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Old 23rd February 2008, 11:58   #1
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Default Creating Guidelines for Judging at our Vintage and Classic Concours

I was reading some interesting posts on a debate elsewhere at Team-BHP about what a restoration should be. I think it deserves a debate on its own and hence a dedicated thread.

Lets start the discussion with a thought.

My personal view is that a vintage car is more like a painting. So much of the creator's vision, his personality, his character gets reflected in the automobile he created. This explains why no two marques are similar and every automobile manufactured reflects an individual character.

This implies that many years later when an owner embarks on the project of restoring a vintage or classic automobile he must always strive to achieve what the original creator intended. The colours, the mechanicals, the interiors, everything gets dictated by what the creator intended for the marque. After all its his creation.

Deviation on this is about as absurd as someone taking a Picasso and painting it different colours or changing the vista itself as he wants to

The big question though is do all vintage and classic cars in existence require such attention to detail and must go through such a restoration? The answer in my opinion is NO.

Authentic restoration, or returning an automobile to a state like when it was brand new is an extremely expensive, time consuming affair and calls for phenomenal research, quality parts, expert workmanship with an eye for unstinting detailing. Today such a restoration to say the least will run into several lakhs.

On cars produced for the masses I feel the authentic restoration attempt must be applied only if the car is complete and not missing much by way of trim and mechanicals. If the car is a rust bucket totally vandalised its insane to try to source parts and complete the job authentically.

In the US such cars get classed as parts cars and rarely subjected to a restoration.

However when you come to the exclusive luxury or rare breeds of cars they certainly require a full restoration.

An interesting question asked by a fellow memeber here was should one stop a restoration if the correct part is not available.

Here again I feel if its one of the expensive/rarer breed of cars it does deserve your patience and time and effort to source the correct part. Please don't modify the component rendering it permanently altered.

Not being able to afford the money or the time to source correct parts is no excuse for alterations of an automobile. The car is better off sitting on stilts till you can afford it.

Recently when I visited a vast collection of cars on display in a museum in western India I was horrified to see scores of rare and expensive marques totally messed up in the name of restoration. I had the eerie feeling the owner in the name of artistic license had actually damaged them permanently by redoing some bodies, not to mention the horrendous colours used and the shoddy workmanship.

It was a sad sight and I came away appalled at the man's audacity to tamper with such a rich heritage.
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Old 23rd February 2008, 12:32   #2
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Mmmm......

All this is very subjective.
Yes the Engine work has to have the first priority.Getting an original spare is of course an expensive affair but at times the right choice.You can integrate the latest spares available from the latest cars for better running of your Classic, yes they do help in better running of your Classic.
Anybody debates on this i would take that as a pass.

Painting and tinkering has to be the second priority,
Painting is what shows off on the whole what is the detail you've given during restoration.

Again thirdly but important aspect is the fittings that come on the car, you need to detail them in order to give the period look to the car and its advised you stick to the original fittings.

When it comes to complete restoration, Time and Money are major aspects.
You might have enough money and no time-This will not get a classic/Vintage restored well.
You have enough time but less money- You might compromise on the overall quality and then the whole process will take a beating.

Niether will you be satisfied nor will the automobile get its required due.

Balance both you've got a winner on hand.
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Old 23rd February 2008, 12:39   #3
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If you study the work of professional restorers abroad they go to the extant of fabricating parts as per original engineering drawings to get the right part for the car.

Not finding the part or not having enough money to afford it are barely excuses for substituting it with an alteration.
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Old 23rd February 2008, 13:19   #4
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Yes i agree,

See all the Body beadings on my Beetle is fabricated(hand made) they are done in such a way that it looks original.

You can fabricate them if you have expertise available at hand.

Alteration word is actually misunderstood in the present market conditions.

My Wheel bearing in the Bug is replaced by those from the Santro, its an Original Equvivalent(Where's the Problem)

My alternator bearing does'nt come from Germany but from NRB Bearings Bangalore,again an OE.

My fuel comes from INDIA not from Germany.

Oils and other lubricants also are OE's man.

Bulbs are available of better quality in India also.

All this talk about ORIGINAL is ...?

If you dont have the money and time to spend on restoration.BETTER DONT DO IT.

Restore your Automobile to Originality. Use spares that are Original or OE.

You dont get all Original spares for any Vintages or Classics now, they are all OE's.
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Old 23rd February 2008, 18:55   #5
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DKG,
One limitation to your argument is that sometimes there are many "Picassos" who've worked on a particular car. (BTW, many master painters have often tweaked their own paintings or even painted over it -- usually revealed when paintings are undergoing restoration).

Let's take some examples: Many old marques did not do their own bodywork. This was often done by some other (often famous) carrosserie. Their owners often had them rebodied. So, what do u restore to? The car left the manufacturer pretty much as a shell. Then there were a couple of interpretations done to it...

