Original 1954 'Vette found... Keep as is, or Restore?

Original 1954 'Vette found... Keep as is, or Restore?


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    80

CrzRsn

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http://img515.imageshack.**/img515/6977/pineneedlevette01resizemp1.jpg
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Hemmings reader Joel says when he first heard about the 1954 Corvette sitting in a pine grove for 45 years, he figured he'd find a fiberglass shell sitting atop the rusted remnants of a frame. He thought the early Vette might at least make a nice street rod.

But when he finally saw the car way up in the Colorado Smokies, he was stunned. Not only did the car still have its original hardtop, but the frame was rust free and the "original painted frame stamp from the factory is still on the frame and very much legible," Joel tells Hemmings Auto Blogs.

The story is that the car's second owner drove the Corvette to a friend's house in 1963 to have the seats re-covered. He replaced the driver's seat with a wooden Pepsi box and drove home where he parked it beneath the pine trees until Joel pulled it out.

Now Joel has a conundrum. After getting the car running again, he's totally ruled out street rod, but doesn't know what to do with the car. Frame off? Survivor-car preservation? Currently, Hemmings readers are unanimously recommending the preservation route, arguing there are already too many half-million-dollar frame off restos out there.

We've all dreamed about this happening to us, so how would you advise Joel?


Thats brilliant. I'm very jealous.

I want to find something like that.
 

BlaRo

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Personally, I don't think the patina is interesting enough to justify not restoring it.

It wouldn't be much of an effort for a restoration, anyway. Bring it back to new.
 

fbc

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Definitely restore it - it's just been neglected, so it's not like it's in that condition due to some marvellous achievement. Yeah, take it back to it's glory days.
 

Crazyjeeper

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I'd leave it. A car is only original once. Just make sure it doesn't decay any farther.
 

stevanford1

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He should getting running first. I reckon it would be awesome seeing a corvette that is completely original driving around.
 

Spectre

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Take the original fiberglas tub off it and replace it with repops, then drive it around. Keep the originals, of course, but don't let it decay and moreover, don't let idiots get a chance to run into it.
 
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Viper007Bond

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I'd say probably restore it. I mean it looks like crap right now.
 

Rokovak

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A car may be original once, but one could say that car isn't technically all that 'original' in a sense, if I may be picky. Most of the original paint has faded away, I'll bet original leather has all but decomposed, the original wiring is likely corroded and so on so forth. With that in mind, I say put some fresh makeup and kinky clothes on the girl and make her look hot again.
 

Topgearfanatic

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restore it like new, not to the whole brand new stereo thing though!
 

Blind_Io

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Preserve it, there are enough restorations out there.
 

argatoga

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I say restore it. The only thing the inline 6 Corvette had going for it was style. If it can't go fast make it at least look good going slow.
 

Aston Martin

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A car can always be restored... but it'll only be original once.
 

Ice_warmer

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though it'll look great restoreing it, think about it, could you get anybetter patina than that ?

i like patina.

i'm still for this: old cars have to look and fell old (not rusted thorugh), what's the diffrence between a new car and an old car with everything new on it ?
 

tigger

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Either way it's pretty impressive. I'd either restore it down to last nut and bolt and sell it for absurd money, or more likely, just get the mechanicals straightened out and keep that patina. Then take it to car shows.
 

Labcoatguy

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That patina comes from neglect, not a life well lived, so it's not worth keeping. I say restore it once, but never again, and drive it like it was meant to be driven.
 

TC

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It's obviously not drivable. It's going to need some work. Complete overhaul of the engine/trans/axle, most of the suspension, brakes, fuel lines, electrical, etc.

So if he plans on driving it at some point, then I don't see why he wouldn't restore it. He's basically rebuilding all the important parts of the car anyway, why not the superficial cosmetic parts as well?
 

Eunos_Cosmo

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Don't restore, but repair. Always my philosophy ;)
 

AarheadC

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Maybe if it was more significant of a car I'd say preserve it, but it's just an old Corvette. If a famous driver raced it, or it was the first Corvette, or even how it got to that condition was significant, then I would recommend keeping it as-is.
 

C53A_4G63T

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Keep it as is. You rarely see an original car any more. Everything is now over restored. If I was at a car show, I would look at this one before a restored one. It is not just a pretty looking car, the outter scars tell a story.
 
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