To me, of course, cars are more than just transportation. Many of them are rolling sculptures and/or masterpieces of engineering.
To restomod or not to restomod has always been the subject of quite a debate in the car world. The difference between restoring and restomodding is well described by this excerpt from this webpage:
“Restoration essentially refers to taking a great classic car and bringing it back to life with all (or most) of the original factory parts. The process involves repair of the visible parts (e.g., body trim, interior, etc.), as well as the parts not easily seen (e.g., electrical, suspension, brakes, etc.). The result is a beautifully preserved automobile in factory-new condition with authentic parts – just like it came off the showroom floor decades ago.”
“Restomod (restoration + modern parts/technology) draws from all the amazing advancements in automobile technology over the past 40+ years to enhance the performance, comfort and safety of the classic car. A restomod car has the timeless appearance of the original, but the outdated guts of the car have been replaced with the more modern, high-performance parts of today. You achieve the same great look, but your vintage car will be revved up with all the latest bells and whistles to create a much better ride for the owner.”
Not surprisingly, since these definitions come from a website called restomodstore.com it’s no shock that they prefer restomods. I am thinking about this topic because I am still thinking about buying a car like this, although 2-3 years in the future (if I live that long):
From Mecum auctions a picture of a 1963 Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk offered at their 2012 Indianapolis auction. Once again, the intent is not for this car to replace my 2016 Corvette Z06, but to be a “companion” to it.
Part of me would prefer to keep the car stock, if possible. I mean, if the car’s original drivetrain is shot I probably wouldn’t buy it, anyway, because of the cost of replacement. However, and as I have stated in the past, I believe that since this is the 21st century, why wouldn’t I want to drive a car with more modern components?
At the heart of this debate for me would be whether or not to do an EFI conversion for an original Studebaker engine, if such a thing is even possible. Oh…EFI stands for Electronic Fuel Injection. In that way, the car retains its original engine, but an engine that will run more reliably with more power and better fuel economy.
Obviously, the cost of such a project would play a role in whether or not I would do it. All other things being equal, though, I must report that at this time and place far removed from my acquisition of such a car, I am leaning towards doing the EFI conversion. Who knows? Maybe it would be something that I might try to do myself with the help of a friend.
I would very much like to read your thoughts on this debate, on the subject of the purity of cars.
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8 thoughts on “The Purity Of Cars”
… heh heh … You know my thoughts about doing the Restomod on a Studebaker …
That said, I’m really not opposed to “modernizing” a Studebaker with Studebaker parts, i.e., putting Avanti components in a ’54-’54 Starlight/ Starliner. But IMO putting non-Studebaker items, especially the engine, in a Studebaker is … well, I’ll stop there …
Packard had planned to use a mechanical fuel injection in their ’57s. Here is a ’56 fitted with that system: https://56packardman.com/2016/09/27/gear-head-tuesday-fuel-injected-56-packard/
Thanks again, sir. Yes, I am aware of your views vis-a-vis a restomod and you are, of course, entitled to those views. Plenty of room exists for all of us in the world of automobile enthusiasts.
One practical consideration for doing an EFI conversion on an older engine is the ethanol content in gasoline. Carburetors are prone to damage from modern gas, but modern EFI systems are not as prone.
I am a believer that an owner should be able to do what they want with their car. I have owned original, restored and restomod Studebakers. The one exception is when dealing with an extremely rare car and a ’62-’64 Hawk does not fall into this category. Adding something like EFI for drivability makes sense to me and it can be reversed in the future if so desired.
Always good to hear from you, Gary. My sentiments are very similar to yours. I would not restomod a rare, numbers-matching car, but a car that will be driven should be safe, reliable and comfortable, in my opinion.
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Well it’s really none of my business. Your car, your money, your call. That car is not rare (heck, I have two of them myself). Enjoy it now, in 20 years we may not even be allowed to drive our “non-self driving” cars on the road.
Thanks for the comment. Hope you’re wrong about 20 years from now, but I just hope I’m still alive then.
Would like to read about your Gran Turismo Hawks. Any little-known idiosyncrasies? Thanks.
I’m sort of in the “purist” category but…
…some modifications are OK to me for a “fun” driver car of which I have a ’55 President State sedan which already has a later front sway bar and hopefully soon will come a ’63 full flow 289 with a matching Flight-O-Matic plus a set of station wagon springs to accommodate the extra stuff that I like to carry with me.
But that’s just me… Your mileage may vary!
Many thanks for sharing your views. Nothing wrong with a respectful discussion where people have different views.
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