APRIL 2, 2014: DON’T MESS WITH THE PAST–THE CASE FOR KEEPING YOUR RIDE STOCK AND ORIGINAL

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We have all seen many science fiction movies or TV programs about time travel and the need to leave the past alone when you visit a bygone era.

 

Famous cartoon oaf Homer Simpson really screwed things up when he visited the past with a time machine toaster and stepped on the wrong bug, along with a sneeze that killed dinosaurs, among other future-altering acts of stupidity.

 

 

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The net result was a completely different future for Homer, and even Captain Kirk, when Kirk had to let his date get run over by a car in a pre-WWII time travel Star Trek episode to prevent the global domination of Nazi Germany by an altered future.

 

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Things are not quite as life-altering when it comes to old vehicles; in fact your own future with an old classic may even be rosier if you make some modifications to them.

 

Think about some of the old school engineering behind the vehicles from the past; things like mechanical or single master cylinder brakes and you will understand why disc brakes and dual master cylinders make sense on a trip through the Rocky Mountains.

 

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Throw in a new engine, tranny, suspension/steering and the ability to drive effortlessly in modern traffic in an old car is at your command.

 

But is it really a realistic representation of an old school ride or is it just funky retro sheet metal wrapped around 21st century technology?

 

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Have you gutted the essence of the old car and turned it into a soulless Frankenstein, complete with whistles, buzzers and creature comforts that were not a real part of its original automotive soul from the past?

 

Clearly something is lost when a bone stock car becomes a resto-mod or custom ride and the only question would be whether you really want to sacrifice the car’s originality from the past for its current practicality.

 

Do you want to change history and squash a bug like Homer Simpson did on his time travel adventure?

 

A solid case could be made for “no” as an answer if you decide to preserve the past with an unmolested original car.

 

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The value of original cars has remained fairly constant over the years and they are unlikely to nose-dive in the future because fewer original cars from the past are preserved in their original state over the course of time.

 

Many car guys are just itching to re-build a four-wheeled version of the Six Million Dollar Man; better, stronger, faster.

 

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The idea of a stock version of the car, complete with 3-on-the-tree and a straight six, is the kind of concept that would make them wake up screaming in the night.

 

But once you alter the past, whether in a sci-fi movie or on an original car, you will have a difficult time correcting the changes you have made to the timeline or vehicle.

 

 

The past will likely be lost forever on most car projects and few car guys who choose this path will be remorseful over their decision.

 

Realistically we at MSCC have no say in the matter of originality and the alteration of a car’s history, but we really enjoy an opportunity to see and interview a car guy or girl who has chosen to keep his or her ride bone stock.

 

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They have chosen to preserve the past in its original form.

 

It is not an easy path to choose but they often have some really good reasons for their decisions and a great story to tell us.

 

Jim Sutherland

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