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If you replace all the parts on a car, is it still the same car?


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#1 Paul Taylor

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 00:04

Had a discussion with my friend over this and I couldn't understand his argument. :lol:

Over time, parts on a car will need replacing due to wear and tear, accidents, etc. If you replace the tyres, obviously it's still the same car. If you replace the suspension, it's still the same car. If you replace the engine or gearbox, it's still the same car.

But what if you a car is re-chassis'd? Is it still the same car? And if you use ALL the original parts from the car and just replace the chassis?

Essentially, my friend's argument is...If you use a broom for a while and the bristles wear out and you replace them, it's still the same broom. And then when the handle breaks, you replace the handle, it's STILL the same broom, despite the fact all the original parts have been replaced by new ones.

So, if every part on the car eventually becomes replaced due to wear and tear and accident damage, is it the same car? Or is it a replica, or an entirely new car? How many original parts have to be replaced before it's considered a new car? If you replace 90% of the parts of a car, is it a new car with some old parts, or an old car with mostly new parts? Or, to use another analogy, is it just a case of calling the glass half full or half empty?

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#2 John Brundage

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 00:45

Paul,
I believe that this horse has been beaten a couple times. The old threads in the archives make good reading.

#3 Hoofhearted

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 01:52

Its like the old chestnut, my grandfathers hammer. Its had two new heads and four new handles.

#4 John Brundage

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 02:12

Originally posted by Hoofhearted
Its like the old chestnut, my grandfathers hammer. Its had two new heads and four new handles.

But your grandfather gave one of the old used handles to my grandfather, who gave it to me. I think I now have the original hammer.........

#5 John Brundage

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 02:15

And I have the receipt from your grandfather to prove it.......

#6 mac miller

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 02:25

This may not be quite the same thing but its close.
It is an article that I wrote a while back concerning the "real, recreation, replica" ongoing discussion.
It is mostly about Indy roadsters but, certainly, applies to most other "vintage" race cars.





Vintage Race Cars! "real" .. recreation .. replica ..??
There is, currently, an ongoing discussion among collectors, builders and historians concerning the identification and classification of vintage racing cars. This discussion sometimes has gotten rather "heated" among the "real" owners and the replica car owners & builders.

I am a builder of “replica” racecars, including Indy roadsters. I have, also, been involved in the restoration and maintanance of many real vintage race cars, including Indy roadsters, so I have a good knowledge of the nature of the business from both perspectives.

While this article is written in response to the dealings I have had with the Indy roadster collectors and builders, it, certainly, applies to the hundreds of sprint, midget and early "speedway" cars that run in vintage events throughout the country.

I am in full agreement that all vintage race cars should be correctly identified and classified.

Reproductions and replicas are welcome at most "meets" including Milwaukee, Loudon, Michigan, California and the new ‘08 Darlington event. I don’t think that I would take a replica to Monterey or Pebble Beach.


There are three distinct types of vintage race cars. Here is the way I define them for my purpose


#1. Original Cars and “real cars”
Top of the line is the “orginal”, unmolested car, equipped with its complete original frame, complete original bodywork and its originally installed engine, restored and presented in its original paint in “as raced” condition and preparation. These cars are fully documented from builder to current owner.
Also in this category are the many “real” cars that still exist. These cars are displayed, run and represented as the real car as identified by their paint job and other exclusive features of the original car. These cars range from 100% real, original cars down to real cars that were mutilated into supermodifieds in their later lives. These “supers” were identified and salvaged by collectors and restored to their original configuration. Much of these cars has been lost, destroyed and mutilated beyond repair.
Some of these cars contain no more than 25% of the original car that they represent. Many of these “real” roadsters were salvaged supermodifieds with original frames so cut up and modified that new frames are required. Most “real” owners get the new frame builder to incorporate, at least, a few pieces of the original frame tubing to legitimize their claim to the “real” car.
Most all of the “real” roadsters are restored with new fiberglass and/or aluminum bodywork. Much of the original bodywork is missing, hacked up, modified and/or damaged beyond repair. I have, personally, built over 40 new sets of Watson roadster bodywork over the past 15 years, some for replicas, some for the restoration of “real” cars and some for A J Watson, himself.
Many of the “real” roadsters, especially the salvaged super modifieds, were acquired minus their OFFY engines. While virtually all of the “real” cars have OFFY engines, the origin and linage of these engines can be rather vague. Some “real” cars have their original “real” engine, some have a ”real” engine and some have engines that were assembled from miscellaneous spare parts. Historian, Gordon White, has good records of which serial number OFFY engine was purchased by which car owner for installation in which car.
Most “real” car owners have full documentation and photo presentations of the history of their cars to back up their claim to ownership of the real car.
In my opinion, for a “real” owner to claim a “real” car, the car should, at minimum, have its original frame, original bodywork and original engine.
These “real” cars can be some of the most misrepresented cars in the vintage business. Most are over restored, far beyond their originally “as raced” condition. Some of these “real” cars are very close to recreations or reproductions. I would suggest that each of these “real” cars be evaluated and assigned a “percentage of reality” rating but I doubt that many of the “real” car owners would cooperate in a "reality evaluation" of their cars.


#2. Recreations and Reproductions
Known, newly constructed cars built, as close as possible, to represent an original existing or “no longer existing” real car. These cars feature new frames and bodywork and original period engine, driveline and suspension, steering, brakes, wheels & tires. Having some part or parts that were actually used on the “real” car adds a few “points“, I suppose. Original style paintwork and upholstery are also featured
An odd little “continuation of production” classification is part of the “recreation and reproduction” group. A.J. Watson is the only open wheel guy left, who could claim “continuation of production”, but I’ve never heard him use the term. I have heard comments by some of the “real” owners that the cars A.J. has built in the last 20 years are not real Watson roadsters but I’m not gonna be the guy who tells A.J, to his face....


