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This 1963 Grand Sport Pops up at Jay Leno's and I Hate It

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This 1963 Grand Sport Pops up at Jay Leno's and I Hate It

Old 10-15-2018, 01:51 PM
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Default This 1963 Grand Sport Pops up at Jay Leno's and I Hate It

This 1963 Grand Sport Pops up at Jay Leno's and I Hate It

The original Corvette Grand Sports are ultra-pricey, and that's assuming one ever goes on sale. This reboot by Superformance might make for a fun weekend car, but if you’re only using it on the weekend, wouldn’t you at least want the feel of the original car instead of something that rides like a C6 with a stripped interior?

By Jakob Hansen - October 15, 2018




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Old 10-15-2018, 10:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Curated Content Editor View Post
This 1963 Grand Sport Pops up at Jay Leno's and I Hate It

The original Corvette Grand Sports are ultra-pricey, and that's assuming one ever goes on sale. This reboot by Superformance might make for a fun weekend car, but if you’re only using it on the weekend, wouldn’t you at least want the feel of the original car instead of something that rides like a C6 with a stripped interior?

By Jakob Hansen - October 15, 2018
I doubt that the market for this recreation wants the "feel" of the original car. After all they're LSx powered and A/C is probably an option included on most of if not just about all of the completed cars. I also doubt these cars feel anywhere near as "raw" as the originals.

'

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Old 10-15-2018, 11:17 PM
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I watched this also. I believe it's a South African company and they started with doing Cobras or the Daytona. Not meant to be a faithful recreation but modern suspension and light weight body with as much power as you want and the comfort of AC if desired. With GM's blessing and engines supplied by Lingenfelter . I like them and think it's a cool car but not what I would buy.
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Old 10-15-2018, 11:45 PM
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99.9999999 of people wouldn't know the difference between those and the 5-6 original cars
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Old 10-16-2018, 12:58 AM
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Originally Posted by ZWILDZR1 View Post
I watched this also. I believe it's a South African company and they started with doing Cobras or the Daytona. Not meant to be a faithful recreation but modern suspension and light weight body with as much power as you want and the comfort of AC if desired. With GM's blessing and engines supplied by Lingenfelter . I like them and think it's a cool car but not what I would buy.
You are correct, they are a South African company most notably known for their work with Cobras, Daytonas and GT40's.
While I agree, these are indeed fabulous cars and have a lot to offer to a customer, the issue I have is that it's easy to through modern off the shelf parts at a car, when you have the money to throw with it. To me, these almost feel like its taking the easy way out. Which in the long run, feels like too much of the soul has been lost.

I have no issues with modern features in a classic car. Spend any time on a track in a car without A/C and you'll come to appreciate the finer things in life. I love what Singer has done with the Porsche for example. But the difference is they kept the aura of what makes a Porsche, a Porsche, and I feel that is lost here.
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Old 10-16-2018, 07:24 AM
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I have three comments based on my experience owning a replica Shelby Cobra. First, in that world there were owners who wanted their cars to be as much like an original as possible. Many of them paid a large price premium to buy their cars from a company that ressurected the Shelby American name. They did that just so they could say they owned a "real" Shelby Cobra, when the cars were built by the same people using the same parts as Superformance. Others, like me, were content with cars that were shaped like a Cobra, made noises like a Cobra, and could put a huge smile on your face for about one third the price. Being faithful to the original racing Grand Sports is just not that important to a lot of people. To each his own.

Second, the Superformance Grand Sports have never struck me as replicas of the racing Grand Sports. They appear to me to be replicas of the replica street driven cars hand built by folks like JohnZ. When you start doing replicas of replicas, its hard to get too concerned about a lack of authenticity.

Finally, I noticed a shift in the types of owners when Superformance stormed the market with its Shelby Cobra replicas. Before that, many of the people who owned Cobra replicas had built them from kits of one quality or another. And because each car was a unique build, the people who later owned them had to have a certain level of comfort in troubleshooting and maintaining their cars. That all changed with Superformance. I recall one new owner who came to the forum to find out what kind of engine he had in his car. Another wanted to know how to change the oil. My point is that many owners of the ready-to-drive Superformance lines don't know or care about history or authenticity. They look at a new Grand Sport in the same way they'd consider a new Lamborghini or Masserati. It's just something to show off at car gatherings until they decide to get something else.
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Old 10-16-2018, 07:37 AM
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Superformance makes a good product. Their "turnkey minus" Cobras were always very popular and well made. Shelby American merged with them years ago. In addition, Pete Brock designed the latter day Daytona Coupe for them. Like most replicas, it departs from the original in some respects but satisfies the demand for those who will never be able to withdraw eight figures from their ATM for an original. The same goes for the GS. Looks like the price is $100K minus engine and trans.

