The Replica Revolution

December 8th, 2017

Once upon a time (back in the 1990s) it was possible to see a crowd gathered around a car that resembled a Shelby Cobra or D Type Jaguar, debating whether it could possibly be the genuine article.

Given the scarcity of such exotics in Australia, scenes like this were unlikely here. In Britain, Europe and possibly the USA where owners of multi-million dollar vehicles still race their cars very seriously and drive them frequently, the scenario was more than possible.

Our market does have its share of replica Cobras, a few Le Mans style Jaguars and other exotics but the vast majority of ‘replica’ or ‘tribute’ vehicles will be based on locally-made or perhaps American models.

Every year at Enthusiast we are asked to insure hundreds of replica GT Falcons and ‘Brock’ Commodores, Torana Hatchbacks masquerading as A9Xs and the odd Mini Deluxe that’s been tweaked to resemble the more valuable Cooper S.

All of these need to be valued and have their risk factors rated according to numerous criteria. Without the worry of spoiling a genuine and very valuable vehicle, some owners will ‘personalise’ their replica with vastly more powerful engines than they came with originally, non-genuine paint, leather trim where there once was vinyl and other accessories.

Valuing one of those entails looking at where and how well money has been spent and comparing the subject vehicle with others like it that have sold or are available in the market.

Only rarely will an owner attempt to pass off a non-genuine car as the real thing, but as Insurers we always need to be wary of potential fraud. If we are insistent on verification from the manufacturer or a relevant car club, photographs of Build and Compliance plates please don’t feel offended. We are doing it to protect the entire Enthusiast community from fraudulent claims which, should they succeed, increase premiums for everyone.

Insuring even a Highly Modified Tribute Car isn’t an issue with Enthusiast Insurance. Premiums are payable in Monthly Instalments and to reduce the amount you pay up front we offer Variable Excess (which you don’t pay unless you claim).

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