Most car driving and racing video games take real vehicle models and attempt to replicate their looks and handling on the computer screen.
This month a custom car modification company in the United States has done the exact opposite, taking the fictional star of a well known car-based video game and creating a real life version.
The car is the Bravado Banshee, a two seat sports car that features in the immensely popular Grand Theft Auto video game. It featured first in Grand Theft Auto III as a getaway car and has featured in all versions of the game since then. The company that’s taken on the project to create the ‘real’ car is West Coast Customs, a custom shop already well known to TV viewers in the US and further afield for their participation in popular television shows Pimp My Ride and Street Customs.
West Coast Customs describe the car as a ‘symbol of the ultimate American sports car’, which is probably about right, as it bears an uncanny resemblance to a Dodge Viper (pictured above). Although the company hasn’t actually said what car the Banshee is based on, many commentators have concluded that it is indeed a fourth or fifth generation Viper modified heavily to look like the Banshee.
In order to recreate the car the company has designed and cut body panels to make what they call a ‘screen accurate’ version. They’ve also completely modified the interior of the car with a new dashboard, door panels and of course, the Banshee name and badge stitched into the seats. The car also comes with a state-of-the-art multi-speaker sound system and is finished in its trademark metallic blue with a white racing stripe.
So where can you get one? Well here’s the catch – West Coast Customs are only producing one, and it’s not for sale. GameStop, a US based video game retailer has commissioned the one off model and will be giving it away as part of its promotion of the upcoming Grand Theft Auto V, due out in the US on 17th September. We don’t know for certain, but we’re guessing you’d need to be a US resident to go in for the prize. And whoever wins clearly won’t be needing to arrange any car finance.
The Lost Interceptor
So if a US custom car workshop can produce a real life version of a car from a video game, which iconic Australian car do you think deserves the same treatment? Maybe the Mad Max Interceptor? Interestingly, the model the Interceptor was based on – a standard 1973 XB GT Ford Falcon Coupe – ended up being made available by Ford in a version with ‘enhancements’ to make it look very similar to the car in the 1976 film.
At the time it was not possible to create an exact replica for road use as some of the pipes and other additions to the exterior of the car featured in the film were not permitted for road-going cars. Only one was ever built, and it was taken on a promotional tour of shopping centres at the time. Ultimately it was offered up for sale, but there were no takers and we have no idea what happened to it. Perhaps it’s sitting in a shed somewhere waiting to be found.