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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I would like to reproduce a question posed by Miles Collier in a recent article published in a magazine (the magazine is of no importance and I actually don't care much for it in general).

My question is; do Miles' words apply to GTAs?

Please read below:

The two opposing factors, use vs. history, conspire to create a major disconnect in our field: We desire (and price) these objects as masterpieces of the past, yet we treat them as modern artifacts without regard to history.
With total restoration, we erase patina, the historic evidence of the object's travel through time to the present day.

By erasing the evidence of history, the car loses its identity as a historical object, which is the only real value in the first place. Without evidence of time, what does a real object offer the collector that a perfect replica does not?

While I don't agree with all of what is stated above; I do see how this approach would make sense for a car that has not already been greatly modified or that can still be rehabilitated or salvaged back to the state in which it was most noted.

Biscione
 

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absolutely and 100% true.
Some years back, a Jag e type lightweight was found in a california warehouse.
The owner had ground off some of the paint due to divorce problems.
The car was unmolested and precisely as raced back then.
The restorers very very carefully only repainted the damaged areas, and symphatetically refurbished the mechanicals. The car was NOT restored.
This then, made for a highly original period correct race car, which was later to be seen in its auction value.
What use is it to shell out for say a grotty GTA and then to overrestore it into something the factory or Autodelta never ever offered?
Or what also happens, to buy a perfectly good an decent car, with patina and battle scars, and to turn it into a new one?
I say you are throwing away a large part of what makes the car attractive. And thus its value.
Check out auction prices for unrestored yet very good condition cars.
Compare those to overrestored trailer and concours examples.
But anyway, I guess that for most of us, the idea is actually to USE the thing!
 

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The market will decide ... otherwise do what you like.

If you intend to race your GTA, then you are going to eventually rub out or over that "patina" anyway.

IMO continuous history (and for important cars the chassis number) is what is actually important not the cars current condition. Give me a car that I can drive over a garage queen OR an original but unmaintained car any day.

I will enjoy adding my patina to my perfect GTV (when finished).
Pete
 

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Good thread!

I've been going back and forth on this topic with our GTA for some time now. Restore it back to how it was in the 60's or leave it as is, just clean up? Yesterday I had it in my head I was going to rip it apart to a bare shell and make it like new. Now after reading this thread, I want to just clean it up and "preserve" it. What to do!?
 

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Anthony,
Join me too in this conundrum. I have been vacillating for a year about what to do with mine,(*774775*), a well used racing car formerly raced by Rhoddy Harvey-Bailey the one time Autodelta works driver. So Patina in abundance, a race cage that cuts through the headlining and leaves it "unfinished" (read tattered) at the connections, a dash which has been covered in leather-cloth, various minor holes in the floor for fire-eater canisters and piping and finally, over painted in a (now matte) Pininfarina red which is more orange than the correct 501 which is evident still inside and under the bonnet. Doors have dents on the back edges etc etc. Bonnet has stress cracks in the aluminium on the leading edges. Paint is starting to flake round the rivets in the roof channels.
My current thinking, and this might change over Christmas with the festive spirit, is to clean and weld up all the minor holes in the chassis, engine compartment and repaint in 501, making good in the wheel arches and under the floor. Carefully make good the damaged aluminum areas and touch-in in the Pininfarina red. Strip and repair if necessary the total underside of the car and paint in 501. Re-wire.
Now my decisiveness leaves me...what to do with the dash and headlining? Any ideas?
 

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I would think if you have a race car with history and it is presentable - even in well used condition, chips, cracks, etc.- just leave it alone. Perhaps time will tell but an original patina is pretty special.

As somebody said regarding the subject, "I don't envision the Keno's (appraisers on Antique road show) saying it is a good thing you restored the finish on that early American highboy!".... maybe not an apples to apples comparison but it is something to dwell on.

Steve
 

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Stuart,

I didn't know you had one of Rhoddy's old cars. Is that the one with the testa stretta head ... or does he still have that?

Alex.
 

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Provenance and race condition

Thank you for starting this thread. What has driven up the value of the GTA?
I believe you will find that GTA values have been driven up by the eligibility for premier race events in Europe. The 1965 GTA is eligible for and is very competitive in the Appendix K Pre 66 race group.
If a race car won Le Mans and was parked for thirty years with the exact winning livery then preserving that patina would be of great value to some collectors. But most race cars were passed on and went on to race in lesser series and ended up in some club venue later in their life. Preserving the club race patina and typical club mods are of little value IMO.

Since the people that race the GTA want a competitive car, the restored
condition is important. If in restoring the car you can find some of the original running gear and can save it then by all means include those parts in the restoration. The check writers pay for provable race provenance combined with outstanding and correct restoration and race preparation. The provenance and preparation combine to provide a ticket to Goodwood or the Masters Top Hat series etc. A street GTA properly prepared to Appendix K is highly valued as well and is accepted to the top events. As Americans we like to think we lead here but the GTA prices are being driven by Europeans IMHO.

