Q;  I’m currently working on a 64 xl conv performing a nut/bolt restoration on it, and I’ve been collecting nos parts for it for a few years now. As I progress with this restoration, I see that many of the parts that I originally wanted to replace appear to be pretty good shape, I’m undecided on whether to install the nos or restore the original. What’s your view on this?

A; That’s a very good question that raises an important point with a restoration, and I’ll answer it pointing at a specific scenario.

Because no two restorations are ever the same, simply because of condition or what the goal with the car may be, I’ll use a good original car that’s not had major work or been molested to some degree. [those are getting difficult to find]. This car will have all of its important parts installed at the factory less the serviced items like belts, hoses, brakes etc. These are the jobs that we the restorer love to do but rarely get, [I frequently get those that are ready for the scrap yard rotted, welcome to new England]. During the process you will need to determine if each part is the original or possibly had been replaced, explore the possibility of restoring the original part before rushing to put that hard to find nos part on the car, because in many cases the nos part will never be the same as the one installed at the factory. On the other hand, there will be examples where you are glad to have a nos to install instead of a repop part. The next best option is to find good used, factory pieces.  As for the hardware, I happen to be one of those nuts that will patiently unbolt the whole car, with pb, kroil and some heat. My pleasure with this pain is that I can save, restore and reuse most of the original hardware in the place it belongs. Once the rust, undercoating and paint has been beadblasted  from these parts, even to those that you wanted to cut off, many will be in great condition to recoat and install where they belong. So back to reality, I know that most of us are restoring  something that either has been worked on , modified, changed or disassembled to some degree to the point of being far from