AD #1666 – FCA Avoids Max Fine, Apple May Borrow i3 Platform, Restoration vs. Preservation

July 27th, 2015 at 11:55am

Runtime: 7:36

- FCA Avoids Max Fine
- FCA Issues 1st Cyber Security Recall
- Hellcat Production Doubled
- Apple May Borrow i3 Platform
- Mazda’s Head of N.A. Design Resigns
- GM Opens Safety Test Site
- Lexus IS Updates
- Restoration vs. Preservation

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45 Comments to “AD #1666 – FCA Avoids Max Fine, Apple May Borrow i3 Platform, Restoration vs. Preservation”

  1. G.A.Branigan Says:

    I love what a company called Ikon(sp) does with their old barn finds.On Leno’s garage there are examples of their work.Other then those examples,and depending on overall condition,make/model etc,I’m in the purist camp.

  2. RS Says:

    There are usually a couple of original vehicles at the Concours every year and I would like to congratulate those owners who have recognized the beauty in those cars. Last year, there was a Cadillac used by one of the generals in WWI – the owner was adamant that he had no intention of restoring it. Again, at yesterday’s Concours there were a couple of cars, each of which was drawing a high degree of interest. One of the last years of the Meadowbrook Concours had the first car to drive “around the world” – a Hupmobile from about 1918 (I think). Almost precious, so don’t mess with it!

    At another show, I came across a mid-1970s full size Ford that was in pristine condition – all original. Most people have the same reaction, high regard for the owner who keeps the car original.

    My vote would go to Mr. Moss, “Leave the car alone unless it is a basket of bolts and rust.”

  3. Chuck Grenci Says:

    G.A., was it you that was hoping that they bring the Buick Envision to the U.S.; Car and Driver reported today that it was ‘almost definitely’ coming next year (’16). It is kind of on my radar; nice size (Encore too small and Enclave too large, for me). I like the Equinox as well but the Buick might be that little extra I’m looking for.

  4. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Concur, (on restoring versus leaving as is), if the vehicle is still in good condition, maybe restoration should not be done. However, if a barn find is in dilapidated shape it should be restored to a condition that reflects on how it looked when it left the factory. Run down and rusty certainly isn’t original (just used….up).

  5. HtG Says:

    I’ve seen a couple of topnotch restorations that just look a bit ridiculous. Some jobs result in a car looks better than factory new which isn’t authentic at all. I saw one Etype resto at a concours and wanted to laugh. Another Maserati GT race car had lost all its history and battle scars; and the paint was what I’d call Ragu Red.

  6. Bradley Says:

    Ok, I will bite.

    All-Weather-Drive was mentioned when talking about the Lexus IS.

    Is this simply clever marketing or is the AWD of a Lexus IS not true all-wheel-drive.

    I view Subaru as the paradigm of AWD. The system is always operational, a wheel doesn’t have to spin to engage the other wheels, etc.

  7. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Chuck G: Nope,not me.I could care less about buicks.

    I’m the one that that just ordered a 2016 Ram Promaster City Wagon SLT.

  8. Bradley Says:


    The BMW i3 made it to my short list of a someday used-car purchase.

    I find it a little sad to think BMW may offer that car to Apple.

    I like Apple devices, but loathe their “larger than life” marketing strategy.

  9. Lex Says:

    I believe Apple should work on Connecting Cars not building them. I can see one day the you place your iPhone into the dashboard of your can and Siri greets you and starts the engine and sets the climate controlto your liking. Every car will have a Tesla size display panel. Your iPhone will be your key to everything in and connected to your vehicle.
    As your phone increasing computing power so will your user experience in the vehicle. Your iPhone will be the way you pay for your vehicle sharing time used. Just plug in your iPhone and away you go. If it is a iWatch your palm or thumb print might be your key.

  10. MJB Says:

    I’m in the restoration camp. Two reasons:

    1. I’m not terribly nostalgic. I just want what I drive to look its absolute best at all times. And rust (regardless of how little), cracked dash boards, split, cracked and worn leather seats, and dull paint are in no way emblematic of any cars ‘best’ condition.

