This may seem like a really dumb question, but what is the difference between "unrestored" and and "original" for a Model T? It's my understanding that a car can only be original once, but once something is changed or restored, then it is no longer original? And what exactly is the meaning of "unrestored"? Isn't original and unrestored the same?
They are to me. This of course excludes wear items, tires, belt, ect. A painted car might be considered restored but some times you can't tell how old the paint is either. A good 60 year old paint job might look orig but like I said....
To me "original" means as it left the factory. "unrestored" means as found but maintained to be safe.
Bill...there is no definition
Original means...as found and full of dirt, could have 1000 replacements parts but could fool me it's so dirty...
Unrestored means --- I haven't a clue but it is run down at the heels and looks it
I'm sure others will add their own chuckles and grins for comments.
I would tend to agree with you.....'original' means as shipped...and only once...which means there is like a 0% chance they are being correct in their assessment even if they plan on being truthful and we must forgive them for thinking so.
Like with my own '15. I am fairly confident that under any possible test that it is 99% original other than top, and the turtle deck. I could 'pass' the turtle deck but won't because I know it was replaced in '61! But I can make no guarantees as I only know the provenance from 1948 onward and it has all of the correct unique '15 features...one can just guess that prior to 1948 no one was smart enough or aware enough to know of the unique features.
No difference to me, all fun!KGB
I am not sure because semanthics in Portuguese (I think in Portuguese) works
different in English, but, to me, original may be any car which keeps factory
specifications, restored or unrestored.
I think it depends on who is talking.Only old car people say unrestored and it might also mean barn find.Origional means it might be a Stynoski winner listed by model T people or covered in plastic,shag carpet,and sold on e-bay by a pimp!Bud in Wheeler.
With my 16 coupelet I'm preserving it not restoring nor is it 100% original. I'm fixing,replacing with year correct parts to make it 100% safe and road worthy. Some are used in good shape others are reproductions.
The top and interior will be new so what do you call this type of car? Don't plan to paint it either.
I would consider a T to be original if nothing other than consumables(tires, spark plugs, light bulbs, etc.)had been replaced and the car is otherwise unmolested. It wouldn't have to be in great shape, just untouched. A car to me is restored when the paint, bodywork, engine internals, interior, etc. has been replaced. People use of the term restored to describe varying degrees of component replacement or refurbishment. I have seen some cases such as my own cut down 26 that are neither original or restored. It is a collection of parts that left the same factory but not at the same time and have been worked on a lot to make them serviceable. I'm not sure what you would call that. I tend to describe it as a T that was reconstructed to original specs with period modifications. I wouldn't get too worked up over it. The only time I could see where this would make any difference is at a judged show or if you are buying/selling based on originality. Just have fun. It takes all kinds to make the world go round.
As a restorer I LOVE to look at the unrestored originals.They are only museum pieces... pure and simple!!!
As a restorer I can SEE exactly what an original car had!!!!!!! Very important in my opinion. If someone is driving that car then more power to him or her. But I would NOT do that! Chance of ruining a rare piece. (Again the OWNER can do whatever they want to do).
Reminds me of a story:
One where I first became aware of this whole fact of life!
I was showing my 1919 roadster at a mall show in Sarasota (indoors). I have built this car from my usual parts piles. Most of my cars came from there. There was this gentleman, probably a local replant from up north) with his Arthur Godfrey styled 1902-4 Olds replica about 3/4 sized. With household small brass side lights and bicycle wheels and tires on it. He was there showing his pride and joy just like I was. He was getting several lookers and he had the hood down enclosing the Briggs or Clinton engine powering it. He was telling them and answering their questions and later outside giving everyone rides a little ways. Here I am in my RESTORED 1919 T and not getting near as much attention, his was older looking to the (avg public). He told them that he had not restored the car but bought it from the fella who did. He got a lot of complements that day and I learned something that I keep to myself usually "Don't steel their fun"!
I SEE a lot of you guys cars at meets in Pettit Jean, Springfield, Tampa, Lakeland and many are not 100%. Most have been restored sometime... 80-90%. You don't see me criticizing their cars as all it ever does is hurt people or make someone upset. I would rather say "Nice car" and move on. I can spot the inconsistencies 10 feet away and in most at 3 feet for sure... if I am looking for that. But I have better things to do!
There are two T clubs within 35 miles of me here in S.W. Missouri. A few know me (4-5) today, no one else has even heard of me. Who ? Never heard of 'em. I do not have the time to drive 75 miles total to meet with them and pay for a 10-12 dollar meal just to sit and listen to things going on that I know nothing about. So while I AM at your T meets or AACA meets you'll never know I am there. ( unless you catch me under an original un restored car)! I have tried to meet a few of you just to break the ice but I have found that VERY HARD to do. I am not a threat to the pecking order. I will never get to meet any of you it seems and so I try to explain myself here. And feel crazy doing it. I am NOT being critical here just the truth. Many of you are really good at the T work you do and your restoration and T stuff. You guys AMAZE me. And that is GOOD!