#3. Replicas and “Tribute Cars”
“Replicas” are newly constructed cars using the style, shapes and design of an original type of car, but, using non original components and systems such as suspension, brakes ,engine and drive line. The various engines, transmissions, rear axles, brakes, etc. are selected because of availability, costs and convenience. Replicas are usually painted in the owner/builder’s favorite colors and schemes. Replicas can range from a rather basic assemblage of salvage parts and materials to top quality, pro built cars. At meets, where they actually run the cars on the track, replicas feature good reliability, low operational cost and fun, worry-free driving, without the constant concern of damaging incredibly expensive and/or irreplacable original old cars and engines.
“Tribute cars” is a new term, for vintage style replica cars, to describe a car that pays homage to an existing or “no longer existing” real car, by using the original paint job and as many of the unique features of the original car as is possible or practical. I guess, the recreations/ reproductions are the ultimate tribute cars but many tribute cars are replicas using only the original paint job.

A couple of comments in conclusion.
* A rule, that I observe in my shop, is that I never use any real vintage parts when building a replica. Any real vintage parts should be reserved for real restoration.
* I also never represent any cars or parts as anything more than they are.

I thank my lucky stars, everyday, for the guys who go far beyond reason to rescue these incredibly valuble historic cars and, at great personal expense, put them on the track for all of us to enjoy. I also thank my lucky stars for the wonderful artisans and craftsmen who help to rebuild and restore the original cars and, can, also take a pile of tubing and a roll of fiberglass and build a brand new piece of vintage style, automotive art.


mac miller in Indy

#7 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 06:32

Originally posted by mac miller
This may not be quite the same thing but its close.
It is an article that I wrote a while back concerning the "real, recreation, replica" ongoing discussion.
It is mostly about Indy roadsters but, certainly, applies to most other "vintage" race cars.





Vintage Race Cars! "real" .. recreation .. replica ..??
There is, currently, an ongoing discussion among collectors, builders and historians concerning the identification and classification of vintage racing cars. This discussion sometimes has gotten rather "heated" among the "real" owners and the replica car owners & builders.

I am a builder of “replica” racecars, including Indy roadsters. I have, also, been involved in the restoration and maintanance of many real vintage race cars, including Indy roadsters, so I have a good knowledge of the nature of the business from both perspectives.

While this article is written in response to the dealings I have had with the Indy roadster collectors and builders, it, certainly, applies to the hundreds of sprint, midget and early "speedway" cars that run in vintage events throughout the country.

I am in full agreement that all vintage race cars should be correctly identified and classified.

Reproductions and replicas are welcome at most "meets" including Milwaukee, Loudon, Michigan, California and the new ‘08 Darlington event. I don’t think that I would take a replica to Monterey or Pebble Beach.


There are three distinct types of vintage race cars. Here is the way I define them for my purpose


#1. Original Cars and “real cars”
Top of the line is the “orginal”, unmolested car, equipped with its complete original frame, complete original bodywork and its originally installed engine, restored and presented in its original paint in “as raced” condition and preparation. These cars are fully documented from builder to current owner.
Also in this category are the many “real” cars that still exist. These cars are displayed, run and represented as the real car as identified by their paint job and other exclusive features of the original car. These cars range from 100% real, original cars down to real cars that were mutilated into supermodifieds in their later lives. These “supers” were identified and salvaged by collectors and restored to their original configuration. Much of these cars has been lost, destroyed and mutilated beyond repair.
Some of these cars contain no more than 25% of the original car that they represent. Many of these “real” roadsters were salvaged supermodifieds with original frames so cut up and modified that new frames are required. Most “real” owners get the new frame builder to incorporate, at least, a few pieces of the original frame tubing to legitimize their claim to the “real” car.
Most all of the “real” roadsters are restored with new fiberglass and/or aluminum bodywork. Much of the original bodywork is missing, hacked up, modified and/or damaged beyond repair. I have, personally, built over 40 new sets of Watson roadster bodywork over the past 15 years, some for replicas, some for the restoration of “real” cars and some for A J Watson, himself.
Many of the “real” roadsters, especially the salvaged super modifieds, were acquired minus their OFFY engines. While virtually all of the “real” cars have OFFY engines, the origin and linage of these engines can be rather vague. Some “real” cars have their original “real” engine, some have a ”real” engine and some have engines that were assembled from miscellaneous spare parts. Historian, Gordon White, has good records of which serial number OFFY engine was purchased by which car owner for installation in which car.
Most “real” car owners have full documentation and photo presentations of the history of their cars to back up their claim to ownership of the real car.
In my opinion, for a “real” owner to claim a “real” car, the car should, at minimum, have its original frame, original bodywork and original engine.
These “real” cars can be some of the most misrepresented cars in the vintage business. Most are over restored, far beyond their originally “as raced” condition. Some of these “real” cars are very close to recreations or reproductions. I would suggest that each of these “real” cars be evaluated and assigned a “percentage of reality” rating but I doubt that many of the “real” car owners would cooperate in a "reality evaluation" of their cars.


#2. Recreations and Reproductions
Known, newly constructed cars built, as close as possible, to represent an original existing or “no longer existing” real car. These cars feature new frames and bodywork and original period engine, driveline and suspension, steering, brakes, wheels & tires. Having some part or parts that were actually used on the “real” car adds a few “points“, I suppose. Original style paintwork and upholstery are also featured
An odd little “continuation of production” classification is part of the “recreation and reproduction” group. A.J. Watson is the only open wheel guy left, who could claim “continuation of production”, but I’ve never heard him use the term. I have heard comments by some of the “real” owners that the cars A.J. has built in the last 20 years are not real Watson roadsters but I’m not gonna be the guy who tells A.J, to his face....


