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Tribute 250SWB Coupe

Ferrari/Aston Evocation

The Tribute Automotive 250SWB Coupe is a modern take on a classic design – it’s a fantastic evocation of 1960s Coupe supercars – with styling cues from Ferrari, Aston Martin, Pininfarina, Zagato etc.

The kit is based around modern BMW running gear/chassis, and because of these modern underpinnings it makes it a much more usable classic than the cars it seeks to emulate. It retains all of its modern refinements - a proper heater, the factory alarm system, traction control and ABS etc, whilst still feeling very authentic to drive.

When embarking on the build, a great deal of time was taken to find the best condition donor car possible - after viewing several cars, the owner settled on an incredibly original and well-kept car, which had just had all of the usual Z3 issues sorted. A quick look on the internet will show that this car is priced very competitively compared to some, which are listed at over twice the price. This means that the new owner still has plenty of room to further tinker with the car and really make it their own, should they wish!

Before the donor car was stripped, a few hundred miles were covered to ensure there were no mechanical issues with the car and that all was well. The previous owner was fastidious and had even removed various body panels to spray cavity wax in all of the box sections etc – so the ‘chassis’ remains in excellent order throughout.

Hundreds of hours have been spent building this car to a really nice standard – and it shows! There are cheaper cars out there that have been thrown together for a quick sale, but it should be made clear that this is not one of those cars! A good level of attention to detail has been given to ensure the panel fit is as good as it could be made, along with all of the usual finishing touches that usually get rushed, and make it look very ‘kit car’.

The bodywork has been fitted to good level, and the car has been painted professionally in a 1960s Jaguar deep blue (much more blue than it looks in some of the photos!), which looks fantastic in the flesh. The panel gaps are very good for a car of this type, and the doors still shut with their nice BMW ‘thunk’. The bonnet opens and closes with ease thanks to uprated gas struts to support the extra weight of the headlights and grille.

The interior looks very classic indeed, thanks to a lovely wood-rim steering wheel, perforated headlining and custom trimmed door cards, which really help to set the scene. The sliding and locking glass side windows work well and add even more to the classic feel. The deep red leather seats really complement the exterior colour and, being the original BMW items, mean that the driving position isn’t ruined either! It’s an excellent place to be and really evokes the 60s feel – but without the annoying rattles!

The wheels are MWS bolt-on items (the central octagonal ‘spinners’ are included in the sale but the owner preferred the look without), and are shod with a full set of new Avon tyres. They look simply fantastic! They have a wonderful dish, and the offsets are right – very DB4! New brake pads have been fitted all-round. Various suspension arms and bushes have recently been replaced, including polybushed items which solve the usual BMW rear axle ‘clunk’. Eibach springs have been fitted all round, lowering the ride height by 30mm, meaning that the wheels sit very nicely in the arches. A lot of people fit cheap, nasty coilover kits which ruin the ride and handling – none of that here.

The 2.2i engine is excellent mechanically and appears to use no excess oil or water. It goes very well indeed, and pulls like a train – this being one of the later facelift Z3s means the cars had a lot of the earlier production issues sorted. It has recently had a full service. It retains its standard exhaust as the owner wanted to create a truly usable and ‘refined’ car – but give it the beans and it really does howl! If you wanted to go full racer, it would be an easy job for any custom exhaust fitter. It drives very nicely, with a direct gear change, light clutch and, of course, power steering.

In preparation for sale, the car has had an MOT (free of advisories, and you’ll note that the rest of the MOT history is very clean!), and is in the tax class for a standard BMW Z3 2.2. The V5 document has been correctly registered, and now reads ‘Tribute 250SWB’ – something that a lot of builders fail to do and it can become a big issue with insurance and legality! There is plenty of history from before the conversion, and the car has only covered a few hundred miles since the rebuild so everything still feels very fresh. A period registration plate would finish this car off very nicely, the owner has decided to retain the plate he was going to fit, so the car has reverted to its ‘original’ registration.

Don’t be fooled by the relatively cheap cost of the main components of the basic kit – the time, work and cost of all of the other bits means that to build a car to a good standard is not cheap – or at all easy!!!

This car is being sold on behalf of a client, and RMC Classics Ltd are solely acting as agents in the sale. The car is sold as seen and inspected. No timewasters or tyrekickers please…

Priced at £23,950.