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Old 10-16-2018, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Curated Content Editor View Post
wouldn’t you at least want the feel of the original car instead of something that rides like a C6 with a stripped interior?


By Jakob Hansen - October 15, 2018

Last edited by Mcrider; 10-16-2018 at 07:47 AM.
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Old 10-16-2018, 08:12 AM
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I own a Superformance Cobra, it was built in 2002 and I have a bit over 9000 miles on it. It has a bored and stroked 351W and a Tremec 5-speed. I beat the **** out of it as it was intended to be driven and I can tell you that all it's ever needed is normal maintainance; oil, brake pads and tires......like any modern car. They still build an incredibly reliable machine, not just Cobras. The car is worlds better than an original Cobra in terms of reliability, suspension, drivetrain, safety, braking, acceleration, handling, etc. But it costs 1/20th of what an original Cobra would cost. And it's comfortable enough that my wife enjoys riding along in it too. If this GS is anything like their Cobras, and I suspect that it is, then the experience will be just as thrilling. The only change I would make on this GS: ditch the smooth as glass LS and drop in a carb'd high revving lumpy cammed small block. The sounds and smells of the carb'd engine would complete the visceral experience of this platform.

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Old 10-16-2018, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Chapter2 View Post
I own a Superformance Cobra, it was built in 2002 and I have a bit over 9000 miles on it. It has a bored and stroked 351W and a Tremec 5-speed. I beat the **** out of it as it was intended to be driven and I can tell you that all it's ever needed is normal maintainance; oil, brake pads and tires......like any modern car. They still build an incredibly reliable machine, not just Cobras. The car is worlds better than an original Cobra in terms of reliability, suspension, drivetrain, safety, braking, acceleration, handling, etc. But it costs 1/20th of what an original Cobra would cost. And it's comfortable enough that my wife enjoys riding along in it too. If this GS is anything like their Cobras, and I suspect that it is, then the experience will be just as thrilling. The only change I would make on this GS: ditch the smooth as glass LS and drop in a carb'd high revving lumpy cammed small block. The sounds and smells of the carb'd engine would complete the visceral experience of this platform.

Good news. The Superformance GS can be bought with a "carb'd high revving cammed small block". In fact the car that Jay Leno chose to drive on YouTube was a small block with 8 Weber carbs, so the dealer will drop in whatever engine you like. I thought it looked great. I have stopped by the local Superformance shop and, while they didn't have a GS in stock, the Cobras, GT40 and Daytona all looked top flight. I wouldn't mind having one.
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Old 10-16-2018, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Dan Hampton View Post
Superformance makes a good product. Their "turnkey minus" Cobras were always very popular and well made. Shelby American merged with them years ago. In addition, Pete Brock designed the latter day Daytona Coupe for them. Like most replicas, it departs from the original in some respects but satisfies the demand for those who will never be able to withdraw eight figures from their ATM for an original. The same goes for the GS. Looks like the price is $100K minus engine and trans.
A friend of mine just got rid of his 1964 260 powered AC Cobra that was all original down to the paint. (dark blue car). I asked him why, and he said that "for a gazillion- dollar car, you'd think it would at least turn heads, but everybody assumes it's a kit car and nobody cares!" He had a point. He got more attention in his '67 Austin Healy, worth a fraction of the Cobra. I agree with Dan..while I don't personally care for kit cars, they have their place for those who MUST have the look/feel but aren't billionaires. I want a 1912 Mercer Raceabout, (about $4-$5 million) but I would NEVER have one as a kit car. So, it looks like I'll die with that one not crossed off my list!
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Old 10-16-2018, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by GTOguy View Post
A friend of mine just got rid of his 1964 260 powered AC Cobra that was all original down to the paint. (dark blue car). I asked him why, and he said that "for a gazillion- dollar car, you'd think it would at least turn heads, but everybody assumes it's a kit car and nobody cares!" He had a point. He got more attention in his '67 Austin Healy, worth a fraction of the Cobra. I agree with Dan..while I don't personally care for kit cars, they have their place for those who MUST have the look/feel but aren't billionaires. I want a 1912 Mercer Raceabout, (about $4-$5 million) but I would NEVER have one as a kit car. So, it looks like I'll die with that one not crossed off my list!
A few years ago, I owned Bob Johnson's 1964 SCCA National Champion Cobra. It was a full competition car that lacked a lot of things to make it legal for the street. I took it to a few events where people thought some of the replicas were original, telling their friends that mine was not an original car, despite having a lot of the hallmarks (transverse leaf spring front end) of the original. As GTO said, there are so many of them, that they all have to be replicas. The nice thing about the GS is that you don't have that problem, but you will be caught having to explain the history of the car. To many it is a modified C2

