Is original more beautiful than restored?


Among enthusiasts, the arguments about whether an original or restored car is best can get pretty heated. People feel passionately about their viewpoint on this topic, exercising strong opinions quite freely on social media and elsewhere. Well, this rusty old 1972 Porsche 911 S Targa is going to throw a bunch of gasoline on that fire, because the owner is rocking it instead of restoring the car and he’s not the least bit apologetic about that fact.

That owner, Alan Drayson, happened across the barn find car while in Japan inspecting a 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS for a client. He knew right away the forgotten car needed to be rescued, but unlike some people he didn’t have visions of repairing body damage and applying a shiny new coat of paint.

image credit: YouTube

As you can clearly see, this classic 911 S Targa has quite the buildup of patina for a look people pay artists big bucks to airbrush onto their pristine car. For Drayson keeping this old Porsche the way he found it, save getting it running and functional was a matter of preserving the story of its life in Japan, including the time spent neglected in storage. He doesn’t want to erase all that in the pursuit of perceived perfection.

We get it, not everyone is going to agree with Drayson’s philosophy. It’s difficult to see such a beautiful car looking like something out of a dystopian future. After all, rust is eating away at the front edge of the hood, the engine cover, and other places, there’s no sheen to the body at all, and you just know it could be drop-dead gorgeous with some TLC.

The great thing about rescuing a barn find is you get to decide what happens to the car. You can choose to preserve its rough condition or to restore all of it or only a portion. That’s the beauty of ownership and whether you agree with Drayson’s choice or not, that’s the way it is in this hobby.