I direct your attention to a segment of Jay Leno’s Garage which I caught the other day:
The basic idea is summed up here:
Mostly known for turning classic SUVs and trucks such as the Toyota FJ, the Ford Bronco, and the Chevrolet 3100 into modern off-roaders or hot rods, ICON also spends time building rat rod-like vehicles as part of its Derelicts line. The Los Angeles shop buys “as found” vintage car bodies and mounts them on modern chassis and drivetrains, while adding various creature comforts.
Kind of an extreme form of restomodding, no?
I think I might hate it.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t really mind the idea of restomodding — I’ve done it to my own Mustang II — but at some point it goes a bit too far. The idea behind these is that they’re classic sleepers, cars that have high performance in an otherwise unassuming package. I also like the idea of actually driving an old car that isn’t all prettied up and in gleaming show car condition. Cars are meant to be driven, not stuck on a pedestal to be admired. Matter of fact, I have wrestled with that very thing with my old Mustang, trying to decide whether to go the show car route with it. I’ve already won some awards with it, but nowadays it would require a heck of a lot of time and especially money to get it to proper show car condition. I’m not knocking anyone from the hobby, but I eventually decided it’s not for me. My head will turn far more quickly at the sight of a well-used old car still being driven on the road than a perfect classic car sitting on a perfectly manicured lawn. Eh, that’s just my thing.
So I liked this segment. . . .at first. What’s not to like? Someone takes an old car that might otherwise be sent to the shredder and gives it new life! It can be driven and fulfill its primary purpose once again.
Yeah, but. Trouble is, almost apart from the cruddy looking body and some of the interior, there’s virtually nothing else on them that are original. I believe the Buick in the video ended up getting something like $250,000 worth of modifications on it and this site puts its value at somewhere around $1 million.
Yeah. Errr, ummm, wuuuuuuuut??
Think maybe I’d demand a decent paint job for that amount.
Yeah, this is kind of a first-world pet peeve of mine, but I kinda don’t get the appeal of having what is essentially a brand new car in an old car body. Why not just get a new car if you need all those ‘creature comforts’? Isn’t the point of having an old car to experience having an old car? I can see keeping it looking the way it is — cracked, fading, peeling paint and all — and perhaps replacing torn, gross upholstery, but a wholesale replacement of nearly everything on it?
Well, to each their own I guess.
I will say that segment did have the effect of making me appreciate the old Mustang a little more, despite its dinged up paint and altogether not perfect engine bay and other signs of a car well used.