From Hemmings today:
While it makes exceptions for period-modified vehicles in its recently released Charter of Turin Handbook, the Federation Internationale des Vehicules Anciens casts a wary eye on customized vehicles and vehicles restored to better-than-new condition equally, arguing that neither should be considered historic.
“An exceptional amount of original historic material is lost in so called ‘Concours restorations,’ which exaggerate an imaginary mint condition,”
I have long thought that many "restorations" are really customs.
I couldn't agree more. While I can fully respect things like an incredible paint job no production vehicle has hours and hours put into the finished body or every fastener blasted, primed, painted and buffed. A lot of those "Concours Restorations" are misrepresentations of the originals.
If half the cars at Monterey were restored to EXACTLY how they came from the factory or the coachbuilders, they wouldn't even be invited to compete.
Smoothed out welds and castings, glass smooth, hand-rubbed, clear-coated chassis', excessive plating and polishing, bodies festooned with laser straight pin-striping-
not only is it historically inaccurate, it makes me way too envious!
I've heard that many a judge for Concours shows now actually take OFF points for "over restorations"...as they finally have come to the realization that for the most part vehicles didn't roll out of the factory looking that good.
OK, it ain't historic but don't it look grand? Plain fact is if you don't have the dough to compete with the big boys don't show up because unless you've got some extremely weird/rare whatevermobile you won't be judged for "patina" no matter what the Hypnofrogs say.
That's a different, and probably truthful, way to look it the topic.
I've never been a fan of over-restored cars.
I use the terms "correctly" or "incorrectly" restored. It's not possible to "over-restore" one in the truest sense even though we know what's meant by that.
That said, for a lot of things it's actually easier to do concours level work than making something appear as it did originally. Finishing everything to a glass-like finish may not be correct, but neither is spraying it with Rust-Oleum. Finishing a rust pitted panel that originally had stamping wrinkles and mill finish showing through the paint -- that's tough.
The rules of most judging encourages the loss of historic material, concours and the alphabet clubs alike. It's finally trending the other way and I find that encouraging.
If you like your stuff to be the way it was when it left the factory, nobody's stopping anyone from doing it. I get satisfaction by doing this stuff for me, not for recognition from some sanctioned body.
(Message edited by Wmh on December 18, 2017)
Those beyond perfect "restorations" just make the car look fake to me. I can't envision the car back in time when every part looks flawless. I would much rather see some paint checking that puts the car back in time. Now I do keep my T well polished but more than ever, I am less bothered by the chips and scuffs I get from daily use. The car just looks more real that way.
I came to believe years ago that a lot of restorations are better than they came off Fords assembly lines years ago.
There was a time that the paintj jobs were done so well that they looked like plastic.
I was told that more than once by several T guys that have passed on. I believe it now with all the technology that's being used now.
A totally original T in new condition as it was painted and built probably wouldn't pass concours guidelines.
There was a time in the '50s and '60s where guys would grind down, and sand smooth all kinds of chassis parts. I believe, today, that kind of thinking has come to pass, at least on Model T's.
I agree with Tim. Unless it was a Rolls-Royce, very few if any manufacturers put 17 coats of hand-rubbed lacquer on the frame rails then pin-striped them. Just my opinion, but if you won't drive it on the street, it isn't a car - it's an art object.
The top tier of Mopar musclecar-era judging has embraced the "as it came from the factory" definition of originality.
To win at the top level, the car has to be rebuilt using the materials, processes, and parts that were being used by the factory on the day that the car was built. So, an over-restored car that doesn't have sloppy seam sealer, overspray, and paint runs in the appropriate places loses points.
One interesting twist is that the factory sometimes used parts that looked slightly different from the spare parts that were supplied to the dealers. Today, the only source for these parts are ex-factory workers that "liberated" them from the assembly line and took them home at the end of the day. These parts are now called "lunch pail" parts and now cost mega-dollars!
On a slightly different tack, preserving Henrietta as she is, is teaching me a whole bag of new tricks. She has a replacement foot starter switch and the only original one I have is a restored spare, nicely painted black. Son Anthony reminded me that the replacement belongs, as part of the car's history. Do I go in search of a replacement coilbox lid of suitable patina, or accept that the original going missing is part of that history?
Allan from down under.
Ahh another view of bits a!
Sadly,there is going to always be a controversy. You can't flow paint on a T body with a fire hose anymore.And I doubt you can get the Japan enamel unless you find it at a auction.
Sometimes people over do things simply because they want their car to be nicer than the other guys."I spent XXX on my paint job, he had Earl Shibe paint his so I deserve the trophy"
I restore old garden tractors. 1 of the tractors I did years ago and sadly,will need to refurbish again is a Porter Cable Mark 1 suburban tractor.
