In general, a replica is a reproduction of a vintage or esoteric vehicle at a price point well under what the original might be worth. Replicas can be either professionally assembled or sold in kit form for home builders. Often a replica of a vintage car will substitute current technology for old components, especially where safety or sourcing issues arise.
This 1957 Porsche 356A, sold in 2014 for over $1 million, provides the economic logic for replicas
Many kit cars are based on donor vehicles so that a relatively inexpensive chassis and power plant can support a new replica body, often made of fiberglass. Factory Five Racing, for example, exclusively used a Ford Mustang donor prior to 2007 for their popular AC Cobra replica.
Inexpensive replica kits may offer not much more than an unpainted fiberglass body that fits over an existing chassis. In the past few years, non-donor kit car builds have risen in popularity as aftermarket components and crate engines have become more widely available.
An electric replica is a further evolutionary step from the original vintage vehicle where the gas-powered internal combustion engine is replaced with an electric motor and battery pack.
This electric replica, based on the 1957 Porsche 356A Type 2 Speedster, was assembled using chassis and fiberglass body parts manufactured by Special Editions, Inc. under the trade name Beck Speedster®. The electric system design and battery pack configuration is based upon the pioneering work of Jack Rickard and Brian Noto of EVTV.
The iconic Porsche Speedster proved to be an excellent EV conversion candidate due to its low weight, relatively simple design, and ample front/rear compartments for mounting pristmatic lithium battery cells. Weight distribution was improved over the original rear engine configuration with better acceleration and overall performance.
The unusual fiberglass Sonett, originally powered by a Ford V4 engine, combines a low center of gravity and front wheel drive, optimal for our high performance EV conversion. Without the need to accomodate a long drive train, the space behind the two seats was used for additional batteries. The original four-speed transmission remains intact along with the braking system.