#3. Replicas and “Tribute Cars”
“Replicas” are newly constructed cars using the style, shapes and design of an original type of car, but, using non original components and systems such as suspension, brakes ,engine and drive line. The various engines, transmissions, rear axles, brakes, etc. are selected because of availability, costs and convenience. Replicas are usually painted in the owner/builder’s favorite colors and schemes. Replicas can range from a rather basic assemblage of salvage parts and materials to top quality, pro built cars. At meets, where they actually run the cars on the track, replicas feature good reliability, low operational cost and fun, worry-free driving, without the constant concern of damaging incredibly expensive and/or irreplacable original old cars and engines.
“Tribute cars” is a new term, for vintage style replica cars, to describe a car that pays homage to an existing or “no longer existing” real car, by using the original paint job and as many of the unique features of the original car as is possible or practical. I guess, the recreations/ reproductions are the ultimate tribute cars but many tribute cars are replicas using only the original paint job.

A couple of comments in conclusion.
* A rule, that I observe in my shop, is that I never use any real vintage parts when building a replica. Any real vintage parts should be reserved for real restoration.
* I also never represent any cars or parts as anything more than they are.

I thank my lucky stars, everyday, for the guys who go far beyond reason to rescue these incredibly valuble historic cars and, at great personal expense, put them on the track for all of us to enjoy. I also thank my lucky stars for the wonderful artisans and craftsmen who help to rebuild and restore the original cars and, can, also take a pile of tubing and a roll of fiberglass and build a brand new piece of vintage style, automotive art.
I agree with most of what you have written, quite succint.
But the trouble is with an original [in my case dirt track] cars they have had so many upgrades over the years , even in the hands of the one owner is what is original. That may be in the blurred memory of owners or constructors which can get messy. Then ofcourse when half the chassis is scrapped because of damage or mods it can almost become a replica.
The car I own is pretty well known but in its 13 year race life had 3 different sets of body panels, and 4 different engine configurations. [with the corresponding holes in the engine plate!] But the suspension, axles and chassis are the original pieces used. The period /owner the car is restored to had average then good engines, bigger and better wheels . Of which I still own some but way past there use by date. It is using good replicas. Plus modern shocks etc as I need to be able to drive it on modern rougher and hookier tracks.
The car has been restored originally to the original owner, and has been slightly updated to its most succesful period.Or I could further update it to its final form as last raced. In my experience this has happened on several occasions with lots of cars.
A lot of restos use little more than the main part of the chassis, the rest is new or refabricated. More or less true to the original.
Which is true to most restored racecars, from F1 to hobby classes. And ofcourse with upper market cars there seems to be more now than built!


mac miller in Indy



#8 fines

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 08:05

Not a new question, not at all...;)

The Ship of Theseus

This is, indeed, a point that has been discussed by philosophers for eons, and there is no easy answer. Recent models include aspects of the Theory of Relativity, and even the Quantum Theory, but rest assured, this will not be solved in our lifetimes! :lol:


Btw, welcome mac miller! Good to have you here. :wave:

#9 bigears

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 08:20

It reminds me of the 1996 Christmas Only Fools and Horse episode with Trigger claiming a medal from the local council because he used his street broom for 20 years.

Only to find out that he replaced the broom head 17 times and 14 new handles times over the years although he still claimed it is the same broom!

#10 llmaurice

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 10:09

I presume Pauls asking for thoughts about originality stems from his purchase of the Sparton from Dale ?
If he is in fact asking about "proper" racing cars ie single seaters then its highly likely that most formula cars of the steel tube chassis construction that raced hard in period will most certainly have had most (if not the whole) of the chassis replaced during their early careers .
This is most certainly true of FF 1600/2000 cars and 1000 screamers . The later F3 cars (71-73) were in the main exchange chassis and this is where the problem really starts with the likes of March etc. having chassis' at the ready for exchanging after a severe crash . Many of the then repaired chassis were made available and there starts the problems of duplicate chassis no's etc .
In the US it is considered important for any chassis originally manufactured by Arch Motors to retain its AM number in order to be considered "Historic" . This is of course rubbished by the fact that one good rear ender will see the back end of the chassis having many parts ,if not the whole rear chassis replaced . Simply whacking some new AM numbers on leaves the whole thing open to criticism .
Having handled the ex-Bev Bond March 713M , a Bill Scott Royale RP2 , and a Kenny Gray RP21 the above quickly becomes apparant .
In my opinion ,if the car is still used competitively in its original class . its is relatively unimportant as , just
just with home ownership , regardless of perceived value , until these beauties are sold on ,snob values are not of any value.
I'm sure Paul will enjoy his car regardless of how many repairs it has had in its lifetime .

#11 Allen Brown

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 11:05

Originally posted by Hoofhearted
Its like the old chestnut, my grandfathers hammer. Its had two new heads and four new handles.

Originally posted by John Brundage

But your grandfather gave one of the old used handles to my grandfather, who gave it to me. I think I now have the original hammer.........

Originally posted by John Brundage
And I have the receipt from your grandfather to prove it.......

But what does it say on the receipt? Does it say "one hammer" or does it say "one handle". I would suggest that your grandfather didn't buy a hammer, he bought a used handle. In which case, you don't have the original hammer.

Even if your grandfather bought a handle and a head from Hoofhearted's grandfather, did the receipt say "one head, one handle" in which case you still don't have the original hammer, or did it say "one hammer", in which case Hoofhearted's grandfather has sold the same hammer twice and is probably a member of the Bugatti Owners Club.

Allen

#12 Allen Brown

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 11:06

I apologise for any insult, implied or otherwise, to Hoofhearted's grandfather who I'm sure is a lovely man, as honest as the day is long, and not a member of the Bugatti Owners Club.

#13 Allen Brown

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 11:13

Mac Miller's post is excellent by the way. Although I've approached this issue from a different direction to him and have arrived at slightly different groupings, I don't disagree with his conclusion.

The important thing is to look at each car on its individual merits.

Allen

#14 Paul Taylor

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 11:20

It was more of a "what does everyone else think, because I don't know the answer" question, llmaurice. I was trying to rationalise it in my head and found it very difficult. I know it's not going to make a blind bit of difference either way and I don't see it as being a positive or a negative. :) (Well, probably leaning on the positive side actually, because it looks all shiny and new...;) )

#15 rdrcr

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 13:00

Originally posted by mac miller
"... There are three distinct types of vintage race cars. Here is the way I define them for my purpose

#1. Original Cars and “real cars”
Top of the line is the “orginal”, unmolested car, equipped with its complete original frame, complete original bodywork and its originally installed engine, restored and presented in its original paint in “as raced” condition and preparation. These cars are fully documented from builder to current owner..."


