Home Cars 20 Classic Cars That Boast Modern Tech and Performance

20 Classic Cars That Boast Modern Tech and Performance

Vukasin Herbez November 25, 2020

Most car enthusiasts understandably want classic cars, the unmistakable legends that shaped the history of the car industry. However, the truth is that most of those classics are not exactly suited to modern traffic conditions. What has once considered a high-performance car is often slower than today’s economy models.

So what’s the solution if you are looking for the appearance and of a classic car but modern amenities like a high-performance engine, composed handling, ABS brakes, and air conditioning?

The restomoding culture is a relatively recent addition to the colorful world of car modifications. However, those cars are much more than just modifications, they are completely new creations based on classic cars and can offer much in terms of style and performance to their owners. They are the opposite of some models this major carmaker regrets ever releasing. Here are the 20 most interesting.

20. ICON Ford Bronco

One of the most popular Restomod companies is California-based ICON4x4. The company has risen to fame by building classic Jeeps and Land Cruisers with modern engines, trick suspension kits, matte paint, and several other valuable features. However, one of their most successful products is the ICON BR – short for Bronco. As you guessed it, the basis for this custom project is an old, first-generation Ford Bronco. It was a popular classic SUV from the late ’60s.

Due to its compact dimensions, all-wheel drive, and powerful engine, the Bronco was a common choice back in the day. But ICON wanted to enhance every aspect and introduce the classic shape to 21st century standards. So owner Jonathan Ward teamed up with designer Camilo Prado to present the ultimate Bronco. They equipped it with the new Ford Coyote 5.0-liter V8, a fully-adjustable suspension kit, and a five-speed manual transmission. It also got ABS brakes and numerous other mechanical and visual modifications.

The basic design stayed the same, so the ICON BR still looks like a classic Ford Bronco but drives like a supercar. ICON will happily build a Bronco with your name on it according to your own specifications but have in mind the waiting list is over a year-long and prices start just shy of $200,000.

19. Alfaholics GTA-R

Classic Alfa Romeos are one of the most beautiful, yet obtainable classics from the 1960s. The romantic lines of the Tipo 105 Coupe are as elegant and dynamic as they were 50 years ago. So it’s not hard to understand why classic car fans went crazy over those beautiful coupes. However, those who know classic Alfas will tell you that beauty is often only skin deep. Alfas were known to be rust-prone, not exactly well made, and far from mechanically sound.

But a company called Alfaholic from England is aware of that as one of the prime restorers of classic Alfas in the United Kingdom. Over the years, the idea of the ultimate Alfa 105 Coupe emerged and Alfaholics had the knowledge and hardware to pull it off. So in 2014, they produced their first restomod coupe they called the GTA-R 290. From the outside, it looks like an Alfa Romeo GTA in its classic racing version. But a second look reveals the improvements and an amazing level of detail.

Under the hood is a blueprinted 2.3-liter four-cylinder twin-cam Alfa engine with individual throttle bodies and fuel injection. The engine delivers 240 HP and sends them to the rear wheels over a special lightweight five-speed manual transmission. The suspension is custom made with disc brakes all around. The whole car weighs 1,500 pounds and can lap the famous Nürburgring track in less than eight minutes. Best of all, this Alfa won’t leave you stranded by the side of the road and it won’t rust.

18. Legacy Power Wagon

Located in rural Wyoming, Legacy Classic Trucks specializes in restoring and restomoding legendary pieces of American car history. Legacy Classic Trucks introduced a series of Restomod models that amaze truck fans with the quality craftsmanship, engineering, and original idea. There are several classic trucks on offer, but the most interesting is the Legacy Power Wagon.

Legacy based it on the legendary Dodge Power Wagon. But Legacy’s interpretation keeps the original design, durability, and usability. They also add a ton of modern features and encasements. This transformed this rugged truck from thr 1930s into one of the best off-road vehicles of the 2010s.

Prices start at just below $200,000 for a basic model powered by a 6.2-liter Chevrolet LS3 V8 engine with 430 HP. If you want, you can get a modern V8 diesel engine in your Legacy Power Wagon, as well as an extended cab or double cab configuration. Best of all, the latest state of the art electronics, suspensions, and interior comforts are part of the package.

17. Frontline MG LE50

Car fans have always liked the everlasting charm of classic British roadster. But they were always afraid of the rust, problematic electricity, and underpowered engines. However, Frontline has developed and built the perfect MG B roadster for the 21st century. From the outside, the Frontline MG LE50 looks like any classic MG B or GT Coupe with its unmistakable looks, chrome trim, and compact dimensions.

