Abstract: Prodrive Bugeye A/K/A This is why we can’t have nice things
from when Prodrive USA was still around…
Photo: Andy Tran
Taking a rare moment to edit this post in light of the recent bankruptcies or otherwise closures at Zerosports, ARC, HKS USA, Prodrive USA, and before that SSR.
It seems that all JDM blogs lately like Aclassblog, JDM EGO, and Bulletproof (although they have a vested interest to be sure ;_) have been railing against the replica parts epidemic of the last few years like it’s a thing to do…
I bought this authentic Prodrive WR-Sport lip for my car right around the time that Prodrive USA was going out of business. It was NOT an expensive part, costing roughly $240 shipped. For that small money you got wind-tunnel-tested R&D, original design (which imho is the most important), and an OEM-quality part which Prodrive actually used on its limited edition “UK300” model WRX’s which were sold in England. Even though the lip isn’t exactly a formula one gearbox, it comes from the same company that has cars in WRC, Formula One, and FIA GT series – I couldn’t imagine it fitting anything less than 100% perfect.
But then came the replicas… costing bugeye owners less money than I keep in my wallet (and I’m a student!). Soon every bugeye on the block had the replica model. When I needed to buy a new one, I ended up buying a different lip altogether, just because I didn’t want to look like every other bugeye out there. I considered but rejected the idea of getting another Prodrive lip (even though they look amazing…)
To me this is dispositive proof of the REAL harm done by replicas: People who would shell out the cash for the original model don’t want the original because everyone HAS the replica. In this example: Prodrive lost business from both people who would only buy authentic models AND people who would buy replicas if available.
Everyone should read this blog post (via “The Real JDM” aka BulletproofAutomotive by way of JDM EGO) which really captures the heart of the beast. Basically: there are far fewer new aftermarket parts being produced for our market segment (introductory level sports cars) due to replica parts. The only time this might be OK is to bring parts back into production that are no longer available by the original manufacturer (i.e. “OE” parts)