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View Full Version : So what's the big deal with customized cars?



Sherlock
08-10-2004, 11:27 PM
Maybe I've been watching too many of the cars shows on TV... But is somehow wrong to fix up a car to original-spec (or pretty much original-spec).

Maybe I'm in the minority these days for preferring my cars basically stock. After watching a 1967 Buick Skylark turned into a low-rider with custom paint, what's wrong with a nice original 1967 Buick Skylark? A nice looking car already without doing any custom work on it.

A friend of mine has a 1991 Acura Integra GS-R that is totally untouched by rice rocket folk, and I think that the 1991 design of the Integra looks great the way it is, his car might be one of the only un-touched Integra GS-R's out there in car-land, what a revelation...

Steve_S
08-10-2004, 11:44 PM
I prefer a completely stock classic car. But I also enjoy seeing cars which are different from the usual cookie cutter assembly line cars. Variety is good!

MattP
08-11-2004, 03:25 AM
I have always seen it as the neverending struggle to conform in a non-conformist sort of way. It seems that for all the customization, they come out basically the same. Now art cars that's customization.

rulle7
08-11-2004, 10:11 AM
To each his own and A+ for effort. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/yesnod.gif
Just don't mess with rare classics, is all I ask. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/nonono.gif

vagt6
08-11-2004, 10:42 AM
From a classic car enthusiast's viewpoint, the problem with these car "customizing" shows is some viewers may start to believe that the only way to "properly" restore a classic car is to tear the literal guts out of it, rendering a vehicle that bears absolutely no resemblance to the original car.

In my opinion, the '67 Skylark was perfect when it left the factory! The rising popularity of shows such as "Monster Garage", etc., may tend to spread the practice of radical "customization" (i.e., ruining) of classic cars. Is this good for classic car collectors and purists? I think it's pretty scary!

Maybe we should produce a TV show about how it's REALLY supposed to be done! Can you imagine a reality show about LBCs, hosted by someone like Kas Kastner, in which a rust bucket Triumph or Jaguar gets a frame-off, perfectly correct restoration by LBC experts?

You couldn't tear me away from the TV when that show aired!

Steve
08-11-2004, 11:17 AM
[ QUOTE ]
From a classic car enthusiast's viewpoint, the problem with these car "customizing" shows is some viewers may start to believe that the only way to "properly" restore a classic car is to tear the literal guts out of it, rendering a vehicle that bears absolutely no resemblance to the original car.

In my opinion, the '67 Skylark was perfect when it left the factory! The rising popularity of shows such as "Monster Garage", etc., may tend to spread the practice of radical "customization" (i.e., ruining) of classic cars. Is this good for classic car collectors and purists? I think it's pretty scary!

Maybe we should produce a TV show about how it's REALLY supposed to be done! Can you imagine a reality show about LBCs, hosted by someone like Kas Kastner, in which a rust bucket Triumph or Jaguar gets a frame-off, perfectly correct restoration by LBC experts?

You couldn't tear me away from the TV when that show aired!

[/ QUOTE ]

/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/iagree.gifYou and me both!!!!! Move up, make some room, I'll bring the beer. You could keep Monday Night Football!

waltesefalcon
08-11-2004, 12:34 PM
I like a nice custom car. Heck my spit when it is all finished will be slightly customized. I also enjoy a nicely restored classic too though, especially if it is a truely classic car, packard, duesenberg, bugatti, rolls, etc.

William
08-11-2004, 02:21 PM
Individuality. I doubt none of us has ever, ever considered doing something "non-stock" to each car we've ever owned, from putting on that sexy set of alloy wheels to painting it a color that was definitely not one of the original choices, to turning a classic car into a racing car that is most distinctly not as it left the factory. I'll be honest, while I like and admire the effort that goes into perfect, all original restorations, if every single old car that was ever restored was done to all original factory spec, I would be bored very quickly and probably take up breeding Yorkshire terriers or something.
Bear in mind you are reading the opinions of someone who, if he stumbled across a solid, in need of restoration '49 Mercury coupe, would not hesitate to cut it up and build his own version of the Hirohata.

