sympathetic restoration

1988 Lancia Delta Integrale Restoration/Modification

June 5, 2017 in Engine Swap / Featured / Italian / Modification Thread / Race Car

This 1988 Lancia Delta 8V Integrale Evolution is the subject of a street legal/track day/race car project on Pistonheads.com, by it’s owner, forum member”dwrights”. The story is that he already had an animal Evo 2 Delta Integrale 16 valve complete with 360 bhp, Alcon brakes and a trick suspension which he was planning on modifying for more power. His goal was to install a full roll cage and turn it into an all out track car…until he saw the 1988 Integrale 8v rally shell propped up on jack stands lurking in the corner of his friend’s shop. Who could blame him for having his imagination go wild? There is just something about seeing a race car shell with a roll cage criss-crossing through it that speaks to all of us car guys. Especially considering that he had been recently quoted  £10k plus VAT from a custom fabricator to build a similar cage in his current Integrale. The decision to sell his car and start a new build was a no-brainer. He put his street car back to stock, sold it and transferred his forged engine, Alcon brakes, RSR suspension, and associated trick hardware over to the Rally shell build. They agreed on an estimated build time, and the transformation began…

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Twiggy’s 1968 Toyota 2000GT Paint and Body Restoration

May 10, 2017 in Japanese / Restoration Shop

This 1968 Toyota 2000GT (VIN# MF10-10130) was the subject of a body restoration and repaint by expert craftsman Shin Yoshikawa of Studio Time Capsule in Lebec, California. The million dollar car, which was previously owned when new by the supermodel known worldwide as “Twiggy”, was entrusted to Shin by the Toyota Museum to repair some engine compartment fire damage and an older botched bodywork job. We love the shape of these iconic Japanese sports cars, which look like a much more intricate and delicate version of Datsun’s later-introduced 240Z. With only 337 total built between 1967 and 1970, we are happy to see that this one was returned to it’s former glory.
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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 www.mbca.org 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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Survivor: 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona NASCAR

May 1, 2017 in American / Patina / Race Car / Survivor

The subject of today’s Survivor feature is this slick red 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona, which is said to have been the first NASCAR Grand National vehicle to post a 200 + mph race lap. It has remained in incredibly original condition, all of the way down to it still wearing the same vintage slick tires that it had last worn while competing for it’s final time. Now coated with a silicon sealant on their insides, they are certainly period correct for show purposes, but obviously not a safe or sticky tire any longer for any manner of spirited driving, whatsoever. What really impressed me the most about this vintage racer is the fact that it was “not restored, but thoroughly cleaned, detailed and all mechanical components checked. It is just as it was last raced in 1970”, as per Bruce Canepa’s site where it is listed for an undisclosed sum. A true time capsule. Let’s take a closer look, shall we?…
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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…
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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…
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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 ferrarichat.com 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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Lamborghini Countach S Rosso/Rosso Bare Metal Repaint

February 14, 2017 in Build In Progress / Italian / Restoration Shop

Over at ferrarichat.com, member “sp1der” left his Rosso/Rosso Lamborghini Countach LP5000S in the hands of the experts at U.K. based Alsa Automotive for a bare metal repaint, as well as for removal of it’s rear wing and ariel antennae. Anything that mentions a Lamborghini Countach and our ears immediately perk up here at CarBuildIndex. We love Marcello Gandini’s exotic wedge car design, which just seems to get better with age.

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Video: Senna’s 91 McLaren Honda V12 Fired Up For First Time in 20 Years

February 8, 2017 in English / Japanese / Race Car / Video

In this video, legendary late Formula 1 driver Aryton Senna’s 1991 McLaren Honda MP4/6 3.5 liter V12 was recently fired up for the first time in 20 years. He used the land bound missile to win 7 races in 1991, therefore clinching the World Championship that year. Is it just us, or would you also agree that Senna represented the tale end of the golden era of F1? Before you make your own conclusion, listen to this engine while looking at the design of the chiseled vintage race car’s body and chassis, then compare it to today’s phallic nose F1 cars cluttered with billboard advertisements and overly complicated technology. Is there really any comparison? For us, quicker is not necessarily always better…

1968 Fiat Dino Spider Restoration

January 30, 2017 in Home Garage Build / Italian

This 1968 Fiat Dino Spider’s restoration project was posted in a thread on Fiat500USAForum.com by it’s owner, forum member “fredfrey”. The car was light blue when it originally left the factory 40 something years ago, but had been re painted resale red at some point by a previous owner. We are guessing that the Ferrari prancing horse emblem was slapped on the front grill at the same time, which is something that was never applied by either factory during their production run. A small quibble perhaps, considering otherwise discerning good taste is witnessed by both the light blue “Ferrari” Dino color that was chosen for it to be resprayed in and the fact that it has an awesome Alfa Romeo Jr. Zagato and a Fiat 600 both as stablemates. Sometimes, just seeing a garage with interesting cars gives their owner credibility to some of their personal choices that are made during another car’s restoration. Call us car snobs, but would we be second guessing his color choice and emblem decision if he had a PT Cruiser instead of a Zagato as one of his other cars? Probably.