    2. I would never buy a car for ‘investment’ with hopes of flipping it further down the road to a collector for top dollar. If I were to buy a collectible car, it would be because I’ve fallen in love with it and wish to keep it for life.

  11. Rob Says:

    So will FCA build a new test facility to avoid some of its 100M fine?

    Restoration is the way for me unless the car is drivable and still cancer free besides patina.
    I dont even really like the flat black hot rods because it just reminds me of all the kids when I was in high school who did their body repairs but could only afford to shoot the car with flat black primer.

  12. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The IS generally gets worst-in-class reviews, but it is fairly reliable. It needs a complete redesign.

  13. paulstewart Says:

    Ok, what’s the discount on the Hellcat? If it’s not to much to ask for more reporting , Autoline. 1K, 5K…

  14. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The restoration I remember, and despise, is that of the Marmon Wasp that won the 1911 Indy 500. It was no doubt a re-restoration, done around 1990. The car had probably seen some work in maybe the 30′s. I had seen the car in good condition in the speedway museum for about 40 years, and was used to the way it looked. Unfortunately, someone decided it should look “better.” I liked it the way it was.

  15. MJB Says:

    #14. But wouldn’t that (and any “restoration” that alters a car’s aesthetic) be considered a “modification”?

    In my mind, a “restoration” is simply a replacement or refurbishing of existing components to restore original appearance and function. Am I on base with that supposition?

  16. Kit Gerhart Says:

    15 Maybe what they did with the race car was a modification, sort of. It may have been an attempt to make the car look more like it did when new. The trouble is, it ended up looking different than most people still alive would have seen it, and it was not damaged or rusty.

    Your definition of restoration sounds right to me. Putting a Chevy V8 in a ’32 Ford is NOT a restoration in my book. It is bastardization. My apologies to those of you with new engines in old cars.

  17. Sean McElroy Says:

    @HtG – In response to post #25 from Friday.

    I think it’s going to be interesting to see what age group goes after the CX-3. It doesn’t have that weird/goofy/playful (whatever you want to call it) look that some of its competitors have, which seems to play to the younger crowd. But I think I’m a little bit different than most people in my age range. If I were in the market for a new car, I’d look at used “minivans,” one of the new “euro-styled” vans or even a mid-size sedan.

    As to the MX-5 being over already? First, take my statement about not fitting with a grain of salt. I’m tall with long legs. My dad, who’s average height, fit just fine in the driver’s seat. Although, even he said he felt a bit cramped as a passenger.

    That being said, I don’t think the MX-5 is over. Mazda has taken the original car’s philosophy and applied it to the new one. It’s lighter (150-lbs.), quicker, more efficient and has more room in key areas. The car drives, rides and handles beautifully. It can be more subdued for city driving, but really comes to life anywhere over 3,500-RPM. While there maybe more body roll than the average person might expect, I don’t think previous owners will mind as the car grips and turns into corners without worry.

    The one area I don’t see this car succeeding is in attracting young buyers, age 16-35. The original car was able to do that, but average buying age has swelled to around 50. Someone who writes for a site that’s very popular with the 16-35 age range says the FR-S/BRZ are the “hot ticket” right now. Both he and another journalist, 28, I rode with own FR-S’s, loved the MX-5 in almost every way, but given the choice between the two cars, both would buy the FR-S again. The one said the same sentiment was felt amongst people commenting on his site. And neither one could quite put their finger on why. I think it has more to do with the perception the car has taken on over the years. They just don’t know no different.

  18. MJB Says:

    #16. New wine in old wine skins, maybe? (Biblical reference there)

    Either way, these thing always split people into two divergent groups.

    Kind of like homeowners who paint over top of 100-year old, hand-crafted, ornate wooden fireplace mantles simply because they wish to “modernize” or “freshen” the look of their living room. There will always be something to cry ‘foul’ over.

  19. HtG Says:

    One point they make at the Simeone Museum is that in their lives race cars are constantly being modified and repaired. You can’t really restore them since there’s no true exemplar. Simeone’s preference is for cars that show their history, though there are plenty of restos in the collection.

  20. Sean McElroy Says:

    @paulstewart – That information has not been released by Dodge yet.

