I am looking for the Costello grill and the badge that appeared on the left rear of the car. Has anyone reproduced these?
Grilles and badges are available (at cost) to those owning a Costello vehicles with a Certificate of Authentication. On providing this we can see to manufacturing more grilles and badges. Which car do you own? Could you share the details with me and I can do some investigating to help. Email is on the website.
Thank you for your reply to my posting regarding parts for my Costello project. While I can appreciate your efforts to keep this mark pure by restricting access to parts only to owners of original Costello vehicles, I am not sure this will produce the results you seek.
As seen in a recent posting by ER Classics (https://www.erclassics.com/mg-mgb-1972-m4114-4523/) this example of a Costello GT V8 can only be distinguished from a factory MGB-GT V8 by the Costello badge on the rear and a supplemental ID plate under the bonnet, both of which are easily replicated. With the introduction of 3D printers and inexpensive CNC machines, all of the parts unique to a Costello can be reproduced in quantities sufficient to justify tooling cost and satisfy current demand so I doubt your attempt to restrict access to these parts will succeed in restricting “clones” of Ken’s exceptional creations.
Just look at Carol Shelby’s Cobra and the Shelby Daytona Coupe which were produced in very limited quantities but are now found all over the world as reproductions. Surprisingly these clones had no negative impact on the value of the original cars (989 Cobras & 6 Daytona Coupes) which are selling in the millions of dollars at auction. Even Shelby himself joined the replica market by signing an agreement with South African manufacturing company, Hi-Tech Automotive aka. Superformance International, Inc. to reproduce the Cobra roadster, the Daytona Coupe and the GT40. Other marks such as Jaguar’s C- Type and D-type, Maserati’s Birdcage, Porsche’s 356, 904, 917 and 550 Spyder and Lola’s T-70 have clones which can be bought and raced on tracks throughout the world leaving the originals safely put away in museums and private collections for future generations to enjoy.
Since these "Costello" parts can be easily reproduced with no control over quality or authenticity, why not do as Shelby did and make these parts available, but under your control, to the general public? As you probably know, British Motor Heritage has been reproducing limited quantities of parts for many of British Leyland’s marks for some time now and in doing so, they control the quantity and quality of those products. I suggest this might work for you as well.
Thanks for allowing me to offer this advice.
On 3/31/2020 4:47 AM, lawrencew [via MG Costello Forum] wrote:
Many thanks for your response and unsolicited advice. I'll take the latter onboard. However, I'd like to reiterate a few points and highlight others.
Please be cognisant of the need for us in the Costello 'community' (we are not a fee-paying club) to protect the Costello marque, name and brand. Under British vehicle licensing laws the Costello car is a marque in its own right as more than 50 vehicles were independently produced by a limited liability company (Costello Engineering Limited). Fewer than 70 examples are known to survive today. Being predominantly MGBs these conversions will never be hugely fiscally valuable but they do have a certain cachet that enthusiasts seek, so values are usually higher than BL factory counterparts. It is only fair that owners of original Costello cars achieve that extra value upon sale. Therefore specific Costello parts are only made and sold to those who can prove their car is a product of CE Ltd. Therefore there are no plans to produce mass-market pieces, nor do we believe there is a market need to do so.
Usually when a Costello appears for sale the seller, or potential buyer contacts mgcostello.com to check the vehicle's provenance. We have 60+ in the Costello Register and most have Certificates of Authenticity, many also were verified by Ken Costello before his passing. It's fairly easy to tell a factory car from a Costello if you know what to look for. You mention ER Classics example - that is a GT known to us, and the business proprietor is familiar with our community and we are in contact fairly often. You suggest a badge is the only method of identification - may I invite you to read the technical pages on the website which outline the other distinguishing features Ken made to his creations.
Once again, if you could share the provenance of your car we can check if it is indeed an original Costello. Currently none are known to reside in the USA following an extensive communications campaign to all branches of the MGOC there some years ago.
Good luck with your project. Perhaps you could call it your Costello Replica?
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