businesscar1917

What does original mean?

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My interpretation. As it was the year it was new with no later replaced parts or paint. As it left the factory plus any aftermarket accessories added the year it was purchased. Maybe a few years of grace period added to allow for something added by the dealer such as a radio or heater. 

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Poster asked what "Original"means. For the linguists, start with what the dictionary says. "Original" can be used as an adjective or noun.

 

As an adjective, it has 2 variations: 1. existing from the beginning such as "John is the original owner of the car". 2. created directly by an artist or person, such as "That is an original Ford".

 

As a Noun, again 2 variations 1. Something used as a model for making copies such as "the 1980 Shay Model A Ford Roadster is based on the Original. 2. an eccentric  person, such as "in the old car hobby, my buddy is an Original ( after he was born, they threw away the mold). 

 

So when we use the word in the hobby, we should understand what the word itself means and use it accordingly. So if someone says this is an "Original 1929 Ford, it should follow the definition of an adjective set out above, i.e. a car as created directly by Henry Ford and Co. Of course, in most cases, the further adjective "mostly" or "largely" etc should be used, as virtually no "100% original" 1929 Fords exist. It is common to see a 1929 Ford for sale with a description "for sale by family of Original Owner".  

 

So my 2 cents (more like a dime!) is to get in the habit of trying to properly reflect what you are selling or using to describe your car. Everyone will realize when someone says their "1929 Ford is mostly original" that the car is pretty much stock, may have been painted or had engine rebuilt. All the words in the hobby are subject to wide interpretation. What does "rebuilt" "refurbished" "restored" "upgraded" "classic" "modernized" etc really mean. No answer will cover all, if any bases. Just try to be honest is all I suggest. 

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The definition of an "Original" car is simple, exactly as it was manufactured and sold. Which, for 99.9% of all cars meant that they ceased to be original at the first tire change or tuneup. For most of old car hobby history "original" meant used and ugly and destined for restoration or parts stripping. Only in recent times have truly original cars gained desirability and value so the term has been bastardized extensively as cynically mentioned above. I have been fortunate to own two "90% original" cars in recent years and can say their appeal is universal. While I love restored cars as much as anyone I much prefer an original one to drive and enjoy.

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On 1/17/2019 at 8:30 AM, businesscar1917 said:

 WOW.   I'll be 70 this year to bad I couldn't get restored to original condition. Thanks for the comments.  

 

Who would change your diaper ?

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I observe and internalize a lot of experiences. I even got in trouble with my school teachers because they said I read too slowly. Huh, later in life I ran into the speed readers.

 

"Original" is entertaining and best experienced in face to face conversation or visually on TV. The most abstract version is pronounced "ridgenil" starting the word with the eyes lowered and head slightly bowed. The O is dropped and the head rises with a slight nodding motion, as if to signal approval. That's the TV style and the the one used in anecdotal descriptions. Those are the unarguable types, sort of like Alex Trebek selling funeral insurance on the solarium TV, always nodding approval.

 

Or-ig-in-al is the authoritative way, back up references available as in a judge with training. Even as the most credible source, one must always be aware of automotive hobby dogma. That is a trap that is very easy to fall into when one takes all this stuff too seriously. Hold this thought and watch for examples.

 

"I" am capable of both and, at times, been referred to as dogmatically playful.

Bernie

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You folks are trying to make this simple answer too difficult.

 

Today "original" means "how can I get the most money out of this item"? ;) Doesn't matter if the item is a car, a house, or a tube of toothpaste.

 

Forgive me for being a cynic.

 

Reminds me of an incident from almost a different lifetime when I was much younger and impressionable (about 1970). Was at Hershey listening to a discussion on this topic by two older gray-bearded gentlemen. The final word was: "Well, as far as I am concerned, once the tires have to have air, its no longer original"! True story.

 

Jon.

 

 

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On ‎1‎/‎18‎/‎2019 at 3:23 PM, Tinindian said:

What a beautiful 90% original Packard.  Is that an 11  series?

Yes, 1934 model 1100, the "loss leader" cheapest Packard you could buy in 1934. Of course it wasn't cheap at all because it was loaded with features and quality like all big Packards. If you are interested I did a thread under restorations and projects a few years ago.

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On 1/16/2019 at 5:50 PM, J.H.Boland said:

From a judging standpoint,I would think that original would be just the way the unit left the factory floor. That being said,in some circles "field modifications" are allowed.

 

I once had a '31 Chevy fire engine that faithfully served a small community until 1977. Driving an open cab truck flat out to a rural chimney fire in January was a less than pleasant experience, especially with no windshield. At some point early in it's service life,a windshield from a '28 Chevy truck was installed.This required the placement of the spotlight, originally mounted on the right side of the dash, to a bracket behind the fuel tank. It all looked quite proper,and it won numerous trophies at some rather prestigious meets.

