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Old 4th September 2007, 13:19   #1
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Default Renovation Standards

Actually it was Awini's remark regarding the use of 6V batteries and the discussion regarding the Mustang restoration that got me thinking. When does a restoration project change to a mod job.
Should the owner do a job that satisfies him or the restoration should be true to the object ( car in this case ). I have seen persons who do mod jobs or slip shod jobs on vintages and classics regret it later ( unless it is a properly executed hot rod project ) , one of the reasons being the austic comments whenever the car is seen. Better to be true to the car.

My specific problem are the exteriors / interiors and the electrical system.
I was working with 6V batteries ( I have a cache of 6V battery casings ) , but several reasons put me off :
Ease of availability of a 12 V battery
Poor quality of 6V battery which in Lucknow are manufactured / assembled locally
Dependability of the restored cars to start anytime and go anywhere , whenever required , after all that is what the cars are in the end , vehicles to ride in.
So I changed all the 6V cars to 12V and I am happy with the cars performance.

As regards to the cars interiors and exteriors -

In my case , to sustain the interest of the children - all the children in the extended family vote for the colour ( combination ) for the car and the interiors. That way I have the children working away at descaling the
rust and keeping the cars clean during their free time. Till date we have managed to maintain cars which have not been eyesores .

See the Fleet Master with the matching interiors.




Request the others to please join issue and do post your inputs regarding the need to be be true to a restoration project down to each miniscule detail.
By the way I take a 12 km ride on most days in one of the old cars I have ( for the daily evening paan at Hazratganj in Lucknow ).
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Old 6th September 2007, 12:50   #2
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Hello to you Mr.Vintageman - I have been following up on your work and I appreciate your genuine and professional concern for the beautiful cars. Only one request - DO NOT COMMERCIALISE YOUR WORK and STEER CLEAR OF MIDDLEMEN OUT TO MAKE A FAST BUCK. ONCE YOU DO THAT, THE PASSION WILL DISAPPEAR.

Coming to your query on restoration v/s modification, I believe that the best thing to do is go all the way and make the car EXACTLY as it was born a long time ago - but that entails time (precious), money (even if available, may not be the only reason) and availability of parts (which is again patience, a derivative of time, energy, willingness and a never ending activity, which very few can endure.

Above said, the next best thing to do is to blend the car and it's owner. Let me give you my own example. When I did a ground-up restoration on my 1964 super-select FIAT, I removed (yes, removed) the "pattiwalla" speedometer but I did not just fit any Padmini speedometer. I fitted the 3 round ones (for which also I had to hunt as I found the meters but had to search for the plate with 3 holes in it), because I WANTED my temperature guage to register between 40 to 110 degrees C in an arc of 240 degrees so that when I drive flat out with the new engine, I can see every degree of change in temperature. I also wanted my temperature guage to be the thermocouple type and not the electric type. This does not mean that I don't like the "pattiwalla" speedometer. I will keep it with me always, alongwith it's unique speedometer cable, but I removed it because it was not giving me what I wanted.

Kindly let me know your views and all the best in maintaining the highest level of restoration in UP. By the way, I saw 2 Topolinos in Pune and one in Lonavla and everytime I remembered you. I cried at the state they were in. I wish something good happens to them. There is always a glimmer of hope -----.

Best regards once again,

Behram Dhabhar
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Old 6th September 2007, 21:36   #3
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Dear Behram
Well i tend to agree with you on most fronts but i would still go all the way in putting the car right back to the data card she came with at production...agreed lot of time...lot of money ...but the satisfaction of knowing that the car back to the spec it was meant to be in...tremendous! for instance inspite of what everyone told me...i still put in original heating system in my 56 mercedes ...who needs it right? but the pleasure i get when people flip the lever and it actually starts working and to see their expressions is priceless...
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Old 7th September 2007, 00:09   #4
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i think the 6v electricals can be retained and are quite reliable,as long as you use the correct thickness of wiring. at most, if you use the car much, perhaps 6v halogen bulbs could be fitted on post war cars,pre war cars in india hardly ever see much use. i also feel period accesories are perfectly ok, even if they wernt fitted to that perticular car the day it was first sold,for example, bulb horns and spot lights look good and increase the asthetic value of a pre war car, which otherwise is pretty plain to look at because apart from the grille, most vintage cars look alike. i have fitted sidemount mirrors and a genuine akro agate glass swirl gearshift knob in my 1930 studebaker, they really enhance the look of the car and were available in 1930 as an aftermarket accesory.
some things are ok for safetys sake. i intend to fit indicators in my studebaker, i already have a period aftermarket 6v indicator stalk which fits on to the steering coulmn, i will fit double filament bulb holders on the front parking lamps and use them as indicators, as the car only came with one tail lamp, i am searching for another correct tail lamp. when i find it, i will do the same as the parking lamps, this way nothing visible would change much and it serves my purpose in modern traffic
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Old 7th September 2007, 09:53   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by awini View Post
i have fitted sidemount mirrors and a genuine akro agate glass swirl gearshift knob in my 1930 studebaker, they really enhance the look of the car and were available in 1930 as an aftermarket accesory.


