Under The Hood

Stop the drilling!

While at the Barrington concours in Barrington, Ill., last weekend, I encountered several examples of a feature that drives me absolutely nuts: club award badges drilled into the firewalls and cowls of vehicles.

The cars being drilled into aren’t just daily drivers – they’re pristine show cars that have been judged among their peers as top-flight examples of their kind. Often times, they are also very valuable cars, in both the historic and financial sense. For the quality of their restorations, cars and their owners have been rewarded with a tiny badge, which is great. But permanently affixing them to the body of a car is not the way to preserve that car for history.

I’m not going to mention the specific club badges I have seen through the years affixed in this manner, because many well-respected clubs are “guilty” of producing these badges.
In earning these badges, the club is rewarding the owner for bringing the car back to its original configuration. All of the wires must be of the correct type, the interior fabrics must be of the original style and the appearance must be as it was in the period the car was built. But adding one of these badges, which were not created in the time period the car was built, is adding a non-original feature. So, by judging a car as being so correct, isn’t it hypocritical to add an item that detracts from the car’s correctness? If it were a non-club badge permanently drilled into the car or even bolted on, wouldn’t the car be docked points for this feature?

I’m not fortunate enough to own a high-point car, but even I have an issue with drilling parts into my daily car or even modifying its appearance or mechanical function in even a temporary way. When I see it on a Classic car or other high-point car, it blows my mind.
Am I overreacting? I don’t think so. What do you think?

6 thoughts on “Stop the drilling!

  1. Tom Amundson

    Angelo, I’m not aganst modifying cars but when it comes to a concours restoration, I’m with you. Do ou think Jay Leno would drill holes in one of his Duesenbergs? Thanks, Tom

  2. Tom Amundson

    Angelo, I’m not aganst modifying cars but when it comes to a concours restoration, I’m with you. Do ou think Jay Leno would drill holes in one of his Duesenbergs? Thanks, Tom

  3. Frank W.

    I totally agree. For years I’ve questioned the wisdom of drilling holes in cars just for badges, but thought that was just my view. Thanks for commenting on something that I haven’t seen addressed before. Frank

  4. Frank W.

    I totally agree. For years I’ve questioned the wisdom of drilling holes in cars just for badges, but thought that was just my view. Thanks for commenting on something that I haven’t seen addressed before. Frank

  5. Angelo

    Some of these badges I mentioned appear on Duesenbergs. It’s just wrong!
    And I agree, a modified car is just that — modified. The owners can do whatever they want. But putting a badge on a concours car seems to defeat the purpose!

  6. Angelo

    Some of these badges I mentioned appear on Duesenbergs. It’s just wrong!
    And I agree, a modified car is just that — modified. The owners can do whatever they want. But putting a badge on a concours car seems to defeat the purpose!

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