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To What Level of Restoration insanity


Well-Known Member
Local time
3:52 PM
Sep 15, 2009
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State of insanity
I've sometimes wondered to what level of restoration, or originality for that matter, is reasonable. Or is there a point where it becomes obsessive insanity. Does having the "correct" shade of satin-matte-flat-black really matter ? Will anyone other than the 1% Mopar fanatics really know, or care ? From my first-hand experience of these cars when they were new and/or just used cars, none of this ever came to mind back in the day. I recall changing a factory oval air filter, and noticing the grid change from circles to diamond-grid, and mere moments later, slapped it in without further thought. No, the thought of an owner screaming "that's not THE correct filter !!" ever came to mind. And now in recent years we've been accustomed to the "paint-daub" ( daub... a word that the dictionary should describe as one only used in the automotive restoration community ), stencil letter/number markings, paper tags on parts, and the obligatory cardboard instruction guide covering the sunvisor. Which is all well and fine, and I commend and admire all who've taken the effort to manufacture, reproduce, professionally apply everything for these cars near and dear to our hearts, and provide the information to all out here who have, and are restoring, these cars. Especially those minute details and items that got tossed, damaged, or worn mere days/weeks/months after these cars were on the road. And, of course, the owners who've borne the expense and upkeep of their fine vehicles. But will it ever get to the point where the question is asked, " Mr. Mopar Expert, what is the correct orientation of the cotter pins in the castle nuts on the suspension and steering parts ? North/south, east/west, or is it clock-face 10/4, 2/8, etc. As viewed from the underside... of course" :lol: { tongue-in-cheek }
Everyone is different..i like a car to be semi-original, like a stock interior.. but as far as performance/driving i don't get the point of building a car to use all stock parts when you can improve it.. people seem to think the big 3 built the best they could build... No.. they built everything as cheap as they could get away with.. business is business :) Upgraded brakes? Yes please.... better motor.. yes:)
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Moparnation74 took his "For the love of my father" thread to the extreme, that's not criticism his choice. Miss his input. Wonder if it burned him out, hope he's doing well.
It all boils down to each individual owner and what they like the best. I have friends who like NOTHING better than someone else drooling over/bragging on their car. Personally I'm old enough to remember when they were just used cars that hardly anyone wanted (mid 70's). We bought them cheap and used them (up) for what they were intended. I've said it lots before "they were a lot more fun when they weren't worth nothing", I still think that. (Granted, I'm old now and don't treat my cars like I used to, but I do DRIVE them). I do respect those who pursue perfectly original though.
Trends in the automotive hobby seem to come and go, and OE restorations is one trend that seemed to peak 15 or 20 years ago, and isn’t as popular now by any means.
Even if you do one, where do you get it judged? MCACN has OE judging but the cars aren’t put on lifts, therefore the car can’t be fully inspected.
Resto Mods seem to be popular now, but I can see a time when people will be ranting about them. Someone buys a 10 year old modified car, it needs new brakes but can’t find what their cars 4 wheel disc conversion was based on, so how do they find pads and rotors? Engine issues but what computers were used on the modern hemi or LS in a resto mod car built years ago?
To each his own, everyone needs to figure out what excites them most, whether it be a numbers restoration, race car, or something in between. The automotive hobby has a place for everyone I’d like to think.
I would be in with the F.A.S.T. group.
Perfectly original, with as much soup up as you can get. No bling required.
This is the now decades old question of:

Is your old car a car to drive and enjoy? Or is your old car an investment to put in enclosed trailer and keep in a climate controlled storage to look at?
I find the investment crowd to be borderline loathsome to talk shop with. Obviously there are exceptions.
I am firmly in the "looks good enough, time to drive it" camp. but I drive a 1990 Ramcharger daily in the warm months and am working on a 78 Monaco police car currently. So yeah, I like old 4 doors which automatically puts me in the "inferior" camp with a lot of folks. It's fine though, they must not like piling in with 3 buddies and their golf clubs and four cases of beer for a weekend. To each their own.
Suffice to say I find the old documentation neat, because anything that can survive for 40+ years is pretty neat. But I have more important things to do then spend time looking for it for my car. I drive and build cars for me. Investment people MIGHT do that, but more then likely they are actually doing it for other people because it raises value in other people's eyes, supposedly.

The most amusing part is the factories just did their thing back then and the car's factory paint job might not match factory paint code because someone was sloppy mixing the paint, tons of errors and misalignments and such were present. But the investment crowd seeking a paper tag for a part will make it "correct". No, "correct" would mean your A pillar trim needs to be off a bit and there is some minor overspray on the rockers on a paint job slightly off the color code with no clear coat, no wet sanding, no body filler or hours spent aligning the body panels. No radial tires, no ported heads or modern cam, no modern mandrel bent exhaust, etc etc.

Bottom line, I will never understand when someone claims a car they made 125,000 in one year is ultra rare, people restoring to "original" make the cars look better then new(not original) with modern tech chemicals and techniques claiming it is "correct" and then turning their nose up when some one doesn't do a rotisserie resto. Owning a car that represents .00001% doesn't mean it is rare, it means they made 100,000 cars.
But, it is AMERICA, and you own your car, and you should follow your passion. The paper tags and whatever mean nothing to me when I look at a price of a car, but that doesn;t mean you shouldn't follow it if it makes you happy and you think you should do it. They haven't stopped us from doing that yet, at least. Ultimately, people should do with their stuff what they want to do with their stuff.
Ya I was really surprised by that. Thinking of selling my Satellite. Tough to let it go after 45 years.
If I could afford it. But I can't so that's out

You and myself would be talking.
Yours would make a nice garage mate for mine.
I want a 66 or 67 Plymouth B body convertible as a keeper
But to answer the OP.
I don't care what level it's at. If I can't drive.....I don't want to own it.

My car isn't perfect by any means. But nice. And I drive the snot out of it.

Actually wife and I drove it to dinner this past Wednesday nite ( hemi day ) AND again last nite .

Might take it to a local cruise in / car show tonite.
Moparnation74 took his "For the love of my father" thread to the extreme, that's not criticism his choice. Miss his input. Wonder if it burned him out, hope he's doing well.

and it's still just a restored car...... they are only new and original ONCE.
I don't care what level it's at. If I can't drive.....I don't want to own it.
Yep, like I said in post #2 I'll still drive it down a gravel road. MY HP2 had less than 10,000 miles on it when I bought it. It gets no special treatment.
You can restore a car to the Nth degree and worry about damage or restore/modify it and drive it like you did when you were still 20 years old.
Funny you say that. I had the spare out of a clapped-out b-body, that had never been removed. 4-dr parts car.
As long as you are enjoying yourself.... and yes, some people enjoy torturing themselves over details.

I would not be one of those people.