Righteous replicas

 Source: Sydney Morning Herald, Saturday August 14, 1999


Even in the motoring world, there are alternative lifestylers - auto-adventurers who dress modern hardware in the styles that turned buyers on in previous decades.

For limited volume car makers there is a legislative godsend: if they produce fewer than 25 cars annually, they are not obliged to crash test a vehicle to gain an occupant safety rating. But every car still must comply with local standards in other ways, such as emissions, safety, noise levels and brakes.

In Greenacre Peter Bladwell has spent a lot of money to ensure his PRB Motors products meet the design rules, and he rues the fact that others are not so thorough.

Bladwell, with a smile, reckons he is the "largest car manufacturer in NSW" with an annual output of 15-20 clulman-like PRBs, powered by Toyota Corolla engines which comply with local emissions rules. A close copy of the Lotus Super Seven, the car has amazing acceteration thanks to low weight, and brilliant roadholding.

There are now more than 100 PRBs on our roads, many of them used for fun motor sport. Bladwell sells the PRB with either a honeycomb chassis or a tubular type he imports from South Africa. A fully compliant turn-key PRB costs $38,000.

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