Sympathetic Restoration

1977 Mercedes Benz 450 SEL 6.9 Restoration from Brazil

May 9, 2017 in German / Restoration Shop / Sympathetic Restoration

This 1977 Mercedes Benz 450SEL 6.9 is the subject of a restoration thread on by “Joe Brasileiro“. His name and impressive work were immediately recognizable, so a quick search confirmed that it was the same person as “jbrasile” who had restored the 1970 Mercedes Benz 300 SEL 6.3 that we previously featured. After all, how many Joe’s could there be restoring vintage Mercedes in Brazil? We gave high accolades to his craftsmanship on the last 6.3, and this latest 6.9 project is no different. The color combination is equally as striking, and as we said before about the last car’s tones, it is so very period of that era. Come take a closer look on the following page, won’t ya?…


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1987 Porsche 959 Refresh of a Well-Used Example

April 20, 2017 in German / Patina / Restoration Shop / Survivor / Sympathetic Restoration / Video

This 1987 Porsche 959 arrived at TuneRS Motorsports in Florida straight from Germany after being recently purchased by it’s new owner. He requested it be freshened up mechanically and cosmetically inside and out, top to bottom, and seeing that this is the same shop that built this 1995 993 RS clone, we have no qualms about the quality or ability of their work. The 47k kilometer super car appears to have been well used by it’s previous owner, who looks to have rode it hard and put it away wet, not that there’s anything wrong with that. We’d rather see them having been used as intended than never driven. Back in ’87, these vehicles were technological marvels far ahead of their time with twin turbos, all wheel drive, tire pressure monitoring sensors and slippery futuristic aerodynamic styling allowing a .31 drag coefficient. They were originally produced for Group B homologation purposes before the race series was ultimately canceled for being deemed too dangerous because of too many deaths of both drivers and spectators. While most existing examples of the rare road version models have been pampered and rarely driven, it’s nice to see one that has been properly used throughout the past 27 years. Follow along with us on the next page as we watch this one being refreshed back to like-new condition without the necessity of a full blown restoration tear down…

Survivor: 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS Lightweight

February 28, 2017 in German / Race Car / Restoration Shop / Survivor / Sympathetic Restoration

This 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS Lightweight was the subject of a sympathetic restoration by the Porsche marque experts at Autofarm in the U.K. What came to be known as the “Beirut RS”, we cannot fathom a truer poster child automobile that defines the term “survivor” better than this. During the war in Lebanon in the mid 80’s, a mortar shell hit the building that this rare car was being stored in and part of the structure fell on top of the car. The car was entombed until it was more recently resurrected by property developers who contacted the original owner’s family asking what they wanted to do with it…

1951 Bandini Siluro Motto Crosley Mercury 750cc Devin Monza‏ Barn Find

February 20, 2017 in American / Barn Find / Home Garage Build / Italian / Race Car / Sympathetic Restoration / Video

This 1951 Bandini Siluro Motto Crosley Mercury 750cc Devin Monza has a compelling, storied history to explain it’s ridiculously long and complicated name. Let’s take a crack at it and see if we can sort this out…
What started out as a cycle-fendered Bandini race car was ultimately transformed into this Devin Monza-bodied car for the 1958 racing season when an SCCA rules change dictated that they no longer allowed cars with cycle fenders to compete. It went on to race successfully for many more seasons before it was put away in storage for over 50 years, until it was finally exhumed out of it’s original owner’s garage in 2007. The term “barn find” is incorrectly over-used far too often these days, but if there were any car to qualify it would certainly be this one.


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1959 Maserati 3500GT

February 17, 2017 in Home Garage Build / Italian / Sympathetic Restoration

This 1959 Maserati 3500 GT is the subject of a sympathetic restoration on by member “mfletch”.
Back when he was only 17, “mfletch” talked his brother into buying the Maserati out of a local paper for only $3,500. That was over 30 years ago and ever since then it sat in his garage with a bad transmission. Not too long ago he pulled the car out of his brother’s garage with the intention of gracing it with a sympathetic restoration. He wanted to keep enough of the car’s original paint and interior for it to remain to be considered a “survivor”, with plans to refresh it’s mechanicals to safe operating condition, as well.