This one has been beaten to death so much the horse has been vaporised. I, too, suggest a search on the subject. There's some really good heated debate about it.

I'm sorry, but Mac's post, while comprehensive has some critical failings. His opening line indicates to this reader that he has confused "original' with "restored". In my mind and to DSJ's and to many others here I think, the word original has precise meaning. I crafted an interpretation of Jenkinson's definitions a few years ago in effort to update the terms...

Definitions: Original, vs the Rest...

To answer the original question, NO. The evolution of a racing car while actively competing in the day is only original to a specific point in time. After that, its competition life has an originality point in my mind. If that same car is used later in racing, e.g. historics, and when substantial elements of the car are changed out in the name of safety - like that old, stressed chassis, that car may be of the same origins but is no longer original or even restored, it is remanufactured.

#16 Allen Brown

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 14:26

Originally posted by rdrcr
To answer the original question, NO. The evolution of a racing car while actively competing in the day is only original to a specific point in time. After that, its competition life has an originality point in my mind. If that same car is used later in racing, e.g. historics, and when substantial elements of the car are changed out in the name of safety - like that old, stressed chassis, that car may be of the same origins but is no longer original or even restored, it is remanufactured.

You are getting too hung up on originality when authenticity is the key issue in the example you give. A car may be heavily modified and then rebuilt/restored back to its original specification and can then go onto a long life in historics and have most of its components replaced over time. That is not a "remanufactured" car, or not even Jenks' "resurrected", as it has a continuous history and is therefore authentic. I agree such a car isn't "original" but it is authentic - i.e. it is the car it claims to be.

If it had ceased to exist as a car at some point in its life, with its components scattered, and then came back together, then I'd accept "resurrected".

#17 David Birchall

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 15:31

It probably depends where you are in the ownership line....

I bought a Lotus 23 in the eighties that was in pretty deplorable condition, although the previous owner said he intended racing it the next day! It had won the Canadian Road Racing Championship in 1965 but had gone seriously downhill since. It went end for end at Westwood and as a result was fitted with another body-from a McLaren M8! It had various engines and transmissions at times but the originals were long gone when I got it. I sent the chassis to someone who posts on here occasionally and he declared it "unrepairable" and built a new one. Peter Denty supplied a new body. The suspension arms also needed replacing. I saw an opportunity to make a few bucks and sold it to Nino Epifani in California who rebuilt it beautifully (As only Nino can) and sold it to the late Gil Nickel who campaigned it for many years. I heard it won the first FIA Historic Championship in Europe. It had a continuous history-I think perhaps the rear uprights were original....

#18 RA Historian

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 15:39

David, the Bob McLean car?

I saw it when Gil Nickel had it and it was immaculate.

Tom

#19 David Birchall

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 17:00

No, The McLean's was a different car although people seemed to get them mixed up. I passed on the history to Gil's crew chief. This car was originally owned by George Chapman in Winnipeg (I think it was Winnipeg). Serial #23 S 119.
It should have been immaculate-it was new!

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#20 D-Type

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 17:45

Here are Denis Jenkinson's definitions in his book “Directory of Historic Racing Cars.” which I saved off a similar thread.

Original

Almost impossible to find anything in this category. It would have to have been put in store the moment it was completed. Possibly the Trossi-Monaco special in the Biscaretti Museum comes as close to an original racing car as it is possible to get.
The “old-car” industry frequently uses degrees of originality, such as “nearly original”, “almost original”, even “completely original”, but all such descriptions are meaningless as they cannot be quantified. A racing car that has only had a new set of tyres and a change of sparking plugs since it was completed is no longer “original”. Many components have remained “original”, such as gearboxes, cylinder heads, axles and so on, and reproduction parts are made to “original drawings” and “original material specification”, but this does not make them “original” parts, nor does a complete car built from such components qualify as “original”, regardless of what the constructor or owner might think. Such a car is nothing more than a “reproduction” or “facsimile”.

Genuine

This is a much more practical description for an old or historic car and can be applied to most racing cars that have had active and continuous lives, with no occasions when they “disappeared into limbo” or changed their character in any way. Most E.R.A.s come into this category as they have been raced continuously, which has meant the replacing of numerous components as they wore out, but the car itself has never been lost from view, nor has its basic character and purpose been altered over the years. Even such a well-known E.R.A. as “Romulus” is not “original”, as it has been repainted, reupholstered, new tyres have been fitted and new components have been used to rebuild the engine; but it is unquestionably “Genuine”.

Authentic

This term is used to describe a racing car that has led a chequered career, through no fault of its own, but has never disappeared from view. The “Entity”, which is best described as the sum of the parts, has always been around in some form or other, but has now been put back to the specification that it was in, either when it was first built, or some subsequent known point in its history. An example would be an old Grand Prix car that was converted into a road-going sports car when its useful racing life was over, over the years having the racing engine replaced by a touring version, and eventually being allowed to deteriorate. It is then rescued and rebuilt as the Grand Prix car, with its racing engine replaced, but with new radiator, fuel tank and oil tank, new wheels made, new bodywork, instrument panel, seat, upholstery and so on, all of which were missing. The “Entity” that started life as the Grand Prix car never actually disappeared, so the end result of all the labours can justifiably be described as “Authentic”. There is no question of it being “Original”, and to describe it as genuine would be unfair to its sister cars that remained Grand Prix cars all their lives, even though such things as radiator, fuel tank, seat and so on had to be replaced due to the ravages of time and use.