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Old 10-16-2018, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Curated Content Editor View Post

This 1963 Grand Sport Pops up at Jay Leno's and I Hate It

The original Corvette Grand Sports are ultra-pricey, and that's assuming one ever goes on sale. This reboot by Superformance might make for a fun weekend car, but if you’re only using it on the weekend, wouldn’t you at least want the feel of the original car instead of something that rides like a C6 with a stripped interior?

By Jakob Hansen - October 15, 2018

"wouldn’t you at least want the feel of the original car instead of something that rides like a C6 with a stripped interior?"

I have complained about these posting in the past that they put a bad light on this forum due to a lack of correct info which should NEVER happen in a post by an editor.
It is obvious from the above quoted statement that the OP has never spent any time in a REAL noisy, rattily, HOT race car.
The people that buy these are NOT racing them and would never get their wives to ride with them in one of these cars without at least A/C. These cars are for people looking for attention from the select few that even have an idea of what one of these original cars were and know they are not fooling anyone.

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Old 10-16-2018, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by GTOguy View Post
A friend of mine just got rid of his 1964 260 powered AC Cobra that was all original down to the paint. (dark blue car). I asked him why, and he said that "for a gazillion- dollar car, you'd think it would at least turn heads, but everybody assumes it's a kit car and nobody cares!" He had a point. He got more attention in his '67 Austin Healy, worth a fraction of the Cobra. I agree with Dan..while I don't personally care for kit cars, they have their place for those who MUST have the look/feel but aren't billionaires. I want a 1912 Mercer Raceabout, (about $4-$5 million) but I would NEVER have one as a kit car. So, it looks like I'll die with that one not crossed off my list!
Sounds like he owned the car for the wrong reasons then. Impressing others.....I never could understand that. Anyway.....

Superformance cars aren't "kit cars"......they are factory built rollers including the paint and upholstery. The dealer receives them all done, just needing an engine and transmission......if you think about it, it's exactly the way Carroll Shelby built the real mccoys back in the day.
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Old 10-16-2018, 09:31 PM
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I owned a D&D Grand Sport for about 5 years. The D&D was an identical replica because they used a mold from one of the original GS couples. I believe these cars are 7/8 the size of a C2. Maybe a GS expert can confirm that. My seats were fixed because of smaller size and there was no rear storage space. The car was probably very close to the old school driving experience of a GS. It was hot, fast, loud and had that gas smell!!! It was powered by an aluminum head LS6 454 CI.



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Old 10-17-2018, 12:04 AM
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Originally Posted by RJ1 View Post
. The D&D was an identical replica because they used a mold from one of the original GS couples.
Not true. If it were true, the D&D cars wouldn't have had so many historic errors in the body.

I believe these cars are 7/8 the size of a C2.
Also not true. That's an urban legend which refuses to die. Grand Sports are the same size as production Sting Rays.
The people that buy these are NOT racing them and would never get their wives to ride with them in one of these cars without at least A/C.
Not always true. I vintage race mine. My bride tracked my GS so much that we ended up buying a second GS (the D&D tube frame prototype) which she then tracked. Both cars are hot and loud and we love'em.



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Old 10-17-2018, 12:28 AM
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I can completely agree with you. The customer base that these cars are aimed at are entirely different than what the original GS's were aimed for. Objectively, these cars are excellent. They have amazing build quality, the engine has been massaged by one of the best builders in the business, but the aim of the car is so far off of what it should be, it loses sight of what the Grand Sport was about.