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Survivor: 1966 Alloy Body Ferrari 275 GTB

December 8, 2016 in Barn Find / Italian / Survivor / Sympathetic Restoration

If you are into vintage cars like we are, then chances are you already know the story about this 1966 Ferrari alloy-body long nose 275 GTB survivor. Even if you have seen it before, we’re sure that you will agree that this one’s definitely worth a revisit. As the story goes, the car was excavated by Ferrari barn find expert Tom Shaughnessy after sitting in the corner of a Ferrari mechanic shop in Southern California since the early 70’s. We have no idea how the car could have gone unnoticed there for so long, but if you have heard of Tom before then you know he pulls together some serious hat tricks when uncovering these once-lost cars. In fact, you may remember him from his more recent garage find from a few weeks ago of a Ford GT40, another jaw dropping story not to be missed. So, come take a closer look at this all original vintage Ferrari with us on the following page, then be sure to check out his GT40 find after in “Related Posts” if you haven’t already, you won’t be disappointed if you like “barn” finds.

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Original ’56 Gullwing vs Restored at Auction

November 17, 2016 in Barn Find / General Discussion / German / Survivor / Sympathetic Restoration

We take a brief look at two almost identical Mercedes Benz 300SL Gullwing coupes that sold during January’s Gooding & Company auction in Phoenix. Both cars were both black on red, and both the same model year, so why “almost” identical? One was an original survivor that needed, let’s just say a bit of freshening to make all of it’s patina workable and the other was a fully restored show example. So, which one sold for more? featured both of them with that very same question before they went up on the block, although we have not found a follow up so we thought that we would take it on ourselves. So stay with us onto the next page and we will answer that after the break…

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Survivor Sunday: 1964 Shelby Cobra 289

November 4, 2016 in American / English / Survivor / Sympathetic Restoration

The subject of today’s Survivor Sunday feature is this fantastic 1964 Shelby Cobra 289, #CSX2307. It is actually the third all-original Cobra that we have already featured here so far to date, which is interesting to note because we can’t imagine that there are many more, if any, that are left unrestored. Motor Trend magazine featured it’s story in their April, 2006 issue, along with an interview with it’s character of an owner, Lynn Park. Continue with us on the following page as we paraphrase the 6 page article and take a closer look at the car…

1964 Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe CSX2287 Re-Makes History

October 11, 2016 in American / Barn Find / Factory Photos / Race Car / Survivor / Sympathetic Restoration / Video

Since we have recently been on the subject of unrestored vintage race cars that still have their original patina anyways, we figured that it would be the perfect time to bring up this 1964 Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe (CSX2287). Rather than delve into anything regarding Phil Spector’s later ownership of the car after it was retired from racing or the twisted legal battles it has been involved in since, we felt that the only appropriate focal point should be this Cobra’s glorious competition heritage. Apparently we weren’t the only ones, as the Historic Vehicle Association (HVA) announced a week ago yesterday that CSX2287 “will become the first automobile to be recorded under the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Heritage Documentation.” We had been feeling the gravitational pull of this particular car in our Daytona Coupe-shaped hearts, and now we know the reason why.


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1990 Porsche 964 Cup Car Bare Shell Repaint

October 10, 2016 in German / Race Car / Restoration Shop / Sympathetic Restoration

This 1990 Porsche 964 series Carrera Cup car (chassis #9007) was the subject of a bare shell repaint thread back to it’s original Viper Green color on forum member “NineMeister”. The shop who did the work, 9M in the UK, bought the race car in an estate sale unfortunately without any documentation to verify, but it is thought to have been the championship winning Trophy Cup car from that year. Their plan was to sympathetically restore it back to the factory specification and livery that it wore when raced during that successful season. Continue with us on the next page as we follow “Kermit” through it’s strip and respray…

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1928 Bentley 6 1/2 Litre Sympathetic Restoration

August 5, 2016 in English / Restoration Shop / Sympathetic Restoration

Since it is ultimately our goals to bring a multitude of car cultures together for our own greedy personal agendas, how better to follow a Miata engine swap build feature than to next throw a 1928 Bentley restoration into the mix? Not much chance that the car enthusiast who frequents Mazda boards is going to jump next right into an old English car renovation, so that is exactly what we are here at your service for. After all, we are all car people here, and we all appreciate automotive innovations, whether they are from before our own personal lifetimes or happen to be in our immediate current period. So, let’s get on with this good ol chap to kick ‘er off, shall we? Tally ho!…


