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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

Looking back on Weissrat: A slapdash resurrection and 5000-mile road trip in a dumpster-fresh BMW

Once, your narrator rebuilt an old car. The project was intentionally slapdash for the best reasons and chronicled on this site. The first installment in that series of stories . Several of you have emailed, asking about the tii's condition. It is currently in the rudest of health.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/maintenance-and-tech/looking-back-on-weissrat-a-slapdash-resurrection-...
24 REPLIES 24
9lbhammer
Advanced Driver

Cars that are too nice are no fun. Dad's best friend spent a ton of money fixing up a 68 cougar and the GD thing sits cause he worries about driving it. We spent longer rebuilding the 4speed than the car has hours on the road in the past 5 years. It's a shame, but idk how to fix it because I'd never forgive myself if I was the one to drive it and hurt it.
Snailish
Gearhead

When a restored car is used so much it needs restored again  --and you did the use, you are the winner.

 

The auction crowd that keeps great cars in their living rooms to show off as artifact/artpieces (or hidden in a garage) can have their fun?  --but that isn't winning.

Air_and_Water
Instructor

Restored cars are easier for me to tear into than a nice original car, which is why my car feels a bit like a trap. If it were "merely" restored then anything done to it could be undone, but with original paint anything done to it that isn't a bolt-on is irreversible. I have decided to have fun with it with bolt-on parts, including an engine with 2.5X the original power and that made me feel better, so I knew I made the right choice for me. All original parts will be restored and put away for eventual reinstallation.
Steve1957
Intermediate Driver

That's where I am with a gorgeous, restomodded 63.5 Galaxie Sport Roof. It mostly sits. I could kick myself.
CarsDogsBeer
Intermediate Driver

Is it achingly beautiful or beautifully aching? Oh yes, certainly, yes.
"Why is this here?" Not the gal for me =:0)

danhise
Advanced Driver

I read along back in the day, as the bricolage progressed. Still astounded at the commitment of his friends. I don't recall seeing the wonderful photo of Ben. "This is what I do. Now look me in the eye and tell me what you do." Game, set, match.
The photos from the road stir me to get moving for long distances. For one thing, it's a surefire way to de-tribalize. Get out amongst the people, all of them, the coat of many colors.
jeffzekas
Intermediate Driver

Actually, your adventure reminded me of the Philosopher's Axe: after you replace enough parts, is it still the same car? Secondly, when restoring a house, if you leave one two-by-four, is it restoration, or a brand new house? (in California, my home state) taxes on new houses are far higher than taxes on remodels, giving rise to "remodels" which are actually tear-downs). My son builds houses and cars. He built a 1975 Jeep out of parts. He restored one house and built another from scratch. Either way, making stuff is cool. Fixing stuff is cool. It's the journey that counts, not just the end point. Thank you for sharing your adventure.
audiobycarmine
Technician

...” it lies between the pit of man’s pockets;
to the summit of his fiscal impudence.
This is the dimension of Automotive Fantasy;
It is an area which we call: .... “

Hey Folks; here’s where YOUR contributions come in!

THIS particular article needs Rod Serling concluding:
“You’ve just entered, the Siegel Zone!”
Swamibob
Technician

Mr. Smith; if that's really your name... 🙂

You're one of my great heroes. I love, understand and would love to be a part of a similar build. I'd do it with one of my Chevelles, but while they are somewhat rusty, they're just too nice to do that with. So, this Summer, I'm looking for a really beat up Chevelle or Tempest to do somethgin similar. Several of my friends are in too. In the mean time, until I find that car, we'll be working on putting a fuel injection system on my buddies '66 Chevelle. Finishing the body off the frame re-build of another buddies '67 El Camino. Doing a six cylinder to v8 swap (the V8 is a 41,000 mile original, from the aforementioned '67 El Camino) on my beat up '64 Chevelle 4-door. I drive it everyday in the warmer months. Now that I think about it, there's a '63 Chevy C10 around the block. It hasn't moved it years... I wonder if it's for sale?
audiocage
Advanced Driver

