In preparation for the Revs Institute Symposium on Collecting, founder Miles Collier sent out a list of questions for participants to consider. Since not all of us can make it to Naples, FL, I will share some of the questions and my responses in the next few newsletters. I also invite you to submit your own questions as well.
Miles Collier: Does every restoration have to be to the highest possible level, involving a complete disassembly and reassembly of a car.
Keith Martin: The two critical factors are the car itself (the artifact) and your budget. If you have unlimited resources you are free to spend them any way you wish. Hence the $100,000 restorations of 1963 MGBs we read about.
Still, I would ask, “What’s the point?”
There are already plenty of perfect MGBs in the world. If you have a decent running and driving car I urge that you consider “preserving the car and its identity” (the minor nicks and scrapes it has picked up over the years) rather than strive to make it another cookie-cutter BRG over black leather roadster.
As our notion of collecting matures — and we collectors mature as well — we should think very carefully about a car (the artifact) before we erase the identity it has earned over the years and make it just one more identical, flawless Stepford Wife car.
Let the restoration — or refurbishment — of each car be done to the level that fits with specific car, your plans for it, and what fits within your budget. Restorations are not a one-size-fits-all-process.
Let me know your thoughts.
On a personal note, I continue to make a slow and steady recovery from my stroke. I have nearly full function (if not strength) in both my arms and shoulders. My left leg is still slow to respond, but I am a fanatic about my physical therapy treatments and anticipate progress. I believe my keyboarding skills are continuing to improve, but I’ll defer to your judgment on that.
Thanks for all your kind words and encouragement. They continue to make a huge difference. KM