What is backdating?

You might have heard someone say, “Yeah, I just finished backdating my car, and it looks sweet!” On the other hand, maybe a friend of yours is asking you whether they should backdate their 1987 Porsche 1911, and you’re all like, “What’s backdating?”. Well, I’m here to tell you all about backdating, and no…we’re not talking about trying to backdate that auto insurance policy (which is illegal, by the way.) This form of backdating is totally legal, totally awesome, and is becoming totally the rage.

When you backdate a car, you are customizing it in such a way that it looks like an older or altogether different car. This does not mean painting on rust…this means making the car look like a mint-condition example of an older-model car than it really is.

For example, aftermarket kits exist to backdate something like a 2007 Ford Shelby Mustang GT 350 to look like a 1969 Ford Mustang. If you have to ask why someone would do this, you might just be reading the wrong blog, but here goes anyways: in the 60’s, Ford Mustangs looked mean as hell. Today’s Mustangs, while still very nice cars, just do not have the same “oomph” in their appearance or their muscle to compete with yesteryear.

While you could probably find a 1969 Mustang and restore it, many car modders are finding much more joy and satisfaction in retrofitting their newer cars to look like the cars of old. This way, you really get the best of both worlds: you get the safety features and, sometimes, better fuel economy of today’s cars, along with the powerful and fearsome look of yesterday’s cars.

Sometimes, you will find a modder who is taking a car that is still respectably attractive, like a 1987 Porsche 911, and backdating it to look like a different Porsche from years gone by. This is often because those much older, rarer cars are harder to come by. Taking a 911 and tricking it out to look like an older Carrera is an awesome opportunity and can yield a truly hot-looking ride. Throw in a custom stereo system, though, and you have got backdated meets updated: something I would really drool over.

How much work goes into backdating depends on how far back you want to go, and how much of a true backdating job you want to do. Some modders will go so far as to totally strip the car down to the chassis, replacing aluminum with steel to make the backdated car “true” to its inspiration. Others will just get plastic after-market body kits and attach them to the existing body, then paint the whole deal to look like the inspiration, even if it does not necessarily feel like it. What you can do is really limited only by your pocketbook, ambition, and imagination.

So there you have it: backdating in a nutshell. It is a newish option to restoration, and it will become even more popular as the older, nicer cars of yesterday become harder and more expensive to get your hands on.

Check out some beautifully backdated Porsche cars by one of the best and most famous backdaters Singer Vehicle Design, HERE.

Backdated Porsche 911
Backdated Porsche 911
Backdated Porsche 911
Backdated Porsche 911



Last Updated: March 2, 2014

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