Poll: A Question Of Authenticity

Last month we inadvertently created a little bit of a stir with the two KRB cars. Whilst most marvelled at the finished builds – and their potency on track – some were quick to point out that these aren’t either really a Lotus or an Audi, due to their silhouette nature.

This of course, got us thinking. Is a Mustang Funny Car actually a Mustang? What about a DTM M3 – is it really a BMW? Is a NASCAR Toyota Camry a Camry? Super GT R35?  Although the cars clearly capture the spirit of the models that they are based on, and in some cases are even prepared by the original manufacturer, have they lost their authenticity?

If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then surely it must be a duck, right? Right…?

Paddy McGrath
Twitter: @PaddyMcGrathSH
Instagram: speedhunters_paddy
paddy@speedhunters.com

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84 comments
I413rendan
I413rendan

If it quacks like a duck, and I'm blind; I'll just take your word for it. 

swerv13
swerv13

A number of 4 wheels, an engine, and a few things in between. That makes a car.

Anony Mouse
Anony Mouse

I've had this conversation a few times, usually while professing my intense hatred for NASCAR. Stock car racing? Really? STOCK car racing? Shut up. The thing I can't get away from is Monster Trucks, if a NASCAR Camry is really a Camry, than Superman, Batman and Bigfoot are REALLY trucks, and they enjoy racing in mud and launching off busses and shit. Same goes for NASCAR Impalas and Avengers and Fusions and SHUT UP, might as well be Bigfoot out there.

Chris H
Chris H

Thought I would add to my other comments: the engine is the only thing in a car that when upgraded requires an entire upgrade of all other components on a car. This is why an engine makes the car, not the chassis, not the body work. If you can't go more than 30mph you don't need downforce. If you can't twist a chassis with torque you don't need more rigid structures like carbon fiber. 

 

You can change out springs, brakes, tires, wheels, add roll bars, chassis bracing and you don't have to upgrade the engine. Triple your power levels though and the entire car has to be brought up to speed. Engines make cars what they are. The entire motor car was originally conceived around the idea of an engine in some way shape or form or we would still be riding horses. 

 

 

Karl Ebel
Karl Ebel

as long as the body is close to the original and constructed of the same material as the original AND the chassis is within 50% of the original then it can be referred to by it name. Dont get me wrong silhouette tube chassis are also cool.

 

Corey K
Corey K

I don't think a silhouette car is the same as the real thing, but that doesn't make it not totally awesome!

Atlantian866
Atlantian866

I personally am a motorsports fan, any built car is better than a stock, street-spec Ferrari, any day.What makes it a car? If you can get in the frame, and behind the controls and drive it down the street, then it's a car. Of course, it has to have 4 wheels. Or else it's a bike or a truck. But being a fan of all machinery. Who gives a crap? Just as long as it's fun to operate. 

roninlotus211
roninlotus211

The title and the pole are two completely different topics.....

 

"A Question-of Authenticity".... Is it an Audi Sport Quattro.. NO... Is it a Lotus Esprit...NO.. Titles don't lie.

 

Authenticity Example.. Shelby Cobra.. Numbered chassis from Ford=Cobra everything else is a continuation or a replica.. Without original chassis ID numbers you just have something else.

 

A car=  Race/Street car 4 wheels and a drivetrain.

 

"What makes a car a car"... Whatever floats your boat.

 

Gvk
Gvk

A car is a car. Done.

Autolegend
Autolegend

Who cares about it being a silhouette. The faster the better. 

ioncelfals
ioncelfals

ok, so in fifty years from now your nephew will be lucky enough to find this krb audi in a barn, and buy it from a crazy old guy. what`s he gonna say? "hey, i found this car with a tubular frame, some fiber glass body on it and a crazy engine. but wait, there`s an audi badge on it, so i guess it`s a classic"

Other Will
Other Will

Being designed and built by the original model's manufacturer. Doesn't matter if it shares nothing but shape in common.

Kevski Style
Kevski Style

I would say "Other", since it's not only the chassis from the assembly line. It's also important to fit an engine that came equiped with the car of the assembly line. Because let's face it: Anybody can swap an engine, but not everybody can build a block that drives like a demon, but retains it's original soul.