I over restored the crap out of it and didn't realize I was doing more harm and wrong than good.
The frame was stick welded at the factory and they were to lazy to even knock the slag off the welds or chip away spatter.It looked horrible. But alot of it was behind and underneath stuff and unless you had it apart,you would never know it.
My Planet Jr,BP-1 is probably over restored to but I run it at shows and let people see how it works so it is getting banged up a bit here and there.
My T's.I doubt anyone will consider them Over restored.They have flaws that will be noticeable.
But I aint gonna haul it to the New York Auto Show and expect a trophy either!
I still admire this gentleman who went through a lot of trouble reproducing the original Model T black Gilsonite paint:
There are very few mint condition un-restored T's. I think a reasonably restored car is just fine, however I do not like cars which are over restored. An example of over restored would be sand pits ground off the engine with a polished finish on the block and head. I've seen cars like that which won a prize. I would disagree. I don't know of any cars which came from the factory in that condition.
I once discussed with a Master Judge the fact that on Model A's, the belt molding color was sprayed on with the doors only shut to the first catch, so the paint would go around the corner a bit. This leaves a little bit of over-spray on the latch pillar. He replied that "quality of workmanship" was part of the standard, and such over-spray would not be considered "quality work" and lose points.
Ahem, don't restore them fix them, love them and drive them!
The charter of Turin are just guidelines not rules. The same as the rule book for judging a Model T or the AACA guidelines for judging.
But the guidelines are important for another reason...
Those interested in purchasing a Model T should be aware that there are original Model T's for sale and replicas (bits-a if you will).
An organization such as the Model T Club, the AACA, or the FIVA are just organizations that make individuals aware that the $15,000.00 of money to be spent on a brass era car is getting the new owner a proper brass car with proper engine number...or at least an explanation that the engine was replaced with a second generation black radiator model. Or not all Ts had a an electric starter, or a distributor was after market.
Granted no one wants to be told what can and can not do with their vehicle. But they need to be able to document the repair, restoration of their cat at the time a new buyer acquires the car.
If you haven't suggest you at least download and read the current Charter of Turin.
So, now cars assembled from parts - or any car without every single one of the parts is originally left the assembly line with - is a "replica?????" Unbelievable.
Hm. I can document the repairs and restoration of my cat - the vet keeps pretty good records. My T, well . . . Not so much !
I'm a better painter than I am a mechanic (which isn't saying much). Is anyone this critical of someone making their car run better than it did when new?
Yeah Ron, that's a tough term for me to swallow, too.
There are autos out there that can be considered replicas because of the amount of new parts. Many have all new bodies. Curved dash Oldsmobiles are known for new bodies. There is a point in where an assembled car that it is more of a replica than original. There was a case where the owner of a 1908 Stanley was denied a trophy for an original car (when it was, but the judge said no). So the man used an original engine and chassis parts and built an "original". He aged the new body and other parts on his garage roof. He then took the new "original" to the next judging meet and won the trophy for an original car.
It’s all rather funny. I have seen some really beautifully restored 1909-10 Model T Fords. The most beautiful (IMHO) are red, though blue looks very good. However I have yet to see any fully restored Model T at any concours or at auction in the original color, Brewster Green.
Rich, don't sweat the documentation because it doesn't matter. By the logic currently being espoused by some on here, the guy who changed a tube out on your runabout in September, 1914 (when he picked up a horseshoe nail and didn't have time to patch it) already turned it into a replica. Was all down hill from there.
15,000,000 was repainted (at least once), so I guess that's a replica. The Rip Van Winkle had a double wishbone (dealer applied was the suspicion a few years ago) and possibly a rear tire replaced (according to a comparison of pictures when it was found and when it was driven by a few people on this Forum 2 years ago). Another replica.
I think we're getting off the original post a bit as far as "replica" statements go because you can't prove that the fenders or any other part on your car is factory installed if you're (or your family at least) is not the original owner. Without the provable history it's all guesswork and every car without that history is a replica according to what's being said here. It ain't so.
Sandblasting and painting over rust pits isn't what I would call restored. I see many examples of this especially in the chassis parts. While the parts may be original, the condition isn't. I would call this just a repaint and the value isn't much more than a rust bucket. What's the value if you invested in a can of Rustoleum?
Absolutely agree with you Charlie, but for some on this place, no horse is too dead to beat:
"Ahh another view of bits a!" and "Those interested in purchasing a Model T should be aware that there are original Model T's for sale and replicas (bits-a if you will)"
I'm going back to my pile of original T/TT parts and continue working on my "replica."
Guideline - piece of advice.
Rule - one of a set of explicit or understood regulations.
Law - a rule defining correct procedure.
Charter - see guideline.
Free will - the ability to act at one's own discretion.
