Automotive purists the world over have always historically shown at least some level of loyalty to the “OEM” look. Especially with regard to older vehicles, the view is often that of irreplaceability, or preservation above modification. The consensus among these enthusiasts is generally that there are fewer and fewer original examples left on the road, and those that can be kept in factory condition, should be.
For the past decade or two, however, there has been a growing interest in reviving classic vehicles using modern replacement pieces rather than original. For example, a large part of our business is that of installing modern drivetrains and chassis components into older cars and trucks. The benefits, we feel, are many: increased reliability, higher power capabilities, better handling, and everything else today’s technology affords us.
A trip to the SEMA Show or any other popular automotive venue where classic cars are present will show you a lot of examples. You might see anything from a simple upgrade to a new engine and transmission to a full custom job with one-off bodywork and fully original interior, utilizing any and every part imaginable along the way. This illustrates another plus: individuality. Personal touches like these guarantee you won’t ever see an identical Camaro or Mustang to yours out on the street.
Here at ASC, we span both ends of the purist spectrum. Our work covers everything from a complete OEM-spec restoration all the way to the wildest and most extreme build you can imagine, using the shell of a classic vehicle as the starting point. We’ve brought an old-school 1939 Cadillac LaSalle Series 50 back to life, and created heart-stopping Cudas, Firebirds, and Camaros. As such, our staff has the utmost respect for both points of view.
We fully understand the need for factory original-style preservation. There is certainly something to be said for retaining what was conceived back in the ‘50s or ‘60s. We also understand the positive end result of modern modification strategies. Today’s tires grip much better, the brakes are a vast improvement, and the drivetrains available currently aren’t even on the same planet. Our body and fabrication technicians constantly amaze us with their skill in creating a unique custom look, and we’ve been in this business for quite awhile now. As materials availability increases, as well as the desire for purchasing a highly personalized vehicle, we imagine that the world of both OEM restorations and no-limit fully custom cars will only grow and expand.