  21. HtG Says:

    17. thanks, Sean. I wonder what people are into these days, and I’ve read articles about how convertible sports cars are less in demand. Bob Hall has spoken about how the original car was intended to be practical as a only car for a single person. It had a very useful trunk that could swallow have a dozen shopping bags, yet if you pulled its tail you could get the tires screaming at any moment in any direction except acceleration. It was quite versatile. But CX3,500X,HRV,Renegade,Trax are the cool package today if you ask me.

    If it’s any guide, I see many more old Miatas than usual listed for sale on Craigslist. Mostly in great shape, could it be the geezers are making room for the new one?

  22. Kit Gerhart Says:

    17 Sean, doesn’t coupe vs convertible put FR-S and MX-5 in substantially different markets?

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    21 I sold my unrestored, near-mint VW Cabriolet a couple years ago, because I found that I no longer seemed to want to drive with the top down, and at highway speed, it was noisier than I like. Could other people be the same way, accounting for the old Miatas for sale? As you say, though, they might clearing space for the new one.

    I think I’d like a hardtop Miata, done as a Cayman is to a Boxter, if it was reasonably quiet at highway speed. Maybe the removable hardtops would fit the bill, but I tend to be skeptical that they would rattle, and not seal well. I could be completely wrong about that.

  24. Sean McElroy Says:

    @HtG #21 – That’s interesting that more Miatas are being listed. Mazda sure hopes it’s people gearing up for the new one.

  25. Sean McElroy Says:

    @Kit #22 – Yes it does, but I think FR-S/BRZ are the closest comparison to the MX-5. Everything else is either FWD or much more expensive.

  26. paulstewart Says:

    Thanks for the heads up Sean McElroy.

  27. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I bet Toyota are wishing they had a RAV3, or whatever they would call it, to compete in the hot mini CUV market. I guess H/K don’t really have anything either.

  28. HtG Says:

    Kit, I had the factory OE removable hardtop. It was great in winter; it kept the cabin warmer and quieter. It weighed about 40lbs and bolted to the car stiffly and made no noise. A coupe Miata is a very nice thing, kind of like an FRS.

  29. w l simpson Says:

    I hope that Apple’s i3 will be much less funky.

  30. Kit Gerhart Says:

    25, Yep, that’s true. Much more expensive, or much bigger, as Mustang, Camaro, and especially Challenger.

  31. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Will the Apple i3 have a steering wheel shaped like an apple, with a bite out of it?

  32. HtG Says:

    The Apple i3 will have a bespoke charger adapter that doesn’t work with any other car, but has a standard USB at the other end of the cable.

    The Apple i3 will have a dashboard machined out of billet aluminum.

    The Apple i3 will have windows made of synthetic sapphire.

    At least this is the kind of thing Jony Ive has to explain to Derek Jenkins.

    (yeah, I’m real busy)

  33. cwolf Says:

    I have always believed a true restoration involved body off frame and a rebuild of each component down to the finest detail, such as painting the heads of bolts. A refurbish or rebuild would be more intended to make the car more along the lines of a “driver.”
    I have wondered why most cars from the 60-70′s are totally restored given the fact many only bring in $50 K. Perhaps it would equally as profitable to make those cars functional, yet looking like new
    I remember working on the upholstery of Henry Ford 1 1937 Stinson airplane before being sent to the Oshkosh Museum. When completed, the plane remained in original condition. The original head liner was re-sewn and oak head liner bows repaired. Only enough horse hair was added to the seats to retsore the shape. A few leather cracks and tears were mended and a minimal amount of dye ( hand blended ) was used to the “as is” seat color. On one of the planes last test flights I actually got to take control of the plane for a spell. It was kinda neat because it had a large wooden steering wheel instead of a yoke or stick. No, I didn’t take off or land the craft! Just a fond experience that’s fun to share with you guys. Boy! That was a long time ago.

  34. Sean McElroy Says:

    If Apple comes out with an autonomous car:
    1. I realize that telling Siri to “go to Hell” while in Michigan may drastically alter your route.
    2. Does Siri for the car get renamed something like Otto.

  35. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Cwolf: Please feel free to share any stories like that.Do you know what model Stinson?

    Also,60′s and 70′s cars,JMHO: For those if I were to have one and it needed lots of work,I would go ‘pro touring’since the idea of selling it just wouldn’t get it.