Resurrection

Some racing cars, when they reached the end of their useful life, were abandoned and gradually dismantled as useful bits were taken off to use on other cars. Eventually insufficient of the car remained to form an acceptable entity, even though most of the components were still scattered about. There have been numerous cases where such components that still existed were gathered up to form the basis of a new car; a new chassis frame and new body were required and, from the bare bones of the ashes or the original, another one appears. It cannot claim to be the original car, and certainly not a genuine car, nor an authentic car. At best it is a “Resurrection” from the dead, or from the graveyard.


Re-construction

This can stem from a single original component, or a collection of components from a variety of cars, but usually there is very little left of the original racing car, except its history and its character. From these small particles a complete new car is built, its only connection with the original car being a few components and the last-known pile of rust left over when decomposition set in.

Facsimile

Purely and simply a racing car that now exists when there never was an original. If a factory built four examples of a particular Grand Prix model, for instance, and there are now five in existence, then the fifth can only be a facsimile, fake, clone, copy or reproduction. If the fifth car was built by the same people or factory who built the four original cars, then at best it could be a “Replica” of the four original cars, but such a situation is very unlikely. There are many reasons for building a facsimile, from sheer enthusiasm for a particular model to simple avarice, and it is remarkable how many facsimiles have been given a small piece of genuine history in order to try to authenticate the fake, and thus raise its value.
Facsimiles have been built of just about everything from Austin to Wolseley, some being so well made that it is difficult to tell them from the originals. Some owners have been known to remain strangely silent about the origins of their cars when they have been mistaken for the real thing. Other facsimiles have been declared openly and honestly by the constructors, such as the facsimile that has been built of an A/B-type E.R.A., or the series of facsimiles of 250F Maseratis that have been built. The trouble usually starts when the cars are sold to less scrupulous owners, who first convince themselves they have bought a genuine car, and then try to convince the rest of the sporting world. The disease is very prevalent in the world of museums, on the assumption that the paying public are gullible.

Special

This name applies to one-off cars that are the product of the fertile brain of the constructor. It is probably true to say that no special has ever been finished! It may be finished sufficiently to allow it to race, but inevitably the constructor will be planning further modifications while he is still racing it. If the special builder ever says his car is finished, it will usually indicate that it is now obsolete and he is starting on a new one. The rebuilding or restoring of a special to use as an Historic racing car, by someone who is not the original constructor, can mean either that the car is rebuilt to a known point in time that appeals to the new owner, or he can continue the process of development where the originator left off.
The nice thing about specials is that they are a law unto themselves and do not need to be put into any sort of category. A special can be totally accepted as “Genuine, authentic, reconstructed or facsimile”.

Duplication

This is a disease which started many years ago within the ranks of the lovers of Bugatti cars. Unscrupulous people dismantled a Grand Prix Bugatti into its component parts and with the right hand sold an incomplete car as a “basket case” and with the left hand sold another incomplete car as a “box of bits”. The two buyers eventually found suitable second-hand components to replace the missing parts, or had new bits made, and we ended up with two Grand Prix Bugattis where there has only been one. Naturally each owner claims “authenticity” for his complete car. The Bugatti Owners Club – and the majority of its members – strongly disapprove of this practice.
Unfortunately the disease has spread to many other makes, especially those that were built in large numbers. At best this whole business borders on fraud.

Destroyed

A simple enough word that applies to a racing car that has been involved in an accident or fire in which no tangible components are left in recognizable shape or form.

Scrapped

This usually applies to a car that is taken out of service by a factory team and either deliberately destroyed so that nothing is left, or useful components are removed and put into store and the rest is thrown on the scrap heap for crushing or melting down. There have been cases of a chassis frame being rescued from the scrap heap and used to re-create a new car. In no way can the new car be described as genuine. If the factory scrapped a car and removed its number from their records, than that car has gone for ever, and a nebulous collection of old and new components can hardly justify the claiming of the scrapped number.

Broken up

Similarly, if a factory records that a car has been broken up, it should mean exactly that. It has gone for good.

Converted

There have been examples of a Type A model being converted by the factory into a Type B and then a Type C. The particular car as an entity never disappeared, though it might be difficult to recognize that the Type C was once a Type A. It is virtually impossible to re-convert such a car back to a Type A, no matter how desirable it may be. The perfect example is the E.R.A. that started life as R4B in 1936, was converted to R4C in 1937, and then into R4D in 1938 and was much modified again in 1948. The car still exists as R4D, with a well-documented continuous history, and is as genuine as they come but it can never revert back to R4B

#21 David Birchall

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 20:12

Originally posted by RA Historian
David, the Bob McLean car?

I saw it when Gil Nickel had it and it was immaculate.

Tom


Just to clarify: The car that Gil Nickel had was 23 S 119 which was the ex George Chapman car not the ex McLean car.

#22 bradbury west

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 21:10

[i]Originally posted by Allen Brown
You are getting too hung up on originality when authenticity is the key issue in the example you give. A car may be heavily modified and then rebuilt/restored back to its original specification and can then go onto a long life in historics and have most of its components replaced over time. That is not a "remanufactured" car, or not even Jenks' "resurrected", as it has a continuous history and is therefore authentic. I agree such a car isn't "original" but it is authentic - i.e. it is the car it claims to be.

If it had ceased to exist as a car at some point in its life, with its components scattered, and then came back together, then I'd accept "resurrected".

Short pause whilst I do a BB Search for the Multi Union II thread............ do we refer to an Alfa tipo B Monoposto, or to a P3?, see separate thread from years ago IIRC
Roger Lund

#23 elansprint72

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 21:27

Originally posted by mac miller
This may not be quite the same thing but its close. ............................................................................................
............................................................. can, also take a pile of tubing and a roll of fiberglass and build a brand new piece of vintage style, automotive art.


mac miller in Indy


Mac,
Do please forgive my shortening the quote of your well-considered post; as Oscar Wilde said, .."the UK and the USA are two countries divided by a common language" (or something like that :rotfl: ) here in the UK Vintage means built up to 1931, in the US it means, as far as I can tell, anything which is not currently for sale as a new model.
Bearing the above in mind, let's have a heated debate. :smoking:

#24 Hoofhearted

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 22:10

Originally posted by Allen Brown
I apologise for any insult, implied or otherwise, to Hoofhearted's grandfather who I'm sure is a lovely man, as honest as the day is long, and not a member of the Bugatti Owners Club.


