"Anything good can be rebuilt," is the way that Peter Boyer put it. Peter is the president of Nisonger Instruments of Mamaroneck, N.Y. (www.nisongerinstruments.com). The company rebuilds Smith's and Jaeger instruments for British cars, boats, motorcycles and many Cobra replicars.
This is highly-specialized work, but Nisonger is up to the job. When British Leylans was still building cars like MGs and Triumphs, Nisongers handled warranty and factory service for all U.S. dealers. Nisongers still has the parts and the talent required to repair the old instruments.
While I was visiting, I spoke to a several technicians who had worked for the company for 30 years or more. They told me about an early Triumph owner who ordered a reproduction part for his speedometer. It didn't work, so he ordered a second, then a third, then a fourth and, finally, a fifth. By this time the man was totally frustrated and called Nisongers. After talking about the problem, he was told to send in his old instrument to be rebuilt. When the original gauge was returned to him, he installed it in the car and it worked perfectly!
As Peter Boyer told me -- anything good can be rebuilt.