Kit Car vs Classic Car Restoration: The Replica Dilemma

kit car vs classic car restorationThe real thing costs a lot these days. Want an authentic NFL jersey? It’ll cost you more than double what merely purchasing a “replica” version would. Or how about an original vintage vinyl record? A first-edition “mistake copy” of Bob Dylan’s second album, The Freewheelin’, once sold for $35,000. Unsurprisingly, classic cars are no different. Chevy famously created a few exceptionally rare versions of their iconic Corvette in the late 1960s. For instance, there are only three 1969 Corvette ZL-1 models known to exist in the entire world.(And they’d fetch a hefty price on the auction block –– that’s for sure!) So where does that leave classic-car lovers who dream of owning a super-rare model, but lack the requisite fortune needed to buy one? Today we’ll address that question and explain the difference between kit car vs classic car restoration:

What is a Kit Car?

In a broad sense, a kit car is simply a vehicle that comes with “some assembly required.” Kit cars aren’t completed vehicles; rather, a buyer purchases a set of parts directly from the manufacturer and then builds the kit car on their own. Of course, they can always enlist some professional help to that end. Car enthusiasts might purchase a kit car for any number of reasons, but (as you might’ve guessed already) one big reason is to recreate a classic car. Obviously building a car from scratch will require a lot of work, specialized knowledge, and free time but can, in certain instances, be extremely cost-effective.

Kit Car Issues

Aside from the big one, (the fact that a kit car isn’t technically a classic car) kit-car purchasers should be aware of a few issues that come along with replica projects. First, if you do choose to construct a car entirely on your own, you could face some difficulty registering your vehicle. Additionally, if you decide to build a kit car, make sure you hang onto your Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin (MSO). Losing this document could cause you a massive migraine at the DMV.

What’s more, kit cars present a unique problem when it comes to emissions standards. Though recent federal legislation has made it easier for kit-car builders to pass safety regulations, meeting emissions standards can prove trickier. In some instances, kit-car manufacturers may be exempt from reaching modern emissions standards, but this is not always the case. Make sure to do your homework on this subject before you sink lots of time and money into a kit-car project.

Kit Cars vs Classic Cars

Sometimes, car enthusiasts are swayed to create a replica not because of cost restrictions, but due to more personal reasons. Some want to build a “classic” car with modern amenities; others might feel that a certain restoration project is so difficult that it’s not worth attempting. The good news is, in this regard you do have more options than just constructing a new car on your own. You may want to consider trying out a “restomod,” or else, consulting car-restoration professionals.

Learn More

Need some advice on deciding how best to pursue your next restoration project? We’re here to help. We love restoring classic models, and we’ll work with you to provide the best restoration solutions for whatever issues you may be facing. Contact us or call us toll-free at 1-844-652-1966. Or you can email me directly at [email protected]. We love talking about restoring classic cars!