What Is a Restomod®?
by Glenn Mayer
Since the announcement that a Restomod® class was to be added to our judged shows at Mustangs Northwest there has been a lot of confusion as to what exactly qualifies a car as a Restomod®. I did some research and what I found was surprising. First and foremost, Restomod® is a registered term copyrighted by Mustangs Plus. Much to my surprise, Mustangs Plus has sponsored a Restomod® show in Reno the past two years. So, since they are the owners of the Restomod® term and have sponsored shows specifically for this class, our club should consider them the recognized authority for the Restomod® class.
Now let's see if we can clear up the confusion as to what makes a Restomod®. Mustangs Plus has defined the class as this. "A Restomod® Mustang is a Mustang that has been intentionally changed by using products that are not original for that Mustang." In other words if you changed something on your Mustang that intentionally makes it look, drive or perform differently than when ft came off the assembly line, you have a Restomod®. Let's say you that you took your pony down to the stereo shop and had that AM radio changed out with a CD player, you just created a Restomod® - Just about any change that you can do using modern parts qualifies your car as a Restomod®. Changing tires and wheels to a different aftermarket style or size, any mechanical upgrade such as carburetion, EEl, transmission or suspension even modern paint will qualify your car as a Restomod®. So now you take your little 65 coupe with a Detroit Diesel and a 13 speed Road Ranger transmission to the show, are you going to be competing with a car that has a dress up engine kit and a CD player? The answer is no! Like all other classes there are different levels of Restomod®. Unlike a concours car that has. to be factory correct as when it came off the assembly line, a Restomod® can be as different as the character of their owners. For this reason there are three levels of Restomod®, they are Original, Mild & Wild or Radical to be more in line with our parameters at Mustangs Northwest. Lets take a quick look at each one these levels and see which one your Restomod® would qualify for.
The ORIGINAL class is for owners that wanted to keep their cars original but have upgraded their cars with modern items such as radios, radial tires, steering wheels and made changes for safety and/or added some personal touches. Paint and interior color changes would also fall under this class, in the original class, all sheet metal must be the way the car came from the factory. No changes to the outside such as hood scoops, hood pins or molded spoilers are allowed. Mustangs in this class will range from low mileage original drivers with non-original batteries, oil filters and radial tires, to restored examples that owners have done, such as, repainted a different color, have changed tires and wheels, upgraded to factory style disc brakes, installed an engine dress up kit and changed the interior to the pony interior from the standard interior, as long as there is no attempt to change the factory Mustang look.
The MILD class is for owners who have changed the look or function of their Mustang but have not made any permanent changes to the sheet metal. All changes are of a bolt on type and can be put back to original the way the car came from the factory. This includes, but not limited to after-market wheels, seats and grills, fiberglass hoods, valances and trunk lids, 4-wheel disc brakes, EFl engines, custom paint and any other non factory changes that can be put back to original. If you can unbolt it, replace it with a factory part and repaint to original then this is your class. If you have to cut, weld and reconstruct any part of your car after removing your changes, this is not your class. A good example of a MILD Restomod in our club is the 65 yellow coupe owned by James Joki. It has had a number of upgrades in function and safety while still maintaining a stock appearance.
The RADICAL or WILD class is an anything goes class. What ever the owner can dream up to make his Mustang a one of a kind or just different from everyone else's car, this is their class. Some examples of modifications includes fender flairs, shaved door handles, chopped tops, roll cages, shock tower elimination kits custom paint and tubbed wheel wells. Mustangs in this class cannot be put back to original by just simply unbolting the changes and bolting on the original parts.
Well there you have it. I hope that I have cleared up the muddy waters about this class and I look forward to seeing the Restomod class becoming a regular at our shows. As one who has done a number of Restomods®, I believe this is a good avenue to show off the talent that our members have in marrying the old with the new.