-William

Steve_S
08-11-2004, 07:44 PM
Mark, now that got me thinking. What we need is a show where they take a car that has been customized and abused over the years and restore it to completely stock, like new condition. Heck, I can produce and shoot the show for free. Anyone wanna supply the car and the labor? /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif

MGA Steve
08-11-2004, 08:38 PM
[ QUOTE ]
Individuality. I doubt none of us has ever, ever considered doing something "non-stock" to each car we've ever owned, from putting on that sexy set of alloy wheels to painting it a color that was definitely not one of the original choices, to turning a classic car into a racing car that is most distinctly not as it left the factory. -William

[/ QUOTE ]

/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/iagree.gif How many LBC owners on the Forum have upgraded or converted drum brakes, generators, dual 6-volt batteries, SU carbs, 8-track tape decks, non-synchro 4-speed trannies, or rubber bumpers? How many have added a roll bar, lowered the suspension an inch, changed the head, cam, and header, or converted a plaid interior to a solid color? We all individualize our "classic" cars, even if we don't build them into low-riders. Why do we buy LBCs in the first place? Could one reason be so that we are different, ie., individual, and not part of the "masses? Just a thought! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/driving.gif

Sherlock
08-11-2004, 08:55 PM
I'm not against a little variety, and I know that the majority of restored cars out there have a few individual touches either cosmetically and/or mechanically.

I appreciate a nice mix of mostly-original and modified cars at a show.

But I guess, as mentioned earlier by others, it's almost like we're drilling into people's heads that a car that is generally original is just not cool at all. And (it will probably never happen entirely) it may lead in the future to a lack of original specimens of many classic cars or newer cars that are future classics.

Patton
08-12-2004, 01:38 AM
[ QUOTE ]
Maybe we should produce a TV show about how it's REALLY supposed to be done! Can you imagine a reality show about LBCs, hosted by someone like Kas Kastner, in which a rust bucket Triumph or Jaguar gets a frame-off, perfectly correct restoration by LBC experts?

[/ QUOTE ]

Discovery Channel had a great series called A Car is Reborn where they restored an Jag E-Type.

DIY network has a series called Classic Car Restoration they haven't done an LBC yet, but one of the hosts, Mark Lambert, is listed as a British Car Guy who has restored an MGTF and a Healey and has an E-Type as a daily driver.

I TIVO these when they are on! Sometimes the work is lightweight, but it's still entertaining. It was very interesting to see the hydraulic/electrical switch setup that Ford put in the 62 T-Bird Convertible the show featured before the present Camero. Made me relived that Lucas is as hard as it gets on my Healey!!!

Patton

Patton
08-12-2004, 01:45 AM
[ QUOTE ]
Why do we buy LBCs in the first place? Could one reason be so that we are different, ie., individual, and not part of the "masses? Just a thought!

[/ QUOTE ]

Good point, I love that I never have met another car like mine when driving down the road in my Healey. I do need to give it more opportunities.

I had a lot of fun the other night getting my father, who is a Model T Ford guy, and hates hot rods, much less modern custom cars, watch Pimp My Ride.

He couldn't get over the reason why someone would want suicide doors on a 1960 Baja Bug.

It was funny watching them customize a custom. The show's host was making fun of the stinger exhaust on the car, then was excite how they were going to put video monitors in the door side panels so you could watch TV when the doors were open!!!

Patton

huck6
08-12-2004, 11:09 AM
[/ QUOTE ]Good point, I love that I never have met another car like mine when driving down the road in my Healey. /quote]

Still, I will miss the "Jeep wave" once I finally move up to an LBC. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/savewave.gif

90 XJ-S
08-14-2004, 07:37 PM
"...if every single old car that was ever restored was done to all original factory spec..."

But, in order to be "Restored"... by definition, it must be to original factory specs. Anything else and you are doing something else.
I agree, wholeheartedly, with what I believe you were trying to say. But, the fault is in using the word "restored". Someone should pass a law making it illegal to misrepresent a conversion, customization, improve, "Supe Up" etc as a restoration. Then a whole lot of us would be a lot happier.
I cringe when I see a '36 Desoto "Street Rod" If the car was in good enough shape to "rod" it it should have been retored. On the other-hand if some wants to "Hot Rod" a an '84 Honda... Go for it!!
Actually, even if they find a '51 Kaiser, Henry J body rusting in some field some where and want to turn it into a "Classic" "drag racer" go for it!! Life could get very boring without the Chevy "Low-Riders" or any of the new "Tuners"... Just leave the classics alone. Oh, and by the way... Most of our LBC are either in the classic area or rapidly nearing it.