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1972 Lancia Stratos Stradale Barn Find

June 27, 2016 in Barn Find / Italian / Sympathetic Restoration

Our automobile feature stories are not always limited to just the full nut and bolt rotisserie restorations or modification threads either. We actually enjoy them far more when the subject is a barn find that is in need of only a sympathetic restoration, such as this 1972 Lancia Stratos Stradale. It just sold for $264,000 during August’s Bonham auction at Quail. Barn finds are becoming almost equivalent to seeing a unicorn, and there is something romantic about the whole process (the whole finding of a vintage car aspect, not so much the horse with an overgrown, horn shaped tumor on it’s forehead part). This Stratos looks like it is ready to hit the Strada once again, as is. Just repair the necessary mechanicals to make it road and track worthy, then enjoy it’s original patina and the epic sound made from it’s Dino engine.
Whenever we do a feature story on a Stratos, we have to mention their uber cool helmet holders in the door cards. Unfortunately, the photographer of this particular example did not capture them in any of the shots, but they can be seen in one of our other features linked at the bottom of the page.
The following is a re-cap of Bonham’s auction description…


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1955 Chevy Gasser Build Project

June 6, 2016 in American / Engine Swap / Home Garage Build / Modification Thread / Sympathetic Restoration / Video

This 1955 Chevy “Gasser” is the subject of a build thread on by it’s owner, forum member “Chopperman”, linked at the bottom of this page. It is a true 3 generation family project, as he has his son and dad assisting in the build too. The thread is packed with photos and videos that keep it interesting and entertaining, making it a quick read. He originally built this Chevy with his father in the early 1980’s while he was still in high school, and raced it every possible Wednesday and Saturday night. The current plan this time around was to make it a Gasser without cutting up the original stock body work, with the exception being fabrication of a front sub frame. We always appreciate a build that remains largely modified in-period, but certain exceptions are always acceptable. In the case here, the modifications were not targeting any specific time period, but it does look largely from a vintage era, which we much prefer over most resto-mods that garnish over-sized chrome bling wheels. Ultimately, final decisions always come down to personal preference, but with this particular project, overall we are liking what we see.


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1956 Jaguar D-Type ‘Long Nose’ Engine Rebuild

April 28, 2016 in English / Race Car / Restoration Shop / Sympathetic Restoration / Video

This 1956 Jaguar D-Type was the subject of an engine rebuild and brake and suspension overhaul by JAGtechnic in the U.K. to prepare it for the 2011 Mille Miglia. This particular example happens to be owned by none other than Jaguar Heritage itself and has quite an interesting history, as one would generally expect from a factory-owned vintage race car. Not only has it been driven in the heat of competition by the legendary Mike Hawthorn, it is also the winner of the 1956 Reims 12 hour endurance race. It ran Le Mans the same year too but unfortunately had to retire early, as did each of the other factory entered D-Type competitors, although the race was ultimately won by another D-Type from the private team of Ecurie Ecosse.
Follow along with us for a brief history of this historic car and watch the shop get it ready for the 2011 Mille Miglia, then enjoy the 2 great videos, too. Or just skip the text, watch the videos and look at the pretty pictures. We understand…

Abandoned Cars: A Sad, Sad Pictorial

April 27, 2016 in American / Barn Find / English / French / General Discussion / German / Italian / Japanese / Race Car / Replica/Tribute Build / Swedish / Sympathetic Restoration / Uncategorized

Warning: The following page contains graphic photos of neglected, abandoned and generally mistreated rare and exotic sports cars. The majority are vintage, but there are a few later model years included too that have deteriorated at an extremely quick rate. All car enthusiasts should prepare themselves for feelings of grief, anguish, and confusion along with questions of disbelief for what is about to be witnessed, if one indeed does decide to proceed with this disturbing endeavor any further. The photos were all sourced from a three part series on with no further information provided other than the actual pictures themselves. We recognize a few as well known historic cars which have since been saved, while others languish in automotive purgatory, their whereabouts unbeknownst to anybody but the lone soul who snapped their picture and the misguided derelict who so callously left them behind for dead. If only we could be so omniscient as to know the exact location and story behind each and every one of them and feature their resurrection process here, our mission in this universe would finally be complete. Until then, at best all that we can do is hope that each has a rescue story with a happy ending. 116 photos, and no explanation of even one of them in sight. When you are ready, please proceed with extreme precaution by hitting the “Continue reading” tab below. You have been fore-warned…
We have included a few of the more notable cars below. You may find all 116 by clicking on each one individually in the right hand column.