But that said: It doesn't go for a hotrod/ratrod or any other car really whose intention it is to deviate so far from from the model/brand it's loses it designation as that model/brand. That way it's based on something, or rather it uses parts from, but is it's hole new brand/model. That way a new lineage is born....

Chris H
Chris H

The chassis might be the "soul of the car" but everything is built around the motor. The chassis is there to support and assist the motor to do its job because at the end of the day the motor determines suspension, chassis integrity, tire grip required which are all a function of how fast a car can accelerate and in turn hold speed in corners and in straight lines. 

 

In turns tire grip determines a lot of the driving force behind the suspension and the chassis and how they are tuned. It's an interlocked relationship, but the motor and tire grip levels determine a LOT of how the rest of the car is built. In karting the entire premise of how you tune the chassis is tire grip and in drag racing engine power determines how suspension and tire grip need to be setup. 

 

IMO to say any one thing makes a car a car is to totally ignore the reason a car was built and the purpose it serves. A restored concours Bentley requires radically different things than a purpose built F1 car. The key is why each was built and everything else follows suit. 

 

 

Marcel Robertson
Marcel Robertson

Other - Specify Below: The thing thats makes a car A CAR is not only what the manufacturer has done but the feeling you get when you drive that certain car. This feeling is different for every 1  because we all have that 1 car or brand of car or type of car that just makes us happy so if its a road race gtr street gtr or a jgtc gtr you'll still love it because its still a gtr. (This goes for any car you like) if you like it drive it if  you don't then don't

Onadvancepoint
Onadvancepoint

Other - speify'ing. What makes a car build is what you visually see, the texture of its previous fabric it's arrowdinamics sharpened, the way it handles as if it's its actual brand, the way it has the sight as if it were to be a build of original class with no major mods, to the point of it, it has a specific amount of sights one does not see but notices from sensation of how a car gets on the track and has the aggressive feel to win.

PhilippUlrich
PhilippUlrich

What makes a car a car is the overall package in my opinion. If all the components chosen by the builder / owner work together well to me it doesn't really matter if they were originally destined to coexist within the same machine.

milkplus
milkplus

I'mma go with the Tub. According to most sanctioning bodies, you usually have to have the tub. I think converting suspensions from stick axle to IRS or from Mcpherson to SLA is also kind of a perversion, but if it fits under the largely unmolseted unibody, have at it.

 

I also typically don't like swaps unless they're same make and number of cylinders. Vintage motorcycling knows where it's at. The new swapped frame/engine become their own thing with a new and arguably better soul of its own, but not the original soul.

 

To me an LS swapped RX7 isn't an RX7 anymore, neither is an LS13, but a 3SGTE AE86 is still an 86. That same RX7 with a 20B? That's still in the spirit of the RX7 to me. It's all completely arbitrary and almost random, but if anyone needs an official ruling on the field, I'm available nights and weekends.

legory
legory

Original Chassis, original engine. Modify them both as much as you want, but they better be the basis for your car. Otherwise you'll lose the individual characteristics of a car, and a lot of fan base.

Gomez85
Gomez85

It's either one, really. Mustang FC is a great example....It virtually looks nothing like a Mustang, other than the painted on grille (same could be said for the Gen V NASCAR, as all vehicles were the same shell with painted on trim to differentiate the brands). If it looks like a certain car, it's that car (the Volvo V70 wagon....shell is correct, everything else was purpose built). Quattro Mini from a few months ago...it's a Mini, the Lotus and Audi from KRB, it's what the silhouette is. To bitch about that it's not  "correct" is just that...bitching. The owner is happy, that is what is most important, not making someone they will probably never meet happy. GRM Magazine did a feature on a time attack Dodge Challenger, it would be hard pressed to find the Challenger in that build-up, but no one questioned the quality and results of the build. Build what you dream, our opinion matters not (unless we're footing the bill)

JakeBunger
JakeBunger

I picked other, following the idea that a car is what it is, until it isn't: I knew someone who had a mid-70s Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40, into which they stuffed a Chevy V8 (going for the popular "Chevota" blend), added front seats from an old Thunderbird, different axles, aftermarket suspension, put it all on a tube frame and _then_ replaced the rear end with that of a Jeep Scrambler.  What would you call it?  I called it the owner's custom.  It was no longer a Toyota; it was the collected DNA from several manufacturers plus the blood, sweat and cash of the owner, all put into form.

