So called Restorations, To What Extent: Thoughts/Opinions ? - Ferrari Life
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post #1 of 31 Old 01-14-2011, 11:26 PM Thread Starter
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So called Restorations, To What Extent: Thoughts/Opinions ?

The topic here is restorations of "older" models, maybe up to 1980. I am sure opinions vary but what are your thoughts on the extent of restorations. So often, we impressed by the so called, ground up restorations, no expense ...on and on. No doubt, if one wishes to devote time and pour in money, magnificent results are everywhere. Prime examples are the concourse events.

Personally, I never attend such events and altho I am impressed by the outcomes of such devotions, something is not right for me. Probably, I belong to a different "camp" where minimum interventions better.

Good example for my case is my Dino 246GT. I bought the car in 2004 and the condition was not bad, nothing concourse. Ever since, I have had urges to do a full restoration (which, by the way would make me over 100K poorer here in Japan). But my thoughts come and disappear and it has been over six years. The car is running fine. Minor, necessary interventions along the way and it has been that way.

So, my question is how do you feel on this topic of restoration versus leave it alone camp. If you have any thoughts, I would appreciate to hear your opinions. Thanx. w/ smiles Jimmy

PS. Forgot to mention that this broker nearby who calls himself the expert in carbed cars virtually redo everything inside out, where I consider unecessary at times.

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post #2 of 31 Old 01-15-2011, 12:22 AM
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Personally I am not a fan of these mega ground up restorations. Let the car age gracefully and do the work that is needed to keep it in good running condition. I find something just unsettling about a 40 year old car that looks and is in better condition than when it was originally driven out the Maranello factory gates.
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post #3 of 31 Old 01-17-2011, 12:37 AM
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If the car is a driver and your goal is just to have fun then I agree with Jimmy, do the required maintenance, make it safe and roadworthy then enjoy!

On the other hand, I'm finding myself in the "Go all the way" situation on one of my two Dinos. Here is a photo of #05702 Flares & Chairs Dino at Dennison International fully stripped and in the thick of metal work. You can never see all the hidden rust until you get into it this far. The have placed it on a jig table to preserve flatness.

All rust is being removed and replaced with correct metal. These guys do concours winning quality and have worked on many of the most prominent Ferrari in existence. Financially this is a very slippery slope but I've owned the car for 18 years so I'm well ahead of the cost curve.
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post #4 of 31 Old 01-17-2011, 04:43 AM Thread Starter
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That is an awesome project going ! I admire your passion and devotion. You ought to start a new thread just for this. Thanx for the pic.
w/ smiles Jimmy
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post #5 of 31 Old 01-17-2011, 05:13 AM
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I see what you're saying Boxer, trouble is some cars can't survive in that inbetween area. Some cars have been cared for, or put away and have fantastic patina.

Some cars have been neglected, abused or left to rot and can only be discarded or completely resurrected. Nothing is more sad than a car half a** bondo and zip tied back together.

I really think there's a time and place for all of the different techniques.


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post #6 of 31 Old 01-17-2011, 05:53 AM
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I think restored cars are somewhat like "restored" women. If anyone has seen Joan Rivers on the talk show circuit recently, you'll understand....

For those of us old enough to remember what the original looked like, a restoration, while looking somewhat "amazing" (to be kind), also has an artificial aspect to its appearance, while an unrestored object that carries the patina of the ages gracefully is sometimes even more beautiful. (Sophia Loren comes to mind)

Whenever I see a megarestoration, I always find myself looking for flaws in the work, rather than simply standing back and admiring the beauty of the piece and/or the work of the restorer, whereas viewing a classic car (or woman) who has been allowed, or chosen, to age gracefully lets the admirer appreciate the natural beauty for what she is.

However, for those who are too young to have seen the real thing in its prime, a mega restoration does provide a great opportunity to see a recreation of what the creature might have looked like in her glory days (Joan's present facelift excepted )

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post #7 of 31 Old 01-17-2011, 06:03 AM
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I really think there's a time and place for all of the different techniques.
I tend to agree. If you have been fortunate enough to own such a classic car for many years, then I think Boxer's hypothesis of allowing the car to age gracefully and to maintain it as needed is an ideal solution.

However if you were landed with a similar machine in need of extensive work then the option for an all out restoration from ground up might have to be considered, and could perhaps be the most cost effective solution in the long term. Plus the effects of the ageing process would not be your own and so the new owner is more inclined to want to restore his car to its original 'as new' condition.

