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Clean 93 SC 300 5spd $2500 to buy or not to buy

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Old 06-22-18, 09:05 AM
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Awesome score! Even after owning a ultra clean SC4 I absolutely love my '92 manual SC3 that I picked up for a few hundred bucks more than what you paid for yours. However, after mods and maintenance I easily doubled what I spent (if not more lol). I've got to admit, the rare/cool factor of a manual SC makes it very worth while. Hope you enjoy it sir!
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Old 06-22-18, 03:23 PM
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I am 20 grand into my sc300 5speed so 5k$ for a driver sounds decent
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Old 06-26-18, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by KahnBB6 View Post
The things wrong with it seem to be all very minor and common faults, mostly interior cosmetic. Every SC will need those things addressed. The climate control screen is easily fixed as are the dash lights (send all of these parts to Tanin Auto for repair). The timing belt service, which is also just long term maintenance. Tires... well... tire wear with a 1992-2000 Lexus SC (or Soarer) totally depends on driving style anyway, so that also is just normal maintenance, haha

The leather can always be addressed with new seat leather skins. Katzkin is one of the best for this.

But I wouldn't do ALL of these things at once if I were to buy it. Descending order of importance in little stages.

To answer your question of whether the investment required is worth it... for the very reasonable price being asked and the condition it's in, resoundingly yes.

I completely understand your feeling and position if it's just one car too many. Indeed you should not overload yourself if you feel it would be too much to add this one to your stable.

But as factory 5-speeds go this one is in very good shape and the price is very good.

Kelly Blue Book is useful but not entirely accurate as it does not take into account that these are somewhat unique and desirable classic cars with only 4,883 originally made (and less in current circulation). They price them similar to any other SC300 automatic of the same era. The true real world used market values do not line up precisely with their numbers. While there are only so many mechanical and electrical differences between SC300 A/T's and the various revisions of the M/T models and conversions are very common and easily done, an original is an original. KBB really should be taking that into account. Are the real world valuations deeply different from one another? That's debatable (especially if compared to a really super clean low mileage SC300 automatic that has been well preserved) but there is at least some difference in favor of the 5-speed M/T's when seeking one out in various classifieds.
3,883* manuals made but everything else you said is spot ON

EDIT: wow I wrote this before I found out you bought it for so cheap!!! WHAT A STEEEAAAAAAAAAAAALL
Originally Posted by ahero4all View Post
Thanks for the support advice and feedback.. the seller was happy to know I was going to restore it..Knowing how much time effort and money I am going to invest in making it nice, he gave it to me for $800..

COULDN'T"T PASS IT UP! add another SC to the stable..a 93 Manual and a 98 VVTI..

Thanks every one!

Originally Posted by RudysSC View Post
Awesome score! Even after owning a ultra clean SC4 I absolutely love my '92 manual SC3 that I picked up for a few hundred bucks more than what you paid for yours. However, after mods and maintenance I easily doubled what I spent (if not more lol). I've got to admit, the rare/cool factor of a manual SC makes it very worth while. Hope you enjoy it sir!
wow haha for an original garnet pearl that's a sweet sweet deal.. I love that color so much

Originally Posted by Crypto79 View Post
I am 20 grand into my sc300 5speed so 5k$ for a driver sounds decent
another sweet red 5spd, this time a 97 I believe you have right? SC, the endless money pit

Last edited by Ezroni; 06-26-18 at 12:55 PM.
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Old 06-26-18, 01:44 PM
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Yah i have a 97 and it is one of the lower mileage examples left of the 97s with about 54k. I paid up as it was exactly what I wanted (would have preferred a hardtop but thatís minor) and I know that opportunity sometimes costs extra.

after that I put in some money into it changing out the diff to a limited slip out of a like year Supra and doing service on it to get it perfect. Now I have the perfect car even if I know Iíll never get my money out of it.



