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

Slatskars slatskars at comcast.net
Fri Jul 28 04:35:37 BST 2006

I just had to weigh in on this one point. If something was assembled a 
little on the shoddy side (Friday car) anyone restoring or freshening it 
would be neglect not to take a few extra hours and fit it properly. These 
cars were not precision built to begin with, lots of shims in evidence. When 
installing something such as a replacement fender or hood, you do want to 
fit it as well as possible, even though it may be a better fit than the 
original. I went through this with an MGB and did put in the extra effort to 
get the seams as good as possible with the components that I had. No way is 
it a concurs vehicle, but it does show well at club events. Extras to be 
added for example, are a carpeting kit for the trunk, but that is for 
cleanliness as well as appearance. From a short distance the car looks as 
well as it did new, or at least close. But, it is driven to events, etc. I 
intend doing the same with the P-5, when it is drivable. It will not be 
perfect, but good.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Aidrian Bridgeman-Sutton" <smokeandsteam at san.rr.com>
To: <rovernet at lyris.ccdata.com>
Sent: Thursday, July 27, 2006 7:20 PM
Subject: RE: [ROVERNET - UK] "Restoring" Rovers, Market Value, et cetera

>>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 system.

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

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


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