Last Updated: Wednesday, March 22, 2017, 6:06 PM EDT
It's an ode to the muscle cars of the 1960s, sprinkled with new technology — and one Orange County business that makes them is ready to expand.
- MODERN MUSCLE: Orlando-based Revology expands
- Company puts modern technology in muscle cars
- 'We love automobiles,' founder and CEO says
"We're moving into the adjacent 3,600 square feet of space," Revology founder and CEO Tom Scarpello said. "We're not just a bunch of Mustang guys. We love automobiles."
Revology makes licensed reproductions of classic cars, such as '66 Ford Mustangs and Shelbys, tapping into a new market: people who crave or collect iconic cars but want them outfitted with modern amenities, like air-conditioning, power steering, navigation and entertainment systems.
"We're not trying to reinvent the character or the style," Scarpello said. "We just want to bring the technology into this century. There's a certain attraction to collecting an original car ... if you just want to park it in a garage and look at it occasionally. But, if you really want to get out and drive it, that's where we come in."
Each car is built to order, custom made in Revology's Orlando-based facility off Orange Blossom Trail. The cars are not cheap. They run upwards of $160,000 with licensing fees — Scarpello wouldn't reveal those costs — from Ford and Shelby built into the price.
"The cars are pretty expensive, because they're extremely expensive to build," he said. "You've got current technology hidden in the architecture of a '60s car. There's tremendous demand for these cars. If you go to an auction, it's not uncommon to see muscle cars selling for $200,000, $300,000, $400,000, $500,000 and up."
For years, Scarpello worked for Nissan and Ford, living in Mexico City and Hong Kong before returning to Florida to be with family in 2014. That's when he said the idea for Revology took shape.
"We didn't have a wealthy backer or anything like that," he said. "We were really boot-strapping it. We've designed an entire platform around the 1966 Mustang that incorporates all the features you're accustomed to in a modern car."
The team has grown from three people working in a small, Winter Park garage to 14 people, now working in a 9,000-square-foot facility in Orlando. Revology plans to add more space in April as well as double its team of production specialists.
"We have clients from eight countries already. We're an international company," Scarpello said, taking the cover off a car in the works, destined for a client in the Dominican Republic. "There's a lot of passion for American muscle cars all around the world."
And while Scarpello has built his business around working slowly and meticulously, crafting one car from scratch per month, he sees potential for growth.
The Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act is legislation that permits manufacturers who make fewer cars to produce turn-key replica vehicles versus solely built-to-order cars. It was introduced as a bill in 2015 and moved to committee, but it hasn't been passed into law, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The NHTSA and the Environmental Protection Agency have yet to publish regulations.
"We're waiting for the regulations to be written, but we're ready," Scarpello said. "Within five years, we could have as many as 200 people working for us if the (regulations) get written, and we're allowed to start."