1958 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce Spider Racer Sympathetic Restoration

April 25, 2016 in Home Garage Build / Italian / Race Car / Sympathetic Restoration / Video

This 1958 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce Spider is the subject of a sympathetic restoration by it’s owner, “velocealfa” on We especially appreciate when an old race car such as this one retains it’s original patina in favor of a full nut and bolt restoration. This car just eeks of character and the fact that it’s Boulder, Colorado owner has got heart. A ton of it. Ok, how many key tag words did we just regurgitate in that last sentence? Let’s see, we got “original”, “patina”, “character” and “heart”. Ahh, we forgot to include “survivor”, but who’s counting anyways? We’ll just have to find a place to throw it in later in the story since it is one of those rare times that each word actually fits the description honestly and we can use them all in the same sentence. Continue reading on the next page and enjoy a few short videos of the car, as well…

1966 Ford GT40 Le Mans Race Car Restoration

March 23, 2016 in American / Featured / Race Car / Sympathetic Restoration / Video

This 1966 Ford GT40 (Chassis number 1032) Le Mans race car is the subject of a nut and bolt restoration on It’s epic 4 1/2 year project was a 100% volunteer effort by current and former Ford engineers to be completed in time for the 2013 50th anniversary of the Ford GT40’s racing program celebration. The car had been sitting on display at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum unused since Ford had donated it in 1968, where it remained until 2006 when the group started the preservation style restoration project. To us, this is the automotive equivalent of a tragic war crime. How has a car of such epic proportions been left to rot as a static exhibit without exercise for so long? Do athletes after the Olympics just plop down on a couch, never to work out again? We were horrified, until we found out the rest of the story that justice had been restored, for the moment…


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VIDEO: J&L Fabricating on eGarage

March 17, 2016 in American / Barn Find / Build In Progress / Engine Swap / English / French / General Discussion / German / Home Garage Build / Italian / Japanese / Modification Thread / Race Car / Replica/Tribute Build / Restoration Shop / Sleeper / Swedish / Sympathetic Restoration / Video

eGarage & DonVintage present this video profile of a renowned yet humble fabrication shop in the quiet town of Puyallup, Washington that rebuilds and restores vintage race cars. This is one of the most inspiring classic car documentaries that we have ever seen, so we felt we had to share it with our audience as well, naturally. Working for J&L Fabricating would be every true car-guy’s dream job. Enjoy…


1967 Aston Martin DB-6 Restoration by Contemporary Classics of Washington

February 29, 2016 in English / Restoration Shop / Sympathetic Restoration

This is a 1967 Aston Martin DB-6, right hand drive, 5-speed that underwent a bit of a restoration over at Contemporary Classics of Washington. From it’s first exterior photo, it may not look like it was in need of any work, but as we all know, sometimes beauty is only skin deep. Many of you are probably thinking of somebody in particular that adequately fits that description, but the subject here this time around is a vintage car, so let’s try and stay on subject, shall we? What lurked underneath this particular English stunner was not so pleasant.


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1952 Mercedes Benz 300 SL Restoration by the Factory, 2nd Ever Produced

February 26, 2016 in Featured / German / Race Car / Restoration Shop / Sympathetic Restoration

This 1952 Mercedes Benz W 194 300 SL was the subject of an extensive 9 month restoration by none other than the actual factory run Mercedes Benz Classic Center in Fellbach, Germany. What you have meandered upon here happens to be only the second 300 SL ever produced, (Chassis number 194 010 00002/52), which makes it the oldest surviving SL in existence as well as an ultra rare piece of automotive history. The #1 production car that had been built before it fell victim to the scrap yard many years ago, and both were originally hand built at Rudolf Uhlenhaut’s Stuttgart-Untertürkheim racing workshop in Germany. Perhaps the most epic factory rejuvenation story of all time? We think so. If you know of one that is close to or of equal monumental proportion, wouldn’t you please be oh so kind as to share it with us, if you are so inclined. Until then…


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