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FIVA: “Mint” Condition Restorations Equivalent to Customization, Should Be Rejected

Posted December 21, 2017 9:00 AM by dstrohl

While it makes exceptions for period-modified vehicles in its recently released Charter of Turin Handbook, the Federation Internationale des Vehicules Anciens casts a wary eye on customized vehicles and vehicles restored to better-than-new condition equally, arguing that neither should be considered historic.

“An exceptional amount of original historic material is lost in so called ‘Concours restorations,’ which exaggerate an imaginary mint condition,” Thomas Kohler, one of the driving forces behind the Charter of Turin, wrote in an article included in the Handbook. “Immense effort is made here to extinguish every ‘annoying’ or ‘unsightly’ trace of age and therefore the historic substance is stripped to the bone. This creates an absurd situation, as age and substantial material integrity are the basic requirements on how a vehicle can be recognized as an original object of cultural history.”

Intended as a guide for historic vehicle enthusiasts, owners, and restorers, the Charter of Turin Handbook offers a number of essays and practical advice on how to implement the principles of the Charter of Turin. The Charter, enacted in early 2013 with the goal of convincing the world’s governments to recognize historic automobiles as cultural artifacts, positions FIVA and the Charter itself as arbiters of what vehicles should be considered historic, based on FIVA- and Charter-supplied definitions.

Is car that is "better" than the original truly a classic?

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#1

Re: FIVA: “Mint” Condition Restorations Equivalent to Customization, Should Be Rejected

12/21/2017 1:10 PM

For the purists, no. However, if someone is going to use a classic for more than a Concours display, maybe ditching those points and condensors in favor of hall effect switches and SCR's might make more sense.

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#2
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Re: FIVA: “Mint” Condition Restorations Equivalent to Customization, Should Be Rejected

12/22/2017 12:22 AM

I think what they're referring to is when someone does a full restoration on a vehicle and the car is better than when it came off the assembly line. Absolutely flawless paint - I can find paint flaws in any brand new car. Fit and finish beyond what was normal to come off the assembly line.

How can you do a restoration to make is look like it just came off the line? You can't and I think that's what the article is about. The flaws that came with the car were flaws that were normal for the era it was produced. If you remove the normal flaws, then you have created something that would have never existed back then.

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#3
In reply to #2

80 Character Or Less Error Message

12/22/2017 3:18 PM

Either you restore it or you don't. If the end result is better than the factory new condition, so be it. I'm always amused at how some people seem to want to find fault with just about anything.

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: 80 Character Or Less Error Message

12/22/2017 3:38 PM

I was in the fine jewelry and watch business years ago. The purists would turn their noses up at refurbished watches and jewelry. They wanted pristine examples that were not repaired (except for a watch movement cleaning). Lucky for me, my shop was near a senior complex and we acquired a lot of old watches and jewelry that was in like new condition. If you can believe it, the watch guys preferred a watch with some patina on the dial vs one that had an old refinish on the dial. Don't ask me how I learned this!

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