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Definitions: Original, vs the Rest...

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#1 rdrcr

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Posted 27 March 2002 - 19:40

Spawned by ensign's request, I'll take the leap and reprint some of my exaltations from the Cooper thread. Leaving it to be properly discussed - it's authenticity or other wise. I hope and trust I won't get in too much trouble for cutting and pasting...

Originally posted by ensign14..."He was very strict about Original, he said an original would have to be exactly as finished, down to the air in the tyres and nothing could match this. I concur with your views on Duplication; vandalism on a par with those antiquarian bookdealers who remove plates from books to sell as pictures. It would be nice for everyone to use the same definitions - maybe a separate thread idea to try to find a standard set?

Here is my interpretation of the Definitions... lets have a go then.


They most certainly do exist. Some of which can be seen at the Hall of Fame Museum at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway The 1st Indy winner, Ray Harroun's Marmon Wasp, A National and a Duesenberg that I can recall. They are sitting there just as they had run their last race...

And as recently noted by Cal...

Another example of an original car is the "missing" Lightweight E-type Jag found in California in 1998 and auctioned at that year's Christies auction at Pebble Beach. Found as it came off the track in 1964, I think.

He is absolutley correct. This was a truly original car by either Jenks or my definition.



Cosmetic / Lightly Restored / Restored Original: any of the aforementioned terms to describe a car that is essentially a numbers matching original car with the chassis, drivetrain and running gear still intact and unmolested. May include new paint, bright work and interior redone to freshen up the appearance


Mechanical restoration work of; steering, suspension, engine, trans, rear end, etc. rebuilt to renew the mechanical soundness of the automobile. Most or all major components incl. the electrical system should be involved.


There is only one way to describe a car that has had this procedure done. You can tell by looking at it. And while the difference between a 99 point car and a 100 point car may be indiscernible to most, the educated eye of the "authority" a judge or expert in those cars will be able to tell the difference. In any case, it's when the original, numbers matching car has had every nut, bolt and bracket thoroughly restored and replaced as new, perhaps better than new (this is another facet of the business, but so as not to obfuscate any more, I won't delve into it) with the resulting finished car being as close to perfect as the restorer can make it.


Any car with a providence, documented racing history, a recorded lineage of documentation that corresponds with all of the codes and serial numbers present on the car. A numbers matching car. There have been instances where fake serial numbers have been reproduced on the firewalls of certain cars but because they "just appeared" without a history or documentation of providence they have been deemed reproductions unless proved otherwise. This term may be interchanged with Original as in my mind they mean the same thing. For purposes of discussion about cars and the various levels of restorations and the reproductions I'll use the term original.

Reproduction: (Jenks's Facsimile)

Any car without providence or documented history. Any car without number matching protocol of the engine and body and some times trans and other bits to authenticate. Also, any car that may have an original chassis but has been Rebodied, i.e. a sedan that has been converted to the more desirable boat-tailed speedster. These cars are most often, more valuable than their "donor" cars but less valuable than the Original car. These cars often will include many original or NOS (New Old Stock) parts, some parts would have to be custom fabricated from drawings or photos, i.e. custom hinges and the like.

Remanufactured: (Jenks's resurrected)

These cars are either fabricated from drawings and the world's great parts bin or taking a totaled wreck and resurrecting it. There are companies that duplicate the famous racing cars of the past using this method. They duplicate everything exactly, same wall and composite tubing, same engine, same suspension, same, well, you get the idea. These cars are virtually indistinguishable (or should be) from an original car. Their numbers will not match. It is these cars that I think should be eligible for Vintage and Historic Events.

(ed. I have modified my definition of Remanufactured to be more exact. I will go on to say, that often, quite a few original parts could be used in the "remanufacturing" of these cars. I didn't think it was necessary to say earlier, but I do now. The subtle difference between a Reproduction and a Remanufactured car is one of a majority of original parts and documentation. The term remanufactured is then important, as its origin was one of an actual car.)


A car that looks like an original from 5 to 10 feet away... An expert will be able to tell there are subtle differences instantly and the novice will be able to see the great big ones in some cases. As an example, there are ton of Cobras that would fit this category. Only a few companies like ERA get the deal right.

Evolution: (Jenks's Converted)

In regards to these cars (all most always racing cars) they are generally not returned to their original state because the campaigner, be it factory or privateer was compiling with rules and regulations or was making the car more competitive for that day and age. They can however, be converted back. If there was only two examples of a Evolution car and both were representative of the later evolution, it would be ok in my mine to return one to it's original state, but not both. As to which one, the one that was converted last should be return to the original configuration first.

In an effort to keep the number of definitions down to a dull roar... especially between "Original" and a term Jenks reportedly uses, "Genuine", let me say that there is virtually no difference in my mind. An original car, is one who's physical condition is as it left the factory or has evolved through use (as in a racing car) then it's physical condition from that point on is unaltered. I think this is pretty simple. As there are many restored cars that are genuine / authentic but not one will be original. An Original car will always be genuine. A small caveat that I use for Original is, even though the air in the tires may not be original, perhaps even the tires themselves, as long and they are exact reproductions, the car would still be classified as an Original... some are just more "original" than others... It's necessary to keep the car running IMHO. If that includes replacing a worn out part be it a gasket or a tube or whatever... then the car is still original. I'm not a believer of keeping any car dormant in a museum. Even they need what is termed, "maintenance miles" to keep everything lubed and operational.


#2 Don Capps

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Posted 28 March 2002 - 04:30

This is a topic over which DSJ blew (or nearly blew) at least a gazillion gaskets over in his final decade or so. Richard, I think you did an excellent job with your operationalizing the terms. :up: