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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With pictures of Jim's P4

With pictures of Jim's P4 dancing in my head I set out to have dinner with a car buddy of mine. Conversation turned towards an article he had read, and I had heard referenced in earlier conversations with other folks, on Sports Car Market (I'm pretty sure this was the publication) about right now being the golden age of classic cars. Anyone familiar with this article? I'd love to read it and make my own conclusions of what it was all about. Do I even have the right publication?

The article's point was that the artisans of yesteryear with the skill, know-how, and experience are all in the later end of their careers. Seems like the new "instant coffee and while you wait service" generation of techs are simply not mechanics. Almost like robots in an assembly line they replace rather than diagnose and fix for good.

In my quest for a cheap and fulfilling restoration project (OK, you guys can stop laughing now
) I did a lot of research in what is offered out there. The tried and true guys seem to be either delegating work for others to complete while resting on their laurels, retired altogether, or the brave few with so much enthusiasm for everything automotive that work is not just a means to an end, but a lifestyle that will outlast their natural lives.

With the advent of massed produced exotica and parts bin sharing it seems like the future of the exotic car market is destined to be very different from today. Just like racing lost a lot of glory and passion with the advent of hyper marketing and licensing money grabs, could it be that THE time to own a classic car is now? Are we in a place in time where we don't even realize how good we have it with resources we take for granted? Some may even consider the crazy 80's as THE golden age, but having seen a lot of these so-called perfect restorations surface as the cars succumb to time my friend and I agreed that could not have been it. Seems like restorations nowadays are more fueled by passion than money. A case can be made against this in the resurging American Muscle Car market, but that's another story altogether.

Just a fun topic that we ping pong'ed back and forth over a good meal. Good to know that even if in my later years it may not be the perfect time to own a classic, good friends, good food, and good conversation will always be there.


Cheers
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Hi Taek,

hmmmmmmmm...lot&#3


Hi Taek,

hmmmmmmmm...lot's of food for reflection, all excellent points and observations.

I'm wondering if the instant coffee crowd (in general) has any interest in preservation of old classics, which will include such cars as the 1985 Testa Rossas and the entire Boxer and 308 model lines already, if not in the near future as they become 20 or more yrs old and older. We still see a preponderance of shoppers looking for Boxers, Testa Rossas & 308's with under 20K miles on them, rather than restored examples, which hints at instant driving gratification and somewhat of denial and unrealistic thinking that any work (repair expense) will be needed to inconvience ownership. To me this hints that ownership of these special exotics is not very internally important compared to being able to show them off externally. A restoration on the other hand is far more internal and about the excitement of possesing and all that entails, as the cars are static and can't readily be cruised by the nieghbors, friends or down the Blvds.

I think another part of the situation besides overall attitudes towards cars is that many of these exotics were produced in to great of numbers to make people feel true excitement about bringing any of them back from the brink. A car gets old, it's parted out because there are plenty more where that one came from.

Maybe people don't have enough money at this point in history to play the restoration game? or perhaps it's an overall lack of vision? To want to own and restore a piece of history one would probably be considered a visionary as well as an avid enthusiast. It takes certian visionary attributes to see the diamonds in the rough and accept that others may disagree short term while the sense one will see the rewards long term remains in force.

Additionally, with so many new super machines coming into the market do we really have time to look back and reflect?

Regards, JRV
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
For me restoration has been a

For me restoration has been a way to see how things are built, what they got right, what they got wrong. You MUST pitch in with your hands. It's the only way to truely know.
The guys that can do this kind of work are dwindling.
As Bob said: "It's for my friends and myself my stories I tell."
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
>>As Bob said: "It

>>As Bob said: "It's for my friends and myself my stories I tell."<<

a lot of truth to that...I keep my Miura under a car cover, most who visit don't even notice it. Rarely drive it, only get time to get it out a few times a year unfortunately, just the time constraints of my life style, I only take it to car events generally, as overall only car nuts will really appreciate it. So in the end I truly just own it for me and those few who know me well.

Maybe building/restoring anything to most is a personal statement to themselves and what they can do and create when they set goals and put their mind to it? Something that transcends the value of mere money. In fact one must definately be enlightened beyond the possesion of mere money to the point that they can make a statement of their own in their own way using money as simply one of the tools to accomplish the larger goal.

Regards, JRV
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
New cars do nothing for me, vi

New cars do nothing for me, vintage cars especially with history have so much more to offer other than just a driving experience.

Jim G does it right, I'd rather have a unique, one of a kind, hand made car with history(P4) than a new Enzo. Why have a Thomas Kinkade lithograph when you can have a Velazquez?

Vintage ownership requires a patience and understanding of auto engineering and a roll up your sleeves attitude to accept that parts will fail and problems arise as opposed to todays cars reliabilty.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
>>In fact one must def

>>In fact one must definately be enlightened beyond the possesion of mere money to the point that they can make a statement of their own in their own way using money as simply one of the tools to accomplish the larger goal. <<

Man, buddy that's pretty much spot on.

For myself, the ownership/restoration experience is but one facet of life. What the car means to the folks on the curb, is not the same as what it means to me.

