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Restorations Vs. Reproductions Opening the can of worms?

#1 User is offline   Wicked King Icon

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 11:29 AM

I'm starting this topic in response to some posts on the main Arcticinsider site - which indicated that there are strong opinions on both sides of the fence when it comes to vintage sleds and reproductions. Hopefully, we can keep a civil discussion so that we can learn both sides of the argument, and maybe learn why others are thinking the way they are.

To be fair, I'll offer my opinion first: I like the fact that I can buy repop parts for the vintage sleds, and yes - I really like knowing that I can one day pull off my clone/ mod dream of a vintage body with modern big displacement LC power and drivetrain. Probably more mod than clone, but pretty dependant on reproduction parts.
I also think that having reproduction parts available for projects like this will help to save some of the original sleds from getting sliced up/ parted out... which will in turn help the pure restoration folks.

I'm sure I'm missing valid points from those opposed, and I'd really be interested in hearing them.
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#2 User is offline   A G Icon

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 02:49 PM

View PostWicked King, on 16 May 2011 - 01:29 PM, said:

...help to save some of the original sleds from getting sliced up/ parted out


I'm not a vintage restorer/collector, but I sure can appreciate the good ole' sleds because I remember when they were current and rode a lot of them.

So on that note, I think you're right about helping keep sleds out of the sledshredder.

And not only can this help the authentic restorer/collector indirectly, just having more of these vintage gems around, authentic or with repro parts, will help keep the interest up in those who can appreciate these historical artifacts.

And that's the best part... It would be an isolated act if it didn't have an audience to appreciate the works of the restorers. The bigger the audience, the better!
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#3 User is offline   RIsnoPRO83 Icon

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 07:23 PM

View PostWicked King, on 16 May 2011 - 01:29 PM, said:

I'm starting this topic in response to some posts on the main Arcticinsider site - which indicated that there are strong opinions on both sides of the fence when it comes to vintage sleds and reproductions. Hopefully, we can keep a civil discussion so that we can learn both sides of the argument, and maybe learn why others are thinking the way they are.

To be fair, I'll offer my opinion first: I like the fact that I can buy repop parts for the vintage sleds, and yes - I really like knowing that I can one day pull off my clone/ mod dream of a vintage body with modern big displacement LC power and drivetrain. Probably more mod than clone, but pretty dependant on reproduction parts.
I also think that having reproduction parts available for projects like this will help to save some of the original sleds from getting sliced up/ parted out... which will in turn help the pure restoration folks.

I'm sure I'm missing valid points from those opposed, and I'd really be interested in hearing them.



I like your idea. I'll use an automotive term for it. "Resto-mod". Could we consider an AGLT a resto mod? I love what he's done with the late 90's sleds... and I could see myself doing in the future. But maybe with a different power plant... and I would surely love the sled to look "new". So i would be restoring the sled to its original luster, but improving the handling and horespower.

I agree with AG... anything that keeps them out of the shredder is good.
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#4 User is offline   John Sandberg Icon

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 07:42 AM

I love original sleds, on which all of the parts are truly original. It's a piece of history.

There are some who believe this is how all machines must be kept, and I respect the opinion. They will point to re-pop chassis, re-pop hoods and such as unauthentic and deceptive.

But if you're going to be absolutist in this opinion, than it would be disingenuous to have an original '70 Puma, but using a re-pop decal to "finish" it off. That seems crazy to me.

I've concluded for myself that morality of the discussion hinges on the person being honest at the time they might sell it. If the sled has a re-pop tunnel, then proclaim it.

Likewise, I'd like it if everyone making re-pop stuff would utilize some sort of marking on each item that signifies it being reproduction.
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#5 User is offline   Wicked King Icon

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 08:42 AM

View PostJohn Sandberg, on 17 May 2011 - 07:42 AM, said:

I've concluded for myself that morality of the discussion hinges on the person being honest at the time they might sell it. If the sled has a re-pop tunnel, then proclaim it.

Likewise, I'd like it if everyone making re-pop stuff would utilize some sort of marking on each item that signifies it being reproduction.


Interesting point on the sale/ re-sale of these items. I can see that being a thorn in the side of an unsuspecting or unknowing buyer. I know I'm not knowledgeable enough to tell the difference in a lot of this stuff. I'd be an easy target - cat fever with an affection for shiny new looking stuff!
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#6 User is offline   jluberda Icon

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 10:33 PM

View PostA G, on 16 May 2011 - 02:49 PM, said:

I'm not a vintage restorer/collector, but I sure can appreciate the good ole' sleds because I remember when they were current and rode a lot of them.

