There has been a lot of debate over whether it’s best to go with original parts or new ones. There are pros and cons associated with each, but which is best is largely determined by your intention and desired outcomes. We’ll dedicate some time to addressing this issue because it can have a major impact on the value of the vehicle as well as the performance.
Restored versus Refurbished
First it is important to understand that there is a difference between a vehicle that has been restored and one that has been refurbished. Most seasoned car collectors who are savvy about car values and the factors used to make value assessments will have a solid understanding of the differences. Because there is so much disagreement among dealers, some collectors and hobbyists, I’d like to contribute some helpful definition with a thorough explanation of the differences.
Restoration means that the car has been rebuilt in the same way that it was originally produced from the manufacturer. The parts used in the process must be original in order for the car to be “restored.” This also extends to the paint. It must be the exact shade that the original production featured when it rolled off of the line. Of course you can use any color and type that was particular to that model of vehicle, but it must be exact in order to qualify as a complete restoration. It must be in exactly the same condition as it was originally with no new innovations built in and no departures from originality with the interior or exterior.
When an old vehicle has been redesigned with any new mechanical systems or aftermarket parts it has been refurbished instead of restored. Any departures from original interior upholstery, interior or exterior paint or trim or changes in the suspension from factory specifications results in a refurbished car. You can rebuild the most beautiful and high performing vehicle with all of the bells and whistles, but if it is refurbished, the odds are that it won’t be as high in value to a true collector as one that is restored to original specifications.
What’s the difference?
What really matters when it comes to deciding which road to take on whether to restore or refurbish is your overall intention for the vehicle. If your goal is to end up with a collector’s piece that will retain the highest possible value it’s best to go for all original parts. If your intention is to rebuild the vehicle to look or perform a certain way that departs from the original, refurbishing can save you a little time and money in some cases. It’s a good idea to check into all of the particulars about the specific vehicle you have in mind for your project before you begin. This can help you to determine the best approach to take. If you have a car with a potentially high value for restoration it might be a good idea to stick with restoring over refurbishing.