I never met my grandfather. He passed long before I arrived on this earth. From what my Dad told me he was a grumpy old sod. If he knew I had his hammer he'd probably demand its return. But I feel I can say, with certainty, he was not a member of the Bugatti Owners Club.

#25 mac miller

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 00:17

Originally posted by elansprint72


Mac,
Do please forgive my shortening the quote of your well-considered post; as Oscar Wilde said, .."the UK and the USA are two countries divided by a common language" (or something like that :rotfl: ) here in the UK Vintage means built up to 1931, in the US it means, as far as I can tell, anything which is not currently for sale as a new model.
Bearing the above in mind, let's have a heated debate. :smoking:



Actually, I agree with you, elan', I have never really liked using the word, "vintage", but it is the most commonly used word here.
I also don't like the words "nostalgia", "antique", "classic" or "veteran" when talking about racing cars....... I like the word, "retro", but I have never been able to come up with the proper way to use it. I have considered using the word "era", such as "50s era sports cars", "30s era Grand Prix cars", etc. but that is even a little clumsy. I have looked up the definition of the words, "vintage", "classic", "antique", "retro" etc. and nothing seems exactly right....... I would certainly be open to any new words or terms to describe non current racing cars.

http://macmillersgarage.webs.com/

mac miller in INDY

#26 David McKinney

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 07:02

Originally posted by mac miller
I would certainly be open to any new words or terms to describe non current racing cars

Old?

#27 terry mcgrath

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 11:36

If a racing car manufacturer builds a race car and notes it as broken up/dismantled or sends it to a scrap metal company and its subsequently removed from manufacturers premises either removed illegally or given by supervisor to staff member ie take it home or the scrap metal company sells it does the car that survives have the right to be a real car?
Your thoughts
terry

#28 Allen Brown

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 11:54

Originally posted by David McKinney

Originally posted by mac miller
I would certainly be open to any new words or terms to describe non current racing cars

Old?

:clap:

#29 Rob

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 13:21

Originally posted by fines
Not a new question, not at all...;)

The Ship of Theseus

This is, indeed, a point that has been discussed by philosophers for eons, and there is no easy answer. Recent models include aspects of the Theory of Relativity, and even the Quantum Theory, but rest assured, this will not be solved in our lifetimes! :lol:


The hot-rod builder, Boyd Coddington, was guilty of a Ship of Theseus fraud. For tax reasons he was stating that his cars were restorations when in fact they'd had every single part replaced and had nothing in common with the donor car.

#30 RA Historian

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 19:26

Originally posted by fines
Not a new question, not at all...;)

The Ship of Theseus

This is, indeed, a point that has been discussed by philosophers for eons, and there is no easy answer. Recent models include aspects of the Theory of Relativity, and even the Quantum Theory, but rest assured, this will not be solved in our lifetimes! :lol:

Absolutely fascinating. I had not heard or read of this before, and I just read it over twice to try to grasp it.

It certainly pertains to our game, doesn't it!

Leads me to your conclusion; the question of whether or not that is the original car will likely never be answered, at least without controversy.

Tom

#31 Allen Brown

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 19:40

Originally posted by fines
Not a new question, not at all...;)

The Ship of Theseus

This is, indeed, a point that has been discussed by philosophers for eons, and there is no easy answer. Recent models include aspects of the Theory of Relativity, and even the Quantum Theory, but rest assured, this will not be solved in our lifetimes! :lol:

Like Tom, I missed this first time through. Fascinating!

#32 elansprint72

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 20:39

Was the cat on Theseus' ship by any chance called Schrodinger? :rotfl:

#33 rdrcr

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 22:17

Originally posted by Allen Brown
Like Tom, I missed this first time through. Fascinating!


Yes, isn't it? Perhaps I am not appearing so "hung up" on the term "originality" now and while I certainly appreciate the term "authentic" - it has a different meaning altogether in your context.

Though I will concede, that perhaps our two countries are separated by a common language thing may be playing some part in this... I got into a semantics discussion with Doug years ago over this, or was it something else? No matter... IMO, the replacements of substantive assemblies like the chassis have a direct relevance on the physical make-up of the automobile or boat or aircraft or what-have-you.

#34 David Birchall

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 22:41

This brings to mind the history of the "Cutty Sark". After 55 years in dry dock with regular maintenance ie, replacement of rotten wood, she now suffers a major fire. How much of the 'original' ship will remain following the rebuild?

#35 elansprint72

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 23:00

Originally posted by D-Type
[B]Here are Jenkinson's definitions in his book “Directory of Historic Racing Cars.” which I saved off a similar thread.............

Duncan,
I'm so glad you posted these sage words, which have stood the test of time. The little chap certainly knew what he was talking about. His pages were the first ones I turned to as a newspaper delivery boy back in the early 1960s; apologies to my customers who received their magazines a few days late, I finally took out a subscription in January 1965.  ;)

#36 Doug Nye

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 23:22

God, these days I find this stuff tiresome. I must be growing old. Jenks and I discussed and argued those classifications in great depth and over a lengthy period when he was working on that particular book.

What it all boils down to is straightforward realism, and that mandates dismissing all motives of commercial advantage/disadvantage while considering the case.

Simple questions can be asked. Does this assembly include any part upon which the hand of the original constructor/driver/owner/mechanic might have left a finger print IN PERIOD? If the answer is 'No' then the assembly cannot be "the original", "the actual", "the specific" car itself. It can only be a replacement for it, and at very best The Unique Replacement for it.

