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Thread: To Restore, or not to Restore, that's the question

Forum to discuss Austin Healey Sports Cars

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    Obi Wan Johnny's Avatar
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    To Restore, or not to Restore, that's the question

    Denise McCluggage who, among other things, wrote a column called "Now and Then" as a senior contributing editor for Autoweek. The book is called <span style="font-style: italic">"By Brooks Too Broad For Jumping"</span> and is made up of many of her columns written for Autoweek. She also wrote for Road and Track, Car and Driver, Motor Trend and her own publication called Competition Press. Here is an excerpt:


    "Fine restorations are lovely to look upon, backgrounded perhaps by the emerald sward as the fog lifts at Pebble Beach and sunlight astounds the careful metal. I am always appropriately awed there. But maybe even better I like seeing old cars looking old, wearing their history like an old man with distance in his eyes, pillow-bound in a nursing home, tapping his cane with a time-curled hand. Unrecalled tales silently sit with him. The unrestored cars are like that."

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    Great Pumpkin Keoke's Avatar
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    Re: To Restore, or not to Restore, that's the question



    The unrestored cars are like that."



    Totally worn out.----Keoke--
    1966 Daimler V8 Saloon; Safely Fast, Built to Last & and; Smooth as Glass.
    1966 BJ8 [ 2 ] Lil Red & Miss bLU
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    Jedi Warrior
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    Re: To Restore, or not to Restore, that's the question

    My favorite cars are unrestored cars. I love seeing cars from the 50's - 60's that were well cared for over the years, even if that means worn interior and faded paint. These are not so easy to find cars and I would not restore this car, if I came across it.

    Having wear and tear is different to me than needing repair. A rusty car needs repair, a rips and tears in the interior or missing/broken parts, needs fixing. Most all cars that I come across fall into this category.
    BJ7 sold, 1972 TR6 sold, now making wine

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    Re: To Restore, or not to Restore, that's the question

    I have a pristine restored BN1, a nice low mileage unrestored BT7, and an unrestored BN1 with lots of patina. I've had 1 or 2 at 2 Rendezvous and 2 Conclaves. Only 1 has attracted any attention at all. Want to guess which one?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzchDxl3jNY

    Marv J

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    Obi Wan Johnny's Avatar
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    Re: To Restore, or not to Restore, that's the question

    Kinda says it all heh Marv?

    However, most any AH will draw attention away from a Healey event.

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    Luke Skywalker dougie's Avatar
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    Re: To Restore, or not to Restore, that's the question

    I say, "to each his own". Though I hate to see any Healey relegated to trailer queen status, I also see no purpose in having a car that is in such a state of disrepair that it is unsafe and unusable merely to state it's originality.

    I like the term "sympathetic restoration" that now seems to be in vogue. Repair and replace only what you have to and keep as much original to the car as possible.

    It's only new once, not matter how good the full restoration is.
    Dougie
    '65 BJ8 3000 MKIII GN.29
    '57 100-SIX MM Vintage Racer GN.1 #414
    Team Healey PDX

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    Obi Wan
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    Re: To Restore, or not to Restore, that's the question

    I am doing a frame up 'Relic Renewal', painting my car myself [single stage] in a tent. Waiting on the shelf I have a rebuilt mill and trans, new wiring, brakes, clutch, interior,gas tank, kingpins etc. Then I will put the old chrome back on and drive it till it looks like a worn in original. I bought it years ago with the intent to do all the work myself and, excepting the machine work on the motor, I have done just that. I have put up with driving lesser l.b.c's for years now, and cannot wait to be the old schmoe with the well worn Tri-carb!
    A wise man knows he knows not. Lao Tsu

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    Re: To Restore, or not to Restore, that's the question

    My "Patina" BN1 has new wheels/tyres, rebuilt brakes, rebuilt shocks/suspension, new wiring harness, rebuilt radiator, and good engine/gearbox. Just because the paint is toast, some elbow dents in the shroud, and I wouldn't dare try to put up the top in no way makes it "unsafe".

