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Phony on Road: A Confession

October 07, 1988|PAUL DEAN

Purists may label even the best of the replicars "junk." There is, however, nothing junky to the feel and breezes of a roaring road test aboard a 3-year-old Daytona America by California Custom Coach--and realizing that you are indeed fooling most of the people all of the time.

They tailgate. They point. They honk. They stare and rear-end the car in front. They ask questions until, truthfully tired of explaining the GM pedigree of this scarlet doppelganger, you fib horribly: "Yeah, it's a '71 Daytona."

But there is downfall.

It happened westbound on the Foothill Freeway.

Up ahead was a maroon 246 GT Dino, the Real McFerrari. So I tucked in behind, filled his rear-view mirror with the Daytona's red snout and nibbled on his tailpipe.

Then I roared alongside and tried a nod and a smile.

The Dino driver stared ahead. In disdain. He knew.

I felt like like the lout who bought 50,000 penny shares of Inglewood Bicycle Manufacturing Inc. and told his friends he had invested heavily in IBM.

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