Letters to the Editor
"It all adds to the Provenance"
What do you do with a new car ?
It doesn’t have to be an expensive car, it can be your ordinary, everyday, working car ? Some people, like to change them every year, and maybe trade Up, so that eventually they can buy the top of the range model. Some people, like to keep their cars, and personalise them, very personally in some cases. Some people, like to keep their cars for ever, and update / modify them, as fashions / regulations dictate.
Some people like to buy an old chassis, cut the body off and turn it into a “Special”. Now here’s where we start getting into difficulty !
In the 1920’s would you have complained if someone cut down a Ford Model T, to adapt it for other uses ? In the 1960’s would you complain if someone started cutting up VW’s and turning them into “Hun Bugs” ( it was a big enterprise in Liverpool !). We have seen on these pages Rolls-Royces cut down and used as garage tow trucks! Maybe, the then owner was saying something about the longevity of the chassis, suspension, and engine ! It would be different if there were only a few of these cars left.
But I keep going back to my starting point, “It ALL adds to the Provenance” The history that comes and goes with the cars ! How often have we read about cars at Auction, High end cars, at that, having their bodies changed at their Owners whim !
What is serious, though, is people doing this to make a fast buck ! One way to limit this would be to impose a minimum time limit on the carrying out of these conversions, and subsequent sale, 5 years say! But vehicles that have been converted for other uses are HISTORICAL documents in their own right, especially if it happened at some particularly momentous time in history.
So What should we do with this 1934 Opel 1.3 litre ? NOTHING, other than clean, and polish with an Oily rag! If it is converted back to its original state it becomes just another PHOTOGRAPH in a book, not a touchy, feely, living piece of history. Make sure it works, runs, and either give it to a Museum, or take it to your club meeting, as a wonderful talking point of history !
Author: Stuart Penketh
Monday, 10 June 2013