"Restoration" - Just what does that mean??
This commonly used word means different things to different car owners.
In the purest sense it is defined as:
"returning a car to the exact same specifications and condition as it originally left the factory."
Most everyone is aware that this is just not possible.
Even if we attempted such a thing, the parts, accessories, liquids, upholstery
and tires, etc., are just not available. While it is true that we can obtain some "reproduction" parts and materials, they are certainly not exactly as the
originals. It is even unlawful to use the original type paint in many cases.
Many fool themselves into the age-old trap that you can
truly "restore" a car - - - - you cannot.
Therefore, every "restoration" is actually a modification of the
original car to some extent.
The object of the owner or restorer is then the goal of any "restoration."
In some cases this objective is to restore the car as closely to the
original as possible, recognizing that some things will be somewhat
modified or changed during the process.
In other cases, the owner may want a car that has some modern safety features, such as seat belts, power brakes, etc. Another owner may want a car that
appears as close to original as possible but desires a car that can be driven on
today's roads and highways along side more recent models. They may also want some of the more recent conveniences, such as power steering, disc brakes,
air conditioning, power windows, cruise control, modern sound system, etc. Many fault these owners and claim they are "violating" an old car, but many
of these are the ones who will not step up to the plate and save that same
old car themselves. They seem to rather see that old car sent to the crusher
than to see it "modified." What a total waste that would be.
My personal belief is that some of the more extremely rare cars should be
left as close to original as possible in order for future generations to observe them as they were built. However, aside from those rare cars, I see
absolutely nothing wrong about a car owner modifying his/her car to
suit themselves. After all, it is their car. They bought it and should be able
to modify it at will without any criticism from critical onlookers. There are
also those who desire a radically modified car that may in some cases
appear as an improvement to the original or in other cases may seem
bizarre to some observers. But, that is the owner's right.
Some of the articles in this section cover such modifications. As an example,
one article explains how to install a more modern front suspension onto an
older Kaiser. The modification is usually not noticeable by the bystander and it gives the owner a much safer car to drive. It allows for power steering, power disc brakes, a more modern engine and transmission combination, etc.
Another article provides information on installing electric windshield wipers
on a Henry-J, which would be considered as a minor modification.
If you are disturbed by those articles, just don't read them.
Most old car owners buy them for their enjoyment.
I hope no matter what approach you take, have fun!