[ROVERNET - UK] Restoration, re-shell, or clone?

Chris J Wilson chris at chris-wilson.org
Wed Apr 2 00:20:05 BST 2008

I would tend to agree with the other opinions and call it a clone. As far as
I'm aware, there is only one real RHD NADA car, and that's the one currently
in my garage. It has a NADA VIN and was built by Rover as a RHD car.

For cars that have been re-shelled, I believe that it could be classed as a
restoration, depending on how much of the original car has been used. Many
purists tend to say that re-shelling a car cannot be classed as rebuilding
that car and therefore it is not the same one, yet many of these people will
also spend countless years replacing 90% of the metal in their restoration
project and still class that as being the original car.

When I restore OXC140H, the RHD NADA car, I'm going to use a replacement
chassis. I have no choice, as it's rotten to the core. However, I will be
using all of the original running gear, the engine and everything being fine
and only showing 30,000 miles. Most of the interior will be used, but with
new carpets, and about half of the panels are repairable. I'm not going to
do a full restoration and bring it up to showroom class, but rather put the
car back on the road, keeping it as original as possible.



Message: 2
Date: Tue, 1 Apr 2008 15:12:23 -0700 (PDT)
From: Geoff Kirkpatrick <britcarnut at yahoo.com>
Subject: [ROVERNET - UK] Restoration, re-shell, or clone?
To: rovernet at lyris.ccdata.com
Message-ID: <472157.85331.qm at web36204.mail.mud.yahoo.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1

Yes, it's a beautiful car.  But is it a real NADA car?  That's probably a
question that has no definitive answer.  It appears that he started with a
UK RHD car and meticulously converted it to LHD NADA spec.  You could call
this car a clone, or a re-shell.  So what does that mean for its
authenticity?  I don't know.  Does it retain its original UK VIN?  Was the
VIN taken from an NADA donor car and transplanted to the new shell?  Even if
it has the correct NADA VIN, is it still just a UK car in drag?  Personally,
I think it's something less than a real NADA car because it's not the
original shell.  Any answer to these questions is really just an opinion
though, and someone else's differing opinion is just as correct as mine.

But what about a Mini or an MGB which has been re-shelled with a new
Heritage shell?  Is this a clone?  I tend to think differently about this.
Inconsistent, I know, which just reinforces how gray this whole area is.

Ultimately it's probably not particularly important in this case.  Nobody is
going to bother faking an NADA 3500S to deceive potential buyers and try to
make an illicit profit.  If we were talking about, say, a Cortina Mk 1 GT
being turned into a Lotus Cortina, though, authenticity takes on a lot more
importance..  Not to mention the difference between a slant-six Plymouth
Barracuda and an original, fully documented 426 Hemi 'Cuda.  And there are
at least a couple of cases where two mega-buck vintage Ferraris share the
same ID number, because two people each got hold of different bits of a
crashed car, and each built a complete car around their bits.  Which of the
two is the "real" one?  Nobody can say for sure.


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