So on that note, I think you're right about helping keep sleds out of the sledshredder.

And not only can this help the authentic restorer/collector indirectly, just having more of these vintage gems around, authentic or with repro parts, will help keep the interest up in those who can appreciate these historical artifacts.

And that's the best part... It would be an isolated act if it didn't have an audience to appreciate the works of the restorers. The bigger the audience, the better!


I personally wish there were more repop parts available. It's nice to buy new parts for your projects, and some guys don't have the means to be buying NOS parts for there sleds. Some sleds are not worth buying NOS parts either, I wouldn't use NOS parts on a rider or a sled that wouldn't have the resale to cover the cost of the parts. Some guys are out there to just fix up a sled from there past and near and dear to there hearts or one that has been in there family for a long time. I am in it for the knowledge of the past and try to make a dollar here and ther for my efforts in restoration. I have learned a lot in the past few years about cats history and have met a lot of great people in the process. The NOS market prices are out of hand in most guys eyes, but for the average vintage snowmobiler repop parts are just what we need to keep these old sleds on the trails.
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#7 User is offline   RIsnoPRO83 Icon

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 08:46 PM

View PostJohn Sandberg, on 17 May 2011 - 09:42 AM, said:

I love original sleds, on which all of the parts are truly original. It's a piece of history.

There are some who believe this is how all machines must be kept, and I respect the opinion. They will point to re-pop chassis, re-pop hoods and such as unauthentic and deceptive.

But if you're going to be absolutist in this opinion, than it would be disingenuous to have an original '70 Puma, but using a re-pop decal to "finish" it off. That seems crazy to me.

I've concluded for myself that morality of the discussion hinges on the person being honest at the time they might sell it. If the sled has a re-pop tunnel, then proclaim it.

Likewise, I'd like it if everyone making re-pop stuff would utilize some sort of marking on each item that signifies it being reproduction.



I agree with what you said... but re-pop parts are what make it possible to have a machine thats 30+ years old look like it was never ridden. I think that a marking signifing a reporductions is ok.. as long as it doesn't take away from the over "original" look. Repro's are great... and I love to see machines looking nice... so either way, its representing the sports history.. Like you said..

But I can totally agree with the anyone who feels everything should be authentic. .. thats the route i took restoring my 41 9N... looks good.. but EXPENSIVE... lol
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#8 User is offline   Rob_0t Icon

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 09:07 PM

So what do we call restoration of a sled using near mint used "survivor" parts. And would you consider it more valuable being its made up of of o.e. production parts ?
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#9 User is offline   Reeb Icon

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 10:05 PM

I have a few Snopro's from the late 70's and altho I wish EVERYTHING could be original, there are some parts and decals that I had to re-produce. Especially since these are Super Mod sleds and only handfuls were ever built. Titanium track clips, windshields, fuel tanks, and decals are what I had to buy or re-produce myself. I have the original tank off of one sled, but it won't hold fuel and is sun faded and cracked. Of course I bought the re-pro part.

Same goes for my newer SnoPro's, altho I tried to keep the original skis in good condition, I will want brand new pieces when I restore the sleds, not the used skis I originally had on them.
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#10 User is offline   1969 P22J Icon

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 02:31 PM

Consider this... Let's say "Bob" buys a brand new 1972 EXT 340 and actually treats it as a daily driver. In 1978 he pushes through a corner and smacks a tree, crushing the front of the hood and badly damaging the belly pan. The hood and belly pan are still available, so he orders both, decals the hood, removes the belly pan and re-rivets the new one and is back in business. 30 years later, you find "Bob's" old EXT in a barn and restore it as an original, but, techincally, it's not. The replacement hood and belly pan could have been manufactured five years after the EXT was originally built by a third party company Arctic Enterprises contracted with. I don't see how this differs in historical significance with the use of repop parts. Hypothetically, if a sled were restored with repops, stashed in a barn, and discovered 20 years later, would anyone know? Perhaps, perhaps not.

When I was at the 50th a few summers ago, I looked at many sleds that were "restored" to better than showroom condition. In other words, these things looked better than they ever did originally. Is this really restoration or is it too far beyond that?
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