Classic original or Retro? - Chevelle Tech
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post #1 of 37 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 19, 10:29 PM Thread Starter
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Classic original or Retro?

Yes, I am also getting up in age and yes I can relate with my classic cars of the past but which way is correct "Today" to do a car up stock or go retro? There is no second guessing that our Muscle Cars are just plain gorgeous and we all remember reaching for the dollar bill trying to grasp it off the dash at full throttle. But the reality is power today is cleaner, faster and more drivable. I am in the midst of restoring a 68 number matching L79 convertible and have spent big bucks keeping it as close to original as possible. Is that the right decision today? Many of us older guys are getting to the point that maybe it's time to let her go or more importantly let our memories go. One active post this week is one such person asking do I sell or do I not. That's certainly not where I am today and I am excited to have a HP small block chevy convertible with AC and 4 piston brakes but then again I come back to the original question. Should I lose those stock 4 pistons and go with some shinny red Brembo's?. How about my 325 Hp 327 or that Muncie, a 6 speed sure would be nice! Not to mention there are a lot of really nice power plants available and lets not forget all the comforts of today. So the question is should we go retro or stay the course. I would love to know your opinions and if you don't mind let me know your generation. Thanks
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post #2 of 37 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 19, 10:46 PM
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Re: Classic original or Retro?

I'm older too. I grew up with these cars the way they were. If I could drive them with the suspensions, engines, interiors, and everything else from the past I can do the same now. I always liked to give them a little flair with different wheels but nothing bigger than 15", headers, etc. If I want to drive something with all the creature comforts I can get in my everyday driver and do that. Those were the best days of my life and I'm not willing to change the feel I relive every time I drive my Malibu.
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post #3 of 37 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 19, 10:57 PM
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Re: Classic original or Retro?

First, I'm 53, so i grew up with the cars we celebrate here. My personal opinion is build or buy what you like, and don't worry what others think, it's your car right. I think if you have committed to a stock build, then continue this path, a lot of people love original or restored to original cars. I have tried to use factory parts to rebuild my '68, but there are some things that you just can't buy or afford. My car will not be bone stock, but representative of what i drove in the early 80's, day 2 mods if you will. I would like to put an LS into a '68 short bed pick-up. Terry
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post #4 of 37 (permalink) Old Apr 17th, 19, 1:16 AM
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Re: Classic original or Retro?

What you do should depend on the car. A 68 L-79 convertible in my opinion is not a good candidate for Brembo brakes or a 6 speed. If you wanted to deviate from stock a set of Cal Customs and either dish mags or a set of actual vintage torque thrusts, basically day two upgrades would be more suited for this car. If it were a run of the mill convertible, then yes, do whatever modifications you want since it won’t negatively effect value.

Ultimately, it’s your car and you should do whatever makes you happy. But it’s so rare, is this car in particular really the best platform for most contemporary modifications?

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post #5 of 37 (permalink) Old Apr 17th, 19, 6:55 AM
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Nothing like the original
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post #6 of 37 (permalink) Old Apr 17th, 19, 7:01 AM
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Re: Classic original or Retro?

My thought is to be bold and build one of each.

You only go around once in life:


My 69 Chevelle Convertible

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post #7 of 37 (permalink) Old Apr 17th, 19, 7:08 AM
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Re: Classic original or Retro?

How about a car that looks 100% stock, burns pump gas,can cruise on the highway with 3.31 gears and run high 11's at the drag strip.
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post #8 of 37 (permalink) Old Apr 17th, 19, 7:20 AM
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Re: Classic original or Retro?

My opinion happy. If that is a six speed then do it. Nobody will even know if you don't tell tham. If you want more power get a bigger engine. After all , most things are just bolted together and are easily reversed if desired. Just hang on to original parts.
Two things I just couldn't bring myself to do. One of the 1st things I did when I bought my car 20 years ago was buy a nice mirror for passenger door. Just could not install it. Also my car was bought with no provision for an antenna.I obtained an NOS rear mount antenna but could never bring myself to cut a hole In the quarterpanel. Eventually I just got a windshield with the embedded antenna although not correct for my year I think it looks cleaner.
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post #9 of 37 (permalink) Old Apr 17th, 19, 7:23 AM
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Re: Classic original or Retro?

My 69 el Camino is both.. The suspension and brakes are modern from SC&C, Spohn, Porterfield and Lee. I kept the stock 15x7 Rally wheels with 225/70R15 tires. It handles like a modern car but looks and sounds like vintage with a straight dual exhaust with Turbo mufflers...
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post #10 of 37 (permalink) Old Apr 17th, 19, 7:24 AM
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Re: Classic original or Retro?

Today’s resto-mod is yesteryear’s hot rod. Technology has evolved so much that (IMHO) most classic cars, except those few cars that have intrinsic collector value, will become resto-mods.

It will cost more money to build a proper resto-mod. However, if done properly will also be worth more and have a wider appeal. If not properly done it will never reach its value potential.

That said, a proper ‘68 L79 convertible is one of those cars with intrinsic value as original. The experience of driving a car like that is unique to the senses.

If you want a resto-mod, I’d suggest another platform. It is, respectfully, your car to do it as you see fit. But you asked for opinions so there is mine.
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People don’t like to have to think in high resolution. Jordan Peterson. That’s why we are forced in to so many binary choices.
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post #11 of 37 (permalink) Old Apr 17th, 19, 8:56 AM
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Re: Classic original or Retro?

I think its up to the owner to decide on which direction a car should take. They are like a wife, the only person that needs to love it is you.

Your just jealous because you can't hear the voices!

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post #12 of 37 (permalink) Old Apr 17th, 19, 9:48 AM
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Re: Classic original or Retro?

I would do a resto-mod with all the modern amenities (a/c, power everything, 4 wheel disc brakes, larger diameter wheels)…but that's me.


P.S: Mike…I like the license plate on your Nomad!
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post #13 of 37 (permalink) Old Apr 17th, 19, 10:19 AM
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Re: Classic original or Retro?

Retro rather than classic. Just my preference.
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post #14 of 37 (permalink) Old Apr 17th, 19, 10:37 AM
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I know what I prefer. But build the car you want to drive and set your soul on fire. Personally I was glad I found a good deal on a car that wasn’t all original. Being a Malibu want to be SS clone when I bought it opened it up to go any direction I wanted. While I agree with purists who say keep originals original, I like being able to be creative and not tied to what gm intended
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post #15 of 37 (permalink) Old Apr 17th, 19, 1:38 PM
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Re: Classic original or Retro?

I spent a 1.5 years looking for a decent priced, driver condition, numbers matching '66 SS, with the full intent of bringing back to factory spec's - like the day it rolled off the assembly line. What I bought was a numbers matching '66 SS, that was Day 2'd in the mid 70's right down to the orange shag carpet. You would be surprised at the number of people who comment how cool it is that it was retro'd to what people did back in that time era. I tell I changed none of it, just bought it like that - kind of a time capsule. I still intend to redo the entire car, but leave the Day 2 aspects on it as my kids grew up with the car like that and give the "WHAT" look when I talk about going to stock someday. I do have all the correct and date coded parts in boxes if I change my mind and go all stock look. Either way you build the car, it's going to cost and unless you are really looking for a selling advantage, just build it the way you will enjoy it the most, there will always be a buyer later regardless of which way you go.
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