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General TR How do you refer to your car...restored, survivor etc.?

Kleykamp

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I, probably like many of you, frequently look at cars for sale on line. I recently read an article, in the magazine Moss sends out periodically, about this and it raised my curiousity about what I should be calling my car. Many of the cars advertised as restored are far from it, in my definition of restored. Then to muddy the waters a little more, I see on the TV auctions (mecum etc.) a reference to "driver quality restoration" for which I have never heard a definition. Then, at what point does a survivor become a restoration? How much work can you do to make the car presentable before it no longer qualifies as a survivor? I'm pretty clear on what a survivor is, but just as an example: If one piece of the cockpit capping on a TR3 had the leather pealing off, and you found a used part the same color that was in better condition, but still the same degree of patina and age...have you moved your car out of survivor status by replacing that part?
To me a restoration is a car that need nothing to be as it was when it was purchased new, but then that leads you to the term frequently used "restored to better than new". Not long ago, I saw a powder blue '60 TR3 that was "restored" to near perfection. The attention to detail included things like using only original parts rebuilt to function as new, finding bolts from parted out cars so the bolt heads would be have the correct markings...and the list goes on, but the point is that it was RESTORED. If I had my car there at the time, I could have parked it a few cars away and you wouldn't be able to tell the difference until you got close, but mine is no where near restored to that level. Yet, people would have probably referred to mine as restored too. I could go on and on but I'm interested to see what others think about this. Maybe there is some sort of standardized description of restored, which qualifies various levels that I'm just not aware of, but the term restored seems to encompass anything from a paint job to the above mentioned nut and bolt restoration.
 

sail

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When looking I didn't trust myself to evaluate any level of restored and so found a car that is pretty much original.
 

Geo Hahn

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I also looked for original cars (including original paint) when shopping for my last two cars -- I thought that gave me the best shot at avoiding nasty surprises, especially in a car with no frame.

One of those (the TR4) I still think of as original (BTW, I believe someone succeeded in copyrighting or trademarking the term 'survivor' as it refers to cars).

The other (the Jaguar) got a strip to bare metal and respray so a qualified 'mostly original' probably applies there.

My TR3A has been restored several times (and probably will be again by someone other than me) so I just think of it as a 'nice driver'.

Any one who wants to know what 'restored' means can look here:

https://www.britishcarforum.com/bcf/showthread.php?98828-Restoration-done-Picture-time

But all that said - the labels are meaningless. Might as well ask what 'rebuilt engine' means when stated in an ad.
 

TFB

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I think your example of the replaced capping would fall under another term frequently used in the antique motorcycle community ,where things like original paint and finishes are the gold standard, is "conserved".
I love the typical ebay adds."totally original,one respray"
Have Fun
Tom
 

dklawson

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I never thought much about the different terms and their application. However, I guess I would describe my cars as follows:

GT6 - Older owner restoration. Largely original with period accessories. Non-numbers-matching car.
Spitfire - Bitsa. Respectable daily driver. Non-numbers-matching car.
Mini - Older owner restoration. Largely original with period accessories and reversible modification (original parts available). Numbers-matching car.

If a car uses non-serialized replacement parts donated from a vehicle of the same age, I would still refer to that as original. In the "grandfather's axe" definition scheme the car would not be a survivor, but it would be old with appropriately old parts. None of my cars are "survivors" but I would say that two would qualify as largely original as there are only a few "new" parts and paint. Where do you draw the line on "new parts"? If you rebuild the engine would you only be allowed NOS pistons, bearings, and timing gears?

Does anyone remember the old BBC program "Lovejoy"? The lead character was a "just this side of shady" antiquities dealer. In one episode they dealt with this issue concerning antique motorcycles. They raised the question of when modern nuts and bolts are used to fix an antique motorcycle, is it still antique. Not being a concours car owner, this was never as important to me as it is to others but I understand its importance to others.
 

TR3driver

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I suggest you rent (or download) a copy of "Used Cars" with Kurt Russell. It's a comedy based on cliches, but they are cliches for a reason. "No ma'am, that's a special primer."
 

pdplot

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"Was that car a taxi?" "No ma'am - yellow primer." Classic comedy "Luke Fuchs". Check it out. Today's comedy movies are not funny.
 

charleyf

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I call mine restored. But that term needs a lot of definers along with it.
To me the ultimate is restored for concours. But as pointed out here that can even mean a variety of different things. VTR now has a Modified category in their concours options. My cars are restored modified with alternator, TR6 seats in a TR4 plus Pansport wheels.

If somebody is trying to sell me a car that is restored I would now ask them to list exactly what has been done to the car. I once bought a car off of ebay that said it had been restored. From pictures I could see that the interior had not been replaced and parts were missing. So I discounted that part of the restored. But what I later discovered after driving 1000 miles to pick up the car made the interior part small. What I paid for the car was a fair price for what I got. But it was not what was described.
Live and learn!!
Charley
 

glemon

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It would be nice if there were more common meanings an universal standards, but one persons restored is another person's refurbished. I have read some articles in the car magazines that suggest that you can't call a car "restored unless you have taken in completely apart and redone everything. I guess I don't necessarily agree with that, as I would not feel a seller was dishonest if they described a car that had been cosmetically restored, all major systems, engine, transmission suspension, electrics, checked and refurbished and functional. I think most would agree that a quick respray and a new battery and a tune up do not constitute a restoration.

But actually the one that gets me more than describing a car as "restored" is the liberties taken with describing cars as "original" or "all original" when it obviously has aftermarket wheels, parts from later or earlier versions of the same model, etc., etc.

