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Worst part of a restoration?


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8E:

a) I can reprogram an '89.

b) Allante taillight is a Benjamin, XLR takes ten.

c) With top down, Allante has room in the trunk for some suitcases. XLR has room for a handkerchief.

d) XLRs are $15k-$20k for a decent one, nice 89 Allante is 1/4 that, spare was pocket change.

e) '89 Allante is AACA eligable.

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I mainly work alone but when I need help, my brother or neighbor, both skilled with their hands, which saves me aggravation! My pet peeves with restoration are the few things I don’t do myself and with people who can’t be as reliable as myself. Painters drive me crazy. Yes, I could learn to do it myself but it would be just one more thing as I already do most things and I hate body filler dust in my garage. Up here in New England, most good body men do so much insurance work they won’t take restoration work, even after I’ve replaced all the bad metal, tin knocked all the areas, and supplied the body on a rotisserie. Others who are available are usually drunks or addicts in some way, only capable of good work Or showing up to work when not under the influence and in need of money to get high. Engine machining is the other aspect I leave to others because I just don’t have the equipment so I don’t even bother filling up my brain with the specific knowledge. When a motor takes 18 months to do, something’s wrong. I pretty much do everything else, from wood work, welding, mold making, parts machining, sewing, installing roofs, wiring, etc. I also heavier research the car I’m working on and do all my own parts ordering. I do hate the record keeping aspect of restoration and have thought to get a time clock just to punch in and out so I can keep track of each day without having to come in and fill out my notebook.

      I really enjoyed the first 3 1/2 years of the last 5 of doing restorations. I do mainly 30s GM cars so most aren’t difficult but the last year and a half, dealing with outside contractors, put a real disdain in me for the hobby. So much that I’ve decided to step away after I’m done with the two vehicles I’m currently in the middle of. The pressure of my Olds restoration and the fact that the painter finished one day before I left for it’s first show in Hershey last October landed me in the hospital with a bought of transient global amnesia, or temporary memory loss. Many times the cause can be a serious issue but after a ton of tests they determined it was stress, brought on by the pressure and aggravation I was experiencing trying to get my car done for that show. I don’t need other people stressing me out because they can’t keep a good work effort. I’d rather not have to rely on them so I’m just stepping back and will start on my garden railroad in my own yard, again, all by myself.

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20 hours ago, edinmass said:

Back in 1994 I asked my restorer if I had spent 10k in repairs yet.........on a Pierce Arrow he was working on for me. He let out a huge laugh.......opened up his computer and said you paid me over 50k already. That was when I stopped asking about restoration costs. That was twenty five years ago.....it’s ten times worse today.

My brother and myself had a brass era (1913) motorcycle restored a few years ago. He (my bro) would hand an envelope with money to the guy doing the job every couple of months. First time I asked what the cost was up to he politely said 'you dont want to know'. I do know it wasnt cheap, but I dont know what was spent, and am probably better off!!  btw, bike came out perfect and won many best in shows before retirement.

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3 hours ago, TAKerry said:

 btw, bike came out perfect and won many best in shows before retirement.

I hope this "retirement" means from show circuit/circus and it was finally put into "as intended" active duty/use.

I mean anything less could be considered borderline criminal and serious waste of the money spent on its "restoration".

Edited by TTR (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, TTR said:

I hope this "retirement" means from show circuit/circus and it was finally put into "as intended" active duty/use.

I mean anything less could be considered borderline criminal and serious waste of the money spent on its "restoration".

Yes, my brother is an active motorcyclist. He rides the 1913 as often as possible. He also races a 1935 Rudge bronze head ulster in the vintage Canadian circuit. We had a large collection at one time and although they were all restored to a very high level we did ride them. Not trying to sound arrogant but we enjoyed just showing them. I have a garage full of trophies and that part became rather monotonous. We stopped entering them and would just buy a vendor spot to show them.

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4 minutes ago, TAKerry said:

Yes, my brother is an active motorcyclist. He rides the 1913 as often as possible. He also races a 1935 Rudge bronze head ulster in the vintage Canadian circuit. 

