Cars are meant to be driven. Period. A pretty obvious statement you would think, but a lot comes into play when the car in question isn’t your run-of-the-mill model.
From garage queens to valuable collectables, it’s understandable that you may not end up using your classic performance car for a trip to the shops, a long drive, or even a short one in bad weather. Because you never know what might happen. I get it. Certain cars are very special, but at the same time that satisfaction you get from driving them is, in part, what feeds our passion. So what do you do?
Well, how about replicas? The term can be used loosely, but for the sake of this short spotlight post, what I’m trying to get at is cars that are made to look like the performance version of themselves.
In particular the W201 Mercedes-Benz 190 E you see here. This is a base 190 built by Auto Roman, which uses their original conversion and wide-body kit to give the 30-plus-year-old German sedan the unmistakable look of a 2.5-16 Evolution II model.
Sitting alongside the Ferrari 308 Group 4 rally car and an authentic and original Ford GT40 race car I showed you in my main event coverage from Nostalgic 2 Days, this replica didn’t look out of place for a single second.
Auto Roman is a new outfit from M’s Vantec, one of the biggest and most diverse private automotive collections in Japan. The owner, Takeshi Moroi, whose cars you may have seen countless times on Speedhunters over the years – the most impressive being his street-driven 962 – has decided to step his game up. It’s a fascinating story that has spawned from pure and utter passion, and one I will go into detail about once I have the chance to visit his new shop.
But for the time being, let’s take a look at Moroi-san’s 190 aero conversion, which, as he puts it, allows people to enjoy the feel of a modern classic without putting a valuable collectable at risk. The conversion is very accurate, right down to the front lip spoiler held in place with a couple of metal bars for support. The carbon hood is an option.
Looking at the Mercedes, I really couldn’t fault this approach in any way. I mean, with this replica we’re not talking about taking a Pontiac Fiero and converting it into a Ferrari F40 look-a-like. No, it’s more the RWB method of taking a base car and pumping it up to make it look like something more special.
An approach like this would open the door for a bit of fun; think engine swaps, playing with stance, and just letting your imagination run wild.
I don’t see anything wrong with this, as Auto Roman market it as their own product and conversion; it has nothing to do with anything OEM. But the biggest question is, what you guys think of it – is it blasphemy or just a bit of fun? Let’s chat about it in the comments.
Dino Dalle Carbonare