Another one: Famous car was modified for racing and became famous for winning some races. What do u restore to? The basic car that left the factory? The first iteration of the race car? The winning iteration of the race car? The last iteration?

Let's say we had Jimmy Dean's spyder -- what would u restore it to? The way it left the factory? The way he modified it before his accident?

My own preference is to restore it to whatever era/period you believe it should be restored to. This could be representative of:
(a) how it left the factory
(b) how it was after an important modification/ownership/event
(c) how many cars of that era/period would likely have been (this would include period correct accessories or modifications -- in the case of beetle, like adding EMPI mods to engine)

I consider the above as restorations. I consider a restoration done without consideration of the above and guided primarily by the restorers "vision" as a custom resto. Usually, this has less market value as buyers may not share the restorer "vision." But, it probably satisfies the restorer personally just as much as the restorer of a/b/c.

Discussions on a/b/c can be much more objective. Discussions on custom-restorations will likely end up discussing preferences/priorities/creativity etc.

In reality, it can be often difficult to get to 100% on a/b/c and though the goal may remain to get to 100% some compromises have to be made. The market will value (in $ or just admiration) those compromises that can be reversed (should the opportunity arise) more than those that cannot (or cannot be easily).

Well, here's my 2 cents...

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Old 23rd February 2008, 20:48   #6
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Found this on ebay...thought it would add value to the discussion:

Quote

Anyone who is considering buying a collectable or classic vehicle should be familiar with the universal rating systems so they can be clear on what they are buying. There are basically 2 systems generally used, the most common is the 100 point system. When buying a car from a seller you should request a rating based on this system or possibly hire an independant appraiser who can be objective on your behalf and provide you with an accurate and objective rating. You must keep in mind that the seller of a vehicle may boost a rating 10-20 points to coax a purchaser to buying his car.These ratings are generally the following.

100-PERFECT proffesional nut and bolt restoration complete and perfect in all aspects or a vehicle in absolutely perfect original condition.a car that is brand new on the showroom floor can be a 100 point car!
90+ EXCELLENT a very well or superior restoration or a car in excellent original condition, this would be a near flawless car, not necessarily a restoration where evry nut bolt and screw have been changed.
80+ FINE A Completely operable vehicle that is possibly an older restoration or an original car that shows minimal wear. a car with an 80+ rating is usually considered show quality.
70+ VERY GOOD A NICE and complete car, possibly an older restoration that might be showing signs of age.this rating might be used for a very pampered daily driven vehicle.
60+ GOOD a driveable vehicle that does show wear and posibly may need minor mechanical work or cosmetics.This would be considered a mildy restorable vehicle.
50+ DRIVER or daily driver. this is a complete car that is functional and in driving condition. it will have several flaws but is running and fair cosmetically.
40+ RESTORABLE this vehicle would need restoration of motor, body,interior and or chassis.this class of car should be more or less complete and not require a tremendous amount of parts.
30+ PARTIAL this is a car that would require a tedious restoration, that would requiore a significant amount of parts and labor. This type of car is a very timely and costly restoration.
20+ PARTS CAR this car is an unrestorable parts vehicle which in all likelyhood is not worthy of a complete restoration.there are certain cars that restored can command tremendous value so it is understandable that a few parts cars are worth restoring but there are not many.

There are many auctions in the country that use a 6 point system. the 6 point system is easily translatable from the 100 point system. a condition 1 car would be a 90+ point car. a condition 2 car would be about 80-89 point car.condition 3 is about 70-80, condition 4 is 60-70, condition 5 is 40 to 60 and any car UNDER 40 is considered condition 6.
When searching collectors auction market reports the condition rating is usually listed.use this as a guide when pricing a perspective vehicle. Please feel free to use this page as a reference.

unquote

Basically all over the world a restoration refers to returning a car to the condition it was when it left the showroom. Modifications and alterations don't add up, they only detract from the rating of the car.

If you want your classic or vintage car to win a concours or better still add in value (100 pt cars command a premium) it simply makes sense to fall in line with the established norms on judging restorations and not try to interpret it any other way.

Most world class restorers undo alterations carried out by various owners in an attempt to return the car to its original state when it left the showroom
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Old 24th February 2008, 00:22   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DKG View Post

Basically all over the world a restoration refers to returning a car to the condition it was when it left the showroom. Modifications and alterations don't add up, they only detract from the rating of the car.
Disagree with you on this. Serious restorers put much more thought into it than you think or indicate. Showroom versions of some specific cars are much less desirable/collectible than subsequent specific alterations. Ex: which is more collectible/desirable -- a factory stock AC Ace or the Ford AC Cobra 289. The early examples left the AC factory as an AC and were modified. If you had one of these, you'd be a considered a moron to restore it back to factory AC Ace specs. Another -- take Juan Manuel Fangio's Alfetta. Which version do u think is most desirable. The one that left the factory (in 1938/9) or the one that was driven by Fangio and Farina to a F1 Championship in 1950 (same car, much modified).

