Reply To: King-Seeley Water Temp & Fuel Gauges 🙄


Of course this brings up one of the challenges and debates about restoration, form vs function and the compromises. Restoration – meaning to restore to a previous condition – implies everything is returned to what it once was. In practice auto restoration tends to be interpreted to mean that to score points it just needs to look original and anything goes if it isn’t easily visible. Form over function.

Of course conditions are different now than 80 years ago and the way we use the cars is different – a lot if sitting and little if any actual driving. Fuels are different, freeways with uninterrupted high speed driving, etc, Original parts deteriorated and unavailable.

Compromise is inevitable. I do like to work to make the original stuff work as original, and I like using the original parts as much as practical so I do patching and repair where feasible instead of ripping stuff out whole and replacing with new. I think of the USS Constitution where it once was estimated only about 1/7th of the original ship is still there. Restoration or reproduction? No definitive answer. However some things I do to improve practicality in the real world. Electric fuel pumps, bypass the leaking oil cooler, modern oil filter, auxiliary air source for the fuel gauge, coolant filters, halogen headlight bulbs, seat belts, etc. Restoration in reality is full of compromises that leave lots of room for debate.

A bit off topic, but basically some members have been able to make the original fuel gauge work well with attention to detail, and I decided to try and do the same.