But on the inside, this is a new car because Frontline has worked to enhance and upgrade every component. The heart is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder from the Mazda Miata that delivers 214 HP due to a revised intake system and cylinder heads. The transmission is new, as well as the brakes and suspension. With a curb weight of just 1,800 pounds, the Frontline MG LE50 is a blast to drive.

It can also accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.1 seconds with a top speed of 160 mph. This is faster than any classic British roadster has ever gone before in history. Best yet, the prices for these turnkey cars are surprisingly affordable at around $70,000.

15. Ringbrothers AMC Javelin

If you follow the custom car scene and the annual SEMA Show, you probably know about the Ringbrothers. Founded by brothers Jim and Mike Ring in Spring Green, Wisconsin, this custom shop is responsible for some of the most interesting, daring, and innovative restomod cars in the last decade. Most of the Ringbrothers creations are one-off machines they’ve designed and built for wealthy owners who want something way beyond the usual way of thinking.

Over the years, Ringbrothers cars are regular SEMA Show winners and it is hard to pinpoint one machine car fans could call a favorite. However, their latest showstopper is the 1972 AMC Javelin AMX. This may be an unusual choice, but it shows how far the brothers go to present unexpected cars and designs.

They’ve fully recreated the 1972 Javelin in carbon fiber with numerous styling details all around. The power comes from a 1,100 horsepower Dodge Hellcat supercharged V8 Hemi engine sent to the rear wheels over a special sequential gearbox. The interior is fully custom with LCD displays and the finest materials too.

15. Mechatronik Mercedes M-Coupe

The Mercedes W111 Series coupes are some of the most stylish, elegant classic Gran Turismo models you can find. Graced with clear lines, impeccable build quality, comfortable interiors, and a legendary tri-pointed star on the grille, the W111 Coupe is an expensive collector car. But, as with all classic cars, the most demanding modern drivers find them unsafe, slow, and not dynamic enough.

If you’re one of those drivers who can’t imagine life without the W111 Coupe, but wants more out of a 50-year-old design, what should you do? The answer is simple. Just go to Germany to a company called Mechatronik Engineering in Pleidelsheim and ask them to build you a fully custom W111 Coupe. They’ll include a modern 5.5-liter supercharged V8 engine, a modern suspension, and automatic climate control. They will also toss in an infotainment system and ABS, EBD, and BA electronic systems straight out of the 2017 Mercedes S-Class.

The price of this fantastic Restomod is close to half a million dollars. Although this is an enormous amount of money, it’s worth every penny. Now you can outrun your neighbor’s new Porsche in a 50-year-old Mercedes coupe.

14. Singer Porsche 911

The Singer Vehicle Design has been the talk of the car community for several years now. Established by Rob Dickinson, Singer is the best Porsche Restomod outfit in the world and has expanded the limits of the Restomod concept. They weren’t the first such company to specialize in upgrading classic Porsches. However, they soon became the most sought-after and best due to their unique vision and meticulous attention to detail. Singer’s marketing slogan is “Porsche 911, reimagined,” and their cars truly reflect it.

Singer takes the 964 generation 911 from the late 1980s and early ’90s, strips it, and fully rebuilds it with custom-made panels to resemble the late 1960s 911 look. But this is just the beginning. After they make the body, the Singer mechanics hand-assemble the engine using only the best parts. They add some performance components and the latest materials to achieve some high-power figures as well as Porsche’s signature durability and quality. Singer also uses the best suspension components, brakes, and gearboxes.

It’s safe to say that the Singer 911 is a greatest hits compilation of the Porsche 911, all in one bespoke package. The price of the 911 reflects their quest for perfection, but the actual number depends on the owner’s personal requirements. However, a basic Singer 911 will set you back close to $400,000.

13. Eagle Speedster

The Eagle E-Type is the world’s best Jaguar E-Type restoration firm. They are the absolute authority on all things connected to the legendary British sports car. For decades, Eagle has restored, modified, and maintained E-Types for clients all over the world. But, in 2010, a wealthy American client asked them to produce something different. It would be an evolution of the classic E-Type convertible shape.

Eagle also equipped it with more power and better driving dynamics. They delivered the first sketches and the client was more than pleased. This is how the Eagle Speedster was born. The design is the most striking part of the car. It’s obvious the everlasting, elegant E-Type silhouette was their inspiration.

But Eagle gave it an even sexier look and a lower stance with clean design and dynamic stance. The driver sits lower than in a stock car and is fully exposed to the elements. Jaguar’s six-cylinder engine has been revised to produce 310 HP too. And since the whole car weighs just 2,300 pounds, performance is far better than any stock E Type ever.

