Replica cars are getting good!
We featured a post on these pages some time ago about replica cars. There were some pretty good knock-offs in that bunch, including a couple Mercury Cougars that became an Audi R8 and a Bugatti Veyron.
Economic times haven’t improved much in the last 14 months or so, so it’s not too surprising to see more well-done replicas hitting the market. Let’s say, for instance, you have a hankering for a Bentley Continental GTC, but don’t have the hundreds of thousands of dollars to plunk down on one. What do you do? Well, make do on a Sebring budget, of course!
Have a look at this “Bentley” for sale on eBay (auction ends today).
At first glance, from a distance or at speed on the highway, it would be difficult to notice that this isn’t the real deal. It is, in fact, a very well done piece of bodywork sitting on top of a 2003 Chrysler Sebring, which the seller says has 135,000 miles on it. The ad claims a list of upgrades including original Bentley badges, fully functional lighting, genuine exhaust tips and $3,000 in wheels and tires. Sadly, the interior is still all Sebring, complete with torn upholstery. It also is missing the Bentley 12-cylinder and makes do instead with the old 2.7-liter Chrysler V6. But for somewhere around $20K, maybe it’s not a terrible buy. (But it probably is.)
It’s actually a 2000 Toyota Celica GT wrapped up in some slick sheet metal and powered by a 1.8-liter 140-hp 4-cylinder with 111,000 miles. Having spent some quality time recently with a real F430, these pictures show a pretty darn good copy, complete with proper logo placement and side-mirror F-430 logo. The rear haunches are a bit out of proportion, though. As is typical with replica cars, the interior isn’t up to Ferrari standards, but being a Celica, it’s a heck of a lot more livable than the “Bentley” Sebring.
Let’s say I gave you money and said you had to buy one of these replicas. Which would it be, the “Bentley” Sebring or the “Ferrari” Celica?