Published on June 22nd, 2020 | by Hammer1
The sad fate when classic car restorations go wrong
Malaysians love their classic cars. Even when the owners can’t restore it themselves in their own backyard, many restorers are around to help them bring their well worn classics back to its former glory. However some restorations don’t always go to plan, which leads to heart wrenching scenes like these, with classics in various states of restorations being piled up on top of each other and left to rot in an empty lot.
From what looks like a freshly primered classic Alfa Romeo GT Junior piled on top of a classic Ford Anglia and a Volkswagen Beetle, to a Jaguar XJ, classic Mini and a mint-green coloured Fiat 600 lying on top of a Skoda Fabia and a classic Mercedes. Or even a battleship grey primered Rolls Royce Silver Shadow that’s now supporting a seemingly freshly painted Beetle shell and what appears to be an early 70s Plymouth.
These classics that are all in various states of restorations have all been seemingly abandoned by the restorer and left out in the elements. Waiting for nature, or more likely that yellow backhoe, to send it to its final resting place. There may be however, several reasons why these cars are left in the state you see here.
Some times, the owners of these classics have let their heart rule their head and with rose tinted glasses on, decide to start with the restoration of their pride and joy without having the finances to bring these cars back from the brink of death. Or sometimes hidden horrors are continually discovered during the restoration process, putting further strain on the financial purse strings, till the once jaded owners realise that it’s easier and more financially viable just to cut their losses, abandon the cars at these restoration workshops and let the workshop bear the burden of dealing with these part-restored shells.
Classic car restoration has never been a cheap game to play, it is done more out of passion than financial sense. And with the economic effects of the MCO and coronavirus pandemic, everyone is forced to tighten their belts just a little bit harder to ride it out. So, now there’s even less in the pot to spend on keeping up with the ever increasing restoration costs. But with the restorers still having their own bills to pay, they too are left with no choice but to shift these partially restored shells out make space for paying customers to keep the lights in the workshop on and put food on the table.
That being said however, there are also some unscrupulous workshops that could have pulled a fast one on the unsuspecting owners of these classics. Closing up shop and running away with the deposits once enough money has been scammed from these owners, thus leaving these cars to lay forlorn in the empty lot. This reason is not particularly common though as setting up a workshop requires significant overhead thus this isn’t a particularly simple and easy scam to pull off.
Regardless of reason, it is still a sorry sight to see these classics being piled on top of each other as if they were bricks on a wall instead of back on the road, where they belong. Although this particular selection of cars aren’t particularly rare or valuable, the sentimental and historical value of these cars to their owners and the wider car community are more than enough for these classics to be granted stay of execution by rust or backhoe, and be restored to once again be admired on the road.
Text by Joshua Chin