    Your MGC: Much better off doing what your doing since you have no intention of selling it,so why not go all out.I had a buddy of mine who did exactly the same thing your doing,and like you,’it ain’t for sale’.

  36. cwolf Says:

    G.A., The MGC is a full restoration. The interior body and trunk panels will have the original paint, but the rest will be refreshed using enamel primer and paint. I do have a gallon of lacquer but it is not enough. I’m willing to make some compromises, like on the pollution pump, but the two six volt batteries have to remain, as well as adding hardened valve seats. I have never sewn new leather on a steering wheel, but know how to. Its still scary! And the $20K restoration will be close to the resale value, but it’s not about the money; It’s about having my first car back in a condition that can be enjoyed as I grow older.

  37. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Cwolf: That is awesome!!! Nothing wrong with laying down enamel instead of lacquer.The latter tends to crack over time.Since your going to keep the car,maybe go with base coat/clear coat.The new stuff is great.

  38. Kit Gerhart Says:

    35 Some ’70′s used cars bring a lot of money at auction. In this case, original-ness counts for a lot.

  39. cwolf Says:

    I’m in a complete fog when it comes to forecasting the U.S automotive future, (the Big 3.) Since becoming a global economy, there seems to be a growing imbalance hindering fair trade and U.S. economic growth. China has become the biggest cause of concern of late and Japans ongoing currency manipulation and trade imbalance remains tolerated for some reason. How are U.S. workers suppose to compete with the Mexican work force given the average wage is $1000/ mo. in the cities?
    Call me stupid and out of touch, but I have started to have thoughts of increasing the import tax and to divert monies spent on promoting exports to vesting in increasing sales at home with goods made here. Knowing the global economy will be in the tank for years to come, this is an ideal time for the U.S. to pay our workers a livable wage to buy U.S goods and to once again take control and have other markets wanting a piece of our endless consumption. Given the fact the U.S. work force makes up 70% GNP, I think the time to revitalize the USA is more important than subsidizing a company to product somewhere else. And to think some companies thought to be American claim a different headquarter location just to avoid paying taxes. Heck, businesses have so much money they can’t buy out others fast enough, but think paying Mexican wages to its workers is a sacrifice. Nuff said!

  40. XA351GT Says:

    As someone who has owned and worked on, and showed cars . Restoration vs Preservation. It’s really a individual thing per car. If you have a all original car ,it’s best to keep it that way. If you have a car that has been modified from original or in serious need of repair then by all means restore it. I used to see a 57 T-Bird at shows with a huge sign on the windshield “All original Paint” Only problem was the dinner plate sized rust spot right in the middle of the hood. At that point the value of being original doesn’t out weigh trying to save the original panel.

  41. Kit Gerhart Says:

    28 HtG, thanks for the info. It sounds like the removable hardtop is a reasonable substitute for a steel roof.

  42. Rob Says:

    @ #40 Probably had to add the sign saying original paint because everyone probably kept asking him why he hadnt fixed the huge rust spot on the hood..
    I see the cars that attend the shows that are all original and a bit rusty dull paint and show their age a bit. I can appreciate that they are all original and for stuff like a Willys Jeep salvaged from its war days I want to see it unrestored. There is history with its age and scratches. But a classic car I like to see that shiny paint and bright chrome so I wouldnt pay more for an all original car if I could get the same car with new paint and re-plated chrome. Even if it wasnt a frame off resto.

  43. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I like seeing original cars at shows with paint that is dull, and maybe a scratch or two. I don’t like seeing rust, though. It should be repaired to slow further deterioration. A crude repair using a brush is ok (to me) for a “well used” original vehicle.

    To me, the Thunderbird with the huge rust area on the hood is just a neglected car. If the dinner plate size rust spot was touched up when it was pin head size, it might never have gotten bigger, unless there was a carburetor fire or something.

  44. Marshall Says:

    The fines levied against FCA should go to the people who purchased the vehicle involved. Once again it is the public who has been hurt by a company, yet the government gets the money. That make sense to anyone?

  45. Brett Says:

    They can participate in a class action suit if they want the money. That’s how government enforcement works.