Just my $0.02

Mike

Trevor Triumph
08-14-2004, 07:53 PM
I remember seeing Moss and MG Mitten advertisements in Car and Driver and Road and Track years ago. They were selling custom items and upgrades then. I agree that the customizing can create a strange view of the old cars. At the same time, what acan it hurt to add electroninc ignition and improved brakes and tires? T.T.

78Z
08-14-2004, 11:38 PM
Honestly I'm more in between. I like upgrades like disc brakes, seat belts, etc. Even fuel injection and drivetrain swaps assuming the car in question isn't too rare or expensive. But I like the exterior stock - no a big fan of body kits or radical modifications.

An example would be a stock looking TR7 with a 3.8L Buick V6 and 5 speed swapped in.

90 XJ-S
08-15-2004, 01:23 PM
"...Anyone wanna supply the car and the labor? "

Wish I could!

When you do it, let me know. You will have a lifetime viewer.

Mike

William
08-17-2004, 03:16 PM
I probably should have used the word "rebuilt", but it leads me to the following question: What is it called if you fix up/rebuild a car that was modified in period? (something like a period built Deuce higboy hotrod, or a modified Austin Healey racing car, or Big John Mazmanian's Willys) Since the car was not in factory stock condition, you can't restore it. A bit of a limiting definition, I think.

As for '36 Desoto hot rods-most newer rods and customs that are made from original metalwork really aren't restorable to original specs to begin with. The body might be in good enough shape to complete, but usually there are some seriously expensive bits missing or damaged beyond economical repair-things like chassis, drivetrains, etc. Consequently, the rebuilder is left to-buy all those parts (which can be tough with cars with limited spares backup like Henry Js), make all of them (see above-if you can't buy one new you have to find one for a pattern) or find another one with the bits you need. Granted, your hard core Henry J/Desoto/Willys/Whatever fan will do just that. But someone who likes hot rodding or customs will see that forlorn body as a unique project. Especially if the car in question wasn't popular with the hot rod crowds in period. (Willys excepted, of course)

-William

(watch, I'll find a website devoted to Henry J hotrods, jsut to spite myself)

PC
08-17-2004, 06:28 PM
So just what is the big deal with customized cars anyway?

Yeah, what is it with these people that can never leave well enough alone? /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif

If it ain't that loudmouth Shelby guy messing up perfectly good AC Aces it's that wacko Michelangelo chiseling the snot out of ancient geological formations. What about that Dom Perignon dude? Stick to beer pal, wine doesn't need fizz. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/mad.gif

And don't get me started on that graffiti vandal da Vinci. No wall is safe with that freak around. Walk away for one minute, the plaster isn't even dry yet, and next thing you know he's painted some banquet all over it! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/eek.gif


PC. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif

Steve
08-17-2004, 06:39 PM
[ QUOTE ]
Walk away for one minute, the plaster isn't even dry yet, and next thing you know he's painted some banquet all over it! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/eek.gif


PC. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif

[/ QUOTE ]

Wasn't Michaelangelo guilty of painting the "Last Supper" too? Da Vinci painted grinning women and invented wierd flying devices or something.

PC
08-17-2004, 08:07 PM
[ QUOTE ]
Wasn't Michaelangelo guilty of painting the "Last Supper" too?

[/ QUOTE ]
He was if you ask Monty Python. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif


[ QUOTE ]
Da Vinci painted grinning women and invented wierd flying devices or something.

[/ QUOTE ]
Historians say he did a lot of things to grinning women. (nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif )

Flying machines, parachutes, rotisseries, tanks, submarines, clocks... I can just hear his schoolteacher "Leo! Stop doodling and pay attention!" /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/nonono.gif


PC.

mailbox
08-17-2004, 09:59 PM
Unless you have some rare or ultra classic car, I see no reason why customizing should be frowned upon. Restoring a common car is as easy as opening a catalog. Customizing takes making something that didn't fit before fit now. I fully respect someone who has taken the time to restore a car, but to me, a custom car is much more interesting. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Matthew E. Herd
08-18-2004, 12:09 AM
I'm pretty much in agreement with 78Z. A stock looking car with a well done swap (on a fairly common classic) is no big deal. Furthermore, work that would conform with Vintage racing ideals (tuning that could have been done at the time) or even improvements to the stock system are no big deal at all. The only case where i would disagree is if the vehicle is extremely rare. I'd hope there's at least one factory original (more or less) version of every car so it can serve as a museum piece. However, I'm not the sort to pick out the most rare of vehicles ... I like to play a bit.