Copies, Replicas, Reproductions or Tributes?
by Roger “Riceman” Lee
This has been a subject that many have voiced their opinions about, but remember – those opinions are like bellybuttons: everyone has one and you have to live with it. Are the historic Top Fuel dragsters that no longer exist and are reproduced called copies, replicas, reproductions or tribute race cars? Take your pick….
Does the word "accurate" have to be added, or maybe "close as possible" be included? Of course a limiting factor is money. Era-correct parts that are no longer produced or a one-off one that was unique and made for a particular race car can be expensive unless you have the ability to copy it with some accuracy.
Before taking on this project of recreating one, the most important factor is making contact with the people who were involved or the living relatives and crew that spent part of their lives racing this car. They were the ones up late at night working to prepare their car to bring it into the staging beams, driving to tracks for hours and days for a few seconds on 1320 feet of earth.
Then, they should be involved seeing you progress. Their opinions count heavily on what they are seeing. What you are building represents in true form as what was raced. Research comes into play here. If every picture you have seen of the car shows an engine that has a polished blower or a raw cast case on it, isn't that the way it should be on the reproduction? Now, down to the bones: the chassis. Is it the right one from the right chassis builder? Any chassis can be used for any car, but on a well-known, highly photographed and famous race car, the chassis has to be right…period! It is your project and your opinion, so you may go with, "who is going to remember" and don't give a heck, but keep in mind that the viewing public will decide and also ultimately determine how high the applause meter will go!
Roger “Riceman” Lee
Nostalgia Drag World - by Roger Lee
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