So like a lot of car guys, I can’t help but search the classifieds to look for potential next cars, project cars or even unobtainable dream cars, now for me, my main car buying/selling site I use is AutoTrader as over here in the UK they are the most popular and have anything & everything for sale whether it’s a normal everyday cheap hatchback to a £1M+ Ferrari Daytona, now on a lot of occasions, I tend to look at affordable cars with the odd occasion looking at the wacky, weird & downright different cars and today I think I’ve found one in the shape of this Aston Martin DB5 kit car based on a 1999 Honda S2000 here.
Now being a kit car, it’s never going to look like an actual DB5 as it of course has to fit over an already existing chassis – In this case a AP1 S2000 so width, length and overall track is gonna be slightly different to the real thing, however, as kit cars go, this has to be the most accurate one I’ve seen for sale, compared to the F355 kit cars based on SW20 MR2’s it actually looks realistic, however there is of course some big & small differences.
For a start, the doors & windows are a different size to the real DB5 due to it’s Honda roots, the interior on this particular one still has the original S2000 interior which kind of looks out of place compared to the outside but everything does work which is typical of any Honda product, now I don’t have any issues with an S2000 whatsoever and that even includes it interior, however it does look weird in something which looks like a DB5.
Secondly, the mirrors, wiper arms & wheels are slightly different to the real thing, now these can easily be changed or fixed one way or another and shouldn’t take too long or much to fix, however, there is one last thing which is massively different to this replica and that is what ultimately gives me my mixed feelings.
See, being based on the S2000, it still has it’s F20C fitted, now in engine terms, the F20C is a wonderful engine, 9000RPM rev limit, bulletproof reliability & some decent power from a 2.0 4 cylinder engine, in a car which looks like a DB5, it makes sense to have an engine like this as it’d give good reliable power with a really good power band which in turn with the sublime S2000 chassis would make this rep a really good car to drive on any road you take it down, so why does it give me mixed reactions then? well it’s pretty simple really.
See, even though this is based on a really fantastic Honda sports car and it’s been a reliable old thing over the last 6 years the kit was applied, for me, having an Aston whether a kit or not, it should have the feeling of an Aston & of course the sound of an Aston, so to still have it’s 4 cylinder fitted makes no sense in that respect, If it was mine, I’d personally fit the 3.2 Supercharged I6 & running gear from an early DB7, that way, every time you drive it, it’d sound and would somewhat feel like the car it’s supposed to look like.
Same story goes for the interior, now of course it’s still a lovely interior which is very driver focused and of course everything works which you could never say about the original, however in this car it looks so out of place it’s unreal, to make it more realistic, it’d need replacing with a custom interior and custom retro bucket seats which would bring it more in line with a real DB5, unfortunately however to do all that will of course cost quite a bit of money to put right which brings me onto it’s biggest issue and that is the price.
Now a normal S2000 starts at around £5000 for a good one all the way up to about £10K-£15K for a later Facelift, however this Replica is hitting nigh on £70K which isn’t cheap at all, in fact you could get a MK1 V12 Vanquish for a similar amount of money, you could easily get a DB9, V8 Vantage or even a V12 DB7 Vantage which are proper Aston’s and not kits, however, if you really really love the DB5 then in that retrospect it really is a bargain as a real DB5 can cost upwards of £500K which is way out of reach for a majority of us, add in the upgrades that I’d personally do to make it more realistic, you’d probably be spending about £100K all in which is a 5th of the price of a real one with better reliability than the DB5 and a better driving experience too having DB7 bits added into the mix, add in the custom interior and it’d be a kit car which in theory wouldn’t be too far off the real thing which can’t be said for a lot of kit cars going these days.
So what is everyone’s opinion on this kit car then?, a very good remake which just needs the finishing touches I mentioned or yet another fake wannabe Aston Martin which is too much money for what it actually is?, me personally, I quite like it as it’s a whole lot better than a lot of kit cars these days and the work which has gone into it is a whole lot higher quality than others I’ve seen, once finished it’d be a 5th the price of a real DB5 and the best part really is the feeling it’d give off, with the upgrades done, it’d feel reminiscent of driving the real thing which can only be a good thing.
Hope You Enjoy!
By Alex Jebson