Of all aspects of automobile detailing, preservation is our greatest passion. I was brought up in a house full of antiques and I learned very early on in life about appreciating and caring for very old things. An original car is a marker of automotive history and should be treated as such. We like to see ourselves as the counterpoint to the enthusiasm for restoration. If a vintage car is properly cared for throughout its life, It shouldn’t need to be rebuilt, as is done in the restoration process. Of course there are exceptions to this: when a car has de-generated to the point where the condition no longer resembles the standard of authenticity, at least partial restoration is needed to properly honor those who built the car.
What we have done over the years is pay special attention to teaching ourselves the best and most effective way to care of very old materials like leather, wood, fabrics, paint and metalwork which suffer most in the aging process. Much research has been done by us to this end. Much more needs to be done; there isn’t much information out there simply because of the overriding assumption that when something goes bad on an old car, you simply replace it. The most common attitude among most folks is that a restored automobile is more valuable and desirable than an original car. This attitude is changing; people are beginning to properly value authentic and original cars and their importance to automotive history.
Of course modern cars can benefit from our experience with these issues. After all, modern cars are the vintage cars of the future. The motto used by the manager in one of the large collections we have worked at is “do no harm”, It’s short, simple but says so much, we do not take shortcuts that look good, but shorten the life of the material or surface being treated, not even a little bit, because what is a little bit multiplied by the number of times a car is treated over its entire life? When you look at it that way, every little bit counts. For example, when you polish the paint on a car you take, at best, a tiny bit of paint off the surface every time, this must be accounted for every time as there is only a finite amount of paint before its gone for good. The same goes for things like chrome, even carpets lose fibers every time they are shampooed or even vacuumed.
Preservation detailing is the best way to care for, and protect your investment weather it’s 1 year old or 100 years old.