A brief but interesting section of BBC Radio 4’s Today programme piqued our interest last week. An original 1928 Bentley was found – literally in bits and pieces – in a West London home last year, and is expected to fetch as much as £1 million when it goes on sale. Obviously, at Classic Super Bikes, Bentleys are not of the utmost interest to us – but William Medcalf (of the Medcalf Collection, responsible for rebuilding the car) struck us with his comments on the favourability of reassembling the vehicle, as opposed to a restoring it. We find the same with bikes: everyone wants to restore them using lots of shiny new parts, and spend a lot of time and effort on these projects before realising that the bike isn’t actually worth what they think it should be. The Bentley’s value has built so much due to Medcalf and his team “taking the trouble to not actually restore the car but just to reassemble it.” Moving away from profit, Medcalf calls the Bentley “a genuine joy” to have in the showroom, and original bikes – rebuilt or not – are similarly so. Here at Classic Super Bikes we do our best to sell bikes that are as close to the original as possible, and in our sister company Classic Bike Workshop we try to use original parts wherever we can (which has even seen us carry BSA A50 crank cases through customs!). Obviously we can appreciate a good restoration, but – as Medcalf points out – “a [vehicle] is only ever original once; it can be restored many times.” We hope this “new way [of] find[ing] totally original” parts catches on, and our customers consider it when making their purchase!
You can listen to the original programme here: http://bbc.in/1Knvyd6 (between 02:42:45 and 02:45:41) and a Google search of “1928 bentley reassembled” brings up many articles on the car.