I do share the notion though that there is something a little uneasy about the car being in better condition than the day it rolled off the Maranello production line. But in the same breath, I would equally love to the the proud owner of such a car. Something of an oxymoron, I know.

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post #8 of 31 Old 01-27-2011, 08:04 AM
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The cool thing about a well maintained driver, is that it is just that, a driver.

You do not feel bad about driving it when you feel like it. I would expect that once you have recreated the perfect beast, it now has become art and that you will never drive it again, but just bring it to shows so people can see a piece of history.

For anyone who has done a full restoration and then considers it a driver well you are indeed a wealthy and highly actualized human being that I hope to become one day .......Steve
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post #9 of 31 Old 01-27-2011, 08:23 AM
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The cool thing about a well maintained driver, is that it is just that, a driver.

You do not feel bad about driving it when you feel like it. I would expect that once you have recreated the perfect beast, it now has become art and that you will never drive it again, but just bring it to shows so people can see a piece of history.

For anyone who has done a full restoration and then considers it a driver well you are indeed a wealthy and highly actualized human being that I hope to become one day .......Steve
Well put.
One has to be careful not to reach the point where the car owns them.
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post #10 of 31 Old 01-27-2011, 10:00 AM
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OK guys, I hesitate getting into this topic but here goes. It all depends on so many variables. I am of the persuasion that the most original condition is the the goal of a restoration ( I really dislike the connotation of that word and prefer conservation). In the case of my car there were several items which in my view needed to be replaced rather than conserved. The car suffered body damage in three different races and that damage had to be repaired in my view. The pictures below show some of that. To this day if you feel the underside of the fenders or look at the underside of the hood and tonneau panels you can still feel/see the hammer marks made by the original Scaglietti craftsmen. The paint job is a single stage application which was not wet sanded or polished just as it was for race cars in the day when it was made. The race number shows brush strokes and not a vinyl applique. There were numerous places where the wiring insulation had the consistency of hardened mud so that when the wire was flexed the insulation flaked off and exposed bare wire. I serve no purpose as a custodian of this machine if I leave something like that in place only to have a fire occur sometime later. Some items were not on the car when I bought it in 1960 such as the grill and the underbody panels. With painstaking research David Carte and I located period photos of both areas and what you see today is the best we could do to replicate the original.The small nubs on the back of the steering wheel rim are not consistent in their lengths, although that would have been an easy fix, they today are just as they were when Castellotti and Rubirosa and others had their hands on the rim. The chrome instrument bezels are pitted as happens with old chrome for those looking for patina. The grape vines in the seat surrounds are still in place even though they are not visible. The 17 top Ferrari judges in eight concours shows from Pebble Beach to Cavallino to the Ferrari Nationals have found no deductions relating to originality and the conservation steps. One last comment about the conservation project, there were many areas where the car originally had not received any protection from the elements and those have now been protected by epoxy primer so that in anther fifty years there will still be original metal for the Ferraristi of that time.

Others might have done it differently but this is the way I went.

Best regards,

Robert
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post #11 of 31 Old 01-27-2011, 10:54 AM
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OK guys, I hesitate getting into this topic but here goes. It all depends on so many variables. I am of the persuasion that the most original condition is the the goal of a restoration ( I really dislike the connotation of that word and prefer conservation). In the case of my car there were several items which in my view needed to be replaced rather than conserved. The car suffered body damage in three different races and that damage had to be repaired in my view. The pictures below show some of that. To this day if you feel the underside of the fenders or look at the underside of the hood and tonneau panels you can still feel/see the hammer marks made by the original Scaglietti craftsmen. The paint job is a single stage application which was not wet sanded or polished just as it was for race cars in the day when it was made. The race number shows brush strokes and not a vinyl applique. There were numerous places where the wiring insulation had the consistency of hardened mud so that when the wire was flexed the insulation flaked off and exposed bare wire. I serve no purpose as a custodian of this machine if I leave something like that in place only to have a fire occur sometime later. Some items were not on the car when I bought it in 1960 such as the grill and the underbody panels. With painstaking research David Carte and I located period photos of both areas and what you see today is the best we could do to replicate the original.The small nubs on the back of the steering wheel rim are not consistent in their lengths, although that would have been an easy fix, they today are just as they were when Castellotti and Rubirosa and others had their hands on the rim. The chrome instrument bezels are pitted as happens with old chrome for those looking for patina. The grape vines in the seat surrounds are still in place even though they are not visible. The 17 top Ferrari judges in eight concours shows from Pebble Beach to Cavallino to the Ferrari Nationals have found no deductions relating to originality and the conservation steps. One last comment about the conservation project, there were many areas where the car originally had not received any protection from the elements and those have now been protected by epoxy primer so that in anther fifty years there will still be original metal for the Ferraristi of that time.