Edit: I guess I didn't answer the actual question, I do refer to my car as restored, though I didn't bring it back to "the condition it left the factory in" I did paint it, mostly all new interior, mostly all new or rechromed bright bits, rebuilt engine, transmission, suspension, alternator, etc. most all component cleaned up and repainted, I would not refer to it as restored to original as I did make some minor modifications to the motor and suspension, and I left off a couple things the original had (rear sidelights, black finish on the rockers) but I also wouldn't use the term "resto-mod" that they use, which to me means a car with a different engine, or modified body, flairs scoops added etc., mine maintains the look and feel of the original, but experts (or even non experts because of the modern wheels and tires) can certainly spot the differences pretty easily.
 
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poolboy

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I have a well maintained driver.
I think I can stand behind that.
 

toysrrus

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Hi Folks,

I would refer to mine as being a "Real Nice, Well Maintained, Driver Cond" car.

"Restored" has a ton of definitions as we all know. I feel the majority of the "Restored" cars that are For Sale are more in a "Refurbished" class but that again; Is in the eyes of the potential buyer.

Haggerty`s evaluation system of a scale of "(1 - 5)" basically offers some of the definitions of that scale.

When watching "Whats my car worth"; How many times have you seen a #1 given to a specific marque? Yep; They`re there but not too often.

Just my $.02.

Russ
 
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Kleykamp

Kleykamp

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Thanks for the feedback. What I'm getting here is that the descriptions are a lot more consistent among people who are NOT trying to sell their car. I like the term "refurbished". It seems to denote the car is brought back to a reasonably high standard, without indicating it is like new. I often refer to my car as refurbished. Restored is also an OK term if qualifiers are added to the description, i.e. amature/owner restored, frame off vs. on frame, and indicating the major work that was actually done. I still think restored, more accurately denotes a car that is brought back to like new condition. Also, any term used to describe the car is only as reliable as the intergrity of the describer. I think my car would be described as "owner, driver quality, frame on restoration, refurbished to a standard that satisfies me and my budget". I guess it's just not practical to pidgeon hole old cars.
 

Scot1966

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Ironically, I was just reading the article in Moss Motoring this morning about "Restored" cars. The authors definition of a restored car is one that has been brought back to the condition it was exactly as the factory assembled it. Smog pumps, the color and quality of the paint, etc. Even if the equipment is not desirable, it needs to be put back on the car. Any variation from original is "rebuilt" not restored
 

TexasKnucklehead

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I may be the author of the piece that started you thinking about this. I had a little fun with the ambiguities associated with those descriptions. But, I really do consider my TR3 to be a "restored, original, survivor'.

It's 'original' because I tried to used original Triumph parts when I 'restored' it. I stop counting after I had purchased 100 'original' TR3 parts -most are on my 'survivor'. It is a 'survivor' because it had survived a restoration before Katrina, and required another restoration after being under 20' of salt water for 24 hours. I don't need to know much of it's history before Katrina, but believe it to be a 'Katrina survivor'.

Generally the terms are used to be mutually exclusive. But my TR3 really is a "restored, original, survivor" and if you were to look at it, I hope you would agree. It's not %100 original to itself, but I am.
 

pdplot

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I don't know what to call my TR6. Still has original seats, engine and transmission but many, many new parts, some by PO, some by me,repainted by PO, new interior panels, new windscreen, stainless steel exhaust, tube shock conversion, new top with one tiny rip, new tires & tubes, rechromed bumpers, new window regulators & door check, etc. I call it well-maintained. Will probably need a ring job somewhere down the road but it has hardened valve seats and several new valves, new head gasket, new thrust washers all done in 2013, installed vintage radio & interior lights (not connected to doors since I rarely drive at night). Buzzer disconnected, dash rheostat does not work but who cares. Odometer shows just over 104,000 and it's probably correct. I bought it 18 years ago for $2,500.00 not running with 98,000 miles on the odometer. What's it worthtoday? Who knows with these cars. Prices are all over the lot. What would you pay for a car like this?
 

Scot1966

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I may be the author of the piece that started you thinking about this. I had a little fun with the ambiguities associated with those descriptions. But, I really do consider my TR3 to be a "restored, original, survivor'.

It's 'original' because I tried to used original Triumph parts when I 'restored' it. I stop counting after I had purchased 100 'original' TR3 parts -most are on my 'survivor'. It is a 'survivor' because it had survived a restoration before Katrina, and required another restoration after being under 20' of salt water for 24 hours. I don't need to know much of it's history before Katrina, but believe it to be a 'Katrina survivor'.

Generally the terms are used to be mutually exclusive. But my TR3 really is a "restored, original, survivor" and if you were to look at it, I hope you would agree. It's not %100 original to itself, but I am.
After reading your article, I realized I never thought about the terms associated with bringing a car back to a certain condition. I have used a few different terms throughout the years. I think like you said - " Restored " is a fitting term for a car brought back to factory condition. Thanks for making me think about this....It really was an " a-ha, he's right" moment. I don't think I will ever call any of my cars restored again.
 

73nabisco

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I am not sure if you would consider my car a survivor, it has been sitting since 1991 in a basement. Basically left in state while life became complicated, but has recently been revisited. The original paint is pretty good, carpets need to be replaced, and total mechanical would have to be addressed. I consider it a kind of time capsule, of a better time that is. So I am not sure of value or what I should do with it. Of course I would love to get it running again but I am not overly confident in my mechanical ability. Anyway just thinking
 

toysrrus

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Hey 73nabisco,

What model, year etc are you referring to? I`m guessing a `73 TR6 but ????

Russ
 
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Kleykamp

Kleykamp

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Decided I would just post some photos of my "refurbished, driver quality, restoration...or whatever"
 

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