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As beautiful as the work is, and fabulous it is to keep the skill set alive, I think it’s tragic to imagine the dwindling pool of honest cars getting nuked into oblivion just so someone with a stack of cash con drive and new car pretending to be an old car. I don’t think the SL even came with leather as an option tbh, I’ve seen several over restored cars at shows recently, almost antiseptically clean, devoid of any indication they’ve had a life at all. This is in the same camp as the thousands of restored vintage watches which… Read more »
What I find especially appealing about the Hemmels approach is how they have teamed older and younger craftsmen, in engine & trans rebuilding, in sheet metal & paint, and in the upholstery & interior work. Without companies like this that cultivate talent, these skills are lost.
Good points raised on the preserve or restore debate. But most important part of this film is about skills they are preserving and teaching from old masters to new lads. In 10-30 years time many of those new lads will either have set up on their own, work for a tiny shop or be experts in their field advising others. This filters down and preserves quality for every classic car owner who relies on mechanics, engineers, paint shops, engine rebuilders etc. at all levels of the price spectrum. This is how the classic car network sustains and hopefully grows. There… Read more »
Indeed a very interesting discussion. I love “authentic survivors” to preserve rather a super perfect restored car. I always think, that a classic car should also show to some extent his past life and history. But I know, that some may argue this is only nostalgic feeling. The market for classic car yet still asks for reborn and not for cars in (very) good used condition. Is this trend coming from the USA? In Europe it arrived…
This video made me very uncomfortable. Beautiful tribute to the classic SL of the 50’s-60’s. I loved the display of love of excellence in rebirthing of these classics. Yet I shutter to think of the cost of such work and hard to imagine the cost of entry. The perfection is impressive but a bit depressing that such perfection is out of reach for 99% of most enthusiasts of the brand. Is it safe to say the average cost is in the same ballpark of a Singer Re-Imaginged 911?
As of a few years ago the Singers started in the ‘low three-hundreds’ plus the cost of the donor car. The SL pagoda that we see in the video is not a track prepared car. There is no carbon fiber. The engine is approximately stock. The chassis has not been scoured to remove all the available weight, from an already light weight car. And Hemmels does this work in higher volume. So the Hemmels product is going to cost an obscene amount of money, but perhaps half of the cost of producing a Singer. Does anyone have better numbers?
This goes to the heart of an argument I am currently engaged in with a good friend. I am of the preserve camp while he is of the restore to better-than-new camp, a philosophy I feel goes against one of the most important of qualities that make these old things really special — the history they accumulate over time.
What do you think? Preserve or restore/reborn?
Preserve , mildly ( functionally ) restore or resto – mod but to hell with $$$$$$$$ 100 point trailer queen over the top and better than new restorations never to be drive again once completed
This all depends on the car. Preservation of a neglected car can cost far more than simply redoing the body work, to ‘as new condition’. Patina is very hard to replicate. When I worked as a restoration mechanic at Seferian Escadrille in Cambridge, MA we had a huge inventory of used fasteners, with patina on the heads, in DIN, ISO, SAE, JIS and other standards. These had been carefully set aside to be used to match an existing set of bolts when one of a set had not survived extraction. Matching a bolt to the existing set, or taking a… Read more »