Muscle Car Review - - Letters -

Loved the ar­ti­cle Jerry Heasley did in your lat­est is­sue [“Goat Pre­serve,” Mar. 2018]. That GTO is awe­some. What a great find! Re­gard­ing the last sen­tence [about ve­hi­cle preser­va­tion “gain­ing ac­cep­tance in the hobby to­day”], I think it’s fair to say that preser­va­tion of nice sur­vivors has been quite com­mon for prob­a­bly 20 years now. The is­sue is, at what point does a sur­vivor cross the line and should be re­paired or re­stored? I’ve seen too many mus­cle cars that are in poor shape, yet the owner claims it will be pre­served, some­times with ap­proval of mag­a­zines/TV/brand gu­rus.

Not ev­ery car need be sub­ject to an ex­pen­sive ground-up resto. Com­mon sense should be em­ployed. Back in the day, a re­paint (ex­te­rior only), new car­pet, ex­haust, and tires was con­sid­ered a “restora­tion.” It wasn’t overly ex­pen­sive, and made for a safe and good-look­ing ride.

Hope­fully some of these sur­vivors will make it back onto the road where they be­long.

Mike Dozier Some may think we’re talk­ing out of both sides of our mouth here. On the one hand, we agree that get­ting mus­cle cars back into cir­cu­la­tion is a good thing, for the car and for the hobby as a whole. There’s no bet­ter way to en­cour­age some­one to join the hobby than to live the ex­am­ple of en­joy­ing these cars. But we also be­lieve in the “only orig­i­nal once” con­cept, not be­cause it’s trendy but be­cause orig­i­nal cars are (A) get­ting harder to find; and (B) such great teach­ing tools to learn how things were done, es­pe­cially if you want to mimic fac­tory assem­bly tech­niques in a restora­tion.

Hold­ing both of those be­liefs at one time can make the “fix it or not?” ques­tion dif­fi­cult some­times—that line you re­fer to be­tween pre­serve and re­store. And the only “right” an­swer to that ques­tion is what­ever the car’s owner de­cides, no mat­ter what you, or we, think is right. We’ve met own­ers who re­stored what we con­sid­ered per­fectly pre­served cars, own­ers who will get around to fix­ing their car “some­day,” and own­ers who plan to leave alone their rusted-out but much-loved hulks. We may not agree, but we try not to judge, hard as that is to do some­times.

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