Snapshot – Replica cars seek to recreate the exotic through everyday machines that are often available for a pittance. Replica cars are eyeball baggers, and attract a fair share of attention on the road. Often, most onlookers get fooled by replica cars, mistaking them for the originals. So, such cars are pure bang for the buck if you’re looking for a zany ride around town. In India, there have been quite a few replica cars that have rolled out of custom car builders. In our two part list, we take a look at five such tastefully done up vehicles.
Hindustan Contessa to Chevrolet Camaro
The Hindustan Contessa, based on the Vauxhall Victor, had what it takes to become India’s Ford Mustang, but for its engines, which were piddly when compared to the big, petrol V8s that the American muscle car hosted. Big Daddy Customs has done up a Contessa from ground up, save for the engine though. The Contessa thus transformed is a replica of the Chevrolet Camaro, another muscle car from America that enjoys a cult following. The Chevrolet Camaro replica that’s based on the Contessa has been christened the Dark Knight. While it looks a million bucks, it’ll take an enthusiast to give this car the muscle it deserves. For now, the only concession towards performance is a free flow exhaust.
Morgan Roadster based on a Ambassador’s drivetrain
Tutu Dhawan, a well known antique car restorer in India, has hand built a Morgan Roadster replica around the Hindustan Ambassador’s drivetrain. This replica car took all of 20 months to built considering that most parts that you’re seeing on it have been hand made. The car uses twin side draft carburetors, a race exhaust, ported and polished head and dynamically balanced crank shafts. The ladder frame chassis and body have been replicated to stay true to the original Morgan roadster, replete with sliding pillar suspension, another unique detail of this car. Disc brakes at front and drum brakes at the rear give this vintage looking replica adequate braking to handle new-age speeds.
Mahindra MM540 to Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
The CJ or Civilian Jeep is a timeless design that came to India through Mahindra & Mahindra, who initially assembled kits imported from the United States, and eventually started building their own Jeeps under license from Willys Overland Corporation. The MM540 is one of the iterations of the Civilian Jeep, in this case the CJ5, which arrived into India with the Mahindra badge in the 1980s. New Mars Enterprises from Hyderabad has fashioned out a Jeep Wrangler based on the Mahindra MM540. This Jeep Wrangler Rubicon can be ordered with various engine options. Air conditioning and a fully functional 4X4 system means that this replica is actually usable on the road.
Mercedes Benz S-Class to Batmobile
The Batmobile from the 1989 hit Batman movie has been by replicated in India by Executive ModCar Trendz of Mumbai. This car stays true to the original in terms of its looks and is based on the Mercedes Benz S-Class. The original Batmobile used the rolling chassis of the Chevrolet Impala with a V8 engined nestled under its hood. In the movie though, turbine power was shown along with a mean after burner. These are elements that are missing from the replica for ostensible reasons. You don’t want to literally set the roads aflame, do you?
Toyota Corolla to Ferrari F430
The iconic Ferrari F430 has been recreated as a replica car in Mumbai by Mod Car Trendz. The donor car has humble origins though, in the form of a Toyota Corolla. Under the hood, things get mighty powerful as the 1.8 liter stock petrol motor of the Corolla is replaced by a V8 unit that makes a mean 483 Bhp. That the car’s body is fashioned out of fiberglass and that it dumps its five adult seating layout for a twin seat layout do their bits to reduce kerb weight. The high ground clearance though gives away the car’s replica story. The upside? The car seems better equipped to tackle the infamously rutted and pockmarked Mumbai roads.