Back to the Future: Dutch Brothers Create Neoclassical Huet HB Special
Devotees of Europe’s classic road races of the 1950s—such as the Mille Miglia and the Targa Florio—Dutch brothers Paul and Tino Huet wanted to bring the vintage road-rally experience to a new generation of modern enthusiasts. Last year the duo began offering the Huet Experience: four-day/five-night driving tours along some of the continent’s most scenic and historically significant roads. Naturally, the Huets provide participants with premier accommodations, first-class food, and appropriately old-school driving attire, but instead of handing over the key to a period-correct (and inestimably valuable) Maserati 300F or Aston Martin DBR1, the brothers decided to build their own vintage racer.
The classically inspired HB Special wears an artful body shell made of thoroughly modern carbon fiber composite mounted to a modified chassis from a ’70s-era British Triumph TR6 roadster. Beneath the Special’s long hood, the Huets have installed Triumph’s venerable in-line 6-cylinder engine, enlarged from 2.5 liters to 2.7, and matched to a four-speed manual gearbox. The brothers’ original plan called for the construction of only 12 HB Specials, to be used exclusively for the company’s European road rallies. But mounting pressure from fervent prospective buyers prompted Paul and Tino to reconsider, and starting this year, the brothers will offer to the public a limited run of HB Specials. Buyers will be able to specify either 160- or 180-horsepower normally aspirated versions of the 2.7-liter engine, or opt for a hairy supercharged version with 210-plus horsepower—ample, we’d say, for a 1,650-pound roadster with no antilock brakes and vintage tires. Pricing starts at approximately $89,000 for the base model and reaches about $107,000 for a fully loaded model. The schedule and cost for the Huet Experience road rallies can vary; inquire with the company. (www.huetbrothers.com)