Logic - an existential event justifiable by reason.
Whatever - what will be will be.
In the Museum world there are three levels: Restoration, consolidation and conservation. “Conservation” is the least intervention to keep an artifact as original as possible even if it has later pieces on the object. That are part of it’s history.
“Consolidation” might include some fixing up or replacing of elements to make the piece solid. This might be what we call “rebuilding” in our hobby. So, swapping original parts or some new parts to make the car complete.
“Restoration” is not a word you hear very often in a serious museum. Happens all the time in private auto and motorcycle museums. This is when someone brings a car back to what they think are original specifications, though there are concessions ... like the upholstery and paint on model T Fords. You often see “over restoration” a lot in car collecting. People always restore cars with good intentions ... but personally I always walk quickly past those to look at survivor cars.
What you do with your T is your own business.
I've got a pal who owns a Brewster-green 1912 Touring in original condition and paint, and the car is mag-freekin-nificent. -
Yes, you're quite right; they are rare.
Preservation is also important. The "rust bucket" will continue to rust until it is damaged beyond repair. A good sandblasting and good paint with filler over the pits will cause the car to last many more years. There are so many Model T's remaining that they are surely not rare cars and so preservation will allow us to enjoy the Model T experience by driving them and showing them. I find that most people who see my cars and those of other club members are very interested in them and think they are beautiful. They have no idea what is "original" or "authentic". Anyone living today who was born during the time Model T's were made, at least the earlier cars was not old enough to understand which cars are "original". They have all been educated by reading the many archived articles on the cars. Most people just enjoy them as "old cars". There are, however, some things which are just not period correct such as low riders with modern running gear. Old style speedsters, however, are period correct.
What burns my but like a four foot fire is in Missouri a T buggy, fiber glass bucket chevy motor with blower on top of the motor all chromed, with foot wide rear tires is a 32 model T ford and they are judged with the true model Ts
I think what we need to do is define what "over-restoration" means. -Too my way of thinking (Hey, it's all I got), over-restoration is something conspicuously different than what would come off the assembly line. -If, for instance, every front axle originally had a bit of flash from the parting line of a forging die, it should be so presented in a perfectly restored car. -Prettying the axle up by grinding and sanding it smooth might fall into the category of over-restoration (and yes, everybody uses that example because it was in the Floyd Clymer book). -The person with the skill and knowledge to bring a car to the point of correctness knows better than to pass that mark in an obvious way, and the guy devoid of that skill won't be able to get his car in the same zip-code as perfectly restored, let alone over-restored. -On the other hand, no judge will be able to see things like aluminum pistons or bronze thrust washers. -If he can't detect a departure from originality, it might as well not exist.
Likewise, black paint that looks correct is correct. -Nobody is going to put a sample of the paint under a flame spectrometer and analyze its composition to determine whether it was Japan-black or Gilsonite or whatever. -But kudos to those folks who go to that extreme length—and if they do, it's still not over-restoration.
Restoring a car to 100-point perfection is an awfully expensive undertaking, even in the case of a Tin Lizzie. -In fact, lavishing that kind of money on any plain black Model T would have to be one heck of a labor of love because, no matter how much you spend on it, the end result will never be worth much more than $15,000.
True, a month back, a perfect 1913 Touring auctioned off at $35,000, which, for that vintage, might be some kind of record, but even so, I rather doubt the owner got his investment back when it changed hands. -Was it over-restored? -Well, just about no original owners or assembly-line workers are around to comment on that, but from what can be gained from grainy historical photography, I, the know-nothing-newbie, would say it looks like a brand spanking-new machine, right off the line, should look.
Then again, I could be wrong. -Happens all the time—just ask my wife. -
Painters touched up bare spots with a brush after the T was spray painted. Tops were not always straight, but were sent on to the dealers with crooked tops. An "original car of any make from before WWII is fun to look at. My Model A Ford has been repainted once or twice over the original orange. When I installed a new (original correct") pickup bed this past summer, I made sure that I painted the box to match the aged finish on the rest of the pickup (1931 widebed). I like the look. I have owned this Model A since 1969. The chassis has been rebuilt with a great original redone engine.
We can all see and usually recognize 'what' someone is wanting to do with THEIR vehicle. Whatever happened to COMMON SENSE??? Or civility?? The willing sharing of knowledge and experiences are the nicest benefits of this Forum. We may even find a friendship or two along the way.
Yet, it seems like we'll have some attitudes to appear wanting to take a "Righter Than Thou" approach....
Isn't your vehicle still 'YOUR vehicle'???? Whether it's black, blue, red, gray, or green? For me, I'll enjoy mine for however I see fit to want it, or get it to be! (And don't bother inserting the "two cents" if not constructively civil!) Keep smiling, anyhow.