Need some advice on keeping car original
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Thread: Need some advice on keeping car original

  1. #1
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    Need some advice on keeping car original

    I need some recomendations on what I should, or should not do to my 69 std. I had the car looked at by a mechanic who restores muscle cars as a hobby himself. The car is vey clean and very original. He was excited to see such an old car so clean and so original. The car still has the original factory brake lines......hard as a rock now, original suspension still tight, suspension bushings original, dry rotted and going to be changed, original engine hood pad in great condition. These are things I did not even take note of when purchasing the car. He recomended taking pictures of every inch of the car before changing anything to document it. My plan for the car was to use this car to learn, I found a 69 std 351..... nothing rare I thought, and planned on using the car as I got the money to change the suspension, change the brakes to all disks, modify the engine use this car as an introduction into the hobby by learning by experiance. He recomended against this and said the car was worth more if kept as is because it was so original. His opinion on the car was that I could put the car on e-bay as is and get a big profit out of the car, (not going to sell her just yet I love the car, and did not buy her for the profit) or put a paint job on the car and have a car worth easily $20K (sound high to me for a 69 std 351) When I started looking for my car I saw alot of really nice cougars out there for $12K-$15K That had been modified and looked great. Does putting money into these cars and modifying them actually make them worth less money. I want to improve the car and learn the hobby, but not if it is going to actually make the car worth less eventually. So my question, because every post need a question. Do I modify and enjoy the car, or keep the car original, and go find a piece of junk in need of help and modify that. I feel an addiction coming on I have the car 6 weeks and am already considering getting a second one! Any recomendations?
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  2. #2
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    It's your car, do what makes you happy.
    Save all the parts you pull off the car in case you decide to sell at a later date. Always a plus to have all the original parts available for the buyer.

    An upgrade such as disc brakes is a modification that shouldn't devalue the car, be sure to get all the associated parts (booster, master cylinder, lines, proportioning valve) with the discs so the conversion doesn't look like a "backyard" job.
    68 Standard, Wimbledon (Polar) White/Red...

  3. #3
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    The mechanic has obviously not been to a recent Cougar show. Then he would see many nice original and restored Classic Cougars.
    However, I love seeing any Cougar and can appreciate his enthusiam.
    Keep the car but sell me the underhood pad.
    Mine is missing. LOL...
    "THE GREEN MACHINES" Cougar Club of America#1980
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  5. #4
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    I puchased my 67 XR7 in orig. cond. but i am not planning on selling it (passing on to kids or grand kids alot later) so i am going to make it the car I want. Now if it was a G or GTE that might change my mind

  6. #5
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    Tasteful modifications such as an interior or exterior color change to a year-correct color generally do not harm the value of the car. Modifications that are incorrect for the year but that improve driveability will only affect the value according to the preferences of the prospective buyer. A purist will devalue the car in such a case, but the buyer looking for a show driver might consider it worth more.

    Before you start making changes to a very original car, do as the mechanic suggested and photo-document the car. Also make sure that you're not changing something that makes the car unique in a positive way.

    Then, as Art suggested, make your changes as reversible as possible by keeping the original parts so that a future owner can return it to original condition.
    Bill

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  7. #6
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    One rule of thumb is that modifications can only reduce the value of the car, by the cost of reversal.

    However, In this case I have to agree with the mechanic. A modified standard is very common. It sounds like the only thing that makes your car special is the unmolested nature of the car.

    In the final analysis, it is your car and you get to do what ever you want. I am a big fan of adding optional items that were correct for the year. An example would be the addition of headrests ('67 or '68), and AM FM stereo radio, and rear window defogger. you might not get paid for these changes, but you might enjoy the car more. Plus, it seems to satisfy my desire to put my own touch on the car without doing something totally dumb.
    Bill Basore, Editor
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  8. #7
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    Bill, I can see doing anything other then cosmetic mods. to your list of cars would be totaly dumb but on a std car I say customize,street rod, road race, hell even pro street it. Have a blast I am not a fart smeller oops I ment smart feller but thats my 1 1/2 cents
    Quote Originally Posted by xr7g428
    One rule of thumb is that modifications can only reduce the value of the car, by the cost of reversal.

    However, In this case I have to agree with the mechanic. A modified standard is very common. It sounds like the only thing that makes your car special is the unmolested nature of the car.

    In the final analysis, it is your car and you get to do what ever you want. I am a big fan of adding optional items that were correct for the year. An example would be the addition of headrests ('67 or '68), and AM FM stereo radio, and rear window defogger. you might not get paid for these changes, but you might enjoy the car more. Plus, it seems to satisfy my desire to put my own touch on the car without doing something totally dumb.

  9. #8
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    I don't oppose modifying cars. The question is whether you want to start with a really pristine original car. I would prefer to start with a solid rust free, but worn out car, and go from there.

