A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an article trying to rationalize the decision about whether a car should be restored, or if it’s okay to modify it. I outlined several reasons for my opinions, and to be honest, I wasn’t sure how you guys would react. To my surprise, that article generated a lot of emails to my inbox, and I was pleasantly surprised at how agreeable everyone seemed to be with the rantings of this old man.
A lot of you guys even sent pictures with your responses, and I must say, the cars look amazing. Since some of you sent pictures with your emails, I thought it would be cool to share a few of the responses I received, and show the rest of you the cars that were shared with me. Whether or not you agreed with my rantings in the original article is not an issue, it’s the fact that we can all have different interests and opinions that are what make this hobby great.
“I’ll take a restomod or modified car all day long because they are more fun to drive, says Henry Martinez. “Someone is always picking an original car apart. Modified cars can go from mild-to-wild, and there is no right or wrong way to build your car. My Nomad has Corvette four-wheel disc brakes, a Turbo400, Tuned-Port injection, leather interior, polished American mags, killer sound system and more. Street is neat, and fun.”
Hot Rod Two Seater
Bud Landacre started his reply by saying, “Thanks for your article. I’m with you on restomods.” He also told me that while he appreciates the time and effort people put into 100-point restorations, he likes to drive his cars. “Fifteen years ago, I was in the process of restoring my ’62 Vette when I got the opportunity to drive a restomodded C1. I immediately changed course and put a custom chassis, LS1, and a T-56 under my stock-bodied Vette.”
In the past 15 years I have had almost no unscheduled maintenance events. My wife and I have driven most of Route 66, and the entire length of the Blue Ridge Parkway. With the six speed, I can smoke the tires in the first three gears, and I get 27 mpg on the highway. Except for the wheels it looks a stock ’62 Corvette on the outside. I get plenty of attention and I don’t have to worry about slinging the factory applied markings off the driveshaft.”
Twenty-First Century First-Gen
“I say to each his own. I have a 69 Camaro that had been slightly modified,” says Darren Blagburn. “It originally came with a six-cylinder engine and a two-speed Powerglide. What are you going to do with that? Keep it? Heck no. I dropped a modified 350ci with Brodix heads, and a T-56 into it. The engine uses a Sniper fuel-injection system and from there the restore/restomod decision was easy. From front to back, it is a new car.”
Darren finished by saying, “She’s just about finished. I’m waiting on the interior guy to fabricate a center console that holds an IPad and the rest of the interior modifications. It will never be worth what I have in it, but it’s all mine. It sounds amazing, it looks amazing. To me, it’s a work of art.”
“I purchased what was a decently restored ‘71 Chevelle SS with a 350-horsepower 454ci engine,” says Jack Chapman. “The car has received a color change, and not all of the original parts were in place when I got it. It did however have a matching-numbers engine and a properly coded transmission.
I did not receive a whole lot of paper work with the car, so documenting it was limited. The engine was rebuilt during the restoration, but I had a freshly rebuilt Ram Jet 502ci engine and a Tremec six peed. This combo makes the car more in keeping with my desires. I have retained all of the NOS items that I took off, that way, if someone else wants to put it back, they can.”
If the above replies from some readers is any indication, it seems that many prefer the drivability and reliability of a car that features a few upgrades from stock. Maybe you agree, and maybe you do not. Either way is your prerogative. All that matters is you are enjoying the car(s) you have, no matter how you do that.