Ya gotta bring the vroo back to Bawlamer, hon.
Jnick
Advanced Driver

Having a similar experience with a 1960 Sprite I can honestly say the time and effort paid off in spades. I vowed not to put any real money into it until I could make it move on its own.
There was so much fun just backing it out of the driveway in the end and bits and pieces from Ace hardware plus hydraulic jacks, the torch and my big mig welder made my initial dream a reality.
Then I seemed to benefit from the largess of the British car community who sold me carburetors, distributors, windshield wiper motors, air cleaners and radiators then finally a whole engine on the cheap as so many people scrapped the old 948 in favor of 1275 power.
In the end costs did mount but amortized over time it has been a fabulous investment and though the snobs turn up their noses I’m enjoying every minute of the ride!
LeggeraCreative
New Driver

I was SO motivated by this article, that, even though I’d just completed a “mend and make do” restoration on a ‘76, I picked up another project car, right after reading this article. I payed more than Sam for a carbed version that doesn’t run and yet the body is in similar condition to the hero of this article. Again, the article motivated me to action in absence of fiscal common sense. Anyways, the Kool-aid has worn off and it’s now available for sale with tons of extra parts! If you are reading this comment and the others above, no doubt you are ready to take on the adventure!
Steve1957
Intermediate Driver

I'd love an inline 6 67-69 Camaro to have similarly functionally decrepit. And I'm at no disadvantage for very nice cars to drive - I have two. But that's just where I am now.
knuck39
Intermediate Driver

I have been involved with these cars more than 50 years....had a shop for 25 of those and worked for BMWNA for 12....I totally get the "too nice to drive thing,as I am currently doing a $500 junk yard rescue 72....not gonna paint it, slamming a used motor in it to replace the seized one..brakes,fuel system,etc..and replacing the pirated front fenders and left door...but with that said....mine is a Ca. car to begin with....Cancer like on this is scary....Better served to find a nice rust free shell and transfer the pieces..(I originally come from the east coast so no all about the road salt thing)...and save what you can of the body as donor pieces,...which looks like wouldn't be much....Waay easier and cheaper in my humble opinion...got a couple rollers in the yard that are a much better starting points.....Kudo's at least to your tenacity....;-)
Eddie1
Intermediate Driver

Goodness. The car looked , and still looks, like it came from eastern part of the Ukraine. There are far nicer examples of bmw 2002,s out there.
OldBird
Intermediate Driver

My 22 year love affair with a '67 MGB started out a bit like this. It was sitting immobile in a neighbor's driveway in SoCal for years & young me picked it up for $1. Pulled it home behind Dad's Sable wagon. When I drained the oil, water poured out. Rebuilt the engine, sourced an OD trans. New wire wheels. Rebuilt suspension. But the floors were Fred Flintstone and the doglegs, well, weren't. Exterior was a faded mix of white, black and mineral blue. Looked like it belonged in a U-Pull. Still, I loved driving it.

Lovely young woman I really liked didn't understand it - I think it reflected negatively on my future economic prospects. That translated to negative prospects with her.

I finally had to acknowledge that I could never economically pay to fix the body and it was a bigger project than I wanted to tackle myself. I ultimately found another rust-free B with shiny original BRG paint in the floors and a crappy later engine. Swapped everything I had redone over from the original car to the "new" one. Had it media blasted and repainted BRG... Enjoyed it for a long time till I finally had to scratch the itch for a Citroen SM.

