Now, unfortunately I have never been lucky enough to find a wonderful barn find and even if I did, I’d have nowhere to put it and no funds to buy it. These slight hindrances have never stopped me thinking about such a treasure though. I am intrigued by the history of them, the stories, how they got there, the previous owners etc.
These thoughts bring me on to what I consider could be a very modern problem. What about barn finds of the future?
Look at the plethora of electronics now used on cars. In my view it is ridiculous. Mechanics could change spark plugs, replace a battery, check the engine over and it would fire into life. Everything was physical and practical. Now, it’s all computer management and sensors. One of my friend’s cars doesn’t even have a dipstick. The oil level is checked by a menu in the cars onboard entertainment system. If he parks on a hill the car goes into alarm meltdown because ‘it’ doesn’t think it has any oil in it.
Metal is malleable, it has character, simplicity, sincerity and can easily be restored, removed and repaired. The problems it presents with a restore will be no means easy, but metal offers many qualities and as long as it is treated right, longevity can be the watchword. Indeed cars that command a fortune now often have the hand crafted lure of handmade metal panels.
What about modern materials? How will they stand the test of time? Does Carbon Fibre go brittle? What is its life cycle? Furthermore, how will modern manufacturing techniques influence the restores of the future? Look at aluminium bonding for example. How long will the glue last? And in the event of a failure or crash damage how can these complex bonding techniques be replicated or repaired in years to come?
The manufacturing process of carbon has changed incredibly over the last few years and this has been for good reason. Benefits include improving torsional rigidity and lightness. Some carbon constructions of air flow pieces look wonderful. However, do you think we will ever be looking at a Carbon Fibre monocoque tub in 60 years time with the same relish and wonderment as we peruse an old Pininfarina designed, Aluminium classic now?
Mark Scotchford © 28/07/2015
PRINTED IN THE LETTERS SECTION OCTOBER 2015 ISSUE CLASSIC CARS
PRINTED IN ISSUE 236 OCTOBER 2015 IN THE LETTERS SECTION OF AUTO ITALIA MAGAZINE