Restomod vs. Restoration: Living In The Past or The Past Relived?
Let’s just get this out of the way, right upfront. This blog is not about choosing what’s better or worse between a restomod and a full restoration. That would be like choosing between a glass of fine wine and a glass of fine champagne. No, this blog is about explaining the difference between these two distinctly unique styles of classic vehicles and allowing you to choose which one is best for your particular needs and situation. At Velocity, we love both of these styles of classic vehicles but as you’ll see, one, in particular, allows a best of both worlds approach and encourages the sort of unique artistry and passion that we’re really known for.
We’re going to cover everything you need to know about the differences between a classic vehicle restomod vs. a full restoration:
- What’s a Restomod?
- What’s a Restoration?
- What’s Better: A Restomod or a Restoration?
By the time you’re done reading this, we’re absolutely certain that you’ll know exactly which way you want to go with your classic vehicle purchase! Let’s do it!
What’s a Restomod?
Restomods are completely unique creations that are built by top builders like Velocity. These time-warping craftsmen take the soul of classic vehicles, like the 1969 Classic Ford Bronco shown above, and revive them with meticulously applied doses of modern technology and style. Essentially, you have a vehicle that looks close to what the original donor vehicle looked like on the outside but has a completely modernized chassis, engine, and a bespoke, luxury interior that would shame most modern luxury brands. It’s all the character and attitude of the original, with none of the compromises!
Let’s dive a bit into this 1969 Classic Ford Bronco to show you what truly makes it one of the finest restomods ever to roll off our shop floor.
I mean, just look at this thing! When you look at the design on an original 1969 Bronco (as seen below) you can see the iconically styled headlights, grille, fenders, and windshield all front and center. The difference lies in how these unique details are executed on the Bronco restomod by Velocity.
The round headlights are there but instead of being incandescent units, they are replaced with state-of-the-art JW Speaker LED headlights. One look at that classic grill design, and you’ll notice right away that its design harkens back to the Ford Bronco’s of the past but takes a decidedly modern spin. Even the turn signal indicators, although in their original location, have been given a modern LED update.
Today’s wheel and tire combos are worlds above anything available to Ford in the late 1960s and we’ve hooked this Bronco up with a set of Method wheels, shod in a set of durable Grabber tires by General.
Properly stanced, properly proportioned, and unabashedly Bronco – but with a modern spin. This is what we do best! View this build HERE.
Stepping inside a Velocity restomod and taking a seat will instantly make your head spin. You won’t find a metal dash, with cheap chrome accents and a bare-bones seating arrangement like in the original. No, you’ll find a lovingly designed custom interior that wraps you in luxury but never quite lets you forget that you’re driving a completely special vehicle.
The seats and dash contain a unique Italian distressed leather that shows off a unique diamond pattern that looks like it’s taken straight out of a fine Italian sports car. Not only are these beautiful, comfortable seats dressed in leather but they are also heated and cooled!
Upgrading technology is a huge part of what we do best and this Bronco was no exception. We’ve custom designed interior panels to house a trick set of LED lights, along with a Dakota Digital gauge cluster and a Pioneer head unit. Think they had a high-powered Kicker sound system and air conditioning in 1969? Don’t think so! But this 69’ does!
Engine & Chassis
In 1969, the Bronco was available with a 302 V8 that put out somewhere around 200 horsepower, which was a big deal at the time. Come on now! You didn’t think we would just leave the 302 intact, did you?
At Velocity, we’re gearheads through and through and the powerplant in this 1969 Classic Bronco shows off the craftsmanship and passion of our build teams in the most sinister of ways. We’ve replaced the 302 with a Whipple Supercharged Coyote V8, courtesy of Ford Racing.
This engine is an absolute monster and it turns this 69 Bronco into a serious performance machine and it’ll make everyone’s head snap right around when they hear it breathing through a 3” performance exhaust. We’ve attached this prodigious powerplant to a 6R80 6 Speed Automatic right out of none other than the Ford Raptor pickup.
Power flows through an Atlas transfer case, pushed out through a Ford 9” rear-end, and a Dana 44 front axle. Underneath, we’ve got an officially licensed Ford chassis that’s been meticulously powder-coated for the ultimate in aesthetics and durability. A completely custom, stainless fuel tank brings up the quality another few notches. Braking is provided by Wilwood 4 wheel disc brakes that haul this vehicle down in a hurry, while a 2.5” inch lift, T-Rex Radius Arms, and front/rear sway bars complete the overall suspension package.
For added safety, we’ve also custom fabricated a 6 point roll cage with chassis tie-ins.
What’s a Restoration?
In short, a restoration takes a classic vehicle and restores it back to the factory specifications. When looking at a restored vehicle, you may feel transported back in time as everything from the interior to exterior is returned back to stock condition. Every once in a while, a restoration will add in some small features or upgrades but in general, builders strive for a stock look and feel.
This can be a major challenge for builders because many of these vehicles utilize parts and componentry that is no longer available or difficult to get ahold of. This forces builders to resort from everything to pulling salvage parts from older rigs to custom making unique parts or working with factories to locate back stock.
Check out this 1987 Chevrolet K10 Velocity restored back to its stock form for a fantastic example of a great restoration:
View this build HERE.
What’s Better: A Restomod or a Restoration?
The answer to this question is as simple as this; it depends!
For those that want to be transported back in time, and enjoy the rugged, no-frills approach of a restored classic vehicle; a restoration may be your best bet. Some argue you can’t mess with an original and to each their own. We love them, and we’ve done plenty for our clients over the years.
Personally, we think that a restomod is really the way to go but we may be a little biased here. You get all the feel of an old-school, classic vehicle with none of the compromises of a classic, old-school-style vehicle! Little things like air – conditioning, a modern stereo system, and a comfortable interior won’t relegate you to driving these incredible vehicles just occasionally. A proper restomod is a modern, daily drivable vehicle in a way that nothing from the ’60s or the ’70s could even begin to touch.
Thrilling performance is another reason to go restomod. The Coyote engines we feature in our classic Ford Broncos take advantage of modern technology like dual overhead cams, direct injection, and variable valve timing to make some serious horsepower, without resorting to unrefined coarseness. Sure, old-school carbureted engines can be very powerful but they also belch noxious fumes, take their toll at the pump and they are notoriously unreliable. Our howling Coyote gives you the noise, punch, and nostalgia of a V8 without the old-school compromises.
So, what’s better? You decide, but if it were up to us, it would be restomod all the way.
The Restomod & Restoration Masters
No matter what type of build you’re looking for, Velocity offers the ultimate combination of classic styling, bespoke luxury, and modern technology. We’re proud to specialize in classic Ford Broncos and International Scouts, but our resume of vehicles shows that we’re not afraid to step outside of our comfort zone. Our quality, craftsmanship, and commitment to our client’s vision allow us to stand out from the rest, cementing us as one of the best builders in the country.
Whether you’re looking for a restomod or a restoration; all it takes is 14 short weeks to go from concept to keys! That’s right, once you make a decision (trust us, we know it’ll be tough for you), our team of builders work with precision and speed to produce a vehicle that’s unique to you. Did you know we even produce many of the parts for our classic vehicles right in house? This allows us to not only control quality but decrease the need for waiting on other manufacturers’ lead times or being a victim to supply chain issues. If this sounds impressive, it is, and our incredibly short lead time is just one of the things that makes us stand out from the rest.
So, what are you waiting for!? You’ve got some memories to make!