Replica parts maker Force Drive posted up a rant against a larger competitor who ended up buying his copied replica parts and copying his work for themselves.
It’s a cutthroat world with little to no honor in the world of replica and knockoff automotive parts and Force Drive founder, a replica parts maker specializing in just one particular Subaru aero kit, found that out the hard way. In a Facebook post he posted up earlier yesterday (Oct. 11,2019) the Prodrive fan called out larger aero parts maker RPG Carbon for not only copying his work but blatantly stealing his photos, too.
Check out his Facebook post below and just in case that gets removed, here’s a mirror.
Apparently someone from RPG Carbon purchased a full replica widebody Prodrive aero kit for one particular iteration of Subaru’s World Rally Team Subaru Impreza GC8, the S6 P2000 Impreza piloted by winning rally driver Richard Burns.
Force Drive points out that this is not a replica 22B Aero kit noting differences between the two.
Full aero kits include a front bumper, a pair of wings, side skirts, wider rear quarter panels, and a rear bumper. Looking at the photos there are other smaller bits and bobs like rally-spec light pods for night time racing to complete the authentic look.
Presumably, if you want to buy this aero kit from Force Drive it’ll cost you well into the thousands. As far as I know, before Carbon RPG ripped off already copied parts, Force Drive is the only seller of this one-off aero kit.
Force Drive posted a rather lengthy explanation saying that making replica parts was never the plan from the beginning, only to make a replica WRC car, purely a passion project. Included in the post is a heartfelt video showing the man hours and personal blood, sweat, and tears making his own S6 P2000 Impreza aero kit.
“…I just want to say you, that I never hid and not to try to hide that, what I do. All what you see in my instagram, it is my love to the Subaru GC8 WRC and all the highly qualified professionals from Prodrive, which have done all this. “
Despite all his submitted evidence, proof of work, a retelling of how long it took to piece together a complete kit, and customization to create a one-off kit that no one else has, it’s still a Prodrive design even though it’s been tweaked from the original design to work for regular Imprezas and differs slightly from Prodrive’s.
Frankly, I’m not surprised Prodrive has not reached out to Force Drive to cease and desist any sort of unlicensed Replica parts making using their likeness, design, and name to market these one-off kits.
The only reason these Force Drive kits are special is the winning story behind the parts, one where a UK Engineering Group applied its special sauce to Rally Spec Subaru’s to win them some constructor and driver championships.
Without a license to remanufacture replica parts, it’s fair game for anyone and everyone to copy your S6 P2000 Impreza aero kit repeatedly.
I’m not surprised if that turns out to be the case sooner rather than later. Nearly $1,000 from RPG Carbon for an S6 P2000 replica spoiler is too rich for my blood. Surely, someone in China will catch on, copy RPG’s spoiler and resell it en masse on Alibaba for a quarter of the price or cheaper.
Don’t hate the playa, hate the game.