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Re: TD replica kit

To: "Robert L. Abernathy" <rabernat@freedom.NMSU.Edu>
Subject: Re: TD replica kit
From: "W. R. Gibbons" <>
Date: Tue, 16 Jan 1996 13:55:50 -0500 (EST)
On Mon, 15 Jan 1996, Robert L. Abernathy wrote:

> There is a complete TD replica kit for sale localy for $1000.
> I called the owner and he said it was ready to mount on a
> VW pan. Has anyone built or owned one of these?
> What other chassis might it fit?
> How much is a replica worth anyway?

I think replicas make sense sometimes--when the original car is incredibly
expensive, and the replica is really close to the original in styling and
spirit.  A good replica should be difficult to distinguish from the real
thing, should offer the same driving pleasure, and be much, much cheaper. 

No TD replica I have ever seen on a VW chassis fills these criteria.  If 
you know TD's you can tell a VW replica from a block away by sound and by 
sight.  And a well-built replica probably would end up costing nearly as 
much as a sound original TD.  Once built, it would depreciate rapidly, 
while the original would not.

On the whole, I would say that a rear-engined air cooled fiberglas 
replica of a TD isn't likely to be a good car, or a good investment, or 
even a good driveway ornament.  There is a company in England that makes 
realistic TF replicas (Hutson, I believe), and there is or used to be a 
company in the US that I understand made excellent front-engined TD 
replicas, but I have not seen either of these in the flesh.

   Ray Gibbons  Dept. of Molecular Physiology & Biophysics
                Univ. of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, VT
        (802) 656-8910

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