The Hi-Tech Legends reproduction 1967 SHELBY GT500 is manufactured and assembled at Hi-Tech Automotive, the world’s largest manufacturer of iconic 1960’s era replica vehicles.
Company founder, Jim Price, was a pioneer in establishing what later became known as the “turnkey minus” or “rolling chassis” replica vehicle industry in the United States over 25 years ago. The Hi-Tech Automotive factory was borne out of an opportunity that Jim identified to supply the American classic car market with properly engineered, factory-manufactured and completely assembled replicas of some of America’s most iconic classic cars. This as opposed to the lower quality kits that were available to the public at the time.
Now, after operating for more than 25 years in the specialist low volume vehicle industry, Hi-Tech Automotive employs over 300 highly skilled artisans and manufactures vehicles under contract for two of the most recognized and respected brands in the replica industry, namely Superformance and Shelby Legendary Cars. Both these companies’ market and distribute licensed replicas of some of the most sought after continuation classics available in the market today, including the Shelby CSX 4000 and 6000 series Cobra’s, the CSX 9000 series Shelby Daytona Coupe, the Shelby CSX 8000 series 289 Cobra and the Superformance GT40 MK1 and MK2.
Jim, along with his two sons Justin and Nick and their capable team at Hi-Tech Automotive are responsible for ensuring the Hi-Tech Legends reproduction GT500 rolling chassis are all built to a consistently exceptional standard.
The Price family together with friend and associate Tom Kirkham established Hi-Tech Legends LLC in the United States. Tom, an engineer extraordinaire, was a co-founder of Kirkham Motorsports and renowned for developing the very high-end aluminum bodied Shelby Cobras and Daytona Coupes.
Tom Kirkham and the polished aluminium "Secret Weapon" Shelby Daytona he replicated.
The Hi-Tech Legends company will manage distribution in the United States and not only provide both after sales, technical and parts support to installers, but also act as a liaison between the Hi-Tech Automotive factory and dealer ensuring all parties are regularly updated on the progress of the various chassis builds through the factory’s production system.
RESTOmod vs REPROmod
A traditional restoration is characterized as returning a vehicle back to its original condition or better, using either refurbished original, or in some cases even brand-new reproduction parts. These so called “nut and bolt” restorations are generally performed with a focus to completely restore or to preserve as many original components as possible throughout the course of the restoration. These restored vehicles are still very popular, with many today being regularly bought and sold among enthusiasts and collectors.
"More recently classic car enthusiasts have begun to expect more from these restored classic cars in terms of performance, reliability and safety."
While many remain enthralled by the retro look of the original vehicle, they are not necessarily as impressed with how they handle or how safe and reliable they are on the road. It is common knowledge that the cars of the 60’s are a completely different driving experience compared to today’s modern cars, sometimes far too different and uncomfortable for todays’ younger generation.
The industry push towards making classic cars more safe and comfortable to drive has led to a deviation from the traditional restoration. As vehicle technology has advanced, and various new car parts and accessories have become available to the aftermarket, a new type of modernized classic car has emerged. Today the concept of a more modern restoration, or restomod, has become quite popular. It is now not uncommon to see original classic cars having been fit with a modern engine, transmission, brakes and suspension – still keeping with original styling of the car, but offering a significantly more comfortable and safe driving experience.
Further additions such as electronic power steering, power windows and seats, a more modern and efficient AC unit and an improved SATNAV enabled sound system, also adds to an improved driver experience.
Purchasing and attempting to restomod an original vehicle from the 60’s does however come with many challenges. One quickly forgets that cars manufactured in the 60’s are all now more than 50 years old. As the years pass by, the few remaining unrestored vehicles will inevitably waste away to nothing, eventually becoming completely uneconomical to restore. Those that have been saved from this fate have been restored to varying levels in terms of quality, which in most cases is directly linked to owners available budget, as well as the level of skill of the person and/or company tasked with undertaking the restoration.
At Hi-Tech Legends our aim is to try and remove the inconsistencies that are typically characteristic of a one-off type restomod build. The Hi-Tech Legends product offering is not a modernised restoration of an original vehicle built way back in the 60’s (or restomod), but rather a modern day manufactured AND modern reproduction or replica of that vehicle, a concept which we have termed a “REPROmod”.
The team at Hi-Tech Legends firmly believe that securing the legacy of the 1960’s era muscle cars for future generations to drive and enjoy will largely depend on the industry’s ability to reproduce these iconic vehicles in a factory type environment, using modern methods of manufacture, and utilising only brand new bodies and parts.
In doing so the 1967 Shelby GT500, and others like it, will most certainly continue to be driven for many years to come.