10 restomods ready for Radwood
Radwood-era cars of the 1980s and 1990s are the new hot classics. Largely ignored and undervalued for decades, they’re now among the most aspirational automobiles, and prices are soaring.
The increase in appreciation for these modern classics has made them ripe for resto-modding, adding 21st-century power, performance, and luxury features that even the creators of Back to The Future couldn’t have imagined.
Here are ten examples of Radwood-ready restomods you can buy today.
DeLorean Industries DMC-12
Fittingly, we begin with the ultimate star car of the ’80s: the DeLorean DMC-12. DeLorean Industries of Akron, Ohio, will refit Doc Brown’s radical ride with a huge variety of upgrades. (In case you hadn’t heard of the Ohio DeLorean, you aren’t crazy; several companies are claiming the DeLorean name.) You can add a turbo to the original Renault motor or swap it for an LS3 V-8, a five-liter Ford Coyote V-8, a 2.3-liter Ecoboost, or even the all-electric running gear from a Mustang Mach-E. Steering and suspension can be appropriately updated, and Akron will also restore the interior trim and stainless steel bodywork.
Porsche 911 Reimagined by Singer
Singer is probably the most high-profile (and high-priced) player in the restomod game. The California company began restoring Porsches in 2009,sStarting with mid-Rad 964-chassis 911s (1989–1994). Its latest Dynamics & Lightweighting Study (DLS) Turbo Study is its most powerful build to date, offering 700 hp, or around double the output of the original.
Nardone Porsche 928
“Porsche. There is no substitute.” So declared a youthful Tom Cruise in 1983’s Risky Business, not long before dropping his dad’s 928 into a lake. If it is a modern take on Porsche’s supercoupe you want, then look no further than France’s Nardone Automotive. The curvaceous bodywork is recreated in carbon fiber, the interior is lavishly re-trimmed, there’s active suspension, and the V-8 is upgraded to 400 hp.
Officine Fioravanti Ferrari Testarossa
From arcade favorite Outrun to Miami Vice, the Ferrari Testarossa took over our small screens in the ’80s. Some 40 years later Switzerland’s Officine Fioravanti has redefined the redhead, uprating the flat-12 engine to 510 hp and cutting 266 pounds in weight from the car. Öhlins adjustable dampers are fitted, and there’s ABS brakes and traction control, too.
Automobili Amos Lancia Delta Integrale Futurista
The Lancia Delta Integrale dominated the real World Rally Championship and the virtual one in Sega World Rally Championship, winning legions of fans the world over. Italian coachbuilder Automobili Amos reimagined the Lancia with a widebody kit built from carbon and aluminum. The company didn’t stop there; it also added an overhauled engine that makes over 330 hp.
Manhart BMW M3
German über-tuner Manhart also offers an interpretation of the Integrale, but the Bavarian’s version of the box-arched BMW E30 M3 is its most bodacious restomod. To meet Touring Car regs, the original M3 had a 2.3-liter four-cylinder motor; Manhart removed it in favor of a 3.5-liter turbocharged six from the Alpina B7. The engine is further fettled to produce 405 hp, and the car is lightweighted with lashings of carbon. Coilover suspension, beefed-up brakes, and a leather-lined interior complete the package.
Eccentrica Lamborghini Diablo
The words subtle and Lamborghini aren’t usually uttered in the same sentence, but Eccentrica’s updates of the Diablo are quite low-key. There’s some smoothing out of the nose, including installation of modern lighting, and a gentle stretching of the body all round, along with some aero work and bigger, 19-inch rims. Inside it’s Alcantara and eight-bit digital displays, while the 5.7-liter V-12 gets new internals to boost power to 550 hp, allowing for a top speed of 220 mph.
Legende Automobiles Renault 5 Turbo 3
This car may have originated in France, but the Americans were the ones to turn the Renault 5 Turbo 2 into the Turbo 3. California’s Legende Automobiles has gone to town with an even wider carbon body for the mighty-but-mini, mid-engined Frenchie. The 1.4-liter four-cylinder motor is boosted beyond all reason, producing 400 hp and driving through a sequential transmission.
Peugeot 205 GTi Tolman Edition
The 205 GTi was the affordable hot hatch that every ’80s boy or girl racer wanted, including British engineer Chris Tolman, who has now given the 205 extra pace and grace. Bilstein suspension and a highly-tuned 1.6- or 1.9-liter engine are fitted, providing up to 200 hp, while over 700 hours of labor go into making sure the car is assembled to modern standards.
Niels van Roij Fiat Panda Piccolo Lusso
Dutch designer Niels van Roij has marked the 40 anniversary of the Fiat Panda 4×4 with a delightful restomod. The emphasis is on style, with a classy Azzurro Blu paint job and a Mediterranean leather interior that’s far fancier than any Panda has seen before. Teak wood decking in the trunk adds a slightly nautical feel. It’s a one-off for now, but it’s great to see even the most inexpensive of ’80s icons getting some resto love.