Find another mint low mileage 97 with clean history for cheaper
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Old 06-26-18, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Crypto79 View Post
Yah i have a 97 and it is one of the lower mileage examples left of the 97s with about 54k. I paid up as it was exactly what I wanted (would have preferred a hardtop but that’s minor) and I know that opportunity sometimes costs extra.

after that I put in some money into it changing out the diff to a limited slip out of a like year Supra and doing service on it to get it perfect. Now I have the perfect car even if I know I’ll never get my money out of it.



Find another mint low mileage 97 with clean history for cheaper

gorgeous, even better with no spoiler... I'm a fan of wingless and all the Renaissance red 97+'s have one that I've seen.. I remember this car, you searched long and hard for it. keep her clean
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Old 06-26-18, 02:51 PM
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Yah I was never a fan of the spoilers either, breaks the flow of the curves. I consider this amoung the high water marks of the 90 bubble styling cues
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Old 06-27-18, 01:14 PM
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Wondering if I should start a new thread in the build section

Being a huge SC enthusiast is truly the catalyst for my willingness to take on this project, plus the fact it's a manual, the body is in near flawless condition the interior is all there and I bought it for $900.00

My intention is to restore back to stock original.. just started detailing it, below is a list of the obvious issues.

My immediate attention is the driver seat

Right side of D/seat gears non op, all motors are functional..How do I diagnose this issue?

D/seat needs to be reupholstered . Are skins available I can install myself or is it easier to take to a shop? Matching the original color, how do I find the color code for the interior?

All four dash lights need replacing

Needs New Climate control module
Passenger Window-regulator

Tires

Struts/suspension

Power antenna

Passenger mirror is brokeA/C looses it's Freon, last owner says it was a seal located behind the glove box..took it to a dealer and it broke again by the time he returned home..Driver side door panel is rough, can it be upholstered?

Trunk Springs..Tint on both windows needs to be removed heavily scratched

Not sure of the condition of the suspension, have not had it on a lift.

A new clutch was just installed, Arizona rust free car..Current mile 213,000 last water pump service was 122,000...Both previous owners were adults and drove it easy..thinking this service can be put off for right now.

Any feed-back, guidance, suggestions and advice is greatly appreciated




Body is super straight, paint is excellent..One small dent in lower front fender..No signs of abuse or other damage..garaged most its life


Current miles 213,000 last w/pump t/belt service 122,000 new clutch never raced or abused


Just pulled the seat and am cleaning the carpet..very good condition



Dash and drivers seat are both in excellent condition


Back seat and deck are clean no damage



Here is the most pressing issue


Can this be re-skinned?

Last edited by ahero4all; 06-27-18 at 01:19 PM.
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Old 06-28-18, 10:11 PM
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"The arm rest pad on the driver's side"-- Yes, it can be re-skinned. I had this done on my car at a local upholstery shop but this was a custom job. I just asked that the leather used be in the closest match possible to the color of the rest of the original interior leather. At the same time I also had the center console lid custom re-skinned/restored in the same color. You can unbolt the lid and side arm rests to bring to your upholstery shop.

"Right side of D/seat gears non op, all motors are functional..How do I diagnose this issue?" -- Offhand I would consult the full 1992-2000 SC300/400 TSRM. I don't recall where the download link is on this forum but we can get it to you if you can't find it. Looking further into the mechanical issue I would use partsouq to look up your specific SC model and go into the exploded diagrams for the seats. Although there will only be so many parts listed (and visually represented) there.

D/seat needs to be reupholstered . Are skins available I can install myself or is it easier to take to a shop? Matching the original color, how do I find the color code for the interior? -- Katzkin seat skins would be my first recommendation but you'll have to order them through an upholstery shop, either local or online. Katzkin or Leatherseats can point you in the right direction though. And you can install them yourself if you want to. The hog ties and other tools are available.

All four dash lights need replacing -- Do you mean the backlights or the instrument needles? The OEM backlights can be ordered from Lexus and some Toyota dealers. Replacing those isn't that hard but you will have to remove the instrument cluster from the dash to do it.