KatlegoEmmanuelNkosi
KatlegoEmmanuelNkosi

By that thinking the Same

 

Should apply for engine then , no upgrade cause it become a duck

RoniN 77
RoniN 77

Well poor me thats always dream about my own spaceframe dream car. Its not gonna be the brand i choose becuse of some says its all about the chassi...

 

I am 100% sure that of the people here who are older then 25+ and watch BTCC in its golrydays when Rydell,Muller, Reid, Menu and all other of the cool guys like plato that beatlle the silverstone at somepoint pointed att one of your favorit cars and said; -Man that (put inwitch make u wanna) and just said its brand name.

 

But that car doesnt have a Chassinumber from fabric... neither some le mans car have a chassi number from original fabric. Most likely its gonna be a tunners number on that chassi, but are u still gonna say the brand name or tunner?

 

At this point someone of u gonna sayit like; -but its still a factory car. My answer is; -Yeah, built by someone 4 the brand becuse the originalcars arent enough... And thats why some build the cars like KRB.

roninlotus211
roninlotus211

Chassis it is, everything else is a modification but the chassis is the soul of the car. The ID number tells the world what make and model it is or was.

I have nothing against going crazy as these guys have done or Peter's wild Delta build but it is the chassis that gives the car its brand and model name. Once you remove the original chassis and ID number you are a specialty construction title... Just the facts.

 

Yeah I'm the old guy with an attitude but I've earned the right as an owner of both Lotus and Audi modified cars over the years to voice an opinion here in the comments section. If you don't like what I've said then voice an opinion or else just look at the pretty pictures.

 

I don't own a suit, hate champagne, can grow a fuckin stash and drive the shit out of my modified "LOTUS" and "AUDI".

 

PS: maybe Speedhunters will do a story on my new "Lotus" rebuild and you can see what can be done with the original "Lotus chassis",  an open mind, good friends and some hard earned cash. 

 

 

WillFruin
WillFruin

i would argue that the soul of a car is not defined by its chassis but by the feel of a car, the chassis is merely the skeleton that holds everything in place. while changing this skeletal structure will alter the feel of a car but so will changing a motor or suspension, hell after I put a new set of wheels and tiers on my A4 the feel changed dramatically from a car that I hated to one I loved. That being said the feel may have changed but the soul of the car did not change it was still a crazy wayward front wheel drive car with a decent diff and a little too much power.

MilesHayler
MilesHayler

I think the balance sits somewhere in between the polar opposites in the poll.

DerFreibierfredPalindrom
DerFreibierfredPalindrom

"What about a DTM M3 – is it really a BMW?"Yes, it is a BMW. Of course it is. But is it a M3? No, not at all. It is a Touringcarprototype, more F1 than WTCC. For marketing reasons it happens to look like a E92 M3.

JonathanW
JonathanW

Headlights.

 

Silly as it may sound on the face of it, but for me the cars that I want to still call by its original name have proper headlights, those that have  vinyl stickers I push back from - NASCAR, Funny Cars, Pikes Peak, I just don't relate to in the same way, even though they are still very impressive machines.

Curlytop
Curlytop

World Time Attack rules put it down very well I think! Has to be Original chassis, but wings, splitters and wide body kits are ok!

Phil
Phil

I think a lot of people have missed the point of the post.  The question is not whether or not a silhouette car is or is not a car, but whether or not a silhouette M3 is or is not an M3.  

 

I'd generally vote no, citing the WRC argument:  I can go buy an EvoX, STI, what have you, and have essentially the same chassis as a rally car.  It obviously lacks a LOT of modification, but the base is there.  

