When I checked my mail box today I was greeted by a new vehicle from Kanter Concepts called the 789. The 789 is named so because it blends key styling cues from the ‘57 Chevy Bel Air and both a ‘58 and ‘59 Chevy Impala. With C6 Corvette underpinnings the 789 is marketed as a unique and retro ride that can perform like a modern super car on the street. Performance isn’t the only thing that is of super car proportions; with a price tag of $135,000 the Kanter 789 ain’t cheap. However if you really want a blend of American nostalgia, with modern performance, and looks that will have overweight men in tank tops and mesh hats drooling then the 789 might be the perfect car for you.
Here is the press release on the 789:
Named for the three years represented in the overall design, the 789 has the
“hooded eyes” and chrome grille bar of a ‘57 Bel Air, a mid-section and
tri-toned interior that is reminiscent of a ‘58 Impala and the “bird in
flight” rear tailfins of a ‘59. These three vehicles are all instantly
recognizable classics celebrated by people around the world.
No matter how well you restore a ‘57 Chevy or how much you update a ‘59, you
still have a 50 year old car with its outdated technology and safety
features - not to mention reliability problems. The 789 solves that with the
latest in GM engineering. Get in and go anywhere, drive 190 mph if it’s
legal, and get 25 miles per gallon cruising on the highway.
Looks? You will have picture phones galore sending photos around the world
of your one-of-a-kind ride. No two cars will have the identical paint scheme
or colors, and with over 10,000 interior combinations you will never be
parked next to yourself at the country club or cruise-in. Recently we
attended a very fancy cruise in and there were two Ford GT’s near each
other, both grey, white stripe/black interior. Needless to say, all eyes
were on the 789.
Kanter Concepts is the designer of the 789 and they do it the old fashioned
way. The design team sketches by hand and the clay modelers do it by hand
also, that’s the only way to get sensuous curves and sexy features.
Computers? Sure we use them, each staff member has the most complex computer
known to mankind - the human brain. Want a cookie cutter car? The same
computers that design cars can run a cookie factory.
The price of a turnkey 789 is $135,000, well equipped with all Corvettes
standard equipment including the 400 horsepower aluminum block V8 engine. In
addition, each car includes a custom Borla exhaust system, PST high
performance anti-sway bars and a $2,000 wheel/tire upgrade allowance. Any
upgrade or modification can be done to your car at additional cost, from
turbocharging to ceramic brakes and from a 1000 watt stereo to ostrich
leather interior. Our only limit is your imagination.
The exterior of your car is what the world sees just like the outside of
your home . But you spend most of your time enjoying your home and car from
the inside. The first Impala model was the 1958, it was top of the line and
only available in two door convertible and coupe. In the years following it
was the name of a model series of sedans, coupes and wagons . Purists
consider the ‘58 as the only true Impala.
Each 789 interior is based on the donor C6 Corvette and is tri- toned as
standard equipment, just like the ‘58 Impala that inspired it. You have the
choice of virtually any available commercial fabric or leather combination
at no extra cost. Ostrich grain, alligator, rattan, brocade, or perforated
leather. Bring us your thoughts or samples and we’ll turn it into reality.
At extra cost anything is available, solid silver dash surrounds, hand
tooled leather seats, panels accessories. Sound system upgrades, door panels
that glow in different colors in sync with the music, racing seats with your
name or crest embroidered on them.
Our design staff will be glad to consult with you and prepare renderings to
build your car or we can work with your own design or that of a designer of
Remember, “no two alike” refers to interiors also. For sure you’ll never get
into the wrong car at Burger King or the Neiman Marcus parking lot.
Cars like the 789 have me a bit conflicted. While I appreciate the effort of building a unique creation and the skill it took to actually put the thing together the end result is still a C6 Corvette with a new body on top. And while the body work is quite stunning, it still doesn’t seem as cool as an original ‘57, ‘58 or ‘59 Chevrolet. While this is an undeniably cool ride I’ll still take the genuine historic car over the faux nostalgia any day.
Corvette, C6, Chevy, Chevrolet, ‘57, ‘58, ‘59, 789, Kanter, Kanter Concepts, 1957, 1958, 1959, custom, hotrod, cruising