Re: [CR]When is a restoration not a restoration?

(Example: Production Builders)

Date: Sun, 03 Jun 2007 10:03:23 -0400
To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
From: "John Betmanis" <johnb@oxford.net>
Subject: Re: [CR]When is a restoration not a restoration?
In-Reply-To: <001201c7a5e1$fcc21170$0b02a8c0@williams>
References: <8801bb250706021147u5d03634ane43fe8f8e1ad82a2@mail.gmail.com> <461455.61341.qm@web82211.mail.mud.yahoo.com> <e653b20f14e4d.4661d19d@optonline.net>


At 09:20 AM 03/06/2007 -0400, Dr. Paul Williams wrote:
>In the case of a vintage bike, a restorer would likely remove the old finish
>and repaint whereas a conservator would clean the bike (including removing
>corrosion) maintaining the original patina and inpainting where needed. You
>would be able to see - if somewhat subtle - that the inpainting was
>distinctive from the original finish. They do try and match as closely as
>possible though! The idea is to show that an object has its own life-story -
>including use and abuse!

That's very interesting. So if you had an old frame with the original finish, but scratches and rust here and there and some rust spots bubbling from under the chrome, you could remove the rust with oxalic acid, touch up the scratches and chips, apply a coat of wax and it would look like it had been well cared for from the beginning.

Something I don't think I've seen in vintage bikes is what they do in the car world. Fully restored bikes usually end up with a finish far superior than the one they originally had, including clearcoat over the decals when they never came from the factory that way. While many cars are also restored to better than new, there is also a school that makes sure they look just like they left the assembly line, complete with orangepeel paint, overspray here and there and even reproduced crayon marks as would have been made by line inspectors. Would a bike restorer ever try to duplicate an original substandard finish with dust specks, crooked and damaged decals with no clearcoat over them just because that's how those bikes originally came from the factory?

John Betmanis
Woodstock, Ontario
Canada