I will say that by taking the time to share with young people the excitement of the vehicle, via school visits and other means, I have harvested many intangible returns on the monetary investment of ownership and maintenance.

It is those memories that keep me going, as we occaisionally pause to sort out "what they got right, what they got wrong."

Owning this cantankerous old car has allowed me to build a lifetime of experiences that few can match. A scrapbook full of smiling faces and new found friends. Not everyone gets cheered by the neighborhood kids at the School Bus stop, when they leave for work in the morning. I did.

A truly "Golden Age" indeed.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I believe the problem in this

I believe the problem in this day and age is so
many people look at classic cars ONLY as
an investment.
If you buy a tired 308 that needs work, of course it doesn't make financial sense to HAVE it restored. Even if you do most of the work yourself you will be lucky to break even.

What value can you place on the sense of satisfaction and knowledge you gain when you do much of the work yourself.

The ones that see that value are the lucky ones.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You've all brought up some

You've all brought up some really good points here. Chuck pretty much struck on a point my buddy and I discussed heavily. With the abundance of these cars starting in such large numbers with the 308 series, is restoration of these machines almost going to go the way of BMWs and Porsches? Where the unique cars will command a premium, but the values will never hit levels high enough for a proper restoration? There will always be that aberrant enthusiast who will plunge in for his own sake, not for the sake of investment, but how few and far between will these guys be? Certainly their numbers will not be enough to save the model lineup.

We have already witnessed 308s being torn apart as a canvas for a 288GTO replica and having it's price increased. Looks like the 308 is the new 250 GTE of old whose value will only see an increase once enough of them are turned into replicas of other models.

For the contemporary crowd, restoring a 512TR seems almost too soon, when indeed these cars are nearing the time for restoration. While I've always seen restoration as something necessary pending a car's condition, it seems the marketplace reacts and restores when the market value of the car turns for an upswing. Nobody really wants to restore a car that is still depreciating; going back to what Chuck has said about investment. Since the values of these cars are not rising in the same time frame as the older rarer cars, will restoration finally happen do such a delayed extent that those who are really qualified to do it are sipping margaritas in the sun when the time comes? Either that, or whoever takes on the entrepreneurial spirit and actually tries to learn something from the masters will have a shop full of cars. I think the parent companies are seeing this and in anticipation are starting their restoration services branches and such. In my eyes, yet another way to gouge the customer, but gladly enthusiasts are not fooled.

Is Ferrari a victim of it's own marketing machine of long lines at dealerships? Is the fostering of all things new and improved shadowing all but the iconic cars of old? You'll always have the weird egg like me who likes the old stuff, but not only am I the minority, in my age group I have yet to meet someone who shares my opinions on this matter. More power, better handling, GPS, ABS, ASR, blah. For cars that are supposed to stir the soul, these new cars almost drive themselves. Very capable, but boring in comparison. Owning a Ferrari is almost not about the drive anymore, but more about the ooohs and aaahs one gets while creeping in traffic along a main strip. Looks to me like the giant's been caught sleeping. Once they wake up they'll start realizing that a Mercedes-Benz sedan with four doors and full of adults with luggage will destroy their sporting cars in highway acceleration with better safety, gas mileage, comfort, convenience, and more reliably.

Cheers
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
>>What value can you p

>>What value can you place on the sense of satisfaction and knowledge you gain when you do much of the work yourself.

The ones that see that value are the lucky ones. <<

That's pretty much who this board is for and what it's all about...for those who wish "to participate" in this game called cars!

 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The Factory restoration shops

The Factory restoration shops IMHO are problematic. First they will be VERY costly. Second unless you live nearby it's hard for you to be a part of it and what's the fun in that?
In todays world the costs of restoration very rarely make pure economic sense so if you do it you should be an active participant.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Interesting thread.

Unless


Interesting thread.

Unless you are very wealthy money matters in these circumstances. I think most of us who have a passion for this sort of thing buy the best example we can find and then learn and do what maintenance we can. What is over you head, you hope you are close to a guy like JRV to farm out to take of you.

I'm not tlaking about the money cars like 250LM's, 250SWB or even 275GTB/4's. People who own these things clearly have the money to restore them.

I'm talking about the $30M to $150M range. You know, the stuff that is expensive but within a number of peoples reach, 3x8's, Boxers, TR's, 330CTC's and Daytona's.

I think it's going to be interesting over the next 10 years what happens to these cars. A lot of these cars were restored in the "go-go late 80's when Daytonas were approaching $500M. Even these restorations are approaching 15 years old. Will they become more revered by younger enthusiasts as some of us who grew up when the Daytona was king of the heap, once dreamed about them or will the newer enthusiasts go for the faster and newer versions. I't going to be an interesting balance.

One last item, Mr. Glickenhaus, thank you so much for posting pictures of your restorations. They are worth so much more than any book could give and I appreciatiate you sharing with the community.

