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Hemmings Motor News Blog

Hemmings Motor News has been around since 1954. We're proud of our heritage, but we're also more than the Hemmings full of classifieds that your father subscribed to. Aside from new editorial content every month in Hemmings, we have three monthly magazines: Hemmings Muscle Machines, Hemmings Classic Car and Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car.

While our editors traverse the country to find the best content for those magazines, we find other oddities related to the old-car hobby that we really had no place for - until now. With this blog, we're giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what we see and what we do during the course of putting out some of the finest automotive magazines you'll ever read.

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Open Diff: Is it Wrong to Permanently Modify a Rare, Original Car?

Posted August 15, 2022 8:05 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: classic cars porsche

Each one of us is an individual, and we enjoy the right to express ourselves through our clothing, hairstyles, mannerisms and even our cars. For a large percentage of the automotive-enthusiast crowd, that can mean changing a vehicle's appearance, performance and sound in small or large ways.

One of the car-themed YouTube channels I follow is that of loquacious British vlogger James Martin, host of "JayEmm on Cars." James drives and reviews a mixture of interesting classic and modern vehicles, with subjects ranging from the Trabant 601S to the Renault Avantime to a manual-swapped Ferrari 612 Scaglietti.

James recently posted a 20-minute-long video in which he discussed his personal Porsche 968. This nearly 148,000-mile, 1992 coupe looked fetching in unusual Cobalt Blue Metallic over a blue-piped grey leather interior, and -- save for the stereo -- it appeared as-built. The minty condition of this car prompted his admission of a existential crisis:

"When I bought this, I had real grand plans of modifying it, doing different things. The first thing I wanted to do was to replace those headlights with 993 items. They don't pop up. These actually look quite good if you do that, they look like they're meant to have those... I also wanted to put a bit of a bigger spoiler on the back, put some different alloy wheels on it, do a few other bits too. Some of that, of course is very reversible, but when it comes to hacking up metal, that's quite serious. And the problem is, this is a beautiful, very original, very nicely maintained example of what is now a fairly rare car. If this was an already-mucked-about-with example of a slightly shabby one, I wouldn't have any qualms whatsoever about doing some major stuff to it. But it's not. It's gorgeous.

"I would love to do lots and lots of things to it, but I'd feel bad about that. I'm really, really nervous about doing anything to this car because I don't think it's right. I'm not worried about the backlash if I did that -I'm sure there would be some- but it just doesn't sit right with me."

Surprising to no one, I agree with him about sparing a desirable, factory-correct car from permanent modifications. What's your take on this: would you sympathize with a vehicle's place in history and find another subject through which to convey your automotive proclivities? Or would you irreversibly alter anything to which you hold the title to suit your desire, its rarity/condition notwithstanding? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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#1

Re: Open Diff: Is it Wrong to Permanently Modify a Rare, Original Car?

08/15/2022 6:36 PM

People get tattoos . . . .

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Re: Open Diff: Is it Wrong to Permanently Modify a Rare, Original Car?

08/25/2022 8:08 AM

It's a conundrum facing Registered Museums every day. Does one repair/rebuild/conserve/preserve/replicate the artefact? In doing any of these does the integrity of the original artefact get lost for ever by the process?

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