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41 Coupe restoration Opinions


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Total restoration of a 41 Zephyr 3 passenger coupe in progress. The build sheet shows it was produced without ANY options. Previous resto added a water heater (mounted in the wrong position), radio (antenna in the wrong spot), mirror (not Zephyr's).

Our fantastically skilled restorer (Gordie) insists on leaving the car original. Having the correct parts for the options, and leaving them on the floor, hurts my soul. Help me heal!

Please - WWZD? (What would Zephyrists do?)

PS: anyone with a 41 trans cluster gear?

Tom

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A few thoughts:

I don't think leaving off the heater or radio will have any substantial effect on the value of your car. Your car is desirable because of the body style, not the heater, radio or lack thereof.

That said, as far as the AACA and LZOC are concerned, if the options are factory-correct and installed in a factory-correct manner, it won't matter if your car actually had them. For both these clubs, the point is to recreate the car to a configuration that was viable at the time the car was made.

Personally, I restored my Mustang back to as it appeared new, but it was also a loaded car -- there really wasn't anything to add. For my Zephyr, the car came with broadcloth interior, manifold heater and Zephyr Garnet paint. I am restoring the car with these features, plus I'm adding a factory-correct radio, Columbia and wind wings. The point is, someone looking at this car will *not* get an innaccurate picture of how these cars appeared when new. [The one exception is the three-point harness seatbelts: I don't like a metal dash 18 inches from my or my son's face. Anyone who has a problem with that can stick it in their ear.]

I guess it becomes a problem when every restored car is "loaded" and/or finished the same way. For instance, I find it amusing how many Candy-apple red, deluxe interior, "dealer-installed" [no such thing] GT Mustangs there are at shows.

Long story short, I think the vast majority of picky concours folks (like myself) will have no problem with you adding these options, as long as the installation is historically accurate.

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A funny (hopefully) Mustang story for you Cece, in 1973 there was a '65 fastback advertised in the local paper, my son Doug and I went to look at it, it was a car that was given to a teenage daughter who hit everything in Santa Cruz with it twice, one look, and I said to Doug, "this 'stang is too beat even for me", I was a body and fender man back then, he replied with, " Let me test drive it Dad", he did, and said excitedly, "buy it Dad, buy it", so I plunked down the $250, and we drove the best running mustang I ever saw home, 289 4 bbl, C-4, rally wheels and rally pack on a automatic, thought that was funny. I cherried it out, and painted it black. Doug used to "borrow" it, and go down to Beach street on friday nights, and clean up on the Chevies, I drove it until the '90's, and stupidly sold it way too cheap, $5K. Here are some before and after pics, again "hopefully"-

post-51946-143137962611_thumb.jpg

post-51946-143137962613_thumb.jpg

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My Mustang was my first car, Rolf. You can see the "before" and "after" pics on the link below (strangely, the car looks smaller next to me now than it did 25 years ago). I always liked early Mustangs gave you a lot of bang for the buck, but some of the prices they go for now are just silly IMHO.

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Add the heater, add a radio, add 2 speed..add correct cowl mirror...add oil bath air cleaner..add stainless wheel rings...warner odrive..add running lights..add locking gas cap..add license plate frame............or be really boring like the guy who bought it 60 years ago...paint it color u want..but keep within factory available stuff to be authentic.

Unless u spend 80,0000 dollars for a garage queen restoration, then dont drive it it wont be worth 50,000 dollars anyway...so do it for you, not some old fuddy duddy

in a goofy club..I went to a classic car caravan..had to park outside.."seperate and unequal" our cars arent "classics" high brow bs..make it useful and fun..drive it and watch little kids give u thumbs up..and old farts ask if it has a 12...best thrill there is..and if u are gonna drive in cool weather..add the heater.

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You guys are implying that I shouldn't put this 454 in my '36? no Mustang II front end, 9" rear? Air conditioning and 22" wheels are out too? Without all those "necessary upgrades" it isn't roadworthy is it? What am I going to do with the 2 gallons of flip flop purple paint? wink.gif

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Not only should you make those mods, Mike, but you should put a cam in with enough lift that it sounds like a cat trying to spit up hairballs at anywhere under 3000 rpm. Then you can be one of the million "individuals" out there in streetrod land grin.gif

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BTW Tom, adding a few dealer type options, in a neat professional, period correct manner is no problem when you are being judged, but you can't lose points for an option that is not added. If you are restoring a concours type trailer queen, everything has to be correct and perfect. If you are going to drive your car (which is the original reason they were built) add whatever you like or feel is necessary for your comfort and safety. Drive it and enjoy it! My 36 is not perfect, and likely never will be, but it sure is a lot of fun.

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Hey Cecil, a few years ago there was a guy in my local club that had an honest 395 point Grand National winning Studebaker Gran Tourismo, it was one of the most beautiful Studes I've ever seen. He tearfully sold it when he was downsizing (bought a Crosley for his toy) and was very careful to sell it to someone like-minded, and who would take good care of it. 6 Months later I saw it at a car show with a SBC and big wheels..... un believeable! the new owner figured it was the wise move, 350 parts were much easier to find. His hotrodder buddy gave him a good deal on the swap too, $2000 and the Stude engine.

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Yes indeed Mike, the SBC's are called "belly-button engines" everybody has one, and there is so much speed equipment for them that they are reminiscent of the Ford flathead V-8''s from '32-'48, way back when, but the flatheads were pretty, and a full dress one like these pics are not rivaled by the most built SBC ever, so a lot of people only have taste in their mouths-

post-51946-143137962615_thumb.jpg

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I tend to compare them to a different body part that we all have Rolf. It takes little imagination to SBC a car. It truly puzzles me when a guy spends thousands of hours and tens of thousands of dollars building a chassis, beautiful interior, tons of doo-dads and gizmos for convenience, flawless paint etc. then powers it with a $1500 SBC crate motor.

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No <span style="font-weight: bold">Queen</span> being crowned here! It will be driven. I do believe in the best job possible. I'm not old enough to have been around when these were being built. The snob elite may say it's not a classic. I <span style="text-decoration: underline">always</span> thought the styling timeless. That's why this is a restoration, not a RESTOrod. There is not a pit in the frame (survivor).

By the way: 29T/32 Frame Rod, 51 Merc Woodie, (3) 54 Kaiser Darrins, 62 Thunderbird Roadster, 64 Fairlane "ThunderBolt", 67 Galaxie 7 Litre Convert, 68 F350 car hauler. Whoops - 67 Chrysler Newport Convert (As big as a whale, about to set sail.)

Not for glory - for the Love of it.

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