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  #1  
Old 08-29-2013, 08:40 PM
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Original vs. Modified...how much is too much?

Hi all,

So I was debating this mechanic who swore up and down that all vintage/classic cars should be left as is and never modified/upgraded (ie, restored to what it was when it rolled off factory line).

I mean I kind of agree, in theory. But there are so many improvements that have come along over the years- it's just hard to resist.

Personally, I have switched to webers (with fuel pressure reg), switched from points to elec. pertronix diz, and recently replaced my lighting.

It's this last mod (lighting), that I am beginning to re- think. All that other stuff you can't see, but lighting....I mean how much is too much (where do you draw the line)?

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Original vs. Modified...how much is too much?-image.jpg  
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  #2  
Old 08-29-2013, 09:51 PM
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I like your mechanical improvements but prefer more "period" visual mods on the older classic Benz cars. I have added a few touches to my 68 230 W110 like 60's Bosch fogs, Cocomats and had S&M Electrotech fit modern electronics to the original Blaupunkt radio case. I want my car to take me back in time, at least visually, without confusing signals about what era it was from. I had blue gauges in my 2002 VW Passat and liked them, they fit that car. Quality mechanical mods like you have done help make the car more reliable, so you can enjoy driving it more.
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  #3  
Old 08-29-2013, 09:56 PM
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To me it depends on your purpose for the car, if it's show/investment (which I will never do myself) then straight stock is the way to go, but if you want to drive the **** out of the thing, safety upgrades are ideal and sensible. I added 3-pt retractor seatbelts, halogen low beams, possibly headrests but I'm reconsidering that as well, etc. I personally don't like changing interior lights to LED on vintage cars simply because it hides the beauty of those gauges, but if it helps you see them better go for it. In short, if it's hard for the average person to know it's not original to the car I'm ok with it, if it's glaringly modern then I give it more thought. It's a bit like people with C43 AMGs that switch to ceramic pads even tho the cars didn't come with them, why not?
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Old 08-29-2013, 11:29 PM
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Hey do what you want!!!! Its your car after all and as marrs said think of what you want in the long run. Most of the mods you do to cars can almost always be redone. It will just cost a little more and take more time.
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Old 08-30-2013, 09:39 AM
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I agree, it's your car. Just because others may not like it doesn't mean you wouldn't. I mean hell, there's a car in my area with massive fins. I laugh every time I see it, but it's obviously what the owner wants. Personally, I'd have warm white LEDs in the cluster and not blue or any other color but that's me.
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  #6  
Old 08-30-2013, 11:05 AM
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For both new cars and old cars my approach is OEM+. None of my cars are going to be worth a million bucks (And I'll never sell the Benz), so why insist on originality? I have no problem swapping better OEM parts and modifying within the original intent of the car.
On my Z4M Coupe I had an exhaust and some mild bolt ons. Giving it some more balls but not making it an all out track day racer.
For the Benz there is also a level of safety improvement that must be done. So far that just means three point belts, better brake pads, newer tires and bulbs. On the modification side I'm hunting for a later year FI M110 and a manual transmission to swap in, along with an Italian spec rear bumper and no bumperette hole front molding.
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Old 08-30-2013, 01:00 PM
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I prefer the warm light of tungsten bulbs in the interior but hate taking apart the dash to change them. Once everything electrical is good and cleaned, and the gremlins have been chased away, the warm LED route is the way to go for me. If they last 10 years, that's fantastic.

That link to S&M Electrotech was great. I just emailed them about modernizing my Becker Mexico and amp or buying one outright if they happen to have it. Looks like repairing the original unit would be cheaper by almost half over replacing it.

Phil Forrest
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Old 08-30-2013, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil_F_NM View Post
If they last 10 years, that's fantastic.
Your experience may vary but I have heard from many people that their cars still have original bulbs from new, and some speculate the same. I thought I had a cluster bulb out so when I went in to fix it I saw it just fell out of it's holder but was still lighted in it's connector. Pushed it back in and ready for the next 50-years. lol I actually think this is because modern bulbs are built with a "life span" to go out at a specific number of hours, but old bulbs were just made to work, like the old Edison bulb in the Fire station in CA, still burning after 100+ years. Livermore's Centennial Light Bulb
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Old 09-01-2013, 11:02 AM
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Just be aware that any deviation from stock specification can actually reduce the value of the car if/when it needs to be sold.
What's scary as a buyer is a mishmash of modifications without documentation, it can make repairs pretty frustrating.


I'm a fan of stock, but if the mod is fully reversible, I've got no problem with it. E.G., the air pump was removed long ago on my wife's 68 MGB, but..... I've still got all the parts in a box if I ever wanted to return it to stock.

It's your car, do with it what you want. Just be aware when spending the time and money to alter the car, that not everyone shares your vision. Webers, Pertronix, new radio, great! Twenty four inch wheels, flip flop paint, and crushed velour, well maybe not so much.

Jim
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Old 09-01-2013, 11:12 AM
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how about wheels,nitrous,and woodlays changed to brushed aluminum?
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Old 09-01-2013, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by JimFreeh View Post
Twenty four inch wheels, flip flop paint, and crushed velour, well maybe not so much.

Jim
So you're saying my embroidered, black velvet, Elvis seat covers are over the top?
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Old 09-01-2013, 12:08 PM
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So you're saying my embroidered, black velvet, Elvis seat covers are over the top?

Not if the 8 track only plays vintage Elvis.

Jim
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  #13  
Old 09-01-2013, 03:57 PM
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If a 108 really was a classic car it would be worth a lot more. Last MB car built that really is a Classic Car would probably be a 540K or similar. As it is, a 108 isn't even a Milestone car - in fact, it's just another used car. And, I happen to like 108's and 109's. At least the 6.3 is a true Milestone.
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Old 09-05-2013, 08:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marrs View Post
In short, if it's hard for the average person to know it's not original to the car I'm ok with it, if it's glaringly modern then I give it more thought.
That's what I go by, too. My pet peeve is modern radios.
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  #15  
Old 09-05-2013, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Benz Dr. View Post
If a 108 really was a classic car it would be worth a lot more. Last MB car built that really is a Classic Car would probably be a 540K or similar. As it is, a 108 isn't even a Milestone car - in fact, it's just another used car. And, I happen to like 108's and 109's. At least the 6.3 is a true Milestone.

The 300S and 300Sc from the fifties seem to be approaching classic status, or at least price.

Jim

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