Question of the Week: Stock or modified for your vintage ride?

Modified car at the 2016 Concours d'Lemons

As long as automobiles have existed, people have been making their own improvements to them. When it comes to originality, there seems to be two camps in today’s classic car community. There are those who maintain and restore cars as close as possible to how they rolled off the dealer’s lot, and there are those who can’t resist adding some kind of performance or visual customizations.

As our beloved vehicles age, availability of original parts starts to dwindle. While some reproduction parts are of great quality and almost indistinguishable from their factory counterpart, many require adjustment and fitting to match the original appearance. This drives the search for new old stock (NOS) replacement parts to keep a vehicle period correct in all aspects. The rarity of these NOS parts also drives prices higher with time. This leads many to use a modern reproduction or an upgraded part during maintenance or restoration, which can be a gateway to further modification. And once you’re in that world, there’s a seemingly endless list of categories to delve further into. From Pro-street to Lowrider, the span is wide, each with its own unspoken guidelines for what makes a car fit into a specific classification.

For those who want to stay stock without breaking the bank, items like wheels, tires, and even engines can be replaced for regular use while the original parts are saved to be put back on for shows or events. This enables the owner to drive and enjoy the car while still preserving its originality.

If a car is an extension of the owner, then a car’s originality also reflects on that personality. Do you modify your vehicles? If so, how far is too far? And how much does stock condition matter to you when buying and selling? Let us know in the comments below.