The price for this piece of art on four wheels is astronomical at around one million dollars. Although most car fans won’t be lining up to buy one of those fantastic machines, the price is reasonable for what drivers get. After all, the Eagle Speedster is much more a piece of art and contemporary design than just a car.

12. Mach 40

What are two of Ford’s biggest legends from the 1960s? One is the Mustang and one is the GT40, a legendary racing car that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans four times in a row. But what do you get if you combine the 1969 Mustang Mach I with the 2006 Ford GT? The answer is the Mach 40, an interesting Restomod that shows what a mid-engined Mustang would look like.

And the answer is that the Mach 40 looks great. Oregon-based Eckert’s Rod & Custom took the chassis of a 2006 Ford GT supercar with its 5.4-liter supercharged V8 and tuned it to produce from 600 to 850 HP. Then they fabricated a whole new body based on the ’69 Mustang, stretching the rear end to accommodate the engine. The result looks fantastic and it is almost stock in appearance.

11. Equus Bass 770

Muscle cars are a perfect canvas for Restomod painters, but most of the companies do engine swaps and suspension modifications. However, Equus is not that kind of company. They managed to produce a fully custom car from scratch that has that unmistakable 1960s muscle car look. But they added the state of the art power, technology, and quality that set them apart from the rest.

The basis for the Bass 770 is a 67′ Mustang Fastback. But during the process, the car got its own visual identity with a new front, back, and several other design details. The chassis, suspension, and drivetrain are brand new and more advanced than anything you could find in a production muscle car.

However, the real gem is the engine. It’s a hand-built, 6.2-liter Chevrolet LS9 V8 with 650 HP and performance numbers those 60’s muscle cars could only dream about. With custom touches unique to each owner and the investment of over 5,000 man-hours in each car, it’s understandable the base price for the Equus Bass 770 is over $500,000.

10. AMG 300 SL Gullwing

One of the most sought-after classic cars in the world today is the Mercedes 300 SL Gullwing. They made only 1,400 of them in the late ’50s, so those cars are preciously rare. But they are also extremely important for racing history and the Mercedes heritage. So, the price of over one million dollars is understandable. But if your precious 300 SL Gullwing is not enough, you can always have AMG restomod it with the top-of-the-line Mercedes mechanics.

AMG tunes Mercedes cars from the late ’60s. One of their first big projects was the AMG version of the timeless Stuttgart classic. Over the years, AMG made 11 cars. Despite the purist’s criticism, owners were satisfied with the beautiful 300 SL they equipped with a 5.5-liter supercharged V8, giving it the performance of a modern supercar.

9. ICON Derelicts Series

After the successful classic off-road and SUV cars ICON produced, the company moved further to reinvent the restomod class. With their Derelicts series of cars, owner Jonathan Ward combined restomoding with preserving the original patina and surface rust. This helped ICON achieve the perfect authentic period looks with modern performance and power. The idea behind the Derelicts series is to find original, undamaged vehicles with the original paint.

They then disassemble the cars and give them new power plants, transmissions, chassis components, and suspensions. ICON even produced custom wheels that look like the stock wheels of the period, but they make to fit modern rubber. The most important thing is to keep as much of the original body and paint intact. They even keep the interior in a rugged shape.

ICON modifies many 1940s and ’50s American cars. At first glance, you may think you are looking at an unrestored and tired old car. But, in fact, you are looking at a perfect restomod with 500 HP under the hood.

8. Revology Ford Mustang

The new $160,000 Revology 1965 Ford Mustang looks like any stock 1965 Ford Mustang down to the slightest detail. But the looks can be deceiving. The Revology car is a new vehicle they built in 2017 with contemporary parts and body panels. The only thing that’s old on this Mustang is the design. The idea behind Revology Mustang is to offer exact classic looks, but with modern technology, driving characteristics, and performance.

Revology takes brand-new bodyshells the Dynacorn Corporation builds that are exact replicas of Ford’s panels. But, they produce them from high-quality stainless steel. Then, they install a modern independent rear suspension, ABS brakes, and chassis reinforcements. This makes the Revology Mustang drive and handle like a true contemporary performance automobile.

The heart of the build is Ford’s modern 5.0-liter V8 engine with 425 HP that can go with an automatic or manual transmission. The result is nothing short of amazing. Drivers get the recognizable, classic looks of the Ford Mustang with the performance of a 2018 Shelby GT350.

