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Old 02-05-2019, 11:23 AM   #1
HalcyonDays
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Default Preservation vs Restoration

I am interested in hearing thoughts on preservation vs restoration. Consider a rare model, Model A, in close to original unrestored condition. Some areas are, as would be expected, rough, ie. top and interior material; but it has all original parts and there is no rust. This particular car could very easily be brought back to original unrestored condition with a modest investment and searching for original materials. Conversely, it is such a solid car it could be restored to the highest level, no patch panels no fillers.



Even the rarer Model A's will come on the market occasionally, I have not seen one come on the market in this condition in the last few years since I have been search for this particular model.


I know the trend in the market is for unrestored originals. I have seen many beautifully restored examples of this model come on the market, and some very rough unrestored examples missing most, if not all of the hard to find components.



Ten or fifteen years ago, the prevailing thought would be to restore, even more so given the cars solid condition. But...they are only original once, just seems unfortunate to tamper with that.



Any thoughts?
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Old 02-05-2019, 11:33 AM   #2
redmodelt
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Default Re: Preservation vs Restoration

It is only original once. Without seeing the car, my OP is, go thru it and make mechanically safe and enjoy. There are enough restored cars or cars that were started and never finished out there now. Depending on your age and income, to restore is going to take how long? A couple, 5, 10, 20, never?
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Old 02-05-2019, 12:00 PM   #3
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Default Re: Preservation vs Restoration

you can see the car listed on Mafca= A400
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Old 02-05-2019, 12:39 PM   #4
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Default Re: Preservation vs Restoration

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Originally Posted by ronn View Post
you can see the car listed on Mafca= A400
How about a link for us that do not go to that site.
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Old 02-05-2019, 01:20 PM   #5
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Default Re: Preservation vs Restoration

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How about a link for us that do not go to that site.

I think this is the one ronn means - scroll down to the A400 near the bottom:

https://www.mafca.com/cl/cl-v-sale.html
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Old 02-05-2019, 01:48 PM   #6
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Default Re: Preservation vs Restoration

I would definitely leave a decent unrestored car in original unrestored condition. I find fully restored older cars boring because they appear to have been cleansed of their history. I like some patina. I am currently working on the '29 Tudor which was my wife's grand father's car, bought new in 1929. Many people would say it badly needs a paint job and some fenders, but I am going to straighten out the bumps, clean off the rust and put on a coat of Johnson's paste wax. Full mechanical resto and some upgrades, like hydraulic brakes and Weber carb. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, however -- and, it's your car. Do what will make you like it the most.
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Old 02-05-2019, 01:58 PM   #7
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Default Re: Preservation vs Restoration

From a dollars and cents viewpoint, the car you describe likely would bring more money restored, although it might not make a profit or even recover investment. I understand the "it's only original once" argument. But the second it left the assembly line, it was no longer original. The first time someone slid into the seat, started the engine, shifted gears, applied the brakes, etc, it started incurring wear. It may have had all its original parts but it was no longer factory original. Yes, that’s an extreme definition but it’s nonetheless true.

Seems to me the question is whether to keep the car as is, with the 90 or so years of history it has accumulated, or restore it as closely as possible to how it left the factory (given that some original materials may be “unobtainium”). Both have merit. In the case of the car you describe, there are restored examples. So my preference is to do only enough to make the car safely and reliably operable and minimize further deterioration.

But that brings up a couple more questions. If the goal is to preserve the car as is, should it become a “trailer queen" to prevent (impossible) or at least minimize further deterioration? Or should it be driven as it was intended to be? The latter will eventually require replacement of some of the car's parts, making it less original. And there’s an even thornier question: assume the car is the ONLY surviving example…preserve or restore?
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Old 02-05-2019, 02:39 PM   #8
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Default Re: Preservation vs Restoration

My (admittedly extreme) take: Unless you can come up with the original air for the tires, it will never be factory original, nor ever be a 100% restoration to original! It will just have an original appearance!! And, what about the original fingerprints of the employee that first drove it out of the factory??
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Old 02-05-2019, 02:51 PM   #9
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Default Re: Preservation vs Restoration

It seems that any time there is a gathering of Model A's it is the completely original cars that attract the most attention.
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Old 02-05-2019, 03:20 PM   #10
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Default Re: Preservation vs Restoration

thanks Chud, yes that be it.


almost easier to take an old restoration car and give it the "look" of patina.
Then you at least already have a driving vehicle. Cost being about the same, easier to make a good car look worse then to bring this one up in condition.
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Old 02-05-2019, 03:32 PM   #11
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Default Re: Preservation vs Restoration

Quote:
Originally Posted by HalcyonDays View Post
I am interested in hearing thoughts on preservation vs restoration. Consider a rare model, Model A, in close to original unrestored condition. Some areas are, as would be expected, rough, ie. top and interior material; but it has all original parts and there is no rust. This particular car could very easily be brought back to original unrestored condition with a modest investment and searching for original materials. Conversely, it is such a solid car it could be restored to the highest level, no patch panels no fillers.



Even the rarer Model A's will come on the market occasionally, I have not seen one come on the market in this condition in the last few years since I have been search for this particular model.


I know the trend in the market is for unrestored originals. I have seen many beautifully restored examples of this model come on the market, and some very rough unrestored examples missing most, if not all of the hard to find components.



Ten or fifteen years ago, the prevailing thought would be to restore, even more so given the cars solid condition. But...they are only original once, just seems unfortunate to tamper with that.