👍

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I find it irritating when I install a wood screw with a phillips head in a piece of wood on my car that will be covered with padding and upholstery and someone comes along and has to tell me that it is not period correct like I really care. 

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On 10/30/2020 at 9:18 PM, 29hupp said:

I find it irritating when I install a wood screw with a phillips head in a piece of wood on my car that will be covered with padding and upholstery and someone comes along and has to tell me that it is not period correct like I really care. 

Thank them for their assistance and ask them to show you their car.

Then, you can help them find their own blunders...IF they have a car.

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1 hour ago, 1912Staver said:

Hunting for parts for decades . Even worse if they either don't exist , or if you never find them.

 

Greg

With all due respect, but I believe that's often just an excuse.

Anyone serious enough about a project should be able and willing to find any and all potential sources or suppliers for any missing components/parts and if they don't pan out, next step is to look into re-creating/-producing said item(s).

No need or point to waste "decades" or longer, especially in todays world where information, experience and know-how is likely more abundant and easily accessible than ever.

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2 hours ago, TTR said:

With all due respect, but I believe that's often just an excuse.

Anyone serious enough about a project should be able and willing to find any and all potential sources or suppliers for any missing components/parts and if they don't pan out, next step is to look into re-creating/-producing said item(s).

No need or point to waste "decades" or longer, especially in todays world where information, experience and know-how is likely more abundant and easily accessible than ever.

 

 

So PLEASE , point me to your shed full of Teetor Hartley engine parts... PRETTY PLEASE !! 

But yes you are correct . It's just an excuse for my inability to pay $25,000  - $35, 000  or more for the engine I need. 

The owner in the never let someone drive your brass car thread places the number at $125,000 but that is a 6 , mine is only a 4. 

Just apply a dump truck full of $20,'s and any roadblock evaporates.

You are correct. I am running out of excuses even faster than cash. I guess it's either golf or fishing in my future.

 

Greg

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)
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  On 10/30/2020 at 9:18 PM, 29hupp said:

I find it irritating when I install a wood screw with a phillips head in a piece of wood on my car that will be covered with padding and upholstery and someone comes along and has to tell me that it is not period correct like I really care. 

Thank them for their assistance and ask them to show you their car.

Then, you can help them find their own blunders...IF they have a car.

 

I guess I am a disgrace to hobby.   I also used modern epoxy glue, epoxy primer, Loctite thread locker, body filler, gasket sealer, gas tank sealer, safety glass, and many other things that were not around at the time my car was built! 

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3 hours ago, 1912Staver said:

I am running out of excuses even faster than cash. I guess it's either golf or fishing in my future.

 

Greg

Again, with all due respect, but perhaps it's time to look into a car(s) you can afford to own/restore and let someone else finish the one(s) you're not able to ?

There are few cars I'd love to own, but they're out of my financial reach and being a realist, I'm happy with the ones I have and can afford.

 

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20 + years ago when I first became involved with it the undertaking did not seem so unrealistic. A lot has changed over those years, none of it good for my disposable income. If nothing else the project has to this point been a very good learning

process. But yes , still miles away from the finish line. It's been owned by a number of would be restorers since the late 1940's. But short of spending 3 or 4 multiples of the cars potential market value on having the missing parts recreated  it's been 

too much for myself or any of the past owners . Parts have slowly accumulated for it over the decades , but it will outlive me as a project. 

As far as letting someone else finish it , that will perhaps happen some day.  It isn't worth anything the way it is , and it gives me a reason to attend swap meets and pick through tons of old junk.  

I have a couple of newer cars that I can afford , but they are from the 1960's and 70's and a completely different thing. I just had this 40 + year itch to be involved with a medium sized Brass Car.

A pile of parts  is possibly better than looking at books and old car calendars. 

.Greg

 

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)
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^^ I hear you.
Sometimes it’s hard to let go, but OTOH to quote one of my all time favorite movie lines/wisdoms “Man’s got to know his limitations“.