In our restoration of my GTA we have tried to use all the original parts where possible. As an example Roman was able to save the original (paper based) dash and Horst Kwech provided me with the original steering wheel he removed at the end of the 1966 season. The steering wheel shows use and is not new in appearance. We are leaving the steering wheel as is and may lose some points in a concour event as a result.

Max Banks needs to chime in here as he has good insight in GTA values.

Bob

1965 RHD GTA Corsa Ex Horst Kwech 1966 Trans-Am and B-Sedan Champion
 

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Bob, I would have to say you are spot on here! Just to add a few angles for thought:-

Most period race cars have ended up racing throughout the 70's and 80's in club events and effectively lost all their proper 'period' spec and patina anyway. IMO the only cars worth retaining full period patina are the 'time warp' cars we all dream of finding that have been locked in a barn for 40 years. Many cars (for example just like Bob's own car) require complete restoration to return them to the glory of their former days reusing as many original parts and features from the car as is possible and safe to do. Not all GTAs, (1300 or 1600) can be put under 1 bracket here; road cars and race cars are 2 completely different kettles of fish.

The value in race cars is down to a few key things:-

1) History (but its only the REALLY famous cars that can gain here - well know AD cars, Horst Kwech, Alec Mildren etc.), cars with minor race history are of little more value than ex-Stradale cars.

2)Presentation - body, correct wing profiles, race build details, paint etc. Beautifully prepared race cars make good money and sell easily!

3) Speed, fast (legal) cars that are well known to be race winners make big money as people are always prepared to buy into the speed.

So where are these values in Europe today? Well, in reality judging by the way the market has moved in the past few years and months you get the following:- a 1600 GTA 'race car' for £65000-70000, but in reality it will need work to bring it to a high level of presentation and speed. The very best race cars would make £90,000+ in today's market - the same as buying a £70,000 car and rebuilding it properly. I would not be at all surprised if someone paid over £100,000 soon for a championship winning car in excellent condition.

Road cars, road cars..... much more tricky than race cars IMO. The key to a 1600 GTA road car is its originality - bits race cars don't need. This is also reflected in chassis numbers - 613 and 752 cars make more money that 848 cars, presumably because of the 2-bolt cross member, 1600 GTA upright and Dunlop brake spec that the earlier cars had. This is obviously seen as the 'true' 1600 GTA spec, as well as the only spec eligable for FIA App K. races. 1600 GTA road cars often miss correct parts as bits have been nicked off them over the years or lost during restorations, good examples of these are GTA uprights, the thin stainless trim up the back of the door plexi, thin stainless trims on door cards and the thin stainless trim at the back of the boot aperture - the list is endless..... Cars missing these parts (or many others) to me lack much of the appeal of the cars and such parts are virtually unobtainable at the same time, yes repro uprights are available in Italy, but they are not very nice. Confusion then arises when a really lovely road car sells for strong money, then everyone thinks their car is worth that much, many not knowing what bits are missing from their cars themselves! Then average cars start being bought for big money (either due to lack of knowledge or due to a lack of other cars on the market), these cars then require much time, effort and money to be spent to make them perfect. Then owners of such cars see that they have put large amounts of money into these cars, as a result you find that the price bracket then moves up.

At the end of the day the value of these cars is what someone is prepared to pay for it due to their desirability and rarity, when this becomes public knowledge the price bracket moves again.

Its tricky right now, over valued average cars come up reasonably frequently, and every so often a cracker comes up that makes big money -that seems to (rightly or wrongly) reset the market value. For sure without intimate knowledge of the cars (or a bottomless account to remove concern) it is easy to fall into trouble, but then when the value continues to rise you get to a point where you could say "well thats what you pay for that condition". Only a few years ago you would have bought the very, very best for £40,000, now that doesn't get perfect cars by some way... The difference between the very best most original raod cars and very average cars - 50% of the value of the very best is the value of incomplete cars.
 

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I sometimes relish having a set-to with Max, but on this occasion I find myself regrettably in somewhat of an agreement. However I know Miles Collier well and know and understand his viewpoint. You may not know that he is an accomplished artist and may well view his cars from the aesthetes vantage point. However those of you who have seen his cars and the way in which he drives them would be more than impressed. His views have to be to be taken seriously...he is a major player!
So, old GTA, not a narrow head Alex, but bog standard GTAj on paper with the most wonderful rear wing line ever and a 1600 GTA engine installed (original motor in my workshop) : what to do? I drove it today through central London traffic and it was wonderful. Park Lane at 5k in 3rd was both relatively legal and wildly enjoyable. Rhoddy's set up is perfect for Hyde Park corner at speed. Get the phasing of the lights right and twice round is magic!!! That's what I happen to like.
I have had enough of 5.00 am starts for 8.30 scrutineering for a 4.30 race thank you. So where is the balance between the bruised racer and the trailer queen that satisfies us all?
As I noted before I vacillate, and I would be grateful for any advice or comments.
regards
 

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I drove it today through central London traffic and it was wonderful. Park Lane at 5k in 3rd was both relatively legal and wildly enjoyable. Rhoddy's set up is perfect for Hyde Park corner at speed. Get the phasing of the lights right and twice round is magic!!! That's what I happen to like.
You must have gone down there at just the right time of the day ... it's usually hell down there! And, rather annoyingly, I was doing some Christmas shopping in Knightsbridge this afternoon and was therefore 5 minutes away on foot. You ought to have my number!

