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Re: What to do first?

To: "Mages, Michael" <>, <>
Subject: Re: What to do first?
From: "Rick Lindsay" <>
Date: Mon, 9 Dec 2002 10:09:08 -0600
Michael writes,

> I am trying to organize the projects into some order that makes sense.

   I have been restoring (read: playing with) cars for over 35 years
and have managed to enjoy this hobby without having to get into
the saving account for more than immediate cash-flow issues.  In
short, I have worked my way up the marque-ladder having started
with a '68 Fiat 850 Spyder!  I now restore Ferraris and BMW M-
cars and am searching for the 'right' Aston Martin V8 coupe to
restore.  Hey, it beats the boredom. ;-)
   Here is what I do,
+ stabalize
+ correct
+ restore
   Or stated in prose, stabalize any problems that cause further
decay.  This is always a first priority.  Rust, old fluids, leaks,
blown, leaking or weeping gaskets, etc., fall into this category.
In short, quickly rectify any problems that cause further damage
or decay to the car.
   Once stabalized, you now have time to correct previous owner's
mistakes.  These are typically cheap, temporary fixes and kludges
or perhaps modifications.  Remember, most of the cars we select
to enjoy and restore are available to us because no one else was
willing to spend another dime on them.   They are the end product
of am abandoned maintenance program.  Example of this kind are
new DIN radios, speakers, incorrect or misrouted hoses and clamps,
and especially wiring screw-ups.  This is where the phrase DPO
is based.  These issues need to be corrected and the affected system
put back into as-originally-delivered status.  Once you're at this
point and the car is stabilized and correct, many examples will be
usable and dependable cars, if sometimes a little ugly.
   Restoration is then the next step and can be moderated by the
owner's long-term plan and budget.  It is very easy to get 'upside
down' in a restoration.  That is, much more money invested than the
finished product is worth.  There is NOTHING wrong what that
IF the goal is to enjoy your hobby and/or to keep the project -- and
if you can afford it!  Where the problem occurs is in self-deception
or where one believes that anything done to the car will add resale
value.  I grew up in an era where teenagers believed that big stripes,
blowers, hood scoops and fat tires added to the car's value.  It just
isn't so.  Today, would you put a $10000 custom paint job on a
rubber bumper MGB?  Sure if that is what YOU want to do and
you enjoy it and if you can afford it BUT, if your goal is to sell a
restored car, there are lost of better places to put $10k -- like
in three more MGB projects!
   These are just my thoughts after 50+ cars and lots of fun, I say,
"Go for it!"  -- but don't forget that it is just a hobby and hobbies
need well-thought-out budgets. :-)

Rick Lindsay / Tulsa

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