My 2 cents on the restored vehicles...
1. the price of restoration added to the as found purchase price greatly enhances its value!
2. Price of that restoration IS expensive!!!
Labor prices are what determines this. Your labor should not be counted as free.
3. It is very hard to find a REAL restorer who follows guidelines and photos and does the job correctly. They aren't cheap usually.
Correct car is the term I like to see used. Cecil Church, Jess Bonar, Don Lewis all taught me that concept. I just wish I would hear that term more. Instead of restored. I have bought cars that I was told was restored only to find out that they were just patched up and repainted.
So I think the restored car is more valuable if correct. The unrestored original... PRICELESS. Needs to be in either a museum or at shows where we car run our eyes over it's real beauty... It ain't been messed with!!!!!
I think the term unrestored comes from a time when everyone thought old cars should be restored. Cars were either restored or unrestored, meaning the car is waiting to be restored. Now that originality is valued, the term isn't used as much.
I like to see an "unrestored" Model T, but would feel uncomfortable driving or riding in a car with moldy, mildewed upholstery, which most originals have.
The terms have a different interpretation to each person depending on what they like and what they have seen. It is important to stress the value of authenticity but equally important to enjoy these cars the best way you can.
Thinking about this & the only T I can come up with that was proveably untouched was that Rip Van Winkle T in Bruce's book. Last I heard, probably here, was that it was "lost" some where in California. There's one that shouldn't be touched.
Along with the Rip Van Winkle car, Bruce's encyclopedia shows a few other untouched originals.
Is what we’re doing here a matter of distilling blurred and overlapping classifications down to a very few, rigid, one-word definitions, or are we arguing the merits of each variation? Somebody once said, “Variety is the spice of life,” and I’m sort of in agreement with that. Sometimes, I’m in the mood for a five-star restaurant and a $90, dry-aged, inch-thick steak and sniff-the-cork wine, served on linen tablecloths by solicitous waiters and waitresses (which I can afford maybe once every two years), and sometimes, what I’m really craving is a snappy Nathan’s hot dog with the works and a cold brewski. Depending on the mood and occasion, one is no substitute for the other. And that’s sort of the way I feel about antique cars. I enjoy drooling over the AACA, trophy-winning trailer queens, but certainly not to the exclusion of inflicting a little reasonable wear & tear on my humble daily-driver.
The market sort of settles the issue as far as which philosophy is worth more in terms of dollars, and the cars which consistently bring in the highest prices at the more dignified, upscale auctions are those fresh out of a “nuts & bolts” rotisserie restoration which gets the car to look exactly as it did on the day it left the factory’s assembly line.
Unrestored originality sells for way cheaper, so one could argue that it's worth somewhat less, but of course it has an unpretentious charm of its own. Certainly, the cars which have some patina, a little scuffed upholstery and wear on the pedals—and have no more than been routinely maintained with genuine, new-old-stock parts—have wonderful stories to tell and a “hang-the-expense” restoration erases all of that precious history. While the auction bidders give the occasional nod to this line of reasoning, nevertheless, the big bucks will always go to the ’63, Split-Windshield Corvette that looks and smells exactly like a brand new car.
Some makes and models really do lend themselves to the million-dollar makeovers and it would be rare to see a Duesenberg or Cord shown in less than pristine condition. But that’s certainly not true of the humble Model T Ford. Her charm is in her stalwart heart, however held together with bailing wire and duct tape, and her story is that of the common man who struggled against the adversity of a robber-baron age, held his family together as they hung on by their fingernails and scraped by through Dustbowl and Depression—and to whom the thought of hiring a chauffeur would have been to laugh. That stuff was reserved for the Packards, and Locomobiles.
But really, wouldn’t it be nice to own a 1911 Pierce-Arrow? Darn right it would! But you know what? I think it’d still be more fun to drive a Flivver and not worry about scratching the steering wheel with my Timex.
Hold the caviar (at least for today). And gimme mustard and sauerkraut with that dog.
Bob does it again. I love that. My only quibble would be with "gets the car to look exactly as it did on the day it left the factory’s assembly line." Especially in the case of Model T's, a lot of them look considerably better than they did when new.
It means different things to different people. To the average person who strikes up a conversation with you at the gas pump, "Original" probably means that it still has the same type drive line it had when new and not a V-8 crate motor under the hood. To that same person, "Restored" probably means shiny paint and new upholstery with no regard for whether it's the factory color or type of material. To me, "Original" and "Unrestored" mean pretty much the same thing. However, I may use the term "Restored to original condition" to remove any doubt from the minds of people as to what I mean by "Restored", i.e. the guy at the gas pump won't think I have a Chevy crate motor.