knock off called the Moon Rover. I'm excited to see what's next. Maybe a Suzuki Swift into an E-Type?