 

Cut up touring bodies were a common way to get new and extended life out of an obsolete vehicle, but I don't think that Duesenburg  made into a flatbed hay hauler would be well received at Pebble Beach. When I restored my '21 Chevy, I could have restored it back to it's touring configuration,but the pickup conversion,done about 1925,was just too cute. Judging isn't everything.

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Wow, a Wardsville Fire truck!! That has to be one of the 1st ones in rural Ontario that wasn't horse drawn?

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I think it's all in the eye of the writer.  Ads are especially misleading.  Like:

1932 Ford Roadster,  restored to original, Gibbons body,  Carson Top, Pete & Jake suspension,

Corvette LS-3 engine, 6 speed tranny,  A/C, candy apple paint, custom interior,  $125,000

invested, trophy winner Firm @ $ 135,000.  no tire kickers, serious inquires only.

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1 hour ago, Ed Luddy said:

Wow, a Wardsville Fire truck!! That has to be one of the 1st ones in rural Ontario that wasn't horse drawn?

 

Actually no. Many small municipalities had motorized apparatus.I have an album of Bickle (Woodstock,Ont.) motor trucks and they date back into the teens. Some small towns had a trailer mounted pumper that was towed behind the chief's car.

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2 hours ago, carbking said:

Forgive me for being a cynic.

 

That's not an original statement.

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The word "Original" has many meanings in the old car hobby, and almost never  used correctly.

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To me the term original has to be preceded by a %.  A purely unrestored car is 100% original to me.  A restored car would be considered restored to (insert %) original condition.  It’s all just semantics though and as long as judges, buyers, and sellers agree on a particular car in terms of what to call it, that’s what matters.  If car is not being judged, bought, or sold, I couldn’t care less what someone calls it.  It is what it is.

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The meaning of original can vary depending on if you are the buyer, or the seller. 😁

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My own feeling is that "original", as regards automobiles, simply isn't definable. The AACA rule of "as it left the factory" may be fine for the 30s, 40s, 50s and later but it's a mass of contradictions with earlier cars. My own car was not supplied with headlights... so would the AACA require it be displayed without them? And what is "modified"? I think we can agree that a crate engine is modified but what about a different carburetor? I bet about 80% of the brass cars out there are running newer carbs...so are they modified? Then we get into things like aluminum pistons, modern seals, better cams and a host of things that are the result of 100 more years of automotive development. In many cases, it is impossible to keep these things out because they are often all that is available. The problem isn't that nearly all running cars are "modified" to some degree, it's in the hypocrisy of saying they are "100% original."

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1 minute ago, JV Puleo said:

My own feeling is that "original", as regards automobiles, simply isn't definable. The AACA rule of "as it left the factory" may be fine for the 30s, 40s, 50s and later but it's a mass of contradictions with earlier cars. My own car was not supplied with headlights... so would the AACA require it be displayed without them? And what is "modified"? I think we can agree that a crate engine is modified but what about a different carburetor? I bet about 80% of the brass cars out there are running newer carbs...so are they modified? Then we get into things like aluminum pistons, modern seals, better cams and a host of things that are the result of 100 more years of automotive development. In many cases, it is impossible to keep these things out because they are often all that is available. The problem isn't that nearly all running cars are "modified" to some degree, it's in the hypocrisy of saying they are "100% original."

 

I think it was meant to be interpreted  of how it was delivered to the public when offered for sale when new, using the factory authorized components. 

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If that is so, then at least for early cars it is probably impossible. I say "probably" but I really think "certainly". The whole construct of judging these things is based on practices that developed over time and were not in effect in the first 10 or 20 years of the century. "Factory authorized parts" are highly questionable before WWI when accessory catalogs abounded and practically everyone who owned a car "modified" it in some way if only to add a windshield. How about those rear-view mirrors clamped on brass model T's? The rear-view mirror wasn't even invented until Ray Harroun used one in the 1911 Indianapolis race. How long was it before it became a common accessory?  Looking at period photos, few cars have windshields... go to any early car meeting and nearly every car will have one.

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Having personally looked very closely at many thousands of original era photographs, and some of about any kind of car you can name, I can only estimate that about one car out of several hundred actually had a rear view mirror before about 1920. A popular accessory in the early days, they were not. I do have an original brass side mirror (steel bracket). It will hopefully go onto my '15 runabout, and be the only apparent after-market accessory on that car.

 

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9 hours ago, J.H.Boland said:

 

Actually no. Many small municipalities had motorized apparatus.I have an album of Bickle (Woodstock,Ont.) motor trucks and they date back into the teens. Some small towns had a trailer mounted pumper that was towed behind the chief's car.

I was born in Woodstock. Bickle and King-Seagrave Fire equipment were long time manufacturers in our town!

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