Yes, we're still hanging content off Cyan Racing's spectacular reveal. And why not? It's up there with Gordon Murray's comeback as one of the most exciting things on four wheels we've seen this year. It's a Volvo P1800, still an extremely pretty coupe 50 years later, stuffed full of touring car know how and painted a very lovely shade of blue. Even the racing driver that helped develope it couldn't resist doing some skids, apparently, and you know how they never like to have much fun. The Cyan Racing P1800 implores you to enjoy it. And what could be better than that?
So, Buy Hard this Friday is attempting to find cars that channel the P1800's spirit - packing style, swagger and substance into one classic coupe - for a little less than Cyan Racing will ask. Which, given what their car is likely to cost, wouldn't be hard. But let's try and be sensible here, just for once...
There's a funny paradox in the world of restored Porsches, it seems. Namely that so much time and energy is being spent perfecting and improving the ability of already valuable cars that they become worth almost too much to use. Put it this way: would you fancy barrelling down local lanes in a 911 that owed you six figures?
I wouldn't, which is why this 912 - for sale at Boxster money - is my restomod pick. The advert's first line reads, "Warning: Purists look away now", which should give you some idea of what kind of classic this is. As should the nickname 'El Chucho', which apparently translates as somewhere between 'mongrel' or 'street dog'. It's no pedigree Porsche, put it that way.
Once a four-cylinder 912 sold new in California, the golden wonder made it to the UK without an engine in 2011. Since then it's been rebuilt, restored and reimagined, the emphasis on "creating a real driver's car", according to the ad. It now has 205hp's worth of Bob Watson flat-six, plus Bilstein dampers, Weltmeister anti-roll bars and enormous brakes, amongst other things.
But there are some gorgeous details, too: note the upholstery, the 911 R-style lights, the 'space saver' wheels, the Momo wheel and the lovely stopwatches. It's faithful to a classic road racer vibe but beautifully executed, too, which sounds like the perfect restomod to me. As the advert suggests, this isn't a Porsche for those who fret about matching numbers, meticulous originality and paint codes - it's for someone who wants to really drive a classic Porsche. Count me in as top of that list.
I've been pining over old Alfa competition cars since driving a 1970 GTAm at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2018. The noise, harsh vibrations and smell of its unsilenced four-pot, not to mention the drop-dead gorgeous panels draped around it, were more than enough to have me smitten ten times over. Original racers are the very coolest, I thought, until laying eyes on this restomod recreation.
Underneath, it's a 2000 GT Veloce, which isn't exactly a bad place to start, especially when this one competed in Italian hillclimbs in the late 70s so it's reasonably authentic. But obviously it was during the 2017 conversion mentioned in the ad that this car's full racer potential was unearthed. Like Matt's 912/6, purists need not enquire - this is no longer a truly vintage Alfa. It is, however, a tantalising mix of old and new.
The 2.0-litre engine has been completely rebuilt by Hanover-based specialist Marco Hesshaus, while the rolling chassis uses Eibach shocks and springs, with new discs and pads all round, plus a fully rebuilt limited-slip diff. The structure's stiffened by a roll cage and inside there's a Momo racing wheel and harnesses to go with the leather-wrapped seats and horizontally angled gear lever.
History is maintained with no shortage of original paperwork, including the Italian logbook, insurance documents and even export/import documents for when the car was shipped to Britain in 1983. There are also stickers on the rear window to illustrate how extensive this car's competition history has been. I for one would leap at the chance to keep the story going; had I £90k going spare, that is... SS
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