Spotlight Feature – Viva La Bunny. The SBZERO FD RX7.
Replica body kits have been criticised a lot over the years, perhaps because the early replica kits were let’s be honest, not great. They looked amazing on eBay, but once home nothing lined up, much trimming had to be done to even get it looking half decent and likely within less than 6 months, cracks had appeared or at least one part had fallen off, which was usually obvious due to the tech’ screws now holding it in place.
Replica ‘kits’ used to and still do in a relatively small community have quite a large following. People have been building FRP replica kit cars since the 50’s and recently I was standing in the newsagent flicking through a magazine dedicated to fibreglass kit cars, and it was obvious that these type of builds are still as popular as ever.
So why do we cringe when somebody says replica Rocket Bunny or replica Liberty Walk? I think it’s partly due to companies such as these, who have an absolutely huge following now and a truly dedicated fan base that people just don’t like to think about faux bolt on kits. Probably mostly because when you think fake body kit, you think China based eBay specials. This car you see before you however will change that thought and challenge your perception of the term ‘replica’ when referring to bolt on, because this is no genuine Rocket Bunny, it’s a replica kit from Melbourne based automotive cosmetics company Viva Garage…
When I pulled up to Automobilia in anticipation of seeing Nakai and his latest creation, this car first and foremost caught my eye. Sitting pretty, across two parking spaces in the misty rain, I first thought ‘oh wow, a Rocket Bunny FD’ I’ve never before seen one in person, although I have seen a multitude on the internet and Instagram. Taking it all in and properly observing, I was slightly thrown by the fact that the car was covered in the stickers of the products which adorned it, yet no mention of Rocket Bunny, 6666, or TRA Kyoto anywhere. Researching later, I did find out that it was a replica kit but in no way did it appear to be of any less quality to that of a genuine one. I did say I haven’t before seen one in person, although I’ve seen a multitude of Rocket Bunny kitted 86’s in person and I have seen enough detailed shots of the V1 FD kit to know how and where the genuine kit is meant to line up. And this kit, named the Viva Garage FD Spec B kit and retailing at around half the price of the genuine Rocket Bunny product is one of the… no lets say it is. It is the best replica bolt-on body kit I have ever seen.
The car it’s bolted too isn’t a fresh build but a rebuild, SBZERO started out as a early to mid 2000’s style airbrushed, large rims, audio installed FD RX7 doing the show circuit. It appears that the interior still remains from its previous guise and not having the chance to chat with the owner, I’m unsure as to whether this will later be changed or whether it will remain.
If anything, I hope looking at detailed shots such as these will open others eyes up to what a replica kit can really be. And you can’t disagree that away from all the comments and negativity surrounding faux kits, it appears that this FD was built to be driven and that’s where it looks most at home. Regardless of where and how it was built, you can’t deny street presence like this.