The unexpected rise of Resto-mods

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years you will have noticed resto-mod companies garnering a lot of popularity recently. How has this become possible in the purist dominated classic car scene?

One of the most attractive traits of classic cars is that they were designed and engineered without having to adhere to the lengthy and stringent government regulations that we have today. Although these regulations serve in the consumers best interests they don’t come without their drawbacks. The most common one, you may have noticed, is how bloated cars have become thanks to a loophole in the US emissions regulations, but I digress. The only way to get hold of a car that isn’t subject to some of these silly regulations is to buy older cars. But it’s no secret that they can be a bit of a nightmare to drive daily (unless you’re either lucky or patient).

Photo courtesy of Singer Vehicle Design


This is where resto-mods come in

Singer Vehicle Design is a great example. They specialise in restoring air-cooled Porsche 911s only, which were phased out in favour of liquid-cooled engines due to those pesky regulations. Photo courtesy of Singer Vehicle Design

Resto-mods sit in the middle of the ven-diagram between classic car charm and modern everyday convenience. A car that has undergone a resto-mod treatment, for those that don’t already know, is when an existing car is restored to new (to varying degrees) with a few modern touches (hence the name). These cars are likely to be much more reliable, safer and have better performance over their stock counterparts, but it doesn’t come without a hefty price tag. It’s usually worth the money to drive a beautiful classic car that isn’t breaking down more often than not. I mean, just look at the restomods available on offer (full gallery at the end of article)


This Jaguar E-Type has been fully restored by Eagle to be in original factory condition but with improved reliability. You wouldn’t be able to notice the difference. Photo by Tom Hains for The Mechanists X The Rake Magazine
Photo by Tom Hains for The Mechanists X The Rake Magazine.


What are the purists to say about all this?

It’s to no surprise that there are those of us in the classic car community who believe classic should be kept as original as possible. I agree with them that certain cars are better left untouched so that they can be admired as a time capsule of a particular era. Unfortunately, this means that there is not much driving involved which is why this group is slowly becoming a minority.

Photo courtesy of Singer Vehicle Design

For the Driving enthusiasts?

For driving enthusiasts, resto-moded cars retain the visceral element that a lot of modern cars are missing. They make for the perfect everyday classic car that is both fun to drive, practical and reliable. It’s a win-win scenario. It’s this group of people that resto-mod companies like Singer and Eagle E-Types are catering to.

Our bracelets are available at our shop here. Photo by Tom Hains for The Mechanists X The Rake Magazine.

It could very well be that the monotony of modern cars is what’s driving the trend of people wanting to drive their classics more often than not and I don’t see it slowing down anytime soon.

We look forward to hearing whether you’re a purist or resto-mod advocate and why in the comments section. Also, let us know which resto-mod company is your favorite!


By Jamil Jafri

Editor at The Mechanists