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Re: 100% restorations/17

Subject: Re: 100% restorations/17
From: "W. R. Gibbons" <>
Date: Wed, 18 Dec 1996 10:19:32 -0500 (EST)
On Wed, 18 Dec 1996, MICHAEL J ROBSON wrote:

> On Tue, 17 Dec 1996 09:42:04 -0800 Jarl/Carol <>
> writes:

>  I HATE show restorations, and would not do them. By my
> >reckoning our cars are not museum pieces but tools - for pleasure and
> >utility and not for static display. To me, a show car is "off the 
> >road"

> HEAR HEAR Jarl, Whilst there is no doubt that there is something truly
> fascinating about looking at a 100percent "perfect"  pro-restoration, its
> really like looking at a model of a dinosaur in a museum! I get  much

I agree there is a certain fascination in looking at a 100 point
restoration.  Because I do my own work, and end up with gently waving body
panels despite my best efforts, I am stunned by those folks who have
achieved mirror finishes on everything.  At least, I'm stunned when the
owner does it himself.  Restoring a car is a major job, and I feel proud
that mine is attractive, runs well, and is reliable. 

I have seen some incredible restorations in which the owner did a major
part of the work himself.  It is a whole nother thing, kind of like art
based on automobiles.  It has to be enjoyed for itself and admired as
craftsmanship.  I don't really object to a guy who decides to build
himself a perfect MG, as long as he does a fair share of the wrenching. 
My hat is off to the fellow who creates a concours Volvo wagon.  I
wouldn't do it myself, but I admire his accomplishment. 

I am very comfortable, too, with paying a professional to make you a car to 
enjoy, when driving is the object and you can't or don't want to build 
the car yourself.  

What I just cannot figure out is the concept of paying someone else to
create a 100 point car for you, where your principal involvement is 
writing checks.  You have neither the pleasure of driving,
nor the pleasure of personal creation.  What, then, is the point?  To
determine who can afford the best restorer?  At the concours at one of the
recent Austin Healey Club of America conclaves, I was told by a reliable
source that the judges asked one fellow to start his engine.  He had to go
get the restorer to do it; he had not had occasion to start the engine
himself and wasn't sure how.  The panels were like mirrors, though. 

   Ray Gibbons  Dept. of Molecular Physiology & Biophysics
                Univ. of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, VT
        (802) 656-8910

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