Perhaps I was a bit discordant with "I Hate Them", but the cars are such a swing and a miss in my eyes, I just can't get behind them. They're created for someone that wants to look good and not someone that truly knows what the cars about. You can even tell in the video Leno is really not about them at all. These housemade restomods are hit and miss. It seems that some companies have figured out the formula, Automobili Amos has quite the promising prospect coming out with the Lancia Stratos, but these Superformance Corvette's are just in a different category entirely. One that I don't prefer to be in.

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Old 10-17-2018, 11:56 AM
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[QUOTE=jim lockwood;1598172648]Not true. If it were true, the D&D cars wouldn't have had so many historic errors in the body.



Jim the "story" I was told is that a guy named John Adams at GM was giving one of the GS coupes when GM shut down the program. Later he designed a GS frame for D&D. In turn D&D restored his GS for him. During the restoration Dean Haskins pulled a mold from that GS. Soon after GM filed suit against D&D and shut them down.
Any of this make sense to you? Have you heard any of this?
I guess interior space in GS was limited due to gas tank placement in the GS up high and forward?
Thanks, Ray
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Old 10-17-2018, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by RJ1 View Post



Jim the "story" I was told is that a guy named John Adams at GM was giving one of the GS coupes when GM shut down the program. Later he designed a GS frame for D&D. In turn D&D restored his GS for him. During the restoration Dean Haskins pulled a mold from that GS. Soon after GM filed suit against D&D and shut them down.
Any of this make sense to you? Have you heard any of this?
I guess interior space in GS was limited due to gas tank placement in the GS up high and forward?
Thanks, Ray
Bill Adam, chief engineer of Altair Engineering, reworked the frame and suspension design of the D&D cars after they had been in production for a while. The suspension geometry on the early cars, like our prototype, was beyond dreadful. You could measure the bump steer with a yard stick. Prior to his involvement with D&D Bill Adam had been a chassis and suspension engineer for Chevrolet. I'm sure this is the person you have in mind.

There are all kinds of fantastical stories about how this individual or that individual ended up with the original molds or got access to one of the original cars and made his own molds. Yours about Bill Adam being given one of the original cars is a new one, though.

D&D got involved with GM lawyers because of our prototype.

Our prototype was sold to a German fellow who intended to import the car and represent it as the real GS #003 and vintage race it in Europe. The Custom's form had a fairly low declared value listed. By dumb luck, the US Customs agent handling the export knew what a Grand Sport was and understood the declared value was waaaay low. The car was seized, GM was alerted, their lawyers made big bucks, and Dean Hoskins got in a bit of trouble.

BTW, I think I recognize your former D&D. S/N 050, I believe, and you sold it to a fellow in Pennsylvania?
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Old 10-17-2018, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by jim lockwood View Post
Bill Adam, chief engineer of Altair Engineering, reworked the frame and suspension design of the D&D cars after they had been in production for a while. The suspension geometry on the early cars, like our prototype, was beyond dreadful. You could measure the bump steer with a yard stick. Prior to his involvement with D&D Bill Adam had been a chassis and suspension engineer for Chevrolet. I'm sure this is the person you have in mind.

There are all kinds of fantastical stories about how this individual or that individual ended up with the original molds or got access to one of the original cars and made his own molds. Yours about Bill Adam being given one of the original cars is a new one, though.

D&D got involved with GM lawyers because of our prototype.

Our prototype was sold to a German fellow who intended to import the car and represent it as the real GS #003 and vintage race it in Europe. The Custom's form had a fairly low declared value listed. By dumb luck, the US Customs agent handling the export knew what a Grand Sport was and understood the declared value was waaaay low. The car was seized, GM was alerted, their lawyers made big bucks, and Dean Hoskins got in a bit of trouble.

BTW, I think I recognize your former D&D. S/N 050, I believe, and you sold it to a fellow in Pennsylvania?
Jim thanks for your response. Good info. Yes my D&D was serial # 50. I bought it after it went though an auction here in Miami. It had come out of Cleveland and the owner said he did part of the build and D&D did some. I talked to Dean on the phone a few times after I bought it. He loved to talk about his cars and hear of there status, Great guy. Did he ever have to do jail time? Sold it on E Bay. Loved that car but was making room for a 67 435HP Top Flight roadster. Yes it was a young guy who bought it. He and a friend drove down from Pennsylvania with a trailer to pick it up. I think they worked for the phone company. Do you know what became of the car? Does he still own it?
You own the D&D prototype? Is that the one in your picture?
Thanks. Ray
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