All machines comprise an assembly of consumable parts. By definition some of those parts are more rapidly consumed than others. Engines, gearboxes, brakes - to some extent suspension corners - eat themselves quite rapidly. Those which eat themselves less rapidly - except by impact or spontaneous failure - include chassis frames, tubs and backbones. Forgive me for stating the bleedin' obvious, but by applying standards of reality rather than the wishful thinking with which historic-artefact ownership (don't even start on salesmanship) absolutely drips, it rapidly becomes self-evident what kind of artefact we might be handling, or considering.

As for "the identity" of the discarded parts we have the wondrous examples of discarded chassis frames being sold by a past owner "under the understanding that the identity of the car does not go with it"...

Lord give me patience! Specific history of any item is NOT within the gift of mere man...

Nobody can declare - with any justification or right - that the still-existing tea spoon which my wife and I threw away in 1970 is no longer the ex-Doug & Valerie tea spoon. They might not know that's what it was, or they might not like the fact that that is what it was, but they cannot (in truth) change the fact that it WAS our tea spoon. It is not within their gift to do so.

Precisely the same applies to surviving hysteric machinery - and to every individual component thereof.

It is simple (I am NOT saying it isn't complex) but it is simple. Reality is the test. But he who is doing the testing must have knowledge, and clear vision without motives to prove, or disprove some pre-conceived case.

DCN

#37 aaron

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 06:25

Part of this exercise and definition debate stems from the new reality that people want to race these old cars with some attempt at safety and therefore parts are "lifed" as they would have been in period. Many race cars needed for example a new tub to get to the next race and well funded teams might have replaced all uprights after every race meeting. Did that make it a new car in its day? Does replacing a worn out and unsafe tub today completely destroy the originality concept? The FIA has bent intself into various contortions trying to set some guidelines as to what will be accepted and what will not. What can never be accepted is selling off disused parts for commercial gain and then disavowing any blame when a brand new fake hits the market place.

I mention the tub in particlular because to most race car prep shops that is just another consumable part. When my Matich F5000 was badly crashed it HAD to have a new tub or be thrown away completely. The car continues to race and I retain all bulkheads and skins that were replaced. It would however be criminal of me to onsell those parts for someone to create another car. Continuity is an important aspect of this. My car was rebuilt and raced again in about a year. In its heyday that might have been a month or two. Every crashed car that was properly repaired and returned to the track fits this accepted continuity.

Shysters claiming cars are other than what they are and deliberately blurring the lines are to be condemned. A1

#38 Duc-Man

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 12:31

I had a conversation about that subject with a friend of mine last night and he pointed out an interessting way to se it.
Lets answer the original question from a completely different aspect: it isn't physically the same car...but it's still the same spirit.
Same with the hammer and the axe or the broom. Like bigears postet earlier: for Trigger, who used his broom for 20 years, it will always stay the same broom because he never replaced both parts of it at the same time (which would mean buying a new broom).
Some Years ago I had an accident with my Ducati. The frame was bent at the head tube. The gas tank had a dent, a few other thing were broken as well. I asked in the shop how it works with the frame number when replacing the frame. This is what I've been told: The spare frame comes without a number and gets the number of the old frame that gets destroyed afterwards.
With the new frame/chassis issue should everybody deal like that. That puts an end to double or tripple chassis numbers and all the legal problems that come with it.

I think my friend is right: it's all about the spirit!

#39 Allen Brown

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 12:53

The last two points have hit on a key point for me. If the old parts are put together to form a car - or are sold separately so that they can then be put together late - how do you deal with this newly reconstituted car? What part of the history of the original car does it inherit? And what happens to the retubbed car - does it still have claim to 100% of the history is it now having to share it with the reconstituted car?

This is akin to the Scavenger that followed The Ship of Theseus and collected all its discarded parts.

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#40 RA Historian

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 13:42

Originally posted by David Birchall
This brings to mind....... "Cutty Sark".

Right! This discussion leads me to Cutty Sark! :smoking:

I am all in favor of "scotching" further discussion... :drunk:

Tom

(I took a little liberty with your quote, David)

#41 David McKinney

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 13:56

I've always been an "entity" man, myself - similar to Duc-man's "spirit"
If discarded bits are reassembled at some future date, and the earlier continuation is considered the original "entity", then the re-creation can only be dated from its completion
Having said that, many of my charts have the entity splitting into two from the time the original chassis was discarded. Sometimes they even come together again :)

#42 Doug Nye

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 14:34

Originally posted by Allen Brown
...how do you deal with this newly reconstituted car? What part of the history of the original car does it inherit? And what happens to the retubbed car - does it still have claim to 100% of the history is it now having to share it with the reconstituted car?


This is the point which I find so irritating. "Does 'IT' have claim to...", in which 'IT' is the assembly of parts. Why get bogged down with metaphysics, philosophy, daffy notions of ethereal existence? Part A might be genuinely ex-Bloggs Deathtrap Special, so might Part R, and Part Y. And that is the absolute limit of the new assembly's historical past. It wouldn't matter what people call the overall assembly. It does NOT have real claim to being the Deathtrap Special which won the Targa Gymkhana in 1967 - apart from the fact that Parts A, R and Y might well have been there, maybe, on the great day.

If you want to sell the Deathtrap for top dollar you'll claim it IS the '67 car. If you want to buy the Deathtrap for bottom dollar, or even merely to dismiss it out of hand, you'll expand the significance of all the replacement parts and point out that it is NOT the '67 car.

The concept of "embodying the spirit of", or being the Deathtrap Special "beautifully restored" when that phrase is used as a euphemism for "packed with replacement parts and processes" - are just philosophical BS. Claptrap. Just like the claims of hysteric racing 'realists' who dismiss purism by waffling on about "all raceworthy cars have to include replacement parts" - or that "no great car surviving today has no replacement parts". Partial, partisan BS.

Forget the philosophising and romanticising - reality is the key, and reality CANNOT be encapsulated in one or two word classification titles. We can only say, this car is "largely unspoiled" or a "total Fake" and then begin to expand the description from there. The one concession I will make these days is to the "cuboid of airspace" system. Some cars have come down to us today, their various iterations having occupied a traceable, consistent, unbroken cuboid of the gas we breathe... and often nothing more substantial than that. But whichever way you slice it, our real enemies are the passage of time, the process of oxidisation, simple theft by unscrupulous dealers and restorers, and damage by idiot owners and incompetent or unfortunate users.