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Old 24th February 2008, 10:48   #8
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@71, i think DKG was just explaining the general situation. The cases where a modified vehicle are just applicable to a handful of cars. Whereas, the majority of the others are better off in factory spec. There are a loot of engine swapped cars in kerala, so does that mean that when a restorer has to replace a motor in a merc, he goes in for another Matador engine just coz the previous owner put it in?? But as you said, some cars are better off restored to the modded specs. But i personally feel, this rule is generally true in case of the more exotic cars.

@DKG, thanks for enlightening us on the rating scheme.
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Old 24th February 2008, 19:58   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayD View Post
@71, i think DKG was just explaining the general situation. The cases where a modified vehicle are just applicable to a handful of cars. Whereas, the majority of the others are better off in factory spec.
You got it JayD. 71 conv I'm sure in specific cases as you cite there may be exceptions to the rule. I am referring to a general interpretation of standards applicable.

If you can spare sometime please visit the judging manual on the vintage car club of america site. Its mind boggling as to the detail to which they go. Its actually very impressive and a most daunting task to meet those standards. I have no doubt that no one in India has achieved that standard.

I'd love to see someone achieve it in India.That will be the day.
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Old 25th February 2008, 19:22   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DKG View Post
Recently when I visited a vast collection of cars on display in a museum in western India I was horrified to see scores of rare and expensive marques totally messed up in the name of restoration. I had the eerie feeling the owner in the name of artistic license had actually damaged them permanently by redoing some bodies, not to mention the horrendous colours used and the shoddy workmanship.

It was a sad sight and I came away appalled at the man's audacity to tamper with such a rich heritage.
You can read more on that here

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/vintag...a-gujarat.html
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Old 1st March 2008, 12:04   #11
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Hi ,

I was away for a few days , came back to a lot of interesting things on the forum ; to join the discussion on restoration standards - firstly cars ( even the best of classics ), unlike paintings were delivered to be driven not to decorate walls . I restore my own cars in my house and try to be true to the original as far as practical , I have restored 7 cars over the last 8 years and have material for another 15 years (presently) but I want all my cars to be reliable , ready to start and be driven any time of day or night , in any traffic condition . By the way earlier this month I participated in the local WWF safari with one of my cars and did the 450 km run from Lucknow - Dudhwa Tiger Reserve - Lucknow in under 10 hours though small town UP - , single lane roads, regular traffic and more , over the full distance , not bad for a 1947 Plymouth Special Deluxe . I returned to Lucknow after 4 n 1/2
months on the day of the run , started the car and was away. The only liberty I have taken in the restoration , is that , all my cars operate on 12V , which is more practical ( Though this has left me with a huge stock of 6V battery shells ) , I retain the liberty to change back to 6V if required .

Secondly if I do not like the original paint scheme or the upholstery , I change it to what is more suitable for me. I have 4 Model A's which will be finished in Red , Green , Blue and Yellow a colour more suited to impress small kids to vintage cars , I have come across owners of imposing vehicles with forbidding demeanours who would rather have visitors banished from the environs , forgetting the basic reason for the show was for the crowds to have a closer look at these beauties. This is more so with owners who try to achieve perfection. I hate it when vintage owners at shows shoo away even children from approaching their vehicles .

DKG , reference the excellent work accomplished on the Packard chassis I do not think epoxy coatings were available till seventies for commercial application ( I may be wrong on this one ) , further Packards used DuPont paints to the period specifications which will be not available now ( try getting the Packard Cream , Packard Blue #3 or the Packard Maroon when the Packard no longer exists ) .

Another question is to source original fasteners - are they available ? if not is it
advisable to put the car on stilts and wait for a time till they can be sourced.

Let us not judge others very harshly and be too critical of their efforts ( the persons who stockpiled the cars before we came to the scene ) and let us not frighten away budding restorers by the trials and tribulations of the restoration process. The need is that the cars reach true enthusisats who are to be encouraged so that the cars are driven , loved and looked after.

If we can restore the car mechanically to its original condition in every way and stick to the ORIGINAL body shape it is an acceptable restoration for the majority of us .

Restoring cars should be an enjoyable process for the full family ( expecially when even the denting / tinkering is done at home ) and restored cars should be a thing of joy , in MY opinion hobbies attended to in a very seriously manner tend to be very serious . But then to each his own. As long as it is enjoyable.