Needs New Climate control module -- Is the LCD burned out or is your HVAC/climate unit simply not working at all? If it's the former, contact Tanin Auto Electronix and send it to them. If it's the latter, take your old one out and find the ten-digit part number on it to reference for another used working unit. The climate control units LOOK the same for all 1992-2000 SC's but they changed internally over the years two or three times.

Passenger Window-regulator -- Order the right side regulator assembly without motor with P/N 69801-24033. You will be re-using your original regulator motor when you re-install.

Tires -- Take your pick! I recommend a good high performance summer compound like the BFGoodrich Comp2. Look for good handling characteristics and good rain traction, since original 5-speeds have no traction control.

Struts/suspension -- There are as many options here as with tire choices The Gixxer_Drew suspension is something I'd recommend but the shocks required may need some extra modification by Bilstein to fit compared to older versions. It is very worth it though. Beyond that, there are Tein S-Tech springs and aftermarket OEM-fit shocks. Also, replace the steering rack bushings with a set from Daizen... and replace the front lower control arms with new Supra MKIV 93-96 versions if still available (or OEM Lexus front LCA's). There is more that can be done to improve the handling and feel of the car if you're interested.

Power antenna -- You can replace the OEM aerial if the factory motor still works. Replace the motor unit too if that isn't working. There are a couple of aftermarket kits out there too that restore the retractable antenna function. Also, there is the Acura MDX fixed antenna conversion if you want to eliminate it.

Passenger mirror is broke -- A replacement mirror can be bought from Lexus (check to be sure if your car has heated mirrors; you can have this function even if you do not have factory heated seats). An aftermarket glass part can be bought also, I think. If the electrical or mechanical function of the mirror is broken you can probably still get one from Lexus but I would also try ebay.

A/C looses it's Freon, last owner says it was a seal located behind the glove box..took it to a dealer and it broke again by the time he returned home. -- This you'll have to get checked at a good mechanic's. There are many areas of the A/C system that could be causing the leak. They'll probably use a special recharge dye which should mark the affected leaking area. If there is a Toyota dealer in your area whom you trust for their good service who will work on Lexus vehicles I'd go to them. Most parts of the A/C system can be bought from Densoproducts or Rockauto. The high pressure and low pressure lines are only available from Lexus (and if not available you can have the mechanic remove the affected OEM A/C pressure hose assembly and take it to a professional pressure hose and fitting shop to be rebuilt).

Driver side door panel is rough, can it be upholstered? -- The large part of the panel is covered in either leather or vinyl originally. You can dismantle the entire panel and take it to an upholstery shop to be recovered. I'd actually bring it to them complete for the best fitting.

Trunk Springs. -- No springs in the SC trunk design, just gas charged struts. Buy replacements from Rockauto.

Tint on both windows needs to be removed heavily scratched -- Any good tint shop can correct this for you Llumar CTX film is very good. For the windshield, Llumar Air Blue.

Not sure of the condition of the suspension, have not had it on a lift. -- I would get everything inspected regardless. The biggest wear parts to look out for are front LCA's, steering rack bushings, shocks and maybe tie rod ends.

A new clutch was just installed, Arizona rust free car..Current mile 213,000 last water pump service was 122,000...Both previous owners were adults and drove it easy..thinking this service can be put off for right now. -- Just make sure your timing belt is within the 60k service interval. 60k for spark plugs, cap, rotor and wires too. The water pump I always changed on every other timing belt service so long as I knew the mileage on the water pump. To be safe, consider replacing that pump 29k miles from now or replace it as soon as your next timing belt. Always best to do the water pump and T-belt service together.

The clutch sounds fine.

Hope this helps!
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Old 06-29-18, 09:45 PM
  #24  
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Default A lot to consider and take on..

Originally Posted by KahnBB6 View Post
"The arm rest pad on the driver's side"-- Yes, it can be re-skinned. I had this done on my car at a local upholstery shop but this was a custom job. I just asked that the leather used be in the closest match possible to the color of the rest of the original interior leather. At the same time I also had the center console lid custom re-skinned/restored in the same color. You can unbolt the lid and side arm rests to bring to your upholstery shop.

