Restoring a 1969 Camaro SS, or a 1964 Ferrari 250 GTO just makes sense. There is a lot of desirability, and the auction market is there. Anyone finishing a restoration can easily turn a profit. However, not all restorations are about money. Sometimes they are a labor of love, or simply for the historical value. Those restorations are usually among the weirdest. Here’s three of them.
Yup, future without the “e.” The Futurliners were part of GM’s “Parade of Progress,” a travelling convoy of interesting and exciting technological advances that science would soon bring. According to the Futurliner fan site, the big buses transported dioramas and exhibits, demonstrating “a microwave that fried an egg without burning a newspaper, and a Ping-Pong game in stereo sound.” Questionable design characteristics included a fighter jet like bubble canopy for the driver, but no air conditioning. 13 million people say the convoys, and a group of volunteers started restoring big red bus #10 in 1999. They finished in 2006, and now the 33’ long, 11’ tall Futurliner tours the country, just like in the 1950s.
1991 Mazda 626
Washington Redskins running back Alfred Morris can buy pretty much buy any production car made. Rather than a new Ferrari or Mercedes SUV, Morris went a surprising route, and kept his old daily driver, a four cylinder, four door Mazda 626 that he bought for $2. While his buddies may joke with him for not buying an Escalade, Morris says he has history with the car.
“It’s more than just a car,” Morris said. “I didn’t grow up with a lot. This helps me remember where I come from and where I’m going.” Several Washington DC area Mazda dealerships mechanics donated time for the project, which took about four months. The ’91 is now showroom perfect, and Morris couldn’t be happier.
“Who you gonna call” when you need to restore a famous 1959 Cadillac Fleetwood ambulance? The internet, of course. Way back in the ‘80s, there was a little movie called Ghostbusters. It did rather well. The protagonists rode to the hauntings in their white and red 20 foot long converted ambulance. A prop car toured Universal Studios back in the day, and once the popularity faded, it was sold to a fan who converted it into an authentic tribute car.
In support of the 25th anniversary of the Ghostbusters movie, Sony funded a their own complete overhaul of the actual Ecto-1 from the movie. That was nice of them, but they had previously said they would also fund a restoration of Ecto-1a, seen only in Ghostbusters II. Instead, budgets were cut, and 1a has spent the last several years uncovered in a little used Sony lot. The car is rusting away, while fans are pledging to donate cash. You too can contribute to the restoration of this worthy car.