I very much enjoy a true “preservation” car that’s deeply original and wears the honest patina of use, love, care, and enjoyment.  Yet I’m equally disappointed at a concours, auction, or other events when I see a vehicle presented in the preservation class, category, or definition; when in reality it’s a barely running, smoking, glued together pile of dust and rust that looks like it just surfaced from the Black Lagoon.

This was never more dramatically presented to me than when I was judging an international concours d’elegance a few years ago, and there was a judgment call in the “Preservation” class between a lovely, elegant Lagonda drophead coupe, and a big Cadillac (not a V-16) but a V-8 limo as I recall. 

Lagonda Drophead Coupe

The Lagonda was highly patinated, yet still showed considerable vestige of its original paint.  What appeared to be the original chrome and plated surfaces were aged, weathered, and in some cases pitted, but all looked genuine. This True Brit was complete, fired easily, and ran like a Rolex. 

The Caddy had so many coats of paint on it, I’m sure it weighed an extra two hundred pounds.  The windows were completely purpled (some broken), and any driver would have to hang their head out the window to see.  

The engine begrudgingly fired but ran on only some minimal number of its cylinders.  For reasons I’m not recalling, that judging team on that day voted to give first place to the Caddy (might have been one-off coachwork or something).  I was somewhat incredulous over this call, even though I respect any judging team’s right to deliberate and make its own decisions. 

I protested to the chief judge, and then he and I and the judging team leader in question walked out to the field to revisit the two cars and the ranking.  The chief judge agreed with me, saying that the Caddy was for all intent and purpose no longer a safely functioning automobile (more of a parts car, or a candidate for full restoration, at most) and disqualified the car from the competition – rightfully awarding First-in-Class to the Lagonda, which was happily able to drive up to the awards ramp to claim its prize (something I doubt the Caddy could have accomplished).

Lancia all original beneath the dust — detail, drive, and enjoy

The moral here is that there’s a Grand Canyon of difference between a true preservation car, a decrepit barnfind, and a parts car.  The first qualifier might be if “the vehicle is even drivable safely on the

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By: Matt Stone
Title: Preservation, Barnfind, or Parts Car?
Sourced From: sportscardigest.com/preservation-barnfind-or-parts-car/
Published Date: Tue, 23 Mar 2021 19:06:51 +0000

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