The test mule version of Race...
The test mule version of Race Car Replica's SL-C debuted, where else, but on the track at last year's Run 'N' Gun event at Gateway International Raceway. RCR's Fran Hall purposely brought in a driver from Australia who had never driven the car (let alone driven a left-hand-drive car or shifted with his right hand) and was able to still post some impressive numbers from the road course.
Race Car Replicas, a candy story for performance-minded car enthusiasts based in Clinton Township just north of Detroit, Michigan, debuted their new Superlite Coupe at the recent Run 'N' Gun event at Gateway International Raceway just outside St. Louis, Missouri.
RCR, known for exquisite craftsmanship of their cars (a Mark I, Mark II, and Mark IV GT-40, a coupe and spyder version of a Lola T70, a P4 replica, and a Porsche 917-type racer), is run by Fran Hall, a 40-year-old who has devoted his life to racing (both cars and motorcycles) in at least one way or another.
Once an aspiring motorcycle racer in his English homeland, Hall relocated to the Detroit area where he began working as a development technician for General Motors. By his mid-30s Fran opened Race Car Replicas and jumped into the replicar market with both feet. But one of things that separates Hall from many other frame-and-body manufacturers out there today is the level of craftsmanship in the cars he builds. Where else are you going to find someone who not only designed and builds his own aluminum monocoque chassis for his dead-on GT-40 clones but also CNC machines most of the aluminum suspension parts as well?
The Superlite Coupe was tested...
The Superlite Coupe was tested even further by beating on the prototype during the drags at the Run 'N' Gun. Race car Replica's Fran Hall hopes to get 0-60 times in the 3.3 second range, and 10-second passes at 130 mph in the quarter mile.
Though his shop keeps busy by filling orders on the wide range of vehicles they offer, Hall felt the time was right to debut two more rocket ships, the SL-R and SL-C and launch them under the Superlite banner. The SL-R is a new exoskeleton-type two-seat roadster whose heritage could be traced back to the vintage Lotus 7, except with 40 extra years of development aiding its design and performance. Though under the Superlite umbrella, the SL-C (coupe) shares nothing with the Roadster except its surname.
For most replicar home builders, the SL-C could possibly be best described as a supercar, with its sights set on the performance of say a Saleen S7. That's a heady statement for a company with a toe in the kit car market, but Hall believes he has to think out of the box in order to offer home builders a product they'll be extremely happy with.
The SL-C is a rolling kit designed and engineered to reproduce the look, feel, quality and, most importantly, the performance of a supercar at a budget price. Most any powertrain can be installed-everything from a twin-turbocharged Lexus V-8 to what was in the test bed mule photographed at the Run 'N' Gun event: an LS7 drivetrain.
Race Car Replicas doesn't rely on any sort of donor base to work from with their vehicles, preferring instead to supply the home builder nearly everything they need (sans drivetrain and tires, though RCR will mount the tires), including some impressive suspension and chassis pieces. Each SL-C comes standard with a TIG-welded aluminum chassis that is set up with a wheelbase of 105 inches and outfitted with a six-point roll cage made from CNC-bent seamless stainless steel tubing (removable door braces are also available).
When the SL-C is moving it...
When the SL-C is moving it has the appearance of a full GT racer, but can be driven on the street, too, effectively claiming the best of both worlds.
The suspension uses CNC-milled billet aluminum uprights front and rear coupled with unequal-length upper and lower arms, with a pushrod/rocker-style rear suspension that works with a pair of laid-down QA1 double-adjustable coilover shocks (with 24 compression and 24 rebound adjustments available to the driver). RCR also offers an optional front and rear sway bar system for the SL-C, too. Braking components include Wilwood six-piston aluminum calipers fitted with stainless steel lines throughout that complement a Wilwood master cylinder. The car comes with an 18x9.5 and 18x11 aluminum wheel combo but, set up specifically for this race-oriented test car, the wheels are 18x11 and 18x13 wrapped in Hoosier Track rubber; P295/30ZR-18 and P345/35ZR-18 R6 sports car DOT radial tires, which are recommended for road racing applications. Tires are typically the owner's responsibility to supply to the project, but RCR will mount them. Steering is handled by fully-adjustable (tilt and in/out) and collapsible electric steering column that uses a quick-release, three-spoke, D-shaped steering wheel.