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BangShift Question Of The Day: Are We Entering The Age Of The Tailored Car?

BangShift Question Of The Day: Are We Entering The Age Of The Tailored Car?

See that monster Porsche? That’s the 911 GT2 RS…700 horsepower, 553 ft/lbs of torque, a 0-60 run that is well under three seconds. It’s the stripped down, raw and uncut form of the Porsche lineup, the absolute wild child that doesn’t give a damn about air conditioning, “infotainment” of any type or even even door handles. Lightweight and violent, the GT2 RS is meant to appeal to a certain demographic, the hardcore type that doesn’t give a damn about frills and only cares about speed…and those who want to appear like they do, of course. The GT2 RS went out of production in February…er, sorry. Bad info. It had gone out of production, right up until this happened:That is the Grande America, a Grimaldi Lines RoRo ship that caught fire and sank off of the French coast in the Atlantic. The crew evacuated safely, but about 2,000 cars that were destined for the Brazillian market are now being investigated by curious fish, including four GT2 RS models. Now, if you are Porsche and something like this happens, what would you do? Say sorry, offer an upgrade model, and move on? Porsche has moved to instead reproduce those final four GT2 RS cars for the customers who were waiting on their vehicles. It’s not the first time we’ve heard of something like this, either…a year and a half ago, three Dodge Challenger Demons went up in flames when the transport truck’s trailer went up in flames. Then Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis contacted the three customers whose cars had gone up in flames and FCA made good on making three more Demons appear to round out the original production run.

Both of these stories are neat, but it does bring up a thought that I’ve had since I was a kid. Why is it that millions upon millions of cars are built each year, but nowadays it seems like if the vehicle isn’t some kind of special edition, it isn’t worth buying to the general public? People remember Chevelle Super Sports, but it’s so rare to see a basic Chevelle of any kind that isn’t hanging onto one last shred of life or hasn’t been worked over. Same can be said about Fox Mustangs, G-body Regals…pick your poison, really. Everybody wants some tiny detail that makes their car stand out above the others. Whether it’s a special edition or through a program like the Dodge Viper went through before the model was discontinued, individuality with the automobile might be stronger than ever. Only the cheapest, lowest models seem to keep up the mass-production for the masses feel.

For proof, while driving to dinner last night, my wife went online and “built” a Lincoln Navigator after seeing a newer one in traffic. As she poured over the options and packages that Lincoln sells for their full-size luxo-barge SUV, each new finding was met with surprise. The “Yacht Club” interior theme was probably the best reaction of it all…yeah, “Yacht Club” themed interior. Really? Where there is a market, and a buyer…

So, a question: has a shift towards vehicles tailored to buyers happened? Is it happening? Does it need to happen at all? What is your take on custom everything?

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2 thoughts on “BangShift Question Of The Day: Are We Entering The Age Of The Tailored Car?

  1. Ian

    More like the return of the tailored car. Remember when you could spec just about any combination of options to build the car YOU want? I don’t mean some exotic either, mass market family sedans and station wagons, remember them?, could be built almost exaclty how you wanted.
    Wanted to appear to be doing well but didn’t want to break the bank, you could spec the plain jane stripper model with all the chrome, vinyl roof and fancy wheel covers of the upper spec cars, but keep the basic engine, 3 speed manual, manual steering and manual 4 wheel drum brakes.

    1. Matt Cramer

      Agreed. The trend had previously been moving from the ability to order just about anything that would bolt together in the ’60s and early ’70s, to packages to reduce the number of build options. Glad to see the pendulum is swinging back the other way.

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