"Right side of D/seat gears non op, all motors are functional..How do I diagnose this issue?" -- Offhand I would consult the full 1992-2000 SC300/400 TSRM. I don't recall where the download link is on this forum but we can get it to you if you can't find it. Looking further into the mechanical issue I would use partsouq to look up your specific SC model and go into the exploded diagrams for the seats. Although there will only be so many parts listed (and visually represented) there.

D/seat needs to be reupholstered . Are skins available I can install myself or is it easier to take to a shop? Matching the original color, how do I find the color code for the interior? -- Katzkin seat skins would be my first recommendation but you'll have to order them through an upholstery shop, either local or online. Katzkin or Leatherseats can point you in the right direction though. And you can install them yourself if you want to. The hog ties and other tools are available.

All four dash lights need replacing -- Do you mean the backlights or the instrument needles? The OEM backlights can be ordered from Lexus and some Toyota dealers. Replacing those isn't that hard but you will have to remove the instrument cluster from the dash to do it.

Needs New Climate control module -- Is the LCD burned out or is your HVAC/climate unit simply not working at all? If it's the former, contact Tanin Auto Electronix and send it to them. If it's the latter, take your old one out and find the ten-digit part number on it to reference for another used working unit. The climate control units LOOK the same for all 1992-2000 SC's but they changed internally over the years two or three times.

Passenger Window-regulator -- Order the right side regulator assembly without motor with P/N 69801-24033. You will be re-using your original regulator motor when you re-install.

Tires -- Take your pick! I recommend a good high performance summer compound like the BFGoodrich Comp2. Look for good handling characteristics and good rain traction, since original 5-speeds have no traction control.

Struts/suspension -- There are as many options here as with tire choices The Gixxer_Drew suspension is something I'd recommend but the shocks required may need some extra modification by Bilstein to fit compared to older versions. It is very worth it though. Beyond that, there are Tein S-Tech springs and aftermarket OEM-fit shocks. Also, replace the steering rack bushings with a set from Daizen... and replace the front lower control arms with new Supra MKIV 93-96 versions if still available (or OEM Lexus front LCA's). There is more that can be done to improve the handling and feel of the car if you're interested.

Power antenna -- You can replace the OEM aerial if the factory motor still works. Replace the motor unit too if that isn't working. There are a couple of aftermarket kits out there too that restore the retractable antenna function. Also, there is the Acura MDX fixed antenna conversion if you want to eliminate it.

Passenger mirror is broke -- A replacement mirror can be bought from Lexus (check to be sure if your car has heated mirrors; you can have this function even if you do not have factory heated seats). An aftermarket glass part can be bought also, I think. If the electrical or mechanical function of the mirror is broken you can probably still get one from Lexus but I would also try ebay.

A/C looses it's Freon, last owner says it was a seal located behind the glove box..took it to a dealer and it broke again by the time he returned home. -- This you'll have to get checked at a good mechanic's. There are many areas of the A/C system that could be causing the leak. They'll probably use a special recharge dye which should mark the affected leaking area. If there is a Toyota dealer in your area whom you trust for their good service who will work on Lexus vehicles I'd go to them. Most parts of the A/C system can be bought from Densoproducts or Rockauto. The high pressure and low pressure lines are only available from Lexus (and if not available you can have the mechanic remove the affected OEM A/C pressure hose assembly and take it to a professional pressure hose and fitting shop to be rebuilt).

Driver side door panel is rough, can it be upholstered? -- The large part of the panel is covered in either leather or vinyl originally. You can dismantle the entire panel and take it to an upholstery shop to be recovered. I'd actually bring it to them complete for the best fitting.

Trunk Springs. -- No springs in the SC trunk design, just gas charged struts. Buy replacements from Rockauto.

Tint on both windows needs to be removed heavily scratched -- Any good tint shop can correct this for you Llumar CTX film is very good. For the windshield, Llumar Air Blue.