Ive been meaning to ask you what exactly that is. Never noticed anything like it before, do tell us more about it.

Cheers
Karl
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Old 7th September 2007, 11:30   #6
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akro agate was a glass company in the usa, usually they made glass vases bowls etc but by the mid twenties they were famous for their glass marbles for children, they used the same tech that they used in their marbles to create the coloured swirls in these gear knobs.these were a poular accesory in the late twenties and thirties,these were incorrecty also refered to as marble knobs, because of the marble like design. being made of glass,thus prone to damage, not too many survived on cars for very long.various companies offered these along with akro agate
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Old 11th September 2007, 11:49   #7
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Default Queries galore

Did not wanna start a seperate thread for this set of queries that I have and I hope vintageman would not take it to heart that I have posted my queries on this thread.

Well the posting is with regards to queries that I have regarding the restoration of my 1957 Fiat elegant and here goes:

1) The Battery: Wondering which battery should I opt for do I go for the latest generation batteries which will give me good service woing to them being Maintanence free virtually but would look out of place in the engine bay or do I go for the older type exide battery which would look more at home and do look slightly retro.

2) The dynamo: The car mostly has everything original including the dynamo and somehow even though I would like to go in for an alternator am stopping myself from doing that. Am I doing right?

3) The Delco / Distributor: Ditto as above is the non vacuum type one and have just got myself a spare to supply parts to the one in the car.

4) The side glasses on the door: These are light green tinted, where can I find new side door plain glasses. Have already procured a set of Plain windshields for it from a donor car.

5) The tyres: Spoke to a MRF showroom guys near my home for broad strip White side wall tyres and have been quoted 1900/- including tubes for the same and has asked for time to procure them. Am planning to change all the 5 of them. Is this an OK price?

Gentlemen, the list of queries are much much more, owing to the fact that this is my first project, however small it may seem its something I hold close to my heart and would sincerely appreciate your feedback / guidance in this.
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Old 11th September 2007, 18:15   #8
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Hi Suren

For the battery, I strongly suggest Amaron, lasts long really long ting tong! Im very happy with it, and that extra juice makes a big difference for older engines which need longer cranks.

Since the vehicle will probably not be used too much, theres not much harm in fitting an alternator. It is a deviation, but a practical one at that. You will notice a remarkable difference in performance of your electricals. I have one car fitted with it, which I use more often.

The original delco and coil system is by Magnetti Marelli, and points are hard to find for it. Switch to the Lucas system, if you havent already. They perform well, and are easliy servicable.

For plain glasses, wait for another donor car to come along. The car Shyam speaks of is ideal. It also has the rear bumper bolts you require. And do keep the tints for me if you are disposing of them!

Ceat Safety Drive are the original tyres supplied to the car, whitewall or otherwise. They are getting hard to find, though Im told in bombay they are 1700 each including tube. MRF Legend are also available, and im sure they will work just as well, so go ahead.

Let us know how she progresses.
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Old 11th September 2007, 18:30   #9
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Dear Suren ,

The thread is meant for such queries , so please go ahead and post all your queries .

Exide is still making the old type of battery , suggest use that instead of the maintenance free version

You are absolutely right in retaining the dynamo. It will work well.

I have no idea regarding sourcing the glasses .

1900/- is a very good price for a whitewall with a tube , I could not locate whitewalls in India ( any size ) so had to go to Coker Tyres for same.

and please .. no renovation project is small or big , so go full steam ahead , the passion should reflect in the finished product.
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Old 11th September 2007, 19:08   #10
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Suren,
Now that the price has been considered allright by our friends for the MRF whitewalls, could you ask the guy to have a set ordered for me too (the broad whitewalls only).
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Old 22nd May 2009, 14:13   #11
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sorry to open up this old thread , so did you guys find the tyres ? i would like one set too.
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