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Why do people modify classic cars?

When does an historic vehicle cease to be an historic vehicle? I would have thought it would be when some idiot does an engine and gearbox transplant into a 1966 MGB GT, as described in Telegraph Motoring in June. Historic vehicles are, as the name implies, a blast from the past and something to be cherished and left as built. This was the reason "Historic Vehicle" status was applied to all cars before 1973, to preserve the marque and standards of excellence. It's just a pity that a rolling year system was not adopted, but I suppose our Government has to keep raking in the cash.

Asked on 25 August 2012 by AB (MG and Triumph enthusiast), Andover

Answered by Honest John
There are different schools of thought about this. One is to preserve the car as it was originally built, warts and all (and often that's a lot of warts). The other is to make it work better, and nowhere is that more evident than in HRDC racing. So, while it is fair to allow you to have your point of view, as long as some old cars are preserved warts and all, I'm perfectly happy to see the majority modified and brought up to date rather than crushed in the scrapper. I did get a laugh out of the sixty grand price tag, though. Whoever spent that on one of these would never see it again.
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