Not sure of the condition of the suspension, have not had it on a lift. -- I would get everything inspected regardless. The biggest wear parts to look out for are front LCA's, steering rack bushings, shocks and maybe tie rod ends.

A new clutch was just installed, Arizona rust free car..Current mile 213,000 last water pump service was 122,000...Both previous owners were adults and drove it easy..thinking this service can be put off for right now. -- Just make sure your timing belt is within the 60k service interval. 60k for spark plugs, cap, rotor and wires too. The water pump I always changed on every other timing belt service so long as I knew the mileage on the water pump. To be safe, consider replacing that pump 29k miles from now or replace it as soon as your next timing belt. Always best to do the water pump and T-belt service together.

The clutch sounds fine.

Hope this helps!
KahnBB6

Outstanding! Your knowledge and approach in this restoration is spot on.Your feedback and participation in this thread is greatly appreciated..Cheers!

I just completed a total tear-down / mechanical restoration and gear box replacement on my 2011 Can am Commander, which was costly and challenging. Last winter while living on the big island I also completed another light restoration on a 25' Boat which was a serious challenge. I am happy to not be living in the path of flowing lava..Hard to see all my friends loose their homes.

That being said, I'm a little worn on resto's right now..I am struggling with finding the enthusiasm to fully take on this SC. Although, I've wanted a manual for years, now is not a good time for me to entirely take on this Project. The manual trans, pearl white color and the amazing condition of the body keeps pulling me in.

I have too many vehicles and one of them would have to go. My 98SC4 is rock solid. just went through every thing on it and now I'm into it for twice its value. The 300hpr VVTI with the 5spd electronically controlled transmission is a pleasure to drive and its a superb example of a clean SC. As cool, clean and rare as this 93 is, the 98 it too solid to let go. Finding it difficult to justify owning two SC's

For now,
I'm committed to repairing the seat back to fully functional, not going to take on the leather, plus I would need to find a recommended upholstery shop and get some quotes. The inside isn't horrible by any means and I can live with the current condition for now. Dash, head-liner, console etc are in great condition.

The dash is fully functioning, the back lights on the instrument needles are what needs to be replaced ..appears Rock Auto stocks them and the installation is not difficult..The Climate control module is fully functioning, only the LCD is burned, taking your advice and planning on sending it to Tanin, $75.00 seems a fair price to have it reconditioned and looking like new. The Window regulator, antenna, and trunk shocks are easy repairs..From what I can see with it not being on a lift, the over all condition of the front suspension is good.. No visible issues are apparent. Tires, suspension, timing belt water pump, tune up, a/c, tint and leather will have to wait until I get a better grip on my level of dedication in regards to returning this SC back to totally stock and immaculate condition,

Question, out of the 3,883 SC 5 speeds produced , how many would you guess are still in alive in clean , stock and original condition? 700 or less?

Thanks for all your help




.


The low production numbers really intrigues me to bring it back to near showroom


Just finished the Can am



The boat in Hawaii was a night mare..NO MORE BOATS
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Old 06-30-18, 04:58 AM
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^^ Welcome! I do hope the suggestions help you consider how to approach this.

It's understandable that the SC400 VVT-i isn't something you'd let go of. They are actually rarer than the 5-speed manual SC's. As far as surviving 5-speeds I haven't got any idea how many are truly still on the road or in active project status but I'm certain the number is WAY more than a mere 700 surviving cars out of 3,883.

I'm very used to the same 290hp V8, 5-speed automatic and 3.26 rear end combination in a late model '99 LS400 in my family. Other than the added weight and cruiser sedan chassis it is indeed a potent stock drivetrain even in that big and heavy Lexus model (and it has the better 4-pot brake calipers up front that ALL 92-00 SC's should have) and that is magnified in an SC chassis I'm sure. But once you have an SC300 5-speed M/T model set up better than factory stock configuration as a much more responsive and tight driving machine it's a great experience behind the wheel in its own right even with the stock NA 225hp.