Others might have done it differently but this is the way I went.

Best regards,

Robert
And did it brilliantly.
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post #12 of 31 Old 01-27-2011, 11:11 AM
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And did it brilliantly.
+1.

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post #13 of 31 Old 01-27-2011, 11:18 AM Thread Starter
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Robert, I do not think anyone can argue that the path you took is nothing but admiration and the correct path. Maybe I should have refined my question a bit. The doubt I had was geared more toward such notions as "no expense spared" notion. My understanding is that this tendency is stronger in the States than in the Continent. No doubt preservation is a necessity but it seems a bit psychotic to have to worry about the screws and such details. w/ smiles Jimmy
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post #14 of 31 Old 01-30-2011, 11:10 PM
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For anyone who has done a full restoration and then considers it a driver well you are indeed a wealthy and highly actualized human being that I hope to become one day .......Steve
Yeah I've had a full restoration which blew out on 330GT to around 2.5 times what I originally paid for the car just a couple years ago.

It is still very much a driver and gets driven hard and over all kinds of road surfaces without me worrying much. The purpose of the work was to get the engine which was nearing 120,000 miles back in shape before it developed anything majorly bad and to remove the 80's rosso corsa paint job and restore back to original factory delivered color.

The car now looks like it was when delivered and gets used as a GT as was originally intended on multi 1000 mile road tips around New Zealand.

I'm not a fan of restoring a car and then never using it because you are worried about getting them dirty or heaven forbid a spot of rain accidentally falls on them.
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post #15 of 31 Old 02-03-2011, 11:01 PM
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I think the answer to the question posed by Jimmy cannot be given in absolute terms, as it is very much dependent on taste. Some people like crumbly old houses, some people want all steel and glass modernity. It is my opinion that people view vintage cars in a similar spread.

Personally, I only like patina on cars that work. For me, first and foremost the car needs to be in a mechanically great condition, otherwise it is NOT what the original manufacturer intended. I do not get excited by seeing a car that still has 1951 vintage air in the tyres from Maranello but you can't drive it because those tyres are square now.

It follows then that for old cars, if I had my way, this means that some items will need to be replaced and eventually (almost) everything will need to be replaced. Many cars have been badly treated in their lives, and non-original things have already found their way onto the car. A case in point is my LHD Boxer. Non-original steering wheel, non-original stereo, some idiotic mechanical lock on the glove compartment with a cut in the leather, non-original exhaust system. The paint is bad even though the car spent most of its life indoors.

The other case in point is my 330GTC. Although it had been painted only 4 years before, the previous owner decided to do a ground-up restoration because the colour was red (terrible colour for a GTC) but more importantly the car was not correct anymore. He spent two years finding the correct items and restoring the car to a perfect example again. Then - he drove his car. When I bought the car 20 years later, it had (and has) a lovely used feel but it still looks fantastic because he kept touching up the car now and again. Every year before winter, the car would be stripped from it's chrome and cleaned, waxed and polished inside and out.

Every once in a while the road rash became too ugly and he took the car to the experts to touch it up gently, so that it still retains that mix of concours show and real world usability. In the meantime I have photos of his son driving sideways and smoking the tyres!

So this is the route I will take with the 365BB restoration. It will be done ground-up, with no expense spared, but I will not keep the original colour of the car (both interior and exterior will change) and I will not try and preserve everything. Instead, I will rebuild it as it might have left the factory if I had ordered it in 1975 (maybe slightly better but with all the correct fittings etc) and then I will use it. The 330GTC only really began to shine with the previous owner. I intend to do that with my Boxer. And I want it to be MY car. It is not intended to be sold, ever, if I can avoid it.

So in summary - I do not think total ground-up restorations are necessarily evil, they are more a necessary evil for some cars. In some cases it is a real shame, even a crime, that a total restoration was used, but in most cases it is the right thing to do if it is done correctly, with the aim of resurrecting a car as close to original as possible so it has a new lease of life and can be enjoyed. To be clear - I am not talking about one-off cars with racing history and so on, I'm talking about production cars.

That is my view - of course others have the right to feel different.


