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Old 02-26-2010, 08:51 AM
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Restoration VS Modify

A person comes across an old car. The car is not an extremely valuable car, but is a sought after one. Does this person restore it to its original condition? As there is a certain pleasure is sorting through hundreds of parts, and finally, finding just the right one. And everyone knows that there is something very cool about seeing a car that is completely stock. Nothing too flashy. Nothing too shiny. Just a glimpse back in time, to an era when you could buy a car that was fun, without paying $35K for it. Or does he let his imagination run wild? A little cutting here. A little welding there. Maybe put in an engine that wasn't even thought of yet, when the car was being built. Pretty soon you got tucked bumpers, side exhaust, and TPI on a 40 year old car. And just the sound of the words "matching numbers" brings an ironical, sarcastic smirk to anyone within 20 feet of the car. So how is one to decide what to do? Which one is better? Some people would argue cost has a hand in this decision. But anyone who has priced a collectible set of heads can't argue that buying old stuff can easily exceed the price of even the most potent modern components. So...all this being said. Obviously the answer is: do whatever makes you happy. Right? But then why does HOTROD magazine get emails from people criticizing Dale Earnhardt Jr. about customizing a classic z28 saying "that is a classic, and shouldn't have been so modified"? To get to the point; I'm not writing this segment to hear anyone's simple answer of "do what makes you happy and don't care what anyone says". I want everyone to share their opinion on it through their experiences with their particular cars. Why you went the route you did and what came of it. Now I'm aware that this site is hotrodders.com and not matchingnumbers.com. But hopefully we'll still get both sides of the spectrum. And maybe help us younger generation of hotrodders, motorheads, pack rats, and weekend mechanics decide how to spend our money, time, and passion.


Hammer

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Old 02-26-2010, 10:45 AM
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I had exactly that kind of car come my way..It was a 68 Pontiac Catalina 2dr hdtop and was complete in all particulars even down to having the original hubcaps. Some rust and minor body damage and the interior was worn but cleanable. Something like that would be a good restoration as there would not be a lot of parts chasing to do.. My current project however is a rod with lots of custom work as it was started with not much to start with and would be very long term and the original parts are spendy and hard to find..So maybe that tells the tale as how complete is the car you have to start with.

Lot of those guys in the peanut gallery doing the complaining because we did not do our car their way I have found have never built anything on their own account..Kind of like the monday morning quarterbacks during football season. just ignore them and move on is my way..

Sam
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Old 02-26-2010, 11:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OneMoreTime
I had exactly that kind of car come my way..It was a 68 Pontiac Catalina 2dr hdtop and was complete in all particulars even down to having the original hubcaps. Some rust and minor body damage and the interior was worn but cleanable. Something like that would be a good restoration as there would not be a lot of parts chasing to do.. My current project however is a rod with lots of custom work as it was started with not much to start with and would be very long term and the original parts are spendy and hard to find..So maybe that tells the tale as how complete is the car you have to start with.

Lot of those guys in the peanut gallery doing the complaining because we did not do our car their way I have found have never built anything on their own account..Kind of like the monday morning quarterbacks during football season. just ignore them and move on is my way..

Sam
I was going to add my $0.02 until I read this post. This sums up exactly how I feel.
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Old 02-26-2010, 01:07 PM
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call me a pansy, but I won't do a "correct" car. Every car I own is made to exactly what I want it to be, and so far, none of them has stayed stock.

I don't get into cars that are "classic" or have a high degree of collect-ability, so it never pains me (or anyone else) to modify to my taste.
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Old 02-26-2010, 02:06 PM
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This is how I see it, it's your car and you can do what you want, AND anyone who wants to knock what you did can do so, it's their opinion and they can do what they want.

The range of "right" ways to build a car is a million miles. What is "right" is not only going to be different from person to person, but from car to car.

If you take a restored 63 Split window fuel injected Vette and make a tubbed pro-street car out of it, you are a moron. And don't think this can't happen, I saw it about 20 years ago. A full on restored car, the dude could buy it because he had a load of money. Be bought it and made a blown motor tubbed pro-streeter. He is in my opinion, my OPINION, a MORON. Now, if he doesn't like that I call him a MORON, sorry, that is my right to call him a MORON.

There is another factor to think about, does the cars owner KNOW the "right" thing to do with that car? If you were to keep quiet while you watched your neighbor cut up his late fathers 69 Z/28 not knowing what it was would be wrong. Just because it is "his car" to "let" him do that without making real clear that this was a special car and not to destroy it would be wrong.