Granted, you can do all the same things for handling and braking to either the 98 SC4 or 93 SC3 Manual. Both are the best model versions apart from boosted NA-T or GTE swaps or an imported Z30 Soarer.

My own personal opinion in this is heavily biased as I always prefer and seek out manual transmission vehicles so take that with a grain of salt

Both are rare SC models. Both are great SC models worth keeping. Both excel with two different drivetrain setups. Both can be modified braking and suspension-wise while the SC300 is much more suited to engine and transmission driveline modifications while the 98-00 SC400's engine and automatic transmission are better left appreciated as they are (especially since 290hp stock is in no way lacking).
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Old 07-02-18, 05:29 PM
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Niceeeee! Less millage than mines and it's even older! Great find!!
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Old 07-02-18, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by KahnBB6 View Post
^^ Welcome! I do hope the suggestions help you consider how to approach this.

It's understandable that the SC400 VVT-i isn't something you'd let go of. They are actually rarer than the 5-speed manual SC's. As far as surviving 5-speeds I haven't got any idea how many are truly still on the road or in active project status but I'm certain the number is WAY more than a mere 700 surviving cars out of 3,883.

I'm very used to the same 290hp V8, 5-speed automatic and 3.26 rear end combination in a late model '99 LS400 in my family. Other than the added weight and cruiser sedan chassis it is indeed a potent stock drivetrain even in that big and heavy Lexus model (and it has the better 4-pot brake calipers up front that ALL 92-00 SC's should have) and that is magnified in an SC chassis I'm sure. But once you have an SC300 5-speed M/T model set up better than factory stock configuration as a much more responsive and tight driving machine it's a great experience behind the wheel in its own right even with the stock NA 225hp.

Granted, you can do all the same things for handling and braking to either the 98 SC4 or 93 SC3 Manual. Both are the best model versions apart from boosted NA-T or GTE swaps or an imported Z30 Soarer.

My own personal opinion in this is heavily biased as I always prefer and seek out manual transmission vehicles so take that with a grain of salt

Both are rare SC models. Both are great SC models worth keeping. Both excel with two different drivetrain setups. Both can be modified braking and suspension-wise while the SC300 is much more suited to engine and transmission driveline modifications while the 98-00 SC400's engine and automatic transmission are better left appreciated as they are (especially since 290hp stock is in no way lacking).
KahnBB6

The production numbers are interesting, rarity depends on perception when comparing year to year or total units produced.

Year to Year production{910 SC 5spds produced in 1993} {1,183 SC400's produced in 1998} The 93SC is the rarer car

Numbers of units produced
{2,480 SC400 VVTI's from 1998 to 2000}{3,883 SC 5spds from 1992-1997} The 98SC is the rarer car

agreed
! I also think the number is more than a mere 700 surviving out of 3,883. To be clear, my question is, out of the 3,883 SC's manuals produced, how many would you think are remaining in stock original condition? No mods, No body damage, original Paint, original body panels, motor and trans, clean title and appearing close to show room condition?

I did a CL search in 10 major city's across the country.. I found 20 manuals. 10 were highly modified a few held S titles and were priced for $10k to $15K, 7 were basket cases/junk priced around $1,500 and 3 appeared to be stock selling for $5k to 8K.

Only 3 of the 20 were stock survivors .

This is my speculation, Ĺ of the 3,883 are gone forever, crushed or dismantled. Out of the approx 2,000 units remaining, some limited research would indicate 75% of the 2000 have been modified or altered from original.. leaving approx 500 total stock units.

Breaking it down by year , total units 910 - Ĺ gone 405 remaining.Divide the 405 by seven colors 57 pearl whites x 75% rate of modification =42 modified.57 Pearl whites remaining - 42 modified Pearl white units = 15 pearl white stock original units...If my equations seem reasonable, how many of the remaining would you estimate have all original paint, original body panels and clean title?

Question, if the seats and trim are reupholstered back to stock appearance, and no modification have been done only required service and maintenance completed..would a car of that description be considered stock original?Once again, your knowledge experience and participation in this thread is appreciated... Cheers!
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