Editorial

Are Replicas Better Alternatives Than Originals?

Sometimes the real thing is overrated.

Usually when an enthusiast hears the word “replica,” images of hideous cars that look unfinished come to light. While no one likes fakes, modern replicas that are done in a professional manner look incredible and have the performance to keep up with the original cars they're modeled after. In fact, I’d even go so far as saying that replicas that are done by professional business are better than the originals cars that everyone lusts after. There are a few reasons why getting into a replica is a better idea than saving up for the real thing.

Last year, a $305-billion highway bill was passed that would make it much easier for replicas to get on the road, which means that more companies will be able to create replicas and that’s a good thing. Real vintage vehicles like a Ford GT40, Shelby Cobra and Ferrari 250 are ridiculously priced, have few amenities and can’t be enjoyed on the US’s pimply roads. For instance, getting into an all-original Shelby Cobra can cost an enthusiast upwards of $1 million, but a replica with more power, more comfort features and the same look barely gets into the $30,000 mark. From where I’m sitting, I’d rather pay $30K for a car that has the same vintage look with more performance.

Some might say that original cars are investments, since prices will always go up. On the other hand, replicas are just kit cars that are for people who can’t afford the real thing. That might be true, but I have to ask: how many times have you seen an original vintage car in the wild? Once? Twice? Maybe a handful of times at a Cars and Coffee meet up? Driving a $1 million car is an event that includes a lot of butt clenching. Can you imagine hitting a pothole in a car that’s utterly and entirely priceless? Or worrying about some high schooler that’s texting and driving running into the back of the vintage car? Driving a car should be an enjoyable thing, not something that should happen with the utmost of anxiety.

Some brands even go out of their way to put comfort features into its cars. Superformance, the maker behind some of the best Shelby and Ford replicas, fits its cars with air conditioning. Having cold air blasting onto your face in the summer is something that you can’t appreciate until its gone. Navigation, a radio, heated seats and much more can be fitted onto a replica, while those features would never be possible on an original car. If a brand builds a replica that has more performance, the same gorgeous looks and more comfort features than the original vehicle, it's a win. I’d rather spend my hard earned money on a replica that I can enjoy driving, then an original that lives in a garage.

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