Any thoughts?

Steve, I know you and I have discussed this car some awhile ago, and my thoughts on your particular question(s) is, -it really not that cut & dried.


Great opinions above and I will add my 2 cents. The hobby from my perspective has blossomed over the past few decades where there is not one particular genre that is right or wrong any more. "Survivor" used to mean something totally different than what it does today. "Restored" used to mean something totally different than it does today. Included in that is restorations capabilities of car owners (i.e.: skills, resources, funds, etc.) used to be totally different than what they are today, ...so all those differences added up means there is a market for every types of Model-As in all types of conditions. Your vehicle will likely appeal to a buyer who wants to own it as-is, -or possibly someone who is a hobbyist restorer with possibly limited skills who is looking for an easier restoration. The biggest thing you need to do is find THAT person that loves the vehicle for the genre it represents as that person is the one that will spend the most money on it. Best wishes.
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Old 02-05-2019, 08:44 PM   #12
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Default Re: Preservation vs Restoration

Not really a direct answer to the question asked but....


One of my favorite cars is a 65 fuel injected corvette an acquaintance owns. He bought it in 68 and has driven it once a week to work and occasionally on weekends ever since. The lacquer is checked, it's never been painted. The carpet and seats are worn. Motor/trans have never been apart. While the FI unit has been serviced, its never been restored just maintained. What an awesome car. It would be a crime to tear it all apart to make it look pretty and new.



Others, unless its a truely unique model, that have been used and abused. Restore em. modify em. It's the owners car to do with as they want.
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Old 02-05-2019, 09:35 PM   #13
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Default Re: Preservation vs Restoration

Find them fix them drive them. have fun!
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Old 02-05-2019, 09:55 PM   #14
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Default Re: Preservation vs Restoration

I wish there were more photos. It looks pretty good, but that price seems quite reasonable. I vote for preservation, but it really depends on what you are starting with. You are in the same state, so you have probably seen it in person. You can also buy it and decide exactly what to do later.
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Old 02-05-2019, 11:36 PM   #15
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Default Re: Preservation vs Restoration

I'm new to this forum, but have be with my Model A for 60 years. I do enjoy reading the widely varied opinions on the subject of original vs restored. My other "hobby" is Antique Outboard Motors, trust me in our club (aomci.org) we have exactly the same discussion and varied opinions on the subject. The best advice seems to be the same... it's your car/ outboard do with it what gives you satisfaction. My personal opinion, I appreciate an un-molested original. All it takes to make a "100 point" car/ outboard is a fat checkbook, it took 80 years to make an original.
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Old 02-06-2019, 01:26 AM   #16
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Default Re: Preservation vs Restoration

I am with Shark 81. My car is a mutt but I love it and it's mine

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Old 02-06-2019, 05:36 AM   #17
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Default Re: Preservation vs Restoration

Quote:
Originally Posted by CHuDWah View Post
From a dollars and cents viewpoint, the car you describe likely would bring more money restored, although it might not make a profit or even recover investment. I understand the "it's only original once" argument. But the second it left the assembly line, it was no longer original. The first time someone slid into the seat, started the engine, shifted gears, applied the brakes, etc, it started incurring wear. It may have had all its original parts but it was no longer factory original. Yes, that’s an extreme definition but it’s nonetheless true.

Seems to me the question is whether to keep the car as is, with the 90 or so years of history it has accumulated, or restore it as closely as possible to how it left the factory (given that some original materials may be “unobtainium”). Both have merit. In the case of the car you describe, there are restored examples. So my preference is to do only enough to make the car safely and reliably operable and minimize further deterioration.

But that brings up a couple more questions. If the goal is to preserve the car as is, should it become a “trailer queen" to prevent (impossible) or at least minimize further deterioration? Or should it be driven as it was intended to be? The latter will eventually require replacement of some of the car's parts, making it less original. And there’s an even thornier question: assume the car is the ONLY surviving example…preserve or restore?
I would define original as what came off the factory floor and out the door. Wear and tear are what happens to “original” equipment during its service life until the factory part is no longer functioning. Worn original seat fabric is still original, off the factory floor, not a replacement. In my humble opinion.
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Old 02-06-2019, 07:49 AM   #18
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Default Re: Preservation vs Restoration

My thoughts are that if you find a low mile original car then I would work on preserving it just for the details in the car. In the future it would be a great reference when someone is restoring there car. Sometimes you just have to look at something to get it right. Picture, articles, etc just don't give you the right info. JP
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Old 02-06-2019, 08:20 AM   #19
BILL WILLIAMSON
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Default Re: Preservation vs Restoration

Much "PATINA" is attributed to some LAZY BUM, that won't clean his car!!!----NLOL
Most of the rhetoric I've read is the SAME Old B.S. that has been REPEATED & REPEATED!!!
Get a LIFE, & start a fresh train of thought, on the subject!!!
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Old 02-06-2019, 08:22 AM   #20
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Default Re: Preservation vs Restoration

That is a nice looking car. IF it were mine, I would go the 'preservation' route if that's what youre into. I like to see a nice original car. Although this is on the higher end of the 'A' scale, its not a Delahaye or Duesenburg. It wouldn't hurt the value if a few upgrades were done. New top and interior for one thing, and upgraded/rebuilt mechanicals for drivability. The wood would have to be near perfect as well. From the outside it looks pretty nice, but if the wood is rotted that would change the equation.
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