For me the cars restored by me are priceless , due to the effort I personally put into the restoration , but that does not prevent me from driving through the Lucknow Chowk traffic or to villages via kutcha roads , I am confident if things do go wrong , I can redo the whole thing again .
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Old 1st March 2008, 13:04   #12
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Vintageman,

Your statement " Regretably I am not very good at writing , so the photos will have to suffice " written in the Restoration Experiences thread is inaccurate as you have written so well here, sharing your thoughts clearly. Please apply this to your experiences in the other thread too and allow us the pleasure of sharing in your experiences.

Coming back to this present discussion on restoration standards, would like to clarify a few points:

1. In this thread I have merely drawn attention to standards applicable at concours judging. Events such as these invariably are the forums where owners compete to win recognition in the industry for their efforts. Its not my personal opinion at all, but stringent standards applied in the industry. If you have a car and choose not to restore it to such standards then all you need to do is not be bothered about concours judging and winning competitions or earning recognition of peers in the industry. If its okay with you that's all that matters. Many people enjoy having their cars to eventually be judged within the industry as 100 point cars. Its a competitive sport and there are rules to play by. Many people choose to comply

Should you restore a car to standards you set then one shouldn't expect the car to get ranked highly in a concours judging.

2. The use of modern materials in paintwork is never cause for disqualification or points being deducted. Its the closeness of colour and texture and hence whether you use nitrocellulose paints or modern 2k systems its of no consequence as long as the end result matches what the car finish looked like when new.

3. Not every car deserves uncompromising standards for restoration. However, rare exotics and historical automobiles do deserve such restoration effort and its sad when an owner chooses to compromise on that front despite the historic significance of the car.

To answer your question about fasteners, on rare and historic automobiles, the world over, people go to great length to procure original fasteners or even fabricate them to exact specs should the need arise.

A 1921 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost with local nuts and bolts doesn't get ranked as a 100 point car. You lose some points for that.

In summary, it really boils down to what you value. If peer recognition is important (usually cars judged as 100 point cars command higher values when sold too) then applying the industry norms on restoration standards is imperative

With cars that are not very rare or exotic many an owner may deviate from standards and its okay as long as he doesn't expect the car to be judged.

In my own case the Packard I am restoring was severely compromised by its previous owner and so I am not trying to finish it to ever compete in a concours. As the costs of doing so will render it unviable in terms of its eventual value.

But for the two other Packards I have I will spare no expense to making them 100 point cars as they are already in very original condition and genuinely deserve such exacting standards as required by a 100 point restoration.
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Old 1st March 2008, 15:47   #13
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DKG,
Reading back thru your first post, you didn't mention that what you were referring strictly to 100pts concour restoration -- so when I read that (and read it again) it reads as if in your opinion restoration only equals returning to exactly as it left the factory. I'm not saying that is what you meant, but that is what it reads.

I do my own restorations and am a stickler for detail. But, I don't presume that there is only one "rule" for restoration. If you check the Antique Auto Club of America judging categories, you'll find that they actually have different categories for types of restoration -- something along the lines of what I wrote earlier. And, btw, they do specify in their most exacting categories penalty points for using non-period materials. The one I recollect is using Chrome (instead of tin plating I think) before it became avail. And, there are collectors who do look askance at using later finishes or even paint finishes that exceed the factory standards -- no orange peels at all, etc.

I am not judging your choice of material, I probably would make the same paint choice as you, but just pointing out again that there is no one "correct" approach and going by standards set by one (or more) concours does not make it the "correct" approach -- just the approach that those who intend to be judged by that concour should adhere to.

I frequently visited the Pebble Beach Concour (which along with the historics at Laguna Seca and the Italian Car show at the Lodge -- good 3 day weekend btw, if you're in that part of the country in Aug) and speaking with owners it was interesting to see the range of things they strove for and valued.

B

Last edited by 71Convertible : 1st March 2008 at 15:49. Reason: typo
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Old 1st March 2008, 18:15   #14
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Hey Guys ,

The stay on the forum is supposed to be enjoyable , and restorations are stress busters , please go ahead and do the restorations to your pleasure , but once the pics are posted , then comments and criticism are expected and not to be taken to heart , they are just an assist to improve the quality.
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Old 1st March 2008, 18:33   #15
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By the way here is the local Lucknow stress buster , gets a smile from everyone , everytime it is out on the road ( so does the Topolino )

Found in a condition , akin to the congress party in the state of Uttar Pradesh . Last used as a campaign vehicle for the local congress MLA.





Towed by the faithful Armada , (it has towed a record 19 vintage cars till date - the biggest being the 58 Fairlane for a distance of 350 kms).

Finding and corralling the cars is as exciting a venture as the actual restoration.



Assesment - how much of the car survives







Dismemberment























Ready for road trials

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