Sometimes what someone has always dreamed is just that, a lame dream. If a respected friend were to say "You know, that looks like crap" and the guy re-thinks it and ends up with a much better car and much happier, I say you did the right thing.

I have heard people say stuff about my cars all my life, I have always liked kinda "odd" stuff and I have heard it often, I have never let it bother me one bit. It is just people talking and if you let it BOTHER you, you need to spend time on a therapists couch and less time building cars.

Brian
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Old 02-26-2010, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARTINSR

There is another factor to think about, does the cars owner KNOW the "right" thing to do with that car? If you were to keep quiet while you watched your neighbor cut up his late fathers 69 Z/28 not knowing what it was would be wrong. Just because it is "his car" to "let" him do that without making real clear that this was a special car and not to destroy it would be wrong.


Brian
I think Brian hits it right on the head. I'd do my best to help the guy make an INFORMED decision, but after that it's down to my opinion and his car.
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Old 02-26-2010, 03:39 PM
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I use to go to car shows quite often being proud of my 69 Charger RT 440 magnum. The only thing i ever done to the car was remove the back seat and to my suprise i found the broadcast sheet. I bought the car at an auction (krause ) . Being that this was a numbers matching car, with the broadcast sheet in hand, there was allways some idiot telling other people my car wasnt a true RT. I didnt have the sticker that wraps around the deck lid and rear quarters, the person would say. I often would pull out the broadcast sheet and have to show them the rear sticker was deleted. Yes i know i could have put the bc sheet on the dash or taped to the window. I guess what im trying to say is, from my expirence, there was allways someone who scrutanized my car from being a ( matching numbers car ). Not that the car was a cool all original car, with the original dog dish hubcaps, or that this 69 Rt had power seats, ac, power windows and an 8 trac player, it was allways what they thought the car should not have had. My present car is a 72 split bumper camaro, it was a base camaro purchased from Arizonia 6 years ago, being that its a base camaro , i went ahead and customed it to what i want. If it was a z28, or ss, i would have left it alone but it was a base model and thats what i wanted to make a resto-mod. My 67 notch back barracuda will be heavily modified also. I guess what im saying is , you cant please everyone, so please yourself. P.S i hope i didnt ramble too much .
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Old 02-26-2010, 04:03 PM
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Cars is cars. I've been both ways in my life, modified and restored. I had fun with both. I look at it this way. Showing sucks. They're built to drive and I would have no compunctions about making a mint 63 splitwindow into a groundpounder if that's what it took to make it fun. In reality, the cars are just a pile of metal that have no real value other than the fun aspect.
If you don't believe that, let me ask this question. If you haven't eated in 5 days and you find a dollar and 63s are selling for a buck, what are you going to buy, food or a car?
So what I am saying is do what turns your crank, because tomorrow that carefully restored right down to the proper amount of overspray on the frame and correct inspection stamps with the skipped factory stich in the right rear passenger seat may become your DD till it runs out of gas.
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Old 02-26-2010, 06:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crystalbluevib
I use to go to car shows quite often being proud of my 69 Charger RT 440 magnum. The only thing i ever done to the car was remove the back seat and to my suprise i found the broadcast sheet. I bought the car at an auction (krause ) . Being that this was a numbers matching car, with the broadcast sheet in hand, there was allways some idiot telling other people my car wasnt a true RT. I didnt have the sticker that wraps around the deck lid and rear quarters, the person would say. I often would pull out the broadcast sheet and have to show them the rear sticker was deleted. Yes i know i could have put the bc sheet on the dash or taped to the window. I guess what im trying to say is, from my expirence, there was allways someone who scrutanized my car from being a ( matching numbers car ). Not that the car was a cool all original car, with the original dog dish hubcaps, or that this 69 Rt had power seats, ac, power windows and an 8 trac player, it was allways what they thought the car should not have had. My present car is a 72 split bumper camaro, it was a base camaro purchased from Arizonia 6 years ago, being that its a base camaro , i went ahead and customed it to what i want. If it was a z28, or ss, i would have left it alone but it was a base model and thats what i wanted to make a resto-mod. My 67 notch back barracuda will be heavily modified also. I guess what im saying is , you cant please everyone, so please yourself. P.S i hope i didnt ramble too much .
My brother had a 39 Ford standard and would have people tell him it was a 38 all the time. After he explained it all being a standard and all this they would talk away saying to their friend "It's still a 38".

I just laugh about it and go on with life.

