Mike's comments are correct, but only from a certain point of view. I would enjoy meeting a person and seeing a car that was subject to a 50k or 100k restoration. Unfortunately, while I have sen several cars treated to large dollar treatments, none were restored, that is to stock condition.
We have got to be honest about this, the Pantera gets heavily modified from original condition, becaust it can get modified. Who puts a 351 "Cleavor" in a Ferrari? Nobody because you can't.
Below are comments about what constitutes a restored car as applied by the Pebble Beach Concours, and written by Paul Woudenberg.
Last year I walked with a friend across the Concours show field, looking at car after car that seemed absolutely perfect. My friend was overwhelmed and asked, "How can a judge possibly pick a winner from this field?" It was a good question because the quality of cars at Pebble Beach can only be described in superlatives. And yet a winner must be chosen. This is the dilemma faced every year by the judges, all eminent specialists in their fields. Their choice is based perhaps on three primary considerations.
First, no matter how good the cars appear at first glance, they are not all perfect. The intensely focused inspection of learned judges often uncovers slight errors in the historical accuracy of a restoration. Body parts, interiors, high tension cables, spark plugs, radiator caps, and hose clamps are all scrutinized carefully. Overtly visible errors, such as the use of modern fabrics or materials, are spotted instantly. The substitution of a replacement part not quite like the original in the engine compartment is fatal. Replacement parts may be new as
long as they are of the same substance and style as the original, but woe to the restorer who succumbs to a new technology, who substitutes something modern for what was authentic to a car in its day.
A good restoration takes this into consideration; it rests on attention to accurate historic detail. And good judging ferrets out the errors of detail that defeat many potential winners.
A related consideration is overrestoration. Overrestoration is difficult to define directly, but it generally involves an attempt to make something into something more than it was initially, an attempt to better it. This is seen most obviously in matters of presentation, in choice of paint and plating.
Colors inappropriate to both the year and body style still appear at Pebble Beach. Such cars might be restored to very high levels of craftsmanship, and they may be beautiful indeed. But they may shout "Look at Me" too readily.
Of course, certain cars deserve a dazzling paint job. From October 9 to 16, 1926, the Don Lee Cadillac Company at Seventh and Bixel Streets in Los Angeles presented a gorgeous display of Cadillacs in new and bright colors; it advertised "500 color combinations on 50 body styles." A cream colored roadster with khaki fenders and valances and orange wheels caught one's eye. An Alice Green convertible coupe with dark green fenders and orange wheels was also on display. But the formal town cabriolet was a deep blue with black fenders, and the sedan was a solid dark green. Don Lee might sell some bright roadsters in sunny California, but customers in Cleveland and Boston, and even the majority of residents of Los Angeles, would stick with those safe blues and blacks.
Chrome, too, can be a temptation. Cadillac introduced chrome plating in 1929 and it quickly spread throughout General Motors and then the industry. Nickle, with its lovely warm hue, had had a soft richness that was appealing, but when that super-hard
blue-white of chromium came along, which needed little polishing and which seemed to last forever, nickle quickly became pass. Few owners chrome inappropriately on cars that predate 1929, but on later cars, there's a tendancy to chrome everything, including parts such as water pipes and electrical conduits that weren't chromed originally. Chrome wire wheels appear in such abundance today that one is tempted to think that all classic cars had plated wheels. Yes, chrome wire wheels were possible as the problems of embrittlement were solved, but they were rare.
The problem is compounded when owners add whitewalls to chrome-plated wheels. Such a combination again shouts "Look at Me" too readily. Strother MacMinn, who served as Chief Honorary Judge at Pebble Beach for twenty-five years, always maintained that a car could have chrome wheels or white sidewalls, but not both; he felt the eye was so drawn to the combination of whitewall and chrome wheel that the general line of a car, its balance as a whole, was distorted.
Now let us suppose that one has restored a car to perfection, maintaining historical authenticity and resisting the seduction of overrestoration. There is yet one other factor involved in winning at Pebble Beach, and it is the most important factor of all.
The Pebble Beach Concours is a matter of style, as Bob Devlin so perfectly put it in the title of his 1979 book on the show. Style is an elusive quality, often mistakenly identified with the term "classic." There are many classic cars which are not very stylist. Such classics are beautifully built and finished to perfection, but they are not really "pretty." Think of the formal sedans of the early thirties - cars build to unbelievable high standards - and then compare such great cars to the sportier models of the same make. Compare a 1934 Packard 12 1107 sedan and a 1934 Packard 12 LeBaron runabout speedster. That LeBaron runabout draws the eye to it, even if it's painted a somber black and has plain wheels and tires. The sedan is very nice, too, but it would be a most unlikely choice for Best of Show.
The judges at Pebble Beach seek not
only perfection in restoration and presentation; they seek that elusive quality of style which sets a car apart from other cars of the same period. For that matter, they seek that car which is superior to other cars in style regardless of period.
An analysis of past Pebble Beach Best of Show winners reveals how the judges think. The winners since 1955 may be analyzed in many ways. Marques with multiple wins include:
Bugatti - 8
Duesenberg - 5
Mercedes-Benz - 5
Rolls-Royce - 5
Packard - 3
Chrysler - 2
Daimler - 2
Hispano-Suiza - 2
Isotta Fraschini - 2
Pierce-Arrow - 2
Of the above winners, only 12 or 13 have been closed cars. Some 33 have been open cars. Clearly a convertible has a better chance of defining that elusive quality of "style" at any given show.
The Bugatti remains the exception to the convertible bias. Of the eight winning Bugattis no less than five have been closed Type 57s, and four of those have been the low supercharged SC models. There is something bewitching about those wonderful Type 57SCs that makes them impossible to ignore. Their low French swoop, found also in the Talbot-Lago Figoni et Falaschi Coup that won in 1997, seems to express the pinnacle of "style."
The importance of style at Pebble Beach is backed by the fact that no antique has ever won there, with the sole exception of Alton Walker's 1913 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Tourer, which took Best of Show in 1962. Cars in the antique period were masterpieces of engineering, able to perform mechanically to astonishing levels even by present-day standards. Yet the question of style was only beginning to be a factor in car design. Bodywork was solid, functional, and tough - but lacking the subtleties of style which would be the hallmark of the classic period.
By 1918, a very few cars - such as the Roamer, the Mercer, and the odd little Velie sport car with external exhaust pipes through the hood - were experimenting with production "styling." Yet there were wonderful and rare exceptions from the old coachbuilding companies such as Fleetwood and Brewster. Coachbuilding houses rapidly moved into automotive work in the early twenties, and by the mid-twenties, the great classic marques, such as Packard, were finding the proportions that would mark the pinnacle of the classic period in the early thirties.
The present focus of the Pebble Beach Concours is on the decade of the thirties, with the heaviest emphasis on the great classics at the beginning of that decade. Will this change as time goes on? In the year 2050, when we celebrate our hundredth anniversary, will we still be convinced that the greatest cars were built in the 1930s? Perhaps. Rest assured that those cars will still be here!
The best clues to the future will be found in the subtle changes that occur in class definitions as the years unroll.
So lets call a spade a spade guys!!!