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Car Show Brochure from 40 Year Ago and Why It's Better to Keep Original than Modify


3macboys
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I stumbled across this car show program from 1980 today while looking for something else.  A few things stuck out at me but the biggest is how awful those customs/rods look today compare to the few original cars that were included that would still look as good now as they did then.  The ads are always interesting - could you imagine a car today being marketed with a model of "Mizer".  I was not quite 12 when this show was put on but it's interesting how much has changed in the last 40 yrs - are there any of those iconic Holiday Inn signs left?

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8 minutes ago, 1937hd45 said:

Please explain the title, or at least point out what bothers you about the vehicles in the program. Bob 

To my mind those customs have not stood the test of time aside from the lead sled Mercury - an original car will always stand on its own, colours may come and go, but the car itself will not make you regret what you have done.  That to me that is the problem with any modified car is that they become so personal and such a snapshot of the time they were built that they quickly become more a curiosity than something that you want sitting in your garage.  I respect the incredible skill of the builders though.  

 

And I just realized that I didn't capture the pages that showed the Model A and 'Cuda both in original condition

Edited by 3macboys (see edit history)
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I was in the 10th grade that year. My older brothers  were into cars, and customizing vans. I was really into the street rod scene and looked forward to the nationals. One year they were in Towson I believe another in York. I dont see anything wrong with the cars in the adds and it would be cool to have an original custom from that period, however as I age my tastes change and I prefer a car as close to factory spec as possible. I did have a similar thought as the original title suggest watching a car auction the other night. A customized 1940 Ford pickup sold for close to $200 thousand!!!! Yes that is correct! I thought that was the height of well you know what.... I could load a warehouse full of original model a's for that amount, and in 10 or 15 years may even come out ahead a bit. I can only imagine that same truck will be lucky to pull in $30k in that time.

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Never liked the General Lee back then, but it's politically incorrect enough now to have some slight appeal for me today. But whether the General Lee, that horrible sedan delivery or that hideous stake truck...if you put a beautiful woman by it, some people will look. (Not me of course...I'm talking about friends of mine. 🙃)

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"Why it's better to keep original than modify,"

you ask in your heading.

 

I'll say there are a very few customs that are

attractive.  They entirely resculpt the body and

come up with beautiful lines that a true designer

would be proud of.  Those are not, however, the

typical customs.

 

But we're here to preserve automotive history.

We want to see what the car companies produced--

actual mechanical features, styles, and interiors--

and save those for future generations.  Those original

engineers and designers were smart.  The modifications

that "Pete" welded in at Joe's Garage 40 years later

aren't as historic.

 

When we see a grand Victorian house, we want to

see what someone designed in, say, the 1890's.

Changing over to vinyl windows, hollow Masonite doors,

and aluminum siding would detract from its history, its

character, and its beauty.  So it is with our antique cars.

 

Katie Wanders : Rosecliff Mansion, Newport, Rhode Island

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
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17 minutes ago, John_S_in_Penna said:

When we see a grand Victorian house, we want to

see what someone designed in, say, the 1890's.

Changing over to vinyl windows, hollow Masonite doors,

and aluminum siding would detract from its history, its

character, and its beauty.  So it is with our antique cars.

 

Katie Wanders : Rosecliff Mansion, Newport, Rhode Island

Hence the challenge for renovators who want to retain the original appearance while adhering to modern building codes.  In public buildings, they do their best to conceal fire suppression hardware, including sprinkler heads, and emergency lighting, for example.  As well, restorers have to make these buildings ADA-compliant, another challenge at times if it has no provision for an elevator, or the hallways are very narrow.

 

One can perhaps liken  these safety upgrades to heritage buildings to someone installing disc brakes and seat belts in a prewar car??

 

Craig

Edited by 8E45E (see edit history)
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Some of the most beautiful cars ever built. Are customs, from the factory, and from private individuals and custom shops. One could say that the production car, fashion, music, hair styles and customs from 1980. Are very different from today's standards. To me a custom car represents individuality. No right or wrong in how a person fixes up their car. Nice to see restored cars as well as customs.

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I wonder whatever happened to the "Hustler" pool table car. It looks like it was located somewhere near Binghamtom/ Cortland in the 1970's- early '80's. I'll bet it's under some furniture in someone's dark, dank garage in upstate New York with flat tires...

Edited by 89tc (see edit history)
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Besides seeing the same ratty Carl Casper or "Big Daddy" Ed Roth Kustoms and "movie cars" year after year, I dont think seeing a Cosplay Fred & Barney, or even that cheap  late-1970's  rip-off Captain Caveman woulda got me or any of my friends off the couch or out of the garage and down to the local Armory. 

 

On the other hand, if Wilma and Betty were there...

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3 hours ago, Xander Wildeisen said:

Some of the most beautiful cars ever built. Are customs, from the factory, and from private individuals and custom shops. One could say that the production car, fashion, music, hair styles and customs from 1980. Are very different from today's standards. To me a custom car represents individuality. No right or wrong in how a person fixes up their car. Nice to see restored cars as well as customs.

 

I have friends who build their own cars. They build them from scratch, frames and bodies. Those are custom cars and I accept them.

I know other people who customize existing production cars. Those cars are what we call bastard cars.

You don't buy a canvas painting of  Claude Monet and add your own touches to it, and you don't buy a 34 Ford or a 57 Coupe de Ville and customize over someone else's work. By customizing over someone else's work disrespects  the original designers idea, education and their artistic creation.

If you think you have a good idea for the design of a car then build one from scratch all by yourself.

