If you thought you knew what fan dedication means until now, be prepared to have your world rocked. GTA V is known, among many other things, for the well designed and iconic cars the players can drive around in and crash while exploring the virtual world of Los Santos and Blaine County. The vehicles often resemble actual car models, however there are always some subtle changes made to avoid having to negotiate a licensing agreement.
We’ve covered the question of licensed vehicles being used in GTA before. The unique vehicle brands that have been present in the games since the very beginning have become so entwined with the universe that it just wouldn’t feel like Grand Theft Auto anymore if you were driving around an actual Audi or BMW. Plus, all the cash blown on the licensing deals could be used to polish the game further.
However Rockstar doesn’t just simply take an existing car and slap a different logo onto it. Cars in GTA are usually designed as a mix between at least two existing models, plus a fair bit of original design thrown in as well. Thus, even the most similar vehicle will have some striking and significant differences.
Which brings us to the matter at hand. Many people like to express their fandom for something by creating art or objects which were inspired by the game. Many fans draw or paint about GTA V, some fans produce custom license plates for their crew-mates. Some fans make elaborate live action video recreations.
And some fans build a freaking car. An actual, working, combustion engine four-wheeled vehicle for actual people. Now that’s fandom. An extremely talented and wonderfully crazy frenchman, who goes by the moniker IceTeaX on the biggest French GTA V fansite, has recently revealed his custom life-sized working BF Bifta replica.
The buggy is a perfect imitation of the in-game vehicle and comes with a whole set of small visual cues, like the Los Santos license plate, to take authenticity to the maximum in his recreation. Of course, the whole buggy wasn’t custom made by IceTeaX – that would be a bit over the top.
The Bifta replica is actually a re-purposed Volkswagen Beetle 1300 from 1969, however so many components have been replaced that it would be impossible to tell its origin. The buggy is a powerful little ride, with a top speed of about 140 KM/H, with a 70-75 horsepower, 1600 cc Flat4 engine purring under the hood.
The engine was replaced, meaning an upgrade from the base vehicle’s stock engine, which only clocked in at 44 horsepower and 1300 cc. The new engine was also customized extensively, with a new intake manifold, a larger carburetor and an improved exhaust system. The buggy is a manual with 4 different gears, weighs just over half a tonne at 540 Kg.
Grandtheftauto5.fr interviewed the creator of the Bifta replica, IceTeaX to find out more about the process. An interesting figure is that the whole project cost well over 7500 € with the base vehicle, the custom body, roll bar and all the various additional expenses like lights, windows and wiring.
Not only was this an extremely expensive display of fandom, but a significantly time consuming one too. IceTeaX has been putting 10 hours of work into the Bifta replica on a weekly basis ever since last year’s August. No wonder it took so long, as IceTeaX cites the processes which needed repeating as the ones which were most difficult during the building process. IceTeaX was assisted in creating this replica by Lowelding and Black Chicken.
When asked how often he intends to use it, IceTeaX gave the best answer possible:
It’s a toy and it should be used as much as possible. I’m not afraid of damaging it!
What’s the most dedicated piece of fan-art or creation that you’ve ever worked on?
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