DCN

#43 rdrcr

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 14:51

Thanks Doug...

... just so we're clear Allen, the above written passage is exactly how I feel as well. Once I got past the semantics thing with Doug, we were in fact, singing from the same hymn sheet.

This will scarcely be the end of this thread however, as others will continue theorize and romanticize just as the man has stated... But for me, an original car is, and will always be, a very rare thing.

#44 fines

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 15:11

The problem with all this is, an "original car" can only exist in its time - there's no way an original car from the fifties can survive today, or even be raced. Not even an original car of the nineties. You can preserve originality, but you cannot race it. A racing car, per definition, gets used in racing, and therefore can no longer be original as soon as it has been used as such. You simply cannot have the best of both worlds...

#45 fines

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 15:18

Originally posted by Doug Nye
The one concession I will make these days is to the "cuboid of airspace" system. Some cars have come down to us today, their various iterations having occupied a traceable, consistent, unbroken cuboid of the gas we breathe... and often nothing more substantial than that. But whichever way you slice it, our real enemies are the passage of time, the process of oxidisation, simple theft by unscrupulous dealers and restorers, and damage by idiot owners and incompetent or unfortunate users.

DCN

Doesn't work either, as it's the equivalent of the "spatio-temporal continuity" in the article - racing cars get disassembled routinely for service and repair, and reassembled for racing. There's no way of guaranteeing that parts are never stored sperately, say, in two different garages. Even more so, cars are often disassembled for transport.

The truth is, the "passage of time" is not only the "real enemy", but the antagonistic impossibility of any originality. Things "are" in their time, and only in their time. Even a human being is not, in a real physical sense, the same as ten years before or later. How we retain our "identity" is in fact, physically and philosophically, an enigma!

#46 David Birchall

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 15:28

I took this "originality" thing a little too far with my first racing car. It came from the original owner/builder and I thought it was so cool and correct to run the same tires--with the same air in them!--as he had used in 1959 when he last raced it-this in 1978....

It took me a while to learn that the first thing you do with a used racing car is replace the tires!

#47 rdrcr

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 15:38

Originally posted by fines
The problem with all this is, an "original car" can only exist in its time - there's no way an original car from the fifties can survive today, or even be raced. Not even an original car of the nineties. You can preserve originality, but you cannot race it. A racing car, per definition, gets used in racing, and therefore can no longer be original as soon as it has been used as such. You simply cannot have the best of both worlds...


Not true - the Jaguar example I cited (in the link) in my post was exactly that. I do not know if that car was restored, but if it hasn't, "IT" is an original car. I never said that an original car could or should be raced, just that some do exist.

In a somewhat recent thread concerning a Shelby Daytona, Doug had made a great effort to describe the way the car was "restored" by retaining as much of the "originality" as humanly possible. Now, even though that car is no longer "original" by definition, it can still lay claim to be "authentic" and if nothing else, "extremely well preserved" - well enough in fact, to race it. If I am wrong in that assumption, I am sure Doug will correct me.

I have more than a sentimental feeling towards those pieces of machinery that hands long since past have constructed... As a previous owner of such relics, only to have watched their originality ruined by some zealous restorer* in later years, I have an ongoing commitment to assist in distinguishing the differences.




*... and this coming from someone who has restored his fair share of automobiles.

#48 Allen Brown

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 16:11

I also like the "cuboid of airspace", or spatio-temporal continuity as I have now learnt to call it.

But help me with this. An experienced race engineer joins a team which is running a 20-year-old car in historics. He realises that the car is largely original and that scares him as he doesn't want to kill his patron. So he rebuilds it completely, replacing 90% of the car. The patron is very happy as the car looks great and handles so much better and all is well with the world.

Some years later, the pile of discarded parts is sold off. This includes a chassis, body, the vast majority of the suspension and other bits. The project reaches an owner who realises that all the parts are still usable and has them "built up". Rubbing down the body work, he finds all the paint schemes that the (original) car had during its life. The chassis shows repairs from accidents in period and the suspension has all the signs of the modifications made in period. With the demonstrable originality of all the components, the owner see his as the "real" car and the other one as a new build.

So how do I explain to him that his car is nothing?

#49 Doug Nye

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 16:32

But it's not 'nothing' except in the FIA paperwork, EU, regulation-for-everything, heads-up-their-X$**s, bureaucratic, petty-fogging, blowing air-up-their-wotsits sense. It is self-evidently precisely what you have described...an assembly incorporating those original parts discarded by A, from B. And that is all it is. No more - but, significantly, absolutely no less. How one then interprets its significance is down to the individual. In the case of D-Type Jaguar XK606 what we did was buy both assemblies comprising vital components of same - forward frame from one, monocoque from the other - and reunited them in one integrated assembly. In effect, we straightened out a troubled physical history...to the ultimate extent that was any longer possible.

Reality.

DCN

#50 aaron

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 21:22

Yes we can only do what is possible. But where does this leave a fabulous racing display event like Goodwood?
Owner (idiot A) punts Lola into tyre barrier. He takes it to ace repairer who unfortunately needs to replace all bodywork and the tub, leaving only the non-original engine and the oil temp gauge from the original car. As the car is being actively raced idiot A has repaired or rebuilt his pride and joy and hopes to be invited back next year to try and get that corner right.
Idiot B, paid hot shoe ex F1 driver, in 1969 had a similar off in the same car and car was rebuilt and continued to race later that season.

Is idiot A doing anything worse than idiot B? Is Goodwood now a collection of idiots in non original cars? The crowd hopes not.

This is a difficult conundrum and I only denigrate those who actively create fakes. The rest of us are trying to preserve as best we can in a real world and demonstrate the sight and sound of these glorious racing cars. A1