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OK, about "officially the best" restoration... my

Guest Anonymous

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Guest Anonymous


First of all, thanks for the all the comments, everyone. Humbled for sure..!! Wasn't looking for a fan club when I started this project, but I was out to prove a couple of things though. Lengthy explanation:

First and foremost, those who know me personally know that I'm not doing it to try and show any of you up and be 'the' car or 'the restoration'. I am an enthusiast first, not an ego maniac who is looking for some absolute concours car show somewhere to wind my crank and make it all worthwhile. Reality is while you all have opinions about these cars, mine are just there for you all to read about every so often and ponder.

In some ways the web site I started has turned into a magazine of sorts, not premeditated but it just seemed to fit what I am trying to accomplish. It's become kind of thing that fills in lots of the blanks on a monthly basis that MacCartney's book on restoration leaves out. It easily has a world wide audience. I get emails from as far away as Russia and Japan on the thing. If imitation is the sheerest form of flattery, the 2002 restoration sites I see cropping up now are a reminder to me that others felt the same as I do about communicating it to the others, regardless of what the books say.

On a personal note, I am by creature of habit a natural born "fixer" of things, so if I have the time (I never do) and money (well I barely do) for a hobby that I can take pride in and fix something, the man upstairs knows that I'm probably in heaven on earth. I have done this to other things I get wrapped up in. My wife knows I obsess like this from one major thing to the next. (I think her MG is waiting for my scrutiny next).

I'm sure most of you restored car veterans can tell this is the first time I've ever done this. I don't proclaim to be an expert, just have an opinion based upon the experience I gain as I put the beast back together. If you want an expert, talk to guys who do it every day like Rob Torres, Sherman Martinez, Jack Fahuna, Carl Nelson. They have more day in and day out knowledge, I depend on them too. Other long timers such as Mike Self, Bob Murphy and Steve Good have the ownership knowledge I need. Seek these people out if you are undecided.

I have made friends and acquaintances of many of you these past 3 years behind the wheel, on the phone or virtually through this type of forum. That is something only the Internet brings to reality when you actually begin leveraging it. My thoughts of this project when I began and where it is right now are very different because I leveraged the power of all of you and your experiences out there as the ultimate reference to do it right the first time.

And at the end of the day, when she’s finally all done, Stella is my car for sure, in hours and dollars and pure blood, sweat and tears.

AND SO, THE MANTRA: The real reason to do this project was to prove to myself and to you out there that you can do what I’m doing yourself (within cost and time constraints of course) if you have a good road map. That really didn’t exist before Stella… it was just walking around a piece here and a piece there in all of you, just not assembled or put collectively into human readable form. Web site = the road map!

And you should all take pride in the fact that inside every molecule of Stella’s DNA is a piece of every one of your brains and experiences, going happily down the roads and into the twisties, working together to make her collectively a 2002 the likes of which the world probably hasn’t seen much of before… A car (a 2002!) the Internet literally helped to build and create.

I remain humbly in your debt.


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Guest Anonymous

it yourself, thats how you know what works and the best way to do it, also the correct way. Keep it up there is light at the end of the tunnel... two H4 hellas.

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Guest Anonymous

This is a good philosophy. I would add that my own mostly completed restoration not only has included the wisdom of many on this and other board, but along with it some actual pieces as well, for example, my tach came from rey, BWAs came from oh2fly, RIMSPOKE stainless clips, etc., etc.! This is quite a fine community of very knowledgeable people who are more than willing to share that knowledge, which achieves what idealists always hoped the internet was capable of.

My own philosophy about my car was to try to bring it as close as possible to new condition, with almost no performance improvements over stock. So, I've got brand new Boges (rather than Bilsteins), standard redone upholstery (not Recaros), etc. I was not able to buy one of these things new, so wanted to replicate the experience as much as possible. My view is that as these things wear out, I will upgrade with the performance pieces, as I might have done 25 or so years ago as a new owner. It won't be a garage queen, that is for sure; this car seems to improve the more I drive it.

Thanks, Keith and all.

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