A DTM M3 shares next to nothing with an M3 from the dealer. It is still a BMW because BMW designed/built it.  But it's not an M3.  An R35 touring car is a Nissan with R35 bodywork, but it's not an R35.  

This doesn't make them less of a car.  It may make them MORE of a car.  But they are wolves in sheeps' clothing.  Not what their names suggest.  

I vote chassis because that's where all the elements of a car come together.  Nobody calls a LS-swapped 280z a GM.  It's a Datsun with a GM engine.  The chassis holds it all together, affects the steering, handling, power application, safety, etc.  Change that, and you have a different car.  

Seeking Perfection
Seeking Perfection

Does Chris H has to answer/ troll everyone to convince us? Roninlotus was right either you like it or not. It will be a sad day when every type of motorsport ends up being like Nascar where cars are fast, get used and abused on tracks, but they are essentially similar cars with a different cover. I am not going to praise any crappy build in here just because it is fast.

Riddlah
Riddlah

just the roots,no matter if design,chassis or engine wise or even  just the idea ,like @tenpennyjimmy  has written just cars like 911s, Lancia Deltas, the Cosworth Fords, Quattro Audis,some  Ferrari, the Viper,old M3s,older AMGs,GTR,NSX and so on..(but there will always be great exceptions like the kiwi S1 replica as example)

 

 

 

 

Ksyruz
Ksyruz

The Personality - The way it speaks to you.

JanisStrazdins
JanisStrazdins

A car becomes car when it is been loved and given attention to it no mater if it's stock or a complete rebuilt, if people don't put their hearts in to their cars it means that they are driving just another refrigerator or washing machine... U get the idea

Carl
Carl

that's why i haven't been watching any of the motor racings lately.  I really can't relate them to the road cars.  I mean... 1600cc turbo BMW 320... come on mann!

James1010
James1010

To me, the soul or essence is not linked to one particular part or attribute of a car, but more to the overall concept and philosophy behind the car.

 

I would link the name of the car to the look. So even though a Super GT R35 might differ from the road going version in soul or philosophy, does it really matter if it's called a R35, R35*, R35 styled race car or the Nissan special motorsports division custom made, carbon tubbed super GT race car, with heavily tuned VRH34B, custom suspension, driveline and brakes, aswell as a wide body kit and massive spoiler, but sort of looks like the R35 you can buy from a showroom if you squint.

 

 

tenpennyjimmy
tenpennyjimmy

Sirs, madams, i voted "other".

 

For me the race car and/or custom-built car should have at least one major element from the ostensible marque/model in order to claim it. Eg from recent Gatebil features, the Skyline-Supra running a 2jz is clearly still a Nissan and an r34... whereas the Delta-Supra is not really a Lancia or a Delta (although it IS unquestionably KICK-ARSE). Had that car been running a Integrale power plant along with its spaceframe chassis and custom bodywork, it would have been a different story.

 

DTM is a slightly different case again: although BMW's DTM "M3" probably runs not a single component from a road-going M3, and even though many/most of its components are spec, it is developed by BMW themselves, so it is clearly a BMW. In other words, the "major element" need not necessarily be a mechanical component...

 

My 10 pence worth :)

Raphy
Raphy

I'm surprised so many people chose the chassis option.

 

I chose "other", because I believe it's not so black and white. You can't define what makes a car and what doesn't, it's different in each case.

Chris H
Chris H

 @roninlotus211 They probably will if you don't spin out errr...get hit by another one of those Porsche drivers again ;-) 

GregSampson
GregSampson

 @MilesHayler I agree, the poll misses the point entirely. This is not about Soul, because that comes from the people who construct the vehicle. A tube frame can have Soul just as much as a Morgan, Ferrari or Caterham 7.

Chris H
Chris H

That Audi was not a crappy build. It was a purpose built race car with a replica audi body. The purpose of the car was to go fast. The body being authentic doesn't matter if the point is to clock great lap times. I struggle to understand whats crappy about a decently replicated car that makes over 3-4x the power of the original with less weight. 

TarmacTerrorist
TarmacTerrorist

 @Raphy this man speaks the truth! its the car itself that decides what it is: and all I have to say to people who chose the chassis option is "Group B" 


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