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post #16 of 31 Old 02-04-2011, 07:00 AM
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Ferrari - eBay (item 220734001769 end time Feb-12-11 15:00:06 PST)

Did you see guys see this?

Speaking of rebodied cars!
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post #17 of 31 Old 02-04-2011, 09:54 AM
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Speaking of rebodied cars!
The topic is how far to go when restoring a car. Rebodying a car is something else, IMHO.


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post #18 of 31 Old 02-05-2011, 08:03 AM
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Ferrari - eBay (item 220734001769 end time Feb-12-11 15:00:06 PST)

Did you see guys see this?

Speaking of rebodied cars!
criminal. one of only 16 212 Inter Coupes Pfs made; destroyed just to give the world another poorly done fake touring barchetta . . . .

appears that the chop job was done about 10 years ago. it actually looks like they were pretty careful when they removed the body (some of them end up looking like John Belushi's work on the '64 Lincoln in Animal House . . .). hopefully the body and chassis can be reunited some day . . . .

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post #19 of 31 Old 02-05-2011, 08:54 AM
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Back to the topic at hand.

I don't have much to add to my father's post except that, having been though the experience with 0556(0446)MD, I can say that it is much more difficult to define the standards for a conservation/restoration effort when you're standing in in front of the car w/ a wrench about to start removing/tagging and bagging parts versus typing about it on the internet.

"Leaving as is" is easy to say, but if the car is going to function, you're immediately into complete drivetrain overhaul as well as electrical (nothing like seeing the scorch marks on the back of the masonite to which Ferrari fastened all the electrics!). When you are dealing w/ a race car where practically every part on the car is there for purely functional purposes, the notion of leaving "as is" quickly becomes a pretty marginal proposition.

Realistically, you are probably left with w/ only a decision to make regarding paint and seat covering. Most competition cars led a brutal early life. We were extremely fortunate to have a car that had no really serious shunts and no engine-swaps during its racing career (many of the 4 cylinder cars had Buick/Offy alum v-8 motors shove in before being shoved in the barn). Even so, our car had 5 paint jobs in its first 5 years. SO what to do w/ the body? Our paradigm was to have it as it left the factory in fit and finish - no more, no less. Yes, the 40+ year old paint job that my father put on it in 1960 was obliterated as well as the many, many dings; but in truth (1) the paint my father did in 1960 far exceeded the quality of the paint job that the factory had given it in 1955 (he put something like 7 coats of lacquer versus the factory's quickie single stage nitrocellulose job) and (2) most of the dings in the car had more to do with storing a ladder on top of it or my bike falling against it when I was a kid and less to do with apocryphal pebbles flung at it by Fangio's Maserati. Neither the 1960 paint job or the vast majority of the dings had anything to do w/ the glory days of the car when it was a warrior getting class wins in a Grand Prix and Sebring.

IF - and that's a big if - you have a car that is really, truly wearing its period paint/interior, then by all means do not strip it/re-do it. But that would have to be a truly rare occurrence, especially for a comp car. I believe there was one in the preservation class at PB this year; still wearing its original paint and leather. But as I watched the video of it and some narrator saying how "everything was original" as it drove by, I knew that that statement could not possibly be true - every piece of rubber would have turned to stone, every seal compromised, wire wheels completely unsafe, every hose cracked, etc.

Sympathetic conservation/restoration efforts involve literally thousands of questions - how to treat every part and system.
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post #20 of 31 Old 02-05-2011, 11:29 AM
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Yes, the 40+ year old paint job that my father put on it in 1960 was obliterated as well as the many, many dings; but in truth (1) the paint my father did in 1960 far exceeded the quality of the paint job that the factory had given it in 1955 (he put something like 7 coats of lacquer versus the factory's quickie single stage nitrocellulose job) and (2) most of the dings in the car had more to do with storing a ladder on top of it or my bike falling against it when I was a kid and less to do with apocryphal pebbles flung at it by Fangio's Maserati. Neither the 1960 paint job or the vast majority of the dings had anything to do w/ the glory days of the car when it was a warrior getting class wins in a Grand Prix and Sebring.
LOL. We tend to forget the difference between "old" and "original" or "correct" and "perfect" don't we?

There's such a lack of accurate material on these cars that there is no way to re-visit exactly what it was originally.

Any restoration is an interpretation of how we believed the car was in it's time. We sometimes remember the cars being nicer than they really were. I don't think that's a "problem", it's subjective.


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