Brian
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Old 02-26-2010, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by 61bone
Cars is cars. I've been both ways in my life, modified and restored. I had fun with both. I look at it this way. Showing sucks. They're built to drive and I would have no compunctions about making a mint 63 splitwindow into a groundpounder if that's what it took to make it fun. In reality, the cars are just a pile of metal that have no real value other than the fun aspect.
If you don't believe that, let me ask this question. If you haven't eated in 5 days and you find a dollar and 63s are selling for a buck, what are you going to buy, food or a car?
So what I am saying is do what turns your crank, because tomorrow that carefully restored right down to the proper amount of overspray on the frame and correct inspection stamps with the skipped factory stich in the right rear passenger seat may become your DD till it runs out of gas.
I am going to buy the 63...resale it and eat for a few years.
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Old 02-26-2010, 07:29 PM
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Your going to get a buck for it. If your lucky.
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Old 02-26-2010, 10:45 PM
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Me, myself; I would buy the 63 and starve to death. But die a very happy man, nonetheless. And I also can relate to those "nah dude, I know what I'm talking about" discussions with people about the car they know SOO much about. I met a guy a few years back who's dad owned a 63 split window(ironically enough). He was telling me all about it. How it was a matching numbers car. So sweet; this, that, and the other. Then he said something about a big block and a 427(which made the theme music record, in my head, screech to silence). So of course I politely informed him that he was mistaken about it being a matching numbers car. That 63's only had 327s and that the big blocks didn't come out til 65, and even then, there was no 427. And as you can imagine, he got quite confused(which turned into becoming quite defensive). He told me there was "no way" I was right. Only to apologize later after speaking with his father. And don't get me wrong. I'm no expert. But if someone tells me I'm wrong and I don't necessarily agree. I'll at least give them the courtesy of saying, "you might be right". And then go look it up later. Some people...
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Old 02-27-2010, 02:43 AM
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I deal with cars going thru the restoration phase , alot of money involved in making some cars perfect as it came from the factory , I have also been called a blasphomist for taking a 81 Trans am t-top SE and cutting it up to make drag car out of it ( the car was in such poor shape it would have been scrapped) when I had my Dodges I had 4 at onetime , One a GSS Demon which was rare, but I drove it everyday , and 3 stockers( 2 which where 225's ) when I decided to convert one of the dueces to a RB powered car ( 63 413 with a pushbutton trans ) I was criticised , but not by the guys in my club they thought it was neat , but by spectators , the car wasn't worth that much to begin with ( I paid $250 for it with a knocking 230K mile drivetrain in it) and I turned it into car that looked like it came from Old main that way , most of the people I have trouble with are the mid life crisis types or the older baby boomer crowds , they always whine about something or know it all , and there cars only see the street to go try to out jones someone else at the car shows and half of the idiots don't know anything about there cars except they cost alot ( several of them paid too much ) , I build mine to drive and are built to my specs . if its yours Build it the way you want to , you own it , and it will make you Happy , and its only worth s much as you feel it is . I have several cars I will not sell they are not worth much on the market but they are worth alot to me as I built them , and they make me happy to drive .
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Old 02-27-2010, 10:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HammerGVette
Me, myself; I would buy the 63 and starve to death. But die a very happy man, nonetheless. And I also can relate to those "nah dude, I know what I'm talking about" discussions with people about the car they know SOO much about. I met a guy a few years back who's dad owned a 63 split window(ironically enough). He was telling me all about it. How it was a matching numbers car. So sweet; this, that, and the other. Then he said something about a big block and a 427(which made the theme music record, in my head, screech to silence). So of course I politely informed him that he was mistaken about it being a matching numbers car. That 63's only had 327s and that the big blocks didn't come out til 65, and even then, there was no 427. And as you can imagine, he got quite confused(which turned into becoming quite defensive). He told me there was "no way" I was right. Only to apologize later after speaking with his father. And don't get me wrong. I'm no expert. But if someone tells me I'm wrong and I don't necessarily agree. I'll at least give them the courtesy of saying, "you might be right". And then go look it up later. Some people...
Yeah, I had a co-worker bragging about restoring a "Late 63" that was super rare because it didn't have the split rear window.

Brian
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Old 02-27-2010, 11:49 AM
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I guess that the beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I agree with brian (the other brian), that a numbers matching "rare" vehicle should probably be restored or sold to a collector for good bucks and buy some other car that provides a good solid base for whatever it is that you want to make of it. I would concur with the "moron" description and would personally weep to see someone defile something that has managed to survive relatively intact for so many years. Respect it and leave it alone, There are enough still around that you can cut,chop, channel .... into what you see in your mind.
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