Preserve the automobiles manufactured by the Durant Motor Company, provide enjoyment for each member with meets, tours & technical assistance.
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All to many times I see for sale adds that say amature restoration. I think we all have a certian amount of pride doing things for ourselves or we wouldn't be into the old car hobby. In the 1920's I would think that a lot of cars were made useing similar technics and similar products. Is there info on the web that would help explain the DO's and Dont's of the old car restoration hobby?? I still maintian that a lot of time the differance between Proffesional and Amature is bassed on the size of your wallet. Anything that you may have found on the web would be appreciated. However I would like to say that if you can afford to have your car restored than by all means do so because these cars are the benchmark being set to improve individual standards. And the pride of ownership never goes away regardless of how the restoration was acheived.
If you use some of the better restoration shops like White Post Restoration etc, you can expect to pay between $30,000 and $40,000 for a complete nut and bolt ground up restoration. When your done you will have a beautiful trophy winning car, but you will not know the car you've just restored. By restoring it yourself a person not only has the satisfaction of saying "I restored it" but also you will know every nut and bolt and piece that goes on that car. That's not to say you can't outsource some of your restoration. A man must know his limitations, but just reassembling the car will teach you a lot. I think sometimes the old car hobby puts too much emphasis on a professional restoration opposed to an amateur restoration. I've seen many an amateur restoration that far exceeds some restoration shop's work. Just like any other mechanic or business, there is some good and bad. If you pay $30,000 to a bad shop that hurries the job, then it won't look any better than the worse amateur. Also you have to think that although we all know Durants are worth it, because many have never heard of them, they often draw less money on Ebay and Autotrader. I've seen very few go for more than $10,000. There is a Doctors Coupe listed on Auto Trader that they want $12,000 for. It's been there over 1 1/2 years. So if you put a real lot of money in your car and think your going to make a killing on it someday, it probably wont' happen. So unless your Donald Trump and have a lot of money to throw away, you might as well restore a car as a labor of love and pride and be happy with the time spent on a worthwhile project. My thoughts on this.
Amen to Brother Linthicum's professings. His Durantonial outpouring is like the true gospel of our Durant-Star faith....(applicable to other makes included of course)
I treat my car like my wife, I don't want anyony else touching her unless its something I can't mend myself.
I know its not always possible to do everything yourself depending on your ability in the variouse disiples but I do try wherever I can. There is something special about knowing your car that well and to me I would rather have a car that is perhapse not 100% perfect but that you have lived the good and bad times with, a bit like marriage.The bonus to this is that you will have cash left over to spend on other baby Durants.
Good luck whichever way you go.
Lawrence.... Barry, Gary and Mike sound like the THREE WISE MEN of amature restoration! The information they offer is simply...reality.The difference between having your car professional restored and doing it yourself is the same as if you needed to have your plumbing done. A plummer is going to cost alot and the job is only going to be as good as the plummer himself! If you can do the job and satisfy yourself, by all means do it yourself.
Remember, the word proffesional simply means that this is what you do for a living... it doesn't say anything about the quality of the work.In my opinion, 75% of the people that have their cars professionally restored are sorry they went that route because of a variety of reasons(cost, quality,too nice to drive, ect...).
With these things in mind,I finish by offering this FACT. KNOWLEDGE IS KING! A car that is restored with the correct bolts,cotter pin and original parts of their era.... is worth much more than any car that is not done to those standards...no matter who does it! Now, back to the question... does anyone know of a book that explains the basic auto building methods used during the mid-twenties?
One thing that I know for certian that all the people who responded feel exactly the way I do. I have a 60's car that was proffesionaly restored and i find the investment too much to drive and risk paint chips etc. I will not go that way agian. As i am convinced that a proper job can be done with a novice in no hurry and hireing out as required. This site is a wealth of info which i have compiled a lot of info from the tech pages etc. I would like to thank all of you for the feedback and the help.
show car shine may be nice, but not original. I do not have most accurate information but pride from you doing it is usually better and less costly than having it done. on these old cars you can learn how, and unless you find all kinds of correct literature their is no really correct way for paint work ext. most of the older cars used lacquer based paint or acrylic enamel, which wont have a super good shine but would be more era correct.
I have a copy of the fisher body service manual, compiled in 1930. It shows the body construction of a lot of the durant cars . If this is what you are looking for I may be able to run off a copy for you .
I believe it is mostly wood work they show -but some of the pics should be helpful to many of the members .
Let me know what you think.
Lawrence: Let me add my two cents worth into this excellent forum. I have been working on old cars for over forty years. Some were to just drive and others were to show. I won an AACA Senior with a car that I knew had many wrong items and lost on a car that was as right as could be. I did both of the cars my self and it took about ten years each but I had the satisfaction of doing everything my self except the upholstery. I don't show either car but just drive them. I considered both of them better restored then if I had a professional do them because I took my time and made sure it was right. I have judged many times over these years and in a mixed class you have to judge as you feel the car was sold. If you restore it your self then if you break down you know how to fix it. If some else does the work then they will have to fix it. I am also for making safety improvements like seat belts, brake lights, turn signals and safety glass. Most items on a car you can try first and then if you feel you are not capable you can out source. Just one mans opinion.
Ken... Thank you for the offer to make me copies of your Fisher body book,but as we talk there is one listed on e-bay for only $16 (item #8033942633).This way it would be of no inconvience to you. This club is great... everyone I have talked to is always offering as much help as they can. Thanks everyone!!
I used to subscribe to Skinned Knuckles Magazine. Over several years, I learned an awful lot from reading it. Don't know if it's still published but you probably can buy some back issues.
Hi Ken, If it would not be any trouble I would be interested in a copy of your Fisher Body service manual as I'm trying to piece togather some of the woodwork on a 1927 Star. Bill
I will get going on the copy right away but it may take a bit of time ---it is quite a few pages. probably you can expect it to be on the way by the weekend . Hope it helps you out .