Updating or transforming a race car into a road car of “super car” status is difficult to when you don’t want the car to loose its character or its racing roots.
Looking at other ‘like’ cars of the era yields clues of how different treatments of the rear-end could be made to work. Engine and drivetrain are relatively easy. The more money you throw at those items the better the outcome in the majority of cases. Styling alterations are a totally different matter. Today we’ll look at something relatively simple tail light and rear end treatments.
The Daytona Coupe is styled after the early 60’s Ferrari 250 GTO. Folks who would argue that that’s not the case probably also believe that the new, yet to be released, Lincoln Continental is not a copy of the Bentley and the current Ford Fusion front end is not as copy of the Aston Martin. That’s not necessarily a bad thing when you consider that today’s hot selling boxes from the SUV segment are just copies of each other.
To me, both the 250 GTO and the Daytona are stunning cars – except for the rear tail lights. It looks like the folks at Ferrari pulled them out of a ready parts bin, and the Daytona followed suit. Our other consideration here is safety, do we count on other drivers to see us in the dark and stop in time with those minimal button tail lights?
Looking at cars of the era some basic trends emerge. Tail lights were simple geometric shapes, either round or rectangular. The reason is simple. Manufacturing tooling used simple geometries to keep costs down. Complex shapes are very difficult to execute without today’s CAD/CAM, multi-axis machining, and 3D printing capabilities. Predominant shapes were round, and round “fits” the style of the Coupe.
Some brainstorming resulted on a number of alternatives – not all round.
The FFR kit version can be seen in the upper left. The others were put to a vote on both Facebook and in the office. The vote returns selected the round tail light versions – maybe not surprisingly. Design 1 is too “Corvette-ish” – won’t work. This leaves designs 3, 5, and 7.
Design 5 won the office vote and scored high on the Facebook pole. I don’t like it, so it’s dead me.
Design concept 5:
This leaves design 7, which is similar in concept (but a bit bigger) to the FFR style, and design 3 which is a bit of a compromise bowing to the office vote.
Design concept 7:
We haven’t decided yet, so comments are welcome.
Design concept 3 could be an interesting mix:
The rear of the Daytona rakes at 60 degrees to horizontal so any round lights would be inset at the top to make the lens face more vertical.
An inset license plate would follow the inset light theme. This will hide the mandatory plate lighting. Plate location is still an outstanding question.
The rear spoiler will be integrated into the body with a mandatory stop light bar – not a riveted piece – a no brainer.
We can “hide” back-up lights using high output LED’s, and a back-up camera will so small it won’t matter.
Something that seems so simple – is not simple after all.