What is a clone vehicle?

I’m shopping for classic cars, and keep finding “clones.” They look beautiful and are far less expensive than an original. What is the process of cloning a car? How would a bank look at a clone in terms of a car loan?

I would assume that means that they bought a body kit and put it on a cheaper car frame. So it just looks like an expensive car.

Can you link to an example?

My guess would be something like a “kit Cobra

Basically, it looks like a classic Cobra, but most of its parts come from a Mustang.

The link contains info on how it’s built.

Some clones are cheap bodystyles dressed up to look like expensive & rare ones. For instance, one might drop a Hemi into a car that originally had a different engine, add the Hemi emblems, and get a clone of a valuable Hemi Cuda. But it wouldn’t be authentic, right? --since it wasn’t originally a Hemi car. In some collector car circles (Chrysler cars especially), authenticity is everything.

I’m under the impression that a lot of the clone cars are regular cars brought up to “spec” by installing the proper engine, drivetrain, suspension and brakes, plus mimicking the uphostery, paint job, and body modifications. There are many low volume high performance versions of standard American automobiles. A classic example is a Shelby GT-500 based on a standard Mustang chassis. You can take a standard '68 Mustang and swap in all the components resulting in a clone that is by every metric a Shelby GT-500 except for the fact that it’s not, and the serial numbers of the engine and chassis will reflect that. The price of the car will also reflect it’s lack of authenticity.

As mentioned upthread, there are bunches of Shelby Cobra clones which vary all over the map as to their faithful adherence to the construction of the original car.

All I can say is that I want a Lamborghini Countach replica.

A clone is different than a replica. An example of a clone would be a real 67 camaro, with z-28 like parts and badges installed. It will look like a real Z-28, and be a real camaro. A replica, on the other hand, is a fake Lamborghini body dropped on a Fiero chasis. Nothing Lamborghini about it.

I read somewhere (no cite, maybe someone else here knows about this) that after the 1957 Chevrolets went out of production, someone got ahold of the body molds and continued to produce them in a barn or a garage for several years.

What category would this fall under? I see it as a reproduction from original blueprints/molds, but it’s not an authentic '57 Chevy. It’d still be nice if someone was producing those nowadays. I’d buy one.

I assume the “numbers match”…that is, the VIN and/or engine code from the factory stating that such-and-such engine with these heads, those pistons, this hot cam, that high-compression crank, bolted up to this tranny and dropped into this body with this trim level.

What if you had some kind of muscle car created not in a Detroit assembly line, but at a dealership, like a Yenko Camaro?

That would be Danchuk Manufacturing. They bought the tooling for stamping the sheetmetal of the shoebox Chevies (55,56,57) and continue to make it today. Their parts are still licensed by GM and are considered factory original replacement parts. If you were to present a 57 Chevy at a concours show and the body parts were made by Danchuk, they are considered original and there would be no deductions. In fact, most of the parts they make are better than the original.

A Yenko Camaro was created on the Detroit assembly line, for the most part in 1969 (Some mods were done at the dealership; the skunk stripes on some cars were put on by his teenage daughter) Back then, Yenko or Baldwin or other big dealers could call up the factory and get them to put in the 427.

There are lots of Yenko clones, as the originals would sell north of 100k. This is a popular option for enthusiasts who want a car that looks and performs as good or better than the original, but doesn’t care about scarcity.

Too me, the replica car is for old guys who want to impress college chicks.

That’s actually the example I was thinging of when I made my first post in this thread. But since I heard about so long ago by people who don’t know squat about cars, I wasn’t sure how true it was.
But at the time that I heard this there was a “Lamborghini” that used to cruise around town. Oddly, it sounded like someone was driving a sewing maching past you though.

I came here to mention, well, isn’t the Fiero a unit body without what most people call a chassis? But I happened upon this link. It’s most enlightening, as I’m a body guy myself.

I don’t know if they’re still in business, but there was a firm making exact copies of the Ford Model A, tight down to the frame and engine. It was pricey, but cheaper than a restored real Model A.

When the Pontiac Fiero first came out, the automotive press was agog with the possibilities. The quarter panels were very simply attached, they said, and they predicted a big aftermarket in gee-whiz body panels. There was some of that, with kits to make your Fiero look like a Ferrari. The Fiero had a short life, so the woo-hoo body panel business never really bloomed.

There’s a company someplace that still makes the Lotus Super Seven. It’s uncommonly gorgeous, and when I win the lottery, I’m gonna get one.

It’s like a REALLY small Volkswagen, only when it stops LOTS and LOTS of clones get out.

I’m sorry. I tried to stop myself, but every time I saw the title that was running through my head.

You’re probably thinking of Brookville Roadster.
While we’re on the subject, there’s also Dynacom classic Bodies, makers of a 1969 Camaro body considered a replacement part by GM. (I couldn’t find a link to their site. I assume they keep a low profile since they don’t sell direct to the public.)

Peace - DESK