    8If I had the time I would like to build a GTE / Elanor type Cougar. Start with a fuel injected 351 to 427 stroker motor, 6 speed transmission, 4 wheel discs, rack and pinion steering, and a fully built suspension. Interior would need some Recaro seats, I would have to have all of the creature comforts, Power steering, brakes, windows, locks, cruise control, navigation, DVD video, MP3's on a hard drive with the right amps and speakers, a console with some decent cup holders, variable speed interval wipers, Home link, and on and on and on...

    And I would have to keep it looking pretty much like a basic Cougar. Except in all weather, day, night interceptor form.
    Bill Basore, Editor
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  10. #9
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    that sounds like a bad cat! if i had enough money i would buy the white g from you to help pay for this project!!!

  11. Everyone has their own opinion. My opinion. If the car has not been tampered with keep it original. There are not that many left.

  12. #11
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    Do it to it, hold on to the original stuff though.

    I got my car with 4 cylinder Mustang seats and no engine...perfect canidate for a race car IMO.

    Your car sounds nice and original. Might be worth it to keep that way and find a shell like I did.

  13. #12
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    It depends...

    I'm a modified guy. I don't see a problem modifying your car even though it's a very complete original. If modifying the car will add more to your enjoyment of the car, and could also add a measure of safety, then by all means go for it.

    If it was a rarer car like a GTE, a G or even an Eliminator, then it really should be left alone.

    But you need to ask yourself, what are your long term plans for this car? Do you plan to keep it for a good long time, or is this something that you might just turn over to someone else should you become tired of it in a few years or so? If you don't see keeping it, then you'd probably be better off leaving it alone, or at least keep the original parts and sell them with the car. A future buyer would probably prefer having an unmolested car to start with. I agree with what was said about the affects the modification has on the price is based on what it would cost to return that mod to original.

    But if you're gonna keep the car for a long time and you want to enjoy driving it, then make it the way you want it. These cars are supposed to make us happy. If yours will make you happier with the modifications, DO IT. Otherwise, you're just keeping it in a matter so the next owner could be happy with it; not my idea of fun.
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  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by 68XR-7Cat
    Tasteful modifications such as an interior or exterior color change to a year-correct color generally do not harm the value of the car. Modifications that are incorrect for the year but that improve driveability will only affect the value according to the preferences of the prospective buyer. A purist will devalue the car in such a case, but the buyer looking for a show driver might consider it worth more.

    Before you start making changes to a very original car, do as the mechanic suggested and photo-document the car. Also make sure that you're not changing something that makes the car unique in a positive way.

    Then, as Art suggested, make your changes as reversible as possible by keeping the original parts so that a future owner can return it to original condition.
    I agree with everything Bill said. When I saw your car it reminded me a lot of mine cuz it was amost completely original including the same granny style hubcaps (see below) and 351-2V single exhaust engine. I had no qualms about changing the wheels and adding a dual exhaust system (kept the old hubcaps of course) cuz the car needed those basic changes badly IMO. I'm getting ready to add a hood scoop too cuz I think it's the finishing touch to make '69/'70s look like awesome muscle cars. Besides that I think the only thing I'll change will be some engine dress up pieces like valve covers and air cleaner. If I had your car I think I'd be making the same changes and leaving the rest original.

    Last edited by GatorGreg; February 13th, 2006 at 10:07 AM.
    '70 std vert, bright blue met. w/ blue comfortweave, built 1/14/70 ------------------------------------- Before mods------------------------------------------GX470 - daily driver / Cougar tow vehicle
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    Hidden Content After mods: '69/'70 shelby wheels, flowmasters & FoMoCo scoop 45k milesHidden Content

  15. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by GatorGreg
    I agree with everything Bill said. When I saw your car it reminded me a lot of mine cuz it was amost completely original including the same granny style hubcaps (see below) and 351-2V single exhaust engine. I had no qualms about changing the wheels and adding a dual exhaust system (kept the old hubcaps of course) cuz the car needed those basic changes badly IMO. I'm getting ready to add a hood scoop too cuz I think it's the finishing touch to make '69/'70s look like awesome muscle cars. Besides that I think the only thing I'll change will be some engine dress up pieces like valve covers and air cleaner. If I had your car I think I'd be making the same changes and leaving the rest original.

    OK, what is that thing under the b-ball hoop?
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  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by C Gauch
    OK, what is that thing under the b-ball hoop?
    I dunno, it's not mine. Maybe a trampoline for summersault jams
    '70 std vert, bright blue met. w/ blue comfortweave, built 1/14/70 ------------------------------------- Before mods------------------------------------------GX470 - daily driver / Cougar tow vehicle
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    Hidden Content After mods: '69/'70 shelby wheels, flowmasters & FoMoCo scoop 45k milesHidden Content

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