I've always had a soft spot in my heart for vintage original objects. In fact, I like just about anything that was made in the "good old days." It's often times just better than what is manufactured today, built to last shall we say. However, many times the years have taken their toll.
When it comes to vintage Land Cruisers, you're often faced with the challenge of whether or not to fix, replace, renew or otherwise restore things. While mechanical repairs are routinely recommended, you may often choose NOT to make cosmetic improvements where there is a ding, scratch or a scrape present, especially if you're looking at original finishes. Many owners value that original paint and resist the urge of trying to make things new again.
Sometimes you don't have a choice. Rust is the number one enemy when it comes to old iron. Rust comes in many variations from light surface rust to gaping holes in the sheet metal. The latter will certainly devalue your vehicle and it's wise to address it. Even then, I try to take a "minimalist approach" if the balance of the vehicle is original and still looks respectable. "Survivors" are highly valued among many auto enthusiasts. I've found them to be worth as much or even more than their shiny restored counterparts.
Survivors are never perfect, yet that is, in many cases, what makes them perfect. They wear their history proudly. They have transcended the boundary of time and escaped an onslaught of excess use and abuse. Where the others have failed, they have somehow prevailed. Their owners may have taken them out of the game early or perhaps just had the wisdom to maintain, appreciate and protect what the manufacturer designed and built so many years ago. This is a rare occurrence, especially when it comes to rugged utilitarian vehicles that were meant for work!
I'd love to hear your comments on the topic. Happy New Year!