But that's another story...
11JA
Intermediate Driver

Many years ago (1976) I bought a 246 Dino in Gallofly yellow with rust holes in both doors. I had it for the next 11 years during which time it was a daily driver and on some weekends with an oil change and tyres pumped up harder - which I now realise was not the best thing to do - I drove it to Brands Hatch, Silverstone, Donington Park etc raced it and then drove it home. It never missed a beat. After about 9 years I decided I would have the bodywork professional restored as the mechanics were fine. During the restoration I changed the colour to red, which would be a cardinal sin now I know, but the result looked wonderful. The trouble was I was now to scared to park it let alone drive it so it just sat in my garage under a fitted cover until I hit some financial trouble in 1987 and it had to go. I often wish I hadn’t restored it and just carried on driving it. During the restoration I realised that the Dino badge indent was exactly the same size as the Ferrari badge one so I had the body man cut an exact square of metal round the badge turn it through 90 degrees and weld it back up, fit a Ferrari badge and I had the only ‘Ferrari’. 246 in the U.K. It would devalue it now but back then the Dino was sneered at as “not a proper Ferrari. How times change.
11JA
Intermediate Driver

Many years ago (1976) I bought a 246 Dino in Gallofly yellow with rust holes in both doors. I had it for the next 11 years during which time it was a daily driver and on some weekends with an oil change and tyres pumped up harder - which I now realise was not the best thing to do - I drove it to Brands Hatch, Silverstone, Donington Park etc raced it and then drove it home. It never missed a beat. After about 9 years I decided I would have the bodywork professional restored as the mechanics were fine. During the restoration I changed the colour to red, which would be a cardinal sin now I know, but the result looked wonderful. The trouble was I was now to scared to park it let alone drive it so it just sat in my garage under a fitted cover until I hit some financial trouble in 1987 and it had to go. I often wish I hadn’t restored it and just carried on driving it. During the restoration I realised that the Dino badge indent was exactly the same size as the Ferrari badge one so I had the body man cut an exact square of metal round the badge turn it through 90 degrees and weld it back up, fit a Ferrari badge and I had the only ‘Ferrari’. 246 in the U.K. It would devalue it now but back then the Dino was sneered at as “not a proper Ferrari. How times change.
11JA
Intermediate Driver

Many years ago (1976) I bought a 246 Dino in Gallofly yellow with rust holes in both doors. I had it for the next 11 years during which time it was a daily driver and on some weekends with an oil change and tyres pumped up harder - which I now realise was not the best thing to do - I drove it to Brands Hatch, Silverstone, Donington Park etc raced it and then drove it home. It never missed a beat. After about 9 years I decided I would have the bodywork professional restored as the mechanics were fine. During the restoration I changed the colour to red, which would be a cardinal sin now I know, but the result looked wonderful. The trouble was I was now to scared to park it let alone drive it so it just sat in my garage under a fitted cover until I hit some financial trouble in 1987 and it had to go. I often wish I hadn’t restored it and just carried on driving it. During the restoration I realised that the Dino badge indent was exactly the same size as the Ferrari badge one so I had the body man cut an exact square of metal round the badge turn it through 90 degrees and weld it back up, fit a Ferrari badge and I had the only ‘Ferrari’. 246 in the U.K. It would devalue it now but back then the Dino was sneered at as “not a proper Ferrari. How times change.
Gary_Bechtold
Specialist

What I love is that in the end this is a car that should be dead and buried but is still being enjoyed. Flaws and all this is what makes it fun.
-Nate
Detailer

A man after my own heart .

This one shows skills I wish I had but the general idea and application is what I've been doing since the 1960's and it's nice to see some are still doing it .

-Nate
Rider79
Technician

Poor car. I would be embarrassed to be seen in that.
JEL395
Intermediate Driver

Reminded me of some of Rob Siegel's adventures ( Louie maybe ? ), just more rust and more miles. ( no slam Rob ). Enjoyed every sentence of this adventure and brought back many memories of a few trans Texas ( El Paso to Pensacola ) adventures in my 59 Austin Healy 100-6. Please keep these stories coming and hopefully a book compilation one day. Never Stop Driving.
Maestro1
Technician

A classic example of guys like me who use their cars. I'm on the Left Coast so I don't see much rust and none of my cars have any. So it's all maintenance, fooling with tired electronics and normal servicing. Giving the thing what it needs. I must say I care what my cars look like and so several need very minor body work but I'm not doing; I'm leaving them
alone and driving. Which is what the Hobby is about.