Edited by Pfeil (see edit history)
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The car hobby sure has something for everyone; then as much as now.  I think one aspect of it is like art; you may not like a particular piece, but sometimes you have to admire the creativity, effort, and passion that went into it regardless.  Another interesting thing to me is that the customs seem to push the envelope on materials and technology.  Two or three times a year, I pick up a street rodder catalog or magazine just for fun, and I usually come away with a new product, technique, or material idea that I can use as a restorer.

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The custom/street rod side of the industry has led to/created hundreds of businesses that manufacture components. Thousands of jobs created from old cars. That were produced decades ago. That has to make Ford, Chevrolet, Dodge and others proud. That their old products, can still have an impact in creating jobs for people. And generate beautiful custom designs, based off of their original work. I see both sides. Love original cars. Also like seeing the creative touch others put on their cars.

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6 hours ago, John_S_in_Penna said:

"Why it's better to keep original than modify,"

you ask in your heading.

 

I'll say there are a very few customs that are

attractive.  They entirely resculpt the body and

come up with beautiful lines that a true designer

would be proud of.  Those are not, however, the

typical customs.

 

But we're here to preserve automotive history.

We want to see what the car companies produced--

actual mechanical features, styles, and interiors--

and save those for future generations.  Those original

engineers and designers were smart.  The modifications

that "Pete" welded in at Joe's Garage 40 years later

aren't as historic.

 

When we see a grand Victorian house, we want to

see what someone designed in, say, the 1890's.

Changing over to vinyl windows, hollow Masonite doors,

and aluminum siding would detract from its history, its

character, and its beauty.  So it is with our antique cars.

 

Katie Wanders : Rosecliff Mansion, Newport, Rhode Island

I completely agree with John, however, when I look at this interior shot it makes me cringe. Correct if you think I'm wrong, but when this house was built, I don't think that everything in this entry way was monochromatically, painted, as we see in this photo. Natural dark wood would have been a feature, maybe even multiple woods would have been used. I can still appreciate the architectural style, but I want to see it the way it was.

 

The irrevocable threat to both architecture and the automobile, history is modernization. Modernization is either aimed to suit a single individual's ego or what is considered currently, popular. The problem is that tastes change, a classic does not change.  Once changed it's hard to restore.

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1 hour ago, Buffalowed Bill said:

I completely agree with John, however, when I look at this interior shot it makes me cringe. Correct if you think I'm wrong, but when this house was built, I don't think that everything in this entry way was monochromatically, painted, as we see in this photo. Natural dark wood would have been a feature, maybe even multiple woods would have been used.

 

Bill, I very much appreciate your dedication to

authentic architecture.  I feel the same way.

However, I don't think you need to cringe:  The

picture is of "Rosecliff," in Newport, Rhode Island.

The exterior of the house is white terra cotta, and

the house is preserved by The Preservation Society

of Newport County.  I think they've kept it authentic.

The original mistress of the house must have loved

white, because she gave one ball themed totally

in white and silver.

 

At this high level of architecture, interior trim in the

main spaces may be carved stone.  Other trim is 

molded plaster.

 

Getting back (a bit) to our car topic, Jay Leno bought

a large old house in Newport a few years ago.

 

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
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5 hours ago, Xander Wildeisen said:

So I am guessing you would not remodel your kitchen.

 

Xander, you bring up an interesting point!  Old architecture

is like old cars, in a way.  For a while, old buildings (and

old cars) seem merely outdated, and people don't appreciate

them.  Think of a 1970's shopping center that a buyer

immediately wants to remodel or demolish.  Think of the

1970's kitchen you mention that a new owner can't stand!

Think of a 1980 Chevrolet Caprice coupe that some people

regard as merely a used car.

 

Then, after a while, fewer good examples remain.

People then start appreciating them, and want to preserve

them.  People may exult over a circa-1900 kitchen that

has managed to stay unaltered.  People may appreciate the

1965 Bel Air 2-door sedan that is unrestored and still pristine.

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I'm surprised that the Chevrolet Monte Carlo was popular enough to get it's own tv show. I know it was pretty dominant in NASCAR at that time, but still.

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1 hour ago, John_S_in_Penna said:

 

 

 

Getting back (a bit) to our car topic, Jay Leno bought

a large old house in Newport a few years ago.

 

 

Thanks for that bit of info, just Googled it, what a lovely place to have to retreat to when California becomes uninhabitable. Bob 

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7 hours ago, Xander Wildeisen said:

So I am guessing you would not remodel your kitchen.

My late parents' house was built in the 1980s.  The oven wouldn't work recently and my sister said I would probably have to buy a new one.  I told her that buying a new range was a last resort since the older appliances tend to be better built than today's imported junk.  Since I had to be at work, she met the appliance repair guy I recommended.  He was elated to hear that I wanted it repaired instead of replaced, and eagerly showed her pictures of the old appliances in his house.  He ended up having to replace a leaky control valve, and it was less than $150.00.  The clock/timer doesn't work any more, so the self-cleaning feature can't work, but I don't care.  It still works after 34 years!

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1 hour ago, Jim Skelly said:

My late parents' house was built in the 1980s.  The oven wouldn't work recently and my sister said I would probably have to buy a new one.  I told her that buying a new range was a last resort since the older appliances tend to be better built than today's imported junk.  Since I had to be at work, she met the appliance repair guy I recommended.  He was elated to hear that I wanted it repaired instead of replaced, and eagerly showed her pictures of the old appliances in his house.  He ended up having to replace a leaky control valve, and it was less than $150.00.  The clock/timer doesn't work any more, so the self-cleaning feature can't work, but I don't care.  It still works after 34 years!

I'm in no hurry to get rid of mine, as still works perfectly after 55 years.  The local Chrysler dealer might still have parts! 😁

 

Craig

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