[ROVERNET - UK] "Restoring" Rovers, Market Value, et cetera

Kent Kinard kkinard at wcc.net
Fri Jul 28 04:27:47 BST 2006

Hi Netters,
I shall unlimber my fingers and weigh in on this one.

Most of the cars I start with are junk.  I am compulsive 
about "rescuing" them to drivable condition or parting 
them to benefit others.  If I were to take one of my cars 
as a starting point for a restoration, I would see no 
problem with doing a ground up, nuts and bolts, better 
than original number on it.  I won't do it because I don't 
have that kind of money and that's not what gives me my 
kicks, but I can understand someone doing exactly that.  I 
have had two show cars that ate my lunch and I'm not about 
to do that again.

What does bother me is the fellow who takes a nice 
original car that is functional and presentable and takes 
it down to a bucket of bolts and bare metal.  He has 
destroyed the character of a unique machine.  It is his 
and he has a right to do as he pleases, but I cry when I 
see this done.  I have a friend who has done exactly that 
with both a Jag and a Triumph.  He is compulsive that way 
and I forgive him even as I cry.  His work is more art 
than history.  Not my choice, but we are still friends.  I 
met a gent at Bellevue who brought one of a handful of '82 
TR8's and is struggling to keep it original and running. 
 I congratulated him on his quest and wished him the best. 
 He is losing the battle slowly, but the car is unique 
(one of two TR8's I have ever seen with no AC from the 

On the other hand, my P5B Coupe is rather unusual over 
here, though not scarce worldwide.  I will not do a 
complete nuts and bolts teardown on it, but what I do will 
be done the best I can and the modifications I make will 
not be irreversible (unless I give up on this infernal 
wiring harness.)  Whoever gets it when I die can do what 
they wish or can afford.  I only hope they enjoy Rovers as 
much as I have.

Kent K.

On Thu, 27 Jul 2006 19:20:38 -0700
  "Aidrian Bridgeman-Sutton" <smokeandsteam at san.rr.com> 
>>>Not only that, but cars that have been "restored" to this 
>>>degree turn my 
> stomach. The car may have all of the right bits bolted 
>together, and it 
> might even have similar carpet, but it is in no way 
>ORIGINAL. It was not 
> assembled by Rover craftsmen using the materials and 
>techniques used by 
> the Rover Company. It does NOT represent the typical 

>condition or 
> quality of the car when it left the factory in Solihull. 
> I agree, though not to the point of an upset digestive 
> Perhaps my having worked for a summer or three in a 
>museum workshop has
> conditioned my thinking, but to my mind the restoration 
>process should be to
> conserve as much as possible of the original using, as 
>far as possible,
> materials and techniques which would have been used by 
>the builder. In this
> sort of restoration you save everything original that 
>you can even if it is
> not in perfect condition. Consumables and repairable 
>parts can be replaced
> or reconditioned as required - basically anything that a 
>workshop might have
> done to keep a car on the road and looking presentable 
>is fair game. 
> The intended use will naturally make a difference to 
>what gets saved and
> what gets replaced - but you don't deviate from or 
>improve upon the factory
> specification except perhaps for reasons of safety; I 
>really wouldn't want
> to fly a Sopwith Camel with all the original wood, 
>fabric and dope still in
> place. 
> Obviously there are as many degrees and divergent 
>opinions as there are old
> cars, and building something special from an old car is 
>a pursuit with a
> long tradition.  However what we see in too many cases 
>are "restored" cars
> built to win car shows which is not, IMHO, a process of 
>"restoration", but a
> special type of custom building. Much of this might be 
>due to the philosophy
> that judges a restoration on perfection of detail rather 
>than fidelity to
> the original.
> That said I don't have a particular issue with the owner 
>who decides his
> classic car needs to be personalized with an up-rated 
>engine, a more modern
> transmission, metallic paint and alloys, made into a 
>convertible or what
> have you - provided it's not something especially rare 
>or desirable that
> really should be kept original and that it's not passed 
>off as a restored
> car. 
> Aidrian
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