    Marv J

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    Obi Wan
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    Re: To Restore, or not to Restore, that's the question

    Right on Marv!!
    A wise man knows he knows not. Lao Tsu

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    Luke Skywalker dougie's Avatar
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    Re: To Restore, or not to Restore, that's the question

    Don't get me wrong Marv, my comment was not directed you at all. I applaud the condition of your car. I'm speaking of the collector car community as a whole. I love the "barn find", but I don't want to see it in a concours show covered in hay with no future of it ever being road worthy.
    Dougie
    '65 BJ8 3000 MKIII GN.29
    '57 100-SIX MM Vintage Racer GN.1 #414
    Team Healey PDX

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    Obi Wan
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    Re: To Restore, or not to Restore, that's the question

    And don't get me wrong either, I was giving him the high five for driving his car with toasted paint!
    A wise man knows he knows not. Lao Tsu

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    Re: To Restore, or not to Restore, that's the question

    I agree that the hay covered "Barn Finds" get a little tiresome. Mine was a warehouse find by the PO and he put a lot of work into it to make it a reliable/safe driver. When I take it out, the comments are about 50/50 "Don't touch it, you can't find them like that anymore" or "When are you going to restore that ***".

    The Hot Rod guys are now going to great expense to recreate a look that mimics my car. That's over the top but if someone has a A or Deuce roadster or 3 window coupe with a proper flathead V8 rotting away in their "Barn", I'll clear it out for you.

    Marv K

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    Re: To Restore, or not to Restore, that's the question

    You might take a look at the thread I started on the Jag Forum under "Look what followed me home". There is no way I would have exposed the public to that paint job patina or not and the car needed everything else so that's what its getting. That was a "Storage Unit Find".

    Marv J

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    Yoda HealeyRick's Avatar
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    Re: To Restore, or not to Restore, that's the question

    I think there's a continuum between "patina" and POS. Guess where I think this falls:

    https://www.youtube.com/v/F_btYFbLK2sYFbLK2s" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"> </embed></object>

    This one, however, I like a lot:



    Rick

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    Jedi Warrior
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    Re: To Restore, or not to Restore, that's the question

    I don't know what it's like in America, but over here in the UK, nothing gets left in a barn unless it's completely worn out and needs total restoration. The only advantage it has over alternatives is that it's probably it's first rebuild. Following on from a previous one usually means a lot of extra work.

    I try to bring my cars back to original and sound condition, if I have to completely rebuild, I try to use as much of the original as I can in an attempt to give the impression of an old car that's worn its years well.

    I've just finished a Bristol 400 www.jel450.com so you can see what I mean. I've sold it and am now doing a Healey 3000 and a TR3A.

    I'm not a dealer or professional, but I have limited space and money, so must sell what I do to fund the next.

    Ash

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    Jedi Trainee Superwrench's Avatar
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    Re: To Restore, or not to Restore, that's the question

    I'm doing a frame up restoration on my BT-7 but it isn't going to be a trailer queen. I'm even going to run the factory disc wheels for awhile until I can afford mini-lites. They actually look pretty cool !

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    Obi Wan Johnny's Avatar
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    Re: To Restore, or not to Restore, that's the question

    I've always liked the term "rolling restoration", which is what you're doing. Keep up the good work.

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    Obi Wan Johnny's Avatar
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    Re: To Restore, or not to Restore, that's the question

    Good point Dougie.

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    Re: To Restore, or not to Restore, that's the question

    yo howdy,
    was at a recent healey meet,there sat an earliest 100-untouched forever...
    directly adjacent,sat it's life long companion,this gentleman, well beyond
    his motoring years [90ish] still had the rascal in his eye though...
    just a little shout out for rust &amp; such.....
    with respect 59er
    59er

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    Obi Wan Johnny's Avatar
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    Re: To Restore, or not to Restore, that's the question

    Quote Originally Posted by daily
    yo howdy,
    was at a recent healey meet,there sat an earliest 100-untouched forever...
    directly adjacent,sat it's life long companion,this gentleman, well beyond
    his motoring years [90ish] still had the rascal in his eye though...
    just a little shout out for rust &amp; such.....
    with respect 59er
    We in the Gateway Healey club (St. Louis) are fortunate to have a similar fellow in our club. Here's his photo standing by his early 100M prototype.

    Attached Images Attached Images

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