Before the recession, it seemed as though there was no ceiling on how much one could spend on outlandish, ridiculous, over-the-top show cars covered in chrome and loaded with tech goodies that even Walt Disney couldn’t have imagined.
Nowadays though, people are taking the time to appreciate original, unrestored pieces of automotive history – cars that may not have ever been famous, but to this day remain incredibly awesome…largely because they stayed true to their roots.
Holley Performance has put together a gorgeous video about Bill Akin and his unrestored 1970 USAC open-wheel race car. Bill is a prime example of a person who knows that a car is only original once, and sometimes the best thing you can do with an old car is leave it the hell alone.
The race car belonged to another driver, who pulled it out of competition after just two years due to extensive rule changes. Eventually, the son of the original owner sold it to Bill who decided to keep it original, rather than restore it. Even the 302 cubic-inch Chevy engine with Hilborn fuel injection and a dry sump system was left alone, and we love it.
The only thing Bill did was get it running so he could actually take it on the track. Bill apparently has a whole collection of old race cars, some of them also left in original condition. Bill reminds us “You can always restore it later…but it is only original once.” From the rock chips on the front end to the well-worn steering wheel, this is a reminder to gearheads of all kinds that maybe a frame-off restoration isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.