Drew Altemara
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
What are "restorations&#34

What are "restorations" going to be like on modern day cars when the computer goes on the blink? What happens when the module that needs to be replaced is not rebuilable and you can no longer purchase the part because it is so outdated or only special computers/tools can set them up. People will not be able to do their own restorations. How many people can actually "wrench on" their own 360 these days?
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
There are plenty of guys out t

There are plenty of guys out there who
want to jump in. But they are to busy listening
to the "accountants" that tell them they will
never see a return on their investment.
As Jim says whats the fun if you do not get dirt
under your fingernails by participating.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Several have commented that th

Several have commented that the next 10 yrs woll be interesting. Any speculations on what the future may hold? What should guys in the business (like myself) be gearing up for?

Regards, JRV
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
JRV
I think guys like you wil


JRV
I think guys like you will always do well. Hey I love driving my 1931 Deusenberg and in 10 years I still will. I do think that many of the more modern computer cars will be very costly to keep going. I read where Ferrari will sell you a few year old F1 car for 1 million +. Problem is getting it started. For that you need 3 men, and a computer. If that computer crashes? $$$$$$$. In my Deusy you do have to wind the clock and adjust the spark adv. yourself but the little lever on the steering wheel hub seems to work just fine.
Best

 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Cars will start driving themse

Cars will start driving themselves?
I believe thats about 5 years away. I believe BMW will be the first ones to do it. With GPS, throttle by wire, and steering by wire, the next step is a computer guiding the way.

OH, and even if the old car market crashes, (I believe it never will) who cares, the old classics are the shit. If my 308 is worth $1500 in 10 years, so what, it puts a smile on my face everytime I drive it. I don't know of any other car for the money that's as fun to drive. I don't think you can put a price on it.
By the way, JRV tell what driving a Muira is like? It's a shame you can't drive it more often. What an awesome car!
Jim
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
>>I believe thats abou

>>I believe thats about 5 years away. I believe BMW will be the first ones to do it. With GPS, throttle by wire, and steering by wire, the next step is a computer guiding the way. <<

At that point I want the car to fly or float me to my destination while I nap or make out in the back seat....
.

Truly I don't see old/older cars dying out in my lifetime (of course my account with Ms. Cleo was cut off
), what I have seen happening is far fewer shops that can actually work on them to the highest quality standards. Shop labor rates have been escalating, however the quality of service has been dropping, an interesting phenomenom to watch. Far fewer younger guys seem interested in developing "true skills" to diagnois & repair and are trying to rely far to heavily on "Magic Boxes" that plug in and supposedly do all the work. Magic however is having pretty poor results trying to replace skill and experience as a viable service/repair scenario.

My take on the future of the Italian Exotics and Classics in general is that sending ones car to Specialist Masters will become increasingly popular. The transportation costs will be neglible when the quality & finished results are stacked up against what it costs to have marginal work performed by non-experts at increasing shop rates. Learning can be expensive and when one begins to factor what it costs for a high priced tech to learn on cars they are unfamialar with and have little desire to service, transportation to old timers will start making far more sense. Then once a car is fully sorted and renewed a relationship to keep the cars running well and serviced well by hands on of the owner and servicing expert will become common.

Regards, JRV
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
JRV....

I tend to agree. I


JRV....

I tend to agree. I think the future will see both a rise in specialty shops servicing vintage cars from a wide geographic spectrum and increased maintenance from hands on owners.

I like doing my own maintenance. Like Jim says, getting your hands dirty is part of the process and fun. Sure its frustrating sometimes and it often takes many attempts before something is really "right" but for me that learning process is part of it. For many others however... they just want to write a check. Then its guys like you that are becoming the only outlet.

I dont see many true classics of the future being made today. The cars are too sanitary. They are also too complicated. In 20 years finding a shop that can even read the old code in the current software/hardware systems may be a neat trick. Cars today are built disposable.

Also, as enthusiasts mature so will their taste. The 25 year old today who only cares about 0-60 times will grow. In time he will care more about hand built coachwork and the real artistry surrounding a car. Sure he will still want it to be fast and fun to drive.... but even by modern standards a Daytona is not exactly slow.

Look at watches. Even though today there are more precisely built mechanical watches.... and atom like accurate electronic watches..... vintage automatics like Rolex, Patek, Omega and others go up in value and are prized by collectors. Craftmanship and artistry will always command value and respect.

Terry
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
JRV,Terry

You guys hit the


JRV,Terry

You guys hit the nail on the head.

I don't know how many times I've sent newer cars still under warrenty to various dealers,only to have the car returned to me still not fixed. When I ask why I get "well thats what the scan tool told us was the problem" I feel like ripping the phone out of the wall when I hear that. Why is it that I can fix some cars the dealer can't even though i don't have the precious scan tool?
I't because people are lazy!! They don't want to do anything anymore that requires a little bit of effort. If they can't plug somthing in to tell them whats wrong they throw up thier hands,and park the thing back outside. Or they throw parts at it hoping to fix the problem.

may peopl who call themselves techs are not. The just replace parts. Ask them to fix somthing they can't.

I don't know how many cars I have seen that require simple little things that most guys don't bother to check. But instead put the most expensive parts in first..and then try to fix the problem with the basics. It don't work like that
 
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