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Toyota Mk1 MR-2 Restoration

January 19, 2017 in Japanese / Restoration Shop / Video

This Mark 1 Toyota MR-2 is the subject of a nut and bolt restoration thread on detailingworld.co.uk by it’s owner, forum member “Beeste”. Before anybody throws up their arms and starts questioning the sanity of this car’s owner for spending so much money on the rejuvenation of a car of such meager current economic value, it should be pointed out that Japanese cars are among the next crop of future vintage cars which are likely to see an appreciation in worth. Our information source, Hagerty Insurance, recently wrote an on-line article outlining the top 5 Japanese cars that they predict will become future collectibles. We have cut and pasted it at the bottom of this page, as it makes for an interesting and educational read. Although the MR-2 did not make their short list, we anticipate that they would have included one in their top 10, had that list been extended.

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Video Recommendation: Luciano Rupolo’s Collection

December 26, 2016 in German / Italian / Race Car / Survivor / Video

How about starting off the day with a short film about fellow vintage automobile enthusiast Luciano Rupolo, who is living out our classic car filled dreams. The Italian talks about his collection of rare cars and his passion for keeping them for long periods of time to age like fine wine, waiting patiently for their history to finally be appreciated. He scoffs at the wealthy who materialistically buy historic cars with no actual ties to them other than the ability to purchase. What an awesome position to be in, an inspiration for sure. The Italians are romantic and passionate people, which is why we love them so much and have included this video here on Valentine’s Day. This guy is the real deal, and if you are a true enthusiast, we are sure that you will agree too, so enjoy:

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Survivor: 1963 Iso Rivolta IR 300 GT

December 16, 2016 in American / Barn Find / Italian / Survivor

This 1963 Iso Rivolta IR 300 GT is set to hit the block at the May 10th RM auction in Monaco without a reserve price set. There is no description up on RM’s site yet, but all of the leaves and dirt accumulated around it make it appear that it has been left outside for a long period of time and possibly an all original example, which would then qualify it for another Survivor feature here today. The question mark stays up until we can verify more about this car’s history, because this one has us up in arms at the moment. Up through 1969, only 797 of the rare cars were produced, which intrigues our curiosity even further. Let’s see if we can piece this one together…
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Survivor: 1955 Mercedes Benz 300 SL Gullwing

December 9, 2016 in Barn Find / German / Race Car / Survivor / Video

The subject of today’s Survivor feature is this 1955 Mercedes Benz 300 SL Gullwing, which was found sitting inside a storage container in the California desert since the late 1970’s until Jay Leno more recently came to it’s rescue. As the third owner of the vintage race car that competed at west coast venues such as the now defunct Riverside Raceway, he did exactly what we would have done with it and treated it to a sympathetic restoration. Come check it out with us on the next page, won’t ya?…
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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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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…
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The Brilliant Shin Yoshikawa. Part 1

October 31, 2016 in Japanese / Restoration Shop / Video

We set aside the day today in order to focus on Shin Yoshikawa, an awe-inspiring man blessed with multiple automotive related and unrelated talents and skills. If his name sounds familiar, it may be because last month we featured his stunning restoration of the 1968 Toyota 2000GT which was once owned by the un-licensed 1960’s supermodel Twiggy, a rare model of vehicle that Shin has become an expert of. Since we want to make sure that his multi-faceted talents are given the proper justice they deserve, we decided to break his story into 2 features today. Additional upcoming features will include a glimpse into the cut-a-way drawings that he is so well known for and of his book about the Toyota 2000GT, too. Watch out for them in the coming week.
Part 1 begins below with a Vimeo video presentation about the man described as a professional photographer, designer, writer, restoration specialist and concert pianist all wrapped up in one package. From Silly Thing, please enjoy “Into the Wilderness“. Make sure to watch it in HD and full screen. Shall we begin?

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Survivor Saturday: 1962 Facel Vega Facel II Coupe

October 20, 2016 in American / Barn Find / French / Survivor

This gorgeous dirt covered 1962 Facel Vega Facel II Coupe caught our attention as the perfect vehicle to feature for the subject of our Survivor Saturday profile. Upon first glance, it appeared to be a Maserati Mexico or a Ferrari 250 PF Coupe to us, but then that unique ornate grill gave up it’s identity as to it’s French rather than Italian origins. It’s history is quite interesting, both of this particular car and of the manufacturer, as well. It turns out that this vehicle had been sitting inside a wooden barn in Missouri for the past 40 years, having only covered 31,152 total miles before it was stored away. In fact, this rare Franco-American car is still wearing what’s thought to be it’s original Peacock Blue paint under all of that dirt that it has accumulated while tucked away in exclusion, hiding from marque experts who had written it off as lost forever. As we scan through the photos, we can’t help but wonder if the radio stations are still preset from the time when it was last driven, and how such an elegant, rare car gets banished to solitary confinement for so many years. With such a time capsule, our questions start building up as quickly as our imaginations run away from us…
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