Park Lane isn't the same since those speed cameras were installed, and perhaps with good reason (too many rich young fools with Lamborghinis). I forget who claims to hold the 'official lap record' but it's been variously attributed to Graham Hill, James Hunt, Ayrton Senna ... likewise Berkeley Square. :p

Merry Xmas,

Alex.
 

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Dual Purpose cars

...
So, old GTA, not a narrow head Alex, but bog standard GTAj on paper with the most wonderful rear wing line ever and a 1600 GTA engine installed (original motor in my workshop) : what to do? I drove it today through central London traffic and it was wonderful. Park Lane at 5k in 3rd was both relatively legal and wildly enjoyable. Rhoddy's set up is perfect for Hyde Park corner at speed. Get the phasing of the lights right and twice round is magic!!! That's what I happen to like.
I have had enough of 5.00 am starts for 8.30 scrutineering for a 4.30 race thank you. So where is the balance between the bruised racer and the trailer queen that satisfies us all?
As I noted before I vacillate, and I would be grateful for any advice or comments.
regards
You bring up another important point the GTA and GTAj are dual purpose cars and as such can be raced or driven on the street. Dual purpose cars seem to bring higher values than purpose built race cars as a general statement. There are exceptions. A race winning team McLaren Can-Am car sold for almost half what a back marker E type lightweight went for unrestored a few years back. It seemed wrong to me at the time. But the Lightweight can run the Colorado Grand and be driven on the street to a car show etc. Very few people are comfortable racing a Can-Am car and on the street the mileage sucks not to mention the clearance and street legal problems.

Bob

1965 RHD GTA Corsa Ex-Kwech 1966 Trans-Am and B-Sedan Champion
 

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Thanks Alex, PM me your 'phone number and next time you are in town we can meet and kick tyres. Park Lane does have speed cameras, one on the up lane and one on the down. The trick is to guage the traffic lights just above the Hilton which appear to be phased with those at the Intercontinental at Hyde Park corner. Hit it right and you are in the company of motor-bike couriers and ambitiously driven delivery vans whose cornering speeds would embarrass many a sports car. I digress...sorry.
The white lightweight E-type which I think Bob is referring to was restored by Lynx in the UK and John Maston-Taylor recalls that they cleaned up the paintwork and decided to preserve the patina of the old . To that end they mixed a number of varients of the original (Old English?) white so that the colour could be blended from old to new on the areas which had been "angle-ground". A similar aproach was adopted to the mechanical and trim components so that the car appears to be totally original, well looked after and unrestored. J M-T said that the final figure was several times the normal restoration costs! Is this the way to go or is it just perfecting the smile on the Mona Lisa?
 

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Interestingly, the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum faced the same situation a few years ago, especially in the restoration for display of fabric covered airplanes. Following the example of France's Musee de l'Air, they now preserve the fabric for reinstallation for exactly the reason stated by Miles Collier, ie. the passage of parts through time.

In my restoration of 613900 I have tried to do the same thing, and have largely succeeded, using a term I developed over 25 years ago, "archeological engineering"

David
613900
Giulietta Sprint, 59
GTV6, 81
 

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David,
Nice to hear from you but what exactly did you do to the GTA and how physically did you do it?
PS engine fine thanks.
 

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Stuart,

I used every part that was serviceable, which amounted to about 90+ % plus NOS and used original parts, scoured from here and there. The headlining, for example, is original, with glue stains from days of yore. The pressed paper instrument panel, instruments, etc are all original with the dash top cracks being repaired by a specialist, in situ.

New 6x14 wheels were cast by Campagnolo using the original moulds, after an inquiry about repair to the originals elicited a search of records and an offer of replication. Thus by slow work, 1974 to 1983, all was ready in the car as seen today. I still take great pleasure in pointing out that the original carburettors still use the original green plastic gas tube connecting the Webers.

David
GTA, as above
 

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Thanks David, for that information but what did you do with the body or was it in a good shape, right colour etc.
regards and seasonal greetings
 

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Restoration

Restoration...hummm.... A little like marriage,take your time and get it right and it's a beautiful thing,something to be charrished and enjoyed for generations, But..... do it fast without good planing and thought,
a costly endeavor may result.;)
Cheers and merry Xmas, Don Paul
 

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Everytime I read this thread, I change my mind on what to do with the GTA. Tonight it's restore it back to how it was when raced here in the US between 69-72. Tomorrow might be a different story.
 
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