Classic car revivals: everything old is new again
Here, we round up a few firms who are committed to dishing up revived classics from their past
These eight examples of classic car revivals and continuations prove that some traditions will never die, and the deeper your pockets the more authentic the car.
Jaguar Classic C-Type Continuation
Jaguar has an archive brimming with legendary machines, with a strong secondary market of restorers and refurbishers who keep their most famous cars on the road and up to date. Unsurprisingly, the company also wants a piece of that action, established the Jaguar Land Rover Classic Works facility to maintain, enhance and recreate legendary models from the two brands, from the original 2-door 70s-era Range Rover to the Jaguar E-Type, D-Type and XKSS. This Spring, Classic Works is launching the E-Type 60 Collection – a pair of open and closed examples of the Series 1 E-Type to celebrate the car’s 60th anniversary. It’s also delved into its racing history with eight examples of the Jaguar C-Type, based on the car that won Le Mans in 1953. Authenticity is key – there’s a strong racing community for cars like this – so original engineering drawings have been deployed along with CAD technology to ensure the new car is worthy of the name.
Ecurie Ecosse LM-C
Jaguar aren’t the only ones with an interest in their past. Ecurie Ecosse is the descendant of one of Scotland’s most successful private racing teams, best known for their use of Jaguar XK120s and C-Types in the 50s and 60s and their Flag Metallic Blue racing colours. The revived company also stakes a claim to the C-Type, dubbing their precise recreation the Ecurie Ecosse LM-C. Handmade in Coventry and finished off at the company’s Henley HQ, the LM-C is a very individual choice.
Callum Designs: Vanquish 25
Before he made his at Jaguar, Ian Callum was head of design at Aston Martin, arguably setting the company’s off on its current design direction with the DB7, original Vanquish and early work on Vantage and DB9. Now the Scottish designer has his own consultancy, Callum Design, launching with a very personal project. The Vanquish 25 marks the quarter century of that original aluminium-structured Aston, with Callum going back to his original design to nip and tuck any details that were squeezed out by cost considerations in the original car. With prices starting at £350,000, plus a donor car, the finishes and fittings are as exquisite as you’d hope.
Superperformance is a North Carolina-based specialist manufacturer of racing specials, capable of producing near-identical copies of cars like the AC Cobra and Shelby Daytona. The legal heirs of the racing legacy of Carroll Shelby, the late American driver and engineer, every Superperformance model qualifies for classic racing events. Not only that, but the company provided a full set of Ford GT40s for use in the 2019 film Le Mans ’66 (also known as Ford vs Ferrari). The company’s meticulously prepared GT40s are available through Le Mans Coupes in the UK and can be prepared for either track or road use.
Bizzarrini 5300 GT Revival Corsa 24/65
A bold new venture to bring back one of Italy’s lesser-known automotive icons, the return of Bizzarrini was announced in late 2020. The marque’s first car is the Bizzarrini 5300 GT Revival of a 60s icon, originally designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro and Piero Drogo. Giotto Bizzarrini was a maverick genius whose career had a huge impact on both Ferrari and Lamborghini before he struck out on his own with a series of extravagantly outrageous road and race cars. The 24 Revival models will be perfect replicas of the car that won the 5-litre class at the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1965. The newly reborn company won’t always specialise in recreations – an all-new car is also in the works.
Aston Martin Works
Masters of the art of Continuation cars, Aston Martin is currently nearing the end of a production run of its DB5 Goldfinger Continuation car, billed by some as the most expensive piece of film memorabilia ever made. Twenty-five examples of these gadget-laden machines have been made, aimed squarely at those who never quite outgrew their love of the Dinky toys original. At £3.3m each, the cars – developed in close collaboration with EON Productions, keepers of the Bond flame – are expected to remain cossetted collectors’ items, with their film-ready gadgets wheeled out for special occasions. Built at Aston Martin Works on the site of the company’s original factory in Newport Pagnell, the DB5 comes hot on the heels of the DB4 GT Continuation and the DB4 GT Zagato Continuation models. The latter came packaged alongside an all-new Zagato model, the DBS GT Zagato, to form the DBZ Centenary Collection in honour of Zagato’s 100th anniversary in 2019. This particular pairing was priced at £6m for two, a cut above the relatively modest £1.5m charged for the DB4 GT Continuation. Aston’s archives are over-flowing with valuable examples of automotive art, so expect other limited series to emerge in the future.
Bentley are new to the recreation game. Choosing to step back even further in time than Aston or Bizzarrini, the company has recreated the ‘Blower’, the mighty 1920s-era racing car that cemented Bentley’s association with brawn and power. Twelve examples of the Bentley Blower Continuation Series will be hand-built by the Mulliner workshop in Crewe, all based on a meticulous deconstruction and re-build of the supercharged 1929 4½-litre “Blower” that once belonged to Sir Tim Birkin, a pivotal figure in the inter-war era of dashing and daring racing drivers. Every nut and bolt was laser scanned and 3D modelled and a full toolkit of 20s-era moulds and jig has been used to shape the metal of the dozen customer cars.