If you read our feature piece yesterday, you may recall that one of the major themes was, investing in classic cars elicits an emotional response that normal mutual funds simply can’t. You may also remember that we advised you to not to buy on emotion, but rather “invest” because you want to enjoy it. Buying on emotion often causes you to overpay.
Reader Scott Shepherd invested heavily in his Triumph restoration, but it was all about emotion without a fleeting thought of whether he was overpaying. We all know the story of Frankenstein…the famous literary composite monster created whole by grafting various body parts together. That’s exactly what Scott has done with his, as he calls it, 1960’ish Triumph TR350.
It all started with a chance encounter a few years ago with a friend who would later sell his ’66 TR4A to Scott for just $500. The car had sat in storage for years and the motor was seized. Trying to decide what to do with a car amalgamated from a ’65 TR4, ’66 TR4A, ’68 TR250, and a ’70 TR6, a seized Chevy 350, a Ford 9″ posi traction diff, and Trans Am side fender vents…there was really only one thing to do. Rebuild it just like it had been modded but with all new parts.
Scott knew there was no taking this one back to original…it had major frame mods, the heater had been removed, holes made in the inner fender wells with 2″ vents among all the other piecemealing. He laced the raised white letter tires over period correct wheels, installed Lucas fogs, and took the Corvette Chevy 350 up to about 300hp. He fitted a new custom dash, hand made of African Rose wood and upgraded to Suffolk Seats with better bolstering. Look closely and you’ll see the exhaust had to be rerouted to exit in front of the rear wheels. We’re still awaiting video of the exhaust note…we’ll keep you posted if we get one.
What did all that cost? No one is talking. But we can say that “overpaying” is simply relative to what your goals are. If you plan to enjoy your classic then what’s it matter if you overpaid a bit? But if you’re looking to flip for a quick sale then you might feel differently. There’s so much more to owning a classic than what the next buyer will give you. Scott and his wife Betsy are the model for how to enjoy a classic…we hope to see this one next year in the Great Race!
This build has inspired me…I’d love to compile the body and interior from a ’93 Defender 110, an LS3 engine swap, the EAS from an L322 Range Rover, and that great little upper dash cubby from the early RRC’s to house all my miscellaneous car-clutter. Maybe one day.
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