Never buy an ‘all-original’ classic car!

Spring…as they say has sprung. With it comes the hope of new driving adventures in a truly classic car. Maybe your choice is one from your youth, for me, it was a 67’ Barracuda – what a bit of kit. No matter what your choice is, we all have something in common. That is, the very idea is resonating in that part of our brain (which often doesn’t differentiate between good and bad ideas), and it won’t go away. So, what do we do? Where do we go to find the perfect classic car?

Classic car photos

Most of us start out browsing various internet sites – my favourite is

This is about the point that a sort of reasonable idea turns into a bad one pretty quickly.

Let me explain why…

You see, in our brains we tend to remember the good, and forget the bad. So, that killer ride of the mid-70’s that you swore you would own one someday – well, you think that day has finally come.

It hasn’t and here’s why.

‘Classic all original’ is a nice way of saying ‘garbage’ (I know, the truth hurts sometimes).

Let’s let logic into the equation for just a minute here. Cars, like boats, planes, computers and cameras have all gotten way, way better over the last 30 years or so. This we can all agree on.

Now, I want you to ask yourself what you really liked about your perfect classic car before it was a classic. I’m going to go out on a limb and say it wasn’t the ride quality, the brakes, the air conditioning, the reliability or the steering feel.

More than likely was two things. First, the look of the car truly appealed to you, and secondly, it may have been the power and or sound. How am I doing so far?

Now we are starting to get the picture of your perfect classic car. If yours was like my Cuda’, with its ground pounding V8 and that sound that went with it…well it was pure magic. Reality check; back in the day, that ground pounding V8 was lucky to see 200bhp, nowadays a decent inline 4 will produce that. How embarrassing would it be for me to pull up to a light in the Cuda and get dusted by a Civic…that didn’t even know we were racing?

With all this new found information, we know what classic car you should look for, and it’s not a ‘classic all-garbage’ is it?

What you want is something that looks like you remember, but with a host of modern enhancements – like disc brakes – that will let you really enjoy the ride.

It’s called a ‘resto-mod.’

Resto Mod

It’s a car that is created to look like the original, be true to the shape and lines, but has all the creature comforts that we have come to enjoy. This is what you really want, and this is what you will be happy with.

Now, there are a few unwritten rules of resto-mod coolness that you need to know so you don’t look like a plonker. First and foremost; no body kits. No one wants to see a Superbird wing on a Chevelle. Stance is hugely important. Wheels and tires must complement the look. Leave the flames for the hot rod guys. Engine swaps and upgrades are okay in most cases. The general rule; more power is good. There is however one engine rule that can’t be broken. Jaguars always have Jaguar engines. Never, ever put in a Chevy (I don’t make the rules….just relaying them).

Finally, you have to decide what you want to do with your new ride. If you want to experience it on country roads, take it to car shows, or even use it at track days, for sure with enough research you will find the right car.

And if you want it to sit in the garage covered up just so you can tell your friends that you have an all original 67 Camaro at backyard bar-be-cues, while your yelling at the kids to ‘play nice’, then you, my friend should get an all original classic.

Little chance of it breaking down in the garage.