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These Restored Classic Cars Look Even Better Than When They Were New

Plymouth Road Runner
Written by Publishing team

Restoring a car to its former glory is no easy feat. Often, the process can take months or even years, as finding original parts and restoring existing ones is a very labor-intensive, time-consuming pursuit. That’s not to mention the level of attention to detail that’s required to paint and polish these cars to cosmetic perfection. Often, seeing a car with a full restoration is the ultimate sign of an owner’s dedication to it, as not only is the process long and complicated, it’s very costly too.

RELATED: These American Classics Are A Breeze To Restore

Nevertheless, when a full restoration is finished, the results are usually stunning. Whether the car in question is a red-blooded American classic or a stately British touring GT, there’s nothing better than seeing a revered classic brought back to its former glory by a dedicated team of craftsmen. And sometimes, these restored cars even look better than they did when they were new. Let’s take a look at ten classics that are shining examples of restoration at its finest, many of which have set sales records when they went under the hammer at auctions.

10 Lamborghini Miura SV

Lamborghini Miura SV
Via Silverstone Auctions

The Lamborghini Miura needs no further introduction to any self-respecting gearhead, as it’s one of the most iconic Italian cars of all time. This particular example is an ultra-rare SV version, one of only 150 examples ever produced.

Lamborghini Miura SV
Via Silverstone Auctions

Its restoration work has been completed in stages, with Lamborghini Australia being responsible for recoating its chassis and rebuilding its suspension and running gear. It was then imported to the UK where its 4.0L V12 was rebuilt, and then it was resprayed in its original Rosso Corsa color.

9 Aston Martin DB2

Aston Martin DB2/4
Via Dylan Miles

Originally rolling off the production line in 1958, it wasn’t until 2008 that this Aston Martin DB2 was restored by marque specialists Trinity Engineering. Every aspect of the car was stripped, rebuilt, and in some cases, gently upgraded.

Aston Martin DB2/4
Via Dylan Miles

Trinity used parts from a DB3S to fettle the DB2’s engine, with additional Weber performance carburetors and a Tremec transmission. The result is one of the most inch-perfect DB2s in existence, ready to be shown at the most prestigious Concours events.

8 Ford Thunderbird Convertible

Ford Thunderbird Convertible
Via Mecum

This 1956 Ford Thunderbird Convertible came up for auction in 2020, and it’s one of the best examples of the car to have crossed the auction block in recent memory. Its thundering V8 engine has been completely restored along with the rest of the car in a no-expense-spared makeover.

Ford Thunderbird Convertible
Via Mecum

It had reportedly only covered 900 miles since its restoration at the time of the auction and had always been kept in a climate-controlled garage. Hopefully, its new owner can enjoy the car the way it was meant to be while keeping it in just as perfect condition as it sold in.


7 Land Rover Range Rover Classic

Land Rover Range Rover Classic
Via Bring a Trailer

While most high-end restorations focus on originality and Concours-level perfection, it’s worth remembering that there are other avenues available for more adventurous owners. The owner of this Range Rover Classic clearly decided that it needed some more grunt under the hood, and so they fitted it with an LS3 V8.

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Land Rover Range Rover Classic
Via Bring a Trailer

It was resto modded by Legacy Overland, a firm specializing in expedition-ready 4×4 builds. Engine aside, care was taken to include as many original Range Rover parts as possible, with even a Range Rover-branded campaign box included.


6 Honda S800 M Coupe

Honda S800 M Coupe
Via BH Auction

Honda’s S800 sports car was introduced at the 1965 Tokyo Motor Show. It featured a 791 cc inline-4 engine that came with a redline of 9,500 RPM, making it one of the highest-revving sports cars of its era. Most examples were sold in right-hand drive, which makes this Belgium-supplied LHD car a very rare find.

Honda S800 M Coupe
Via BH Auction

It was imported back to Japan several years ago and underwent an extensive restoration with a level of detail applied that even its original factory-build would not have had. Every aspect of the car has been combed over, and it’s now up for auction in Japan with pre-negotiations ongoing as of the time of writing.


5 Jaguar XJ6

Jaguar XJ6
ViaJaguar

Nicko McBrain of the English heavy metal band Iron Maiden is a true gearhead, and one of his biggest passions is Jaguar. In 2018, the company’s specialist Classic Works department debuted a custom-built XJ6 resto-mod built specifically for McBrain.

Jaguar XJ6
Via Jaguar Media

It features several upgrades over the original car to modernize and improve it, but it’s still faithful to the lines of the original car. Some of the most notable modernizations include remote central locking, LED halo headlights, and contemporary Pirelli P Zero tires.

4 Porsche 911

Porsche 911 1968
Via Bring a Trailer

Bring a Trailer was once a site for project car buyers and bargain hunters, but over the years it has started to become home to more and more prestigious listings. A great example of that is this classic 1968 Porsche 911, which was restored and customized over five years between 2010 and 2015.

RELATED: 10 Amazing Modified Porsche 911s We’d Love To Take For A Spin

Porsche 911 1968
Via Bring a Trailer

It’s now painted a shade of Volkswagen Mango Green, but its original Tangerine paint color has been used on the license plate panel. It also features a non-original engine, specifically a 2.2L flat-six unit taken from a 1970 911S.

3 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA

Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA
Via Girardo & Co

The regular Sixties Alfa Romeo Giulia is one of the brand’s best-looking models ever, but the Sprint GTA brings a new dynamic to the car. The GTA was Alfa’s top-spec competition version of the Sprint GT road car, with only 501 examples being manufactured for homologation purposes. The ‘A’ at the end of the name stands for Alleggerita, which is Italian for lightweight.

Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA
Via Girardo & Co

The company’s engineers made the car as light as possible by swapping the glass windows with Perspex, using aluminum components where possible, and even using lighter door handles than the stock car to shave those last pounds of weight off. This particular example came up for auction fresh from a restoration and ready to race.

2 Plymouth Road Runner

Plymouth Road Runner
Via Mecum

The Road Runner is one of the most recognizable American cars of its era, and this 1970 model has been subject to a painstakingly precise restoration using correctly coded Mopar components. Originally purchased in Arizona, its life in arid climates helped it avoid falling victim to rust like many other examples did.

Plymouth Road Runner
Via Mecum

Factory options on this example included Rallye wheels and High Impact Vitamin C Orange paint, which is contrasted by blackout striping. It’s a mint-condition example of one of the best American classics of its era, so it’s no surprise it caused a stir when it went up for auction in 2019.

1 Ferrari 330GTC By Pininfarina

Ferrari 330GTC by Pininfarina
Via Silverstone Auctions

Ferrari’s back catalog features a treasure trove of forgotten rare models, and one of the best looking of all of them has to be the 330GTC. It features similar swooping lines and timeless appeal as the 250 line of cars, but it’s nowhere near as costly as a 250.

Ferrari 330GTC by Pininfarina
Via Silverstone Auctions

That’s why it’s good to see that this 330GTC has been maintained in a manner worthy of the most expensive Ferraris, with a matching engine and gearbox that has been certified by Ferrari themselves. It’s been sympathetically restored over several years, and it recently went up for auction in the UK, selling for £331,875 ($432,715).

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