The world of classic car builds continues to evolve both in materials and skills — 3D printers, easy-to-use carbon fibers and reliable 700 horsepower engines would have seemed unimaginable just 20 years ago.
The highest quality builds were once reserved for the OEMs creating design concepts, but today there are numerous small shops around the country turning out equally well-finished projects. These days, it is not uncommon for customers to walk straight into a custom shop and commission their own dream build.
Each year, builders try to set the bar higher when it comes to trendsetting designs and 2018 was no exception. Let’s explore a few of my favorites and speculate what we might see more of in 2019.
One of my personal favorites was Mitch Button’s highly modified Ferrari BB328. Aired out, this stanced Ferrari 328 sits an inch off the ground on custom Rotiforms, which draw styling cues from the original Dino Cromodoras. That fat stance can thank the 12.5-inch-wide rear wheels wrapped by Kevlar wide body kit.
Mitch Button’s highly modified Ferrari BB328
The design flow here is seamless, and that buttery Grigio Medio paint job seals the deal. This Ferrari steps nicely out of the box. As the kids of the 1980’s get older, expect to see a long runway of custom builds like this one.
Built to draw in a crowd, the Greening Automotive-built Ford Maverick captures its audience with its raw and aggressive styling. Featuring custom wheel flares, carbon rockers, a forward tilt hood and a wild front valance, the integration of concepts and build quality are the best you’ll find anywhere.
Greening Automotive-built Ford Maverick
The Speedkore “Evolution” 1970 Charger is an exercise in carbon fiber precision. At first sight, this vehicle is nothing short of mind-blowing.
Built in-house at Speedkore, the body is all carbon with accompanying billet aluminum structures. The fit and finish is spectacular and all of the carbon fiber on every adjacent panel runs in the same direction. It’s hard not to stare.
Speedkore “Evolution” 1970 Charger
Builders are continually pushing the envelope with aggressive stances, wild styling, and high horsepower. Not only do the cars have to look insane, but they need to perform. Customs have benefited from the manufacturer’s horsepower wars with powerful and reliable power plants.
Keep an eye on composite work and 3D printing as builders continue to take advantage of technology from other manufacturing sectors and apply them to custom car building.
Historically, customs have been built from cars and trucks that enthusiasts have enjoyed in both the past and present. Many vehicles cycle through waves of popularity and demand. New models are often quickly replaced by improvements and upgrades. Once the adoration has worn off, these vehicles are often forgotten until experiencing a resurgence from nostalgia culture.
F100s from the 1960s and ’70s have continued to make their mark on the custom truck scene, as have square body C10s stemming from the first generation’s recent popularity.
Let’s not forget the Fox Body Mustangs that everyone owned in high school: They are being drag raced like crazy and prices are on the rise. Get ready for some insane custom Mustangs in the next few years.
It’s a great time to be in the custom car building world. If the success of 2018 is any indication, 2019 will shape up to be one of the most exciting years yet.
This article, written by Noah Alexander, was originally published on ClassicCars.com, an editorial partner of Motor Authority.