About 30 years ago I had accumulated nearly 30 car “collection”, most of them running & drivable, unrestored “survivors “(?), spread between Europe & U.S., but one day it dawned on me that I’m never going to be able properly look after, let alone restore them all or even most, so I sold all but couple (which I still have today).

 

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Greg, There is a photo of an American Underslung for sale with the incorrect engine in another thread. Your car may be even more unusual and rare, so who would know if you slipped an unknown engine it it? There are thousands of unfinished restorations out there, don't feel bad. Bob 

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2 hours ago, 1937hd45 said:

Greg, There is a photo of an American Underslung for sale with the incorrect engine in another thread. Your car may be even more unusual and rare, so who would know if you slipped an unknown engine it it? There are thousands of unfinished restorations out there, don't feel bad. Bob 

 

It's a relatively conventional car, but yes quite rare. As far as I know mine is the only incomplete Staver out there.

I have looked into a few different engines over the years { as have some of the previous owners }but so I have not found one that is a good match. Most have cast in engine

mounts that end up being much too wide for my sub -frame style chassis. The closest I have seen is a type B Wisconsin , similar to a Stutz type A but the F.W.D. truck version. Still a fairly rare and expensive engine.

I have not yet found one that I could afford. Then it becomes the choice between spending a bunch of money on the wrong engine or investing in patterns and castings to

complete the correct engine that I already have about 50% of.  Still lots of things to do on the project before I truly need an engine . The hope is that over time either a reasonably priced

Wisconsin turns up , or more Teetor Hartley parts turn up, or a suitable,  different engine altogether shows up. 

 

Greg

 

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9 hours ago, maok said:

You blokes have no idea, the worst part about any restoration is working under the dash.

 

I know if I have to spend very much time under there its worth the time to take the seat out.

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I expect that in some point in the future my project will have to go back home to the Mid West. The person before me brought it from Indiana to the Seattle WA. area { you can possibly look at this as a mistake }  . And then I took it even further from it's home to 

British Columbia , Canada. {absolutely,  no doubt a mistake }.

They were a car that most likely saw very few sales outside the Mid West, and if any further parts survive they are most likely in the Mid West area. 

The other two survivors are also outside the Mid West today . But they are complete cars , and one in a museum { East Coast but from Kansas }, one locked up in a family collection { West Coast } . So I doubt the people

involved are either looking for parts or having any parts made.

The project needs someone with the patience and ability to attend swap meets and network with other Brass Era people in the part of the country where Stavers were originally sold  and  died. 

I barely can afford to travel to P.N.W. events. Travel to Hershey, Bakersfield , Chickasha OK. or any Mid West events on a regular basis is well beyond my budget. 

 

Greg

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On 10/29/2020 at 11:02 AM, Matt Harwood said:

Worst part of any restoration is selling it to some jellyhead who wonders why that part that isn't quite perfect isn't quite perfect.

That may be because the part is considered to be 'substandard' to what we see today with improved manufacturing, and sealing.  For example, I have an NOS Bendix vacuum brake booster for a 2-ton Studebaker.  I will have it rebuilt by White Post with new seals, etc., before I will consider installing it and putting it to use because I know the original materials have deteriorated, even in dry storage, over 60 years.

 

On a different note, there was a great condition '75 Cordoba for sale at a swap meet about a year ago.  After looking it over, It is clearly evident how much fit and finish has improved in new vehicles since that time.  

 

Craig

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Worst part of any restoration is when you make the fatal mistake of complimenting someone’s car at a show (remember car shows?), and then get trapped into listening to a detailed account of all the problems they had along the way; I call these guys “fun sponges” - just waiting for any opportunity to wick up any happiness. 
 

Book of Job, anyone? 

