Saturday Admission

I have to admit that on some days I turn on my computer, sit in my office chair and have no idea what I am going to write for my post. Today is one of those days. Why am I writing then? First of all, this blog is very important to me. Even if I had fewer readers, I think I would still write as often because writing is a catharsis for me. In other words, blogging is cheaper than therapy and almost as effective.

In addition, one of the “rules of blogging” is to be consistent. As I have written a blog post almost every day for more than four years–the last two in my previous blog and two and a half years for Disaffected Musings–I think the readers have come to expect almost daily output. Supposedly, more blog posts also mean stronger results in search engines. So far this year, referrals from search engines account for 18% of all blog views; that number was just 6% in 2019. For 2020, even though the year is barely into its second half, the number of referrals from search engines is basically three times the number for all of 2019. Those of you who are mathematically inclined can deduce that, given these facts, the number of views for 2020 has basically matched the number for all of 2019.

Long way ’round, if any of my regular readers want to write a guest post (photobyjohnbo has already graciously contributed one), please feel free to let me know.

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Speaking of regular readers, this is a picture of Dirty Dingus McGee’s 1960 Studebaker Lark. Whether or not much of the appeal stems from the fact that these are a product of a defunct American make, I have always liked the look of the two-door Larks.

Even though I am not a fan of many cars considered classics by the majority of American automobile enthusiasts (GM A-Body cars from 1968 to 1972, for example), the universe of cars that appeals to me is still quite large. When I dream of having a four-car or five-car garage I think of what I could buy. I also think of cars that are not so rare as to be imprudent to be modified. These Larks fit that bill; from 1959 through 1961 a total of 26,001 Lark two-door hardtops were built. (Data courtesy of Studebaker 1946-1966, The Classic Postwar Years by Richard M. Langworth.) In addition, 81,090 two-door sedans were built.

56PackardMan was (is) very opposed to restomodding a car, as are many other enthusiasts. While I understand the sentiment, for me that restriction only applies to rare and historically significant automobiles, like a Duesenberg Model J, not that I will ever be able to afford one of those. While I never have had an automobile “collection” I can’t conceive of myself buying cars that are de facto museum exhibits. As I have written before, if I buy a car it is for the purpose of driving it, even if that’s just 1,200-1,500 miles a year.

While this topic has been discussed here before, I would still like to read your thoughts on when, if ever, restomodding is appropriate.

 

#SaturdayAdmission

#DirtyDingusMcGee

#1960StudebakerLark

#Restomods

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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18 thoughts on “Saturday Admission

  1. With the death of Carl Reiner, I heard a good story from Meathead. Carl did most of the writing for the Dick Van Dyke show himself. So Rob Reiner knew his Dad was out of ideas when he would come in Rob’s room and ask, “How was school today? Anything interesting or funny happen today?”

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  2. I am not a fan of restomods generally, but I have seen many that I would love to own, even though they are no longer original… just because the mod was so well done.

    Regarding the Lark, though I was never a fan of Studebaker, the Lark is my #2 favorite behind the Avanti.

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    1. Good to “hear” from you, sir. While I have an “obsession” with defunct American makes, I don’t like everything Studebaker ever made. For me, the Gran Turismo Hawk and the Avanti are 1 and 1a for Studebaker.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Here is my take. I am not a car mechanic, and I’d rather spend my Saturdays reading your blog or looking at Instagram models. But I do like cars, and especially cars I could not have during my formative years, like our dearly departed mutual friend JK’s Fiat X1/9 or the dearly departed GTO. This means they would have to “gas and go” type vehicles for me. I just viewed a YouTuber’s video on his BMW 7 series buy, which all in including purchase price and repairs cost him $15K to get a car worth $10K. However he loves the end result. I guess the bottom line is “you pays your money, you takes your chances” or “DSFDF”. Some men like implants; some 32bs. The goal is YOUR enjoyment.

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  4. Best wishes on your search for the grocery getter car. Remember to get
    the bumper sticker that says ( My other car is a CORVETTE).

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  5. Meme from the Internet: Gardening is cheaper than therapy and you get tomatoes.

