Yes, some great points of discusion surfacing here. Preserving the machines as they left the factory has been the much debated criteria of our AMCA Judging System. Should the machine be based on how it left the dealership, or ,the factory was the basis of much discussion and debate from your over burdened Judging Committee over the last few years. Much thought and reflection goes into delicate wording to reflect what we all hope will result in the successfull fruit of all our labors and passions; the correct example of a machine to serve as reference for future generations.
I think we all understand how & why the rules work with original machines; ie; original paint bikes as we used to call them. They are judged against how they left the factory, and are somewhat pardoned on wearable features, or items serviced or replaced for maintanance; tires, rubber grips etc.....
But onto the catagory at hand here; machines that are restored to represent the crisp example of "correctness" that is so miss-construed. By "correctness", I mean the accepted criteria previosly mentioned; the basis of the current, and evolving AMCA Judging System.............striving for how the machine left the factory. One must draw a line in the sand somewhere, and a hermetically sealed bike in a time capsulled crate would be the ultimate example. The true testimate of the machine, bar none!
But how many sealed crates have we witnessed? Actually, I've seen more than a few, but that's another story. What about the '36 Knuck that got "up graded" with Flanders bars & risers, and perhaps a set of 18" beauty rings on the wheels by Uncle Geofroe. Said bike was used & abused, acquiring usage patina & damage accordingly to the mild temps, and round the year riding season of SoCal perhaps. Uncle Geofroe (obviously the Black Sheep of the family) goes to jail during the War Years for tax evation. After the war, Geoffy Jr takes his Pa's Knuck out, and decides it needs to be up-dated to suit his modern tastes, and the fashion of the day. On goes the favorite color of his girl friend in war surplus paint that looks to be applied by a rake. But that original speedo seems to be surviving all this tom-foolery...........so far. The bike is evolving, experiencing "period modifications" as it ages. We have the makings of a Period Modified here; so relished, cherished, and respected by the Club. Not a problem. We just have to define the actual "Period" of the modifications; easier said than decided on sometimes though.
Now let's change the story to Uncle Geofroe's younger brother, Sid. Young Sid, being more respectable, and smarter, buys a new'41 Chief from San Francisco Indian dealer Hap Jones. Young Sid, the uncle you never got to meet, opted for the "Full Monty" and got all the options; windshield, saddle bags, spot lights, the works. You never knew Uncle Sid, because he was called to duty for WWII six months latter, and was killed in a horrible ammunition accident in boot camp as an innocent by-stander.
The '41 Chief never saw use since, but was improperly stored by the family in the basement, where the un-vented dryer lived. Years of family curtain crawler abuse, ex-felon uncle Geoffy's attempt at re-vitalizing the bike after his prison release, the dryer moisture, and the flood from the broken water pipe caused by the '57 earthquake has not been kind to his poor, low mileage, original Chief. In fact, the plumber who fixed the pipes after the quake, swiped the spotlights in an effort to illuminate the crawl space under the house during the repair. The six volt lamps didn't like the 120 volt house system, but the plumber held on to the lights anyway, figuring he could just change out the bulbs.
The years of un-vented dryer moisture took it's toll on that front fender also. Yep; a fine pattern of metal lace adorns that front wheel now. One can't even find a trace of paint on it. The front tire is petrified, and the wheel & hub are like a statue.
Now along comes young Tom, of the present day, but so respectull of his family history, and vintage machinery in general. He wants to do the right thing, and please his Grandma who still feels that the bike is a family jewel. In Grandma's eyes, it deserves to be all "gussied" up, and painted, and "restored" to it's former glory when Sid wheeled the magnificant stead about.
Tom accessed the damage; original paint, only 12% survives, and most of that is inside the tool box. Front fender is now a powder trail that has ruined the carpet of the in-law apartment that now separates where the bike/laundry room, and out-side world (of which the tenants aren't too thrilled). It's already missing the spotties from the plumber, and the front wheel is useless, having shed a dozen spokes from it's rusty rim caused by it's close proximity to the dryer. A shame, as the rear of the bike hasn't suffered, not even the muffler!
What is young Tom to do? It's his first vintage bike; a family hierloom, and he wants to do his family, and Indian Proud. Everyone is counting on young Tom to take the "Best in Show" as a tribute to Uncle Sid. Tom can't really enter it as original un-restored; especially since the same plumber who snatched the spotties dropped solder on the seat & saddle bags whilst repairing the pipes. The dents in the tanks from Grandma placing the laundry basket on it for 70 years has taken it's toll also. This bike needs to be properly restored. What is young Tom to do?
I actually faced a very simalair dilema on my very first bike I "restored". It was an old re-paint of a great, matching #s machine I found at D'port many, many years ago. In fact, it was only $3000. That's how long ago it was. It was mostly all there, and then some (lots of extra gadgets), but nothing really serviceable, yet the bike deserved the full Monty of a restoration. Most everything could be un-cerremonously restored, and brought back to life. My life-long collection of NOS parts were willingly sacraficed for this all out effort of the ultimate '47 Chief. It was missing it's front fender, but came with an NOS replacement, although horribley warped as if in a very hot enviornment. My NOS front fender light graced the crest of the fender after I so carefully mounted the repro side trim. (I just couldn't find any originals that were useable). I could not make myself mearly toss on a repro speedo face however. Sure, this face only saw 6 months of use, but it did show some signs if weathering. A simple slap of a new repro face would have given me that 1/4 pt that robbed of a perfect score. But I had my priorities. I happily took the penalty.
I wonder what young Tom will do with this Laundry Room Relic of the family. Does he hang is on the wall as is? Does he source a Honda front wheel and just get the thing back going? Does he do a "Full Monty" on it, making Grandma proud with some extra chrome bling here & there where it doesn't belong? Of does he find a repro fender & wheel, and stick that on?
It's now Tom's bike, and sometimes it is actually fun to do the research, parts hunting, and creative mechanical activities envolved in "restoring" a peace of our history; especially one that you can get on and USE!
Sure hope Young Tom doesn't screw things up, with HIS bike.