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I don’t think there is a worst part of a restoration,sure we all get aggravated some times,the chassis restoration is the worst,until we have it running starting and stopping then it wasn’t so bad,the wood work until it all starts coming together the doors open and close properly sound like a bank vault,the upholstery until your setting inside smelling that new upholstery,then not so bad,how about paint and bodywork tough until it’s polished and gleaming in the sun then not so bad so to sum it all up the money the tore up hands and everything else. Not so bad,     Dave

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Just Dave, I like your positive attitude. Having one helps in all aspects of life. I too try to maintain a peaceful existence, BUT, having spent the last week laying on my back scraping and wire wheeling the bottom of my car suspended 2' above my oversized body, and knowing that Im only half done is def. the WORST part of my restoration. NO way to sugar coat this job!! LOL

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Good morning    Takerry

yeah that’s a tough job ,takes awhile to make it nice,when some people look at the car deeply and see that it’s all clean and polished they’ll ask how hard was that,and you will tell them.  Not bad. And you will laugh thinking about this conversation,keep up the good work you could have chosen to leave it alone but instead your doing  it right, so I guess the job is not bad,    Dave

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5 hours ago, TAKerry said:

Just Dave, I like your positive attitude. Having one helps in all aspects of life. I too try to maintain a peaceful existence, BUT, having spent the last week laying on my back scraping and wire wheeling the bottom of my car suspended 2' above my oversized body, and knowing that Im only half done is def. the WORST part of my restoration. NO way to sugar coat this job!! LOL

Yes you can!! https://www.resto-revolver.ca/gallery  I won't do without mine!!

 

Craig

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Craig, the bad thing is I have a rotiss. that is sitting outside on the pad beside my shop!  When I did my 77 there was not a nut or bolt that was left untouched. Bottom of the car is as clean as the top. I also spent 5 years doing the work. When I started my 79 I said to myself that good enough was going to be good enough. I bought new lines (brake and fuel) and thought there was no way I was going to install them on a car with a crappy looking bottom. So out came the wire wheel, mission creep and viola!  A couple of weeks on my back with dirt in my face!!!

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For me keeping interest in a multi year project. Often I already have eyes and imagination set on the next project before one is finished. For the record I would say anything i do is rebuild and not restore.  I haven't got the patience or money to do a proper restoration on a car or bike.  

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21 minutes ago, erichill said:

For me keeping interest in a multi year project. Often I already have eyes and imagination set on the next project before one is finished. For the record I would say anything i do is rebuild and not restore.  I haven't got the patience or money to do a proper restoration on a car or bike.  

Aww gee, there’s more truth to that than I’m usually willing to admit - though I’ve always been able to acknowledge that with me it has always been about the ‘hunt’.

Good thing there are honest people around here. Otherwise I would have no idea what’s going on in my mind....

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What a great read!

Some very interesting insight into people's thoughts on restoration.

I have found in my last two rebuilds that when I get near the end I start to loose focus. I start to question myself about whether or not nuts and bolts are tight, or whether I have missed something.

Is everything together? What is going to fall off as I drive down the road?

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11 hours ago, lozrocks said:

I start to question myself about whether or not nuts and bolts are tight, or whether I have missed something.

Is everything together? What is going to fall off as I drive down the road?

This is why several  thorough shakedown test drives are imperative. Starting with one or two just down the street or around the block and then extending to longer and higher speeds.
 

After completion of any major repairs or restoration work, especially those involving mechanical rebuilding or services, I try to put at least 100-200 miles at various distances and speeds on the car, usually up to (at least) 75-80% of it intended capabilities before handing the keys to owner.

 

Just in last couple of weekends (early Sat. or Sun. mornings with least amount of other road users around, etc) I did several test drives with two almost 50 year old cars*, eventually some leading up to speeds of +/-140 (both are capable of 170+). For one example I even had to order a fresh set of tires ($400/each) even though the set on it had less than 1K miles on them and looked “like brand new” were 20 (!?!) years old, i.e. JUNK or nothing more than something to be used as "rollers" or just for display.


While I know their owners will likely never try anything even close to that, I just prefer to make sure that should they do it, there won’t be any surprises(?) or if something does appear to be off, it occurs while I’m behind the wheel rather than my clients.

 

And if possible, I also try to test drive them thoroughly before commencing any repairs/services, although this usually leads to finding more concerns than clients initially indicate, often a lot more. 🙄

 

* Both now ready to be delivered, one scheduled for transportation tomorrow, the other one heading to its new home/owner in couple of weeks. 

Edited by TTR (see edit history)
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