7. Kingsley Range Rover

Everybody seems to love those classic Range Rovers. Arguably the first luxury SUV that started the whole class was one of Land Rover’s best sellers for decades. However, despite the popularity, those early Range Rovers were uncomfortable and problematic machines. The 3.5-liter Rover V8 was famous for overheating and had other mechanical issues.

That is why Kingsley Cars Ltd. from England produced their own version of the classic Range Rover with improved to modern standards. Interestingly, Kingsley chose to stick with the original Rover V8 but totally rebuilt it with more power. Customers also have the option of a modern Chevrolet LS3 V8 with 430 HP.

The rest of the drivetrain is new and the Kingsley Range features powerful brakes with ABS. The exterior modifications are minimal, and the interior looks the same as it did in 1975. However, all the materials and upholstery are new.

6. Jensen International Automotive Interceptor R

Last but not least on this list is the Jensen Interceptor, another fantastic but flawed British motoring icon. Entering the car market in the 1960s and the ’70s, the Interceptor was a GT car with room for four passengers. It featured a sleek, elegant body and powerful V8 engines from Chrysler. They did a good job when conceiving the car, but it had problems with the build quality and rust. These problems forced the company to shut down production in 1976.

After 40 years, there’s now a new company called Jensen International Automotive. It started as a restoration firm, but now offers the Interceptor R. It is a special Restomod version of the legendary Gran Turismo coupe. They based the car on the Interceptor MK3, but every panel is updated. They also created a special tube frame chassis to accommodate the advanced suspension setup.

The interior is bespoke, with the finest leather, air conditioning, and an infotainment system. However, the real selling point of the Interceptor R is the engine. Under the long hood is a supercharged 6.2-liter Chevrolet V8 that delivers big power to its rear wheels over the intelligent six-speed automatic transmission with traction control.

5. Gunther Works 400 R

The appearance of the company Singer made a big influence on the restomod market as well as in the Porsche community. All of a sudden, there was a better Porsche 911 than you could buy straight from the factory and restomoded cars were no longer considered less valuable than originals. Gunther Works is a similar outfit but the guys from this company want to present the ultimate Porsche 993 by using advanced materials and the latest in technology.

The result is 400 R, a car based on an old 993 generation 911. Almost all body panels are carbon fiber, the 4.0-liter flat-six is tuned to deliver 431 HP at the rear wheels and every last nut and bolt has been redesigned to make the car faster, lighter, and more agile than anything Porsche ever produced from a factory.

4. Ares C2 Corvette

You might think that the Italian restomod company Ares would be involved in producing special Ferraris or Maseratis, but no, they invested a lot of time and effort into producing the ultimate C2 Corvette Stingray. Ares kept the original appearance down to the last detail but totally reworked the interior and chassis.

Practically, this is a C2 Corvette with the current C7 running gear and chassis bits. Ares managed to install suspension setup, brakes, and drivetrain from the latest generation Corvette along with LS3 engine with 535 HP and five-speed manual transmission.

3. Jaguar Classic XJ6

The classic Jaguar XJ6 was introduced in 1968 and it represented the perfect balance between performance and luxury with irresistible British charm and design. Despite having powerful engines, the classic XJ6 is no match for modern cars, but Jaguar Restorations decided to build a totally new and fully upgraded car to showcase the perfect blend of classic design and modern technology.

The result is a stunning car that features totally rebuilt 4.2-liter straight six-engine, new suspension, chassis modifications, powerful brakes, LED headlights, and a custom interior. From the outside, this might look like a 1984 XJ6 but in fact, this is a brand new super saloon from Coventry.

2. Volkswagen T1 Porsche

In the last couple of years, one of the most common restomod projects was installing Porsche flat-six engines into old Volkswagen products. From Porsche-powered Beetles to powerful Karmann-Ghias, almost anything VW-related got Porsche treatment. However, we feel that T1 Vans with flat-six engines are the most interesting.

The conversion process is relatively simple. They removed the old flat-four out and replace it with a bigger and more powerful flat-six from the 911. Mount a proper gearbox, install better brakes and suspension and you have a superfast van which could surprise many performance car owners at the stoplights.

1. BMW E9 S54

The BMW E9 is one of the best-looking two-door coupes from the late 1960s and early 1970s, but despite having a 3.0-liter engine under the hood it wasn’t that fast or powerful. That is why this car is one of the best candidates for restomod treatment. The car we will show you today stayed true to the BMW brand and got an engine and drivetrain transplant from the famous E46 M3.

This means that this E9 now has a 3.2-liter straight-six engine with 343 HP, 6-speed manual transmission, ABS brakes with performance discs, and can outperform almost all new BMWs.

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