    I always love a “sleeper”, meaning a car that is a “normal” family sedan or coupe that will blow the doors off a scoffer because underneath it is a real hot rod. DDMcG’s Lark would be a real “sleeper”

    Which leads me to “restomods.” To build a sleeper you need to restomod the car with a modern drive train and brakes. For me with the previous discussion in comments about the sameness of today’s cars and not liking the sameness is a perfect reason to take a beautiful, sound older car which appeals to you and modify it with modern, drive train, brakes and suspension as well as other safety features and modern amenities like air conditioning. That way you get a nice eye appeal car body with the safety and reliability of a daily driver. You also get a real “sleeper” to astonish and scare the daylights out of the tuner car kids. Hence my current project truck a stock bodied 1948 Ford F-1 pickup with a Ford 427 small block Windsor, EFI, auto transmission, independent front suspension, disk brakes all around and a nicely outfitted interior with air conditioning to combat the Arizona heat. I call it my F-1 Lightning as it is modeled after the 1993-95 Ford Lightning F-150. Do not ask me about the cost, as it is not done yet. I do have a 37 page spreadsheet with the parts listed including cost, tax and freight so I know what is going on.

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    1. Many thanks for sharing, Philip.

      So, I guess we’re basically in agreement. Nothing wrong with restomodding an older car as you get classic styling with modern performance and efficiency.

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  6. Well, now I guess my Lark is famous. I hope the fame doesn’t go to its head and it will now require me to only get in while barefoot or some other such nonsense. 🙂

    Thanks for posting the picture.

    Re: restomods. For me, it depends on the rarity of the vehicle and also the condition when you start. If you have, for instance, a 1965 Shelby GT350 and you restomod it, you should be beaten vigorously about the head and shoulders with a rubber hose. Restomodding a base model fastback of the same year thats rusty and has no drivetrain? I’m all for it. I have had folks question why I built my 49 Dodge business coupe as a gasser/hot rod being as there so few left. Well, the car was recovered from a swamp, literally, in south Ga. The frame was rotted thru in several places, the bottom half of the body was pretty much gone, and the drive train was a mostly solid chunk of iron oxide. Restoration was pretty much out of the question due to the unobtanium of certain parts.Building a gasser, where liberties can be taken, was my plan when I drug the carcass out of the swamp.At least there is enough left to identify it as a business coupe.

    Just my $ .02 worth.

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    1. Thanks for sending the picture.

      Seems like we’re in agreement on the answer to the question: To restomod or not to restomod? Like your example of a ’65 Shelby GT350 with the original drivetrain (I’m assuming an original drivetrain, maybe I shouldn’t) that shouldn’t be restomodded, I wouldn’t restomod a ’65 Corvette fuelie with the original drivetrain, either. A non numbers matching ’67 is another story.

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      1. You were assuming correctly on the original drivetrain. I would even go so far as to say if it wasn’t the numbers matching but a period correct engine to leave it as close to “factory” as possible. Same with your 65 fuelie.

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  7. Very nice Lark Mr. McGee! I am not huge on Studes either but I love seeing cars which aren’t the ‘usual cruise night’ offerings.

    Re: restomods… I think previous comments show I fall in the same ‘depends on the car’ camp. Rare cars in original condition, no, I would try to keep it as close to original as I could. But my own not so rare Grand Prix may end up with fuel injection in the interests of driveability.

    This is a topic that makes me think about the range of opinion in the car hobby. I mean, survivor versus restored versus restomod, and everything in between. Should a car only be restored or repaired with NOS (new old stock) parts? Are reproduction parts acceptable? Do you leave your 1937 Whatchamobile idle in the garage because you can’t find the correct copper plated choke knob for the dash? How do the ‘all original’ guys also speak reverently about hot rodded Fords and guys like Barris and Winfield? And what about guys buying restorable 40 year old cars to run in demolition derbies?

    As has been said, DSFDF. I think of it as people paid their money for whatever they have. I may not have done what they did, but if that modern suspension and brake system, or that modern engine, or that modern stereo, or turning that car into a gasser/lowrider/derby car, if it’s what they enjoy then what right do I have to crap on that.

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    1. Thanks for offering your thoughts, sir.

      As you know if you read this blog, I do not think blind adherence to any single paradigm is prudent behavior. Also, as you wrote, it’s not for me to tell others how they can or should spend THEIR money.

      Liked by 1 person

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