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Vehicle Condition Numbers Guide
by Lou Tull
# 1 Condition - Excellent: Restored to current maximum professional standards of quality in every area, or perfect original with components operating and appearing as new. A 95-plus point show car that is not driven. In national show judging, a car in No. 1 condition is likely to win top honors in its class. In a sense, it has become an object of art. It is transported to shows in an enclosed trailer and, when not being shown, it is stored in a climate controlled facility. It is not driven. #1 condition vehicles are very rare.
# 2 Condition -Fine: Well-restored, or a combination of superior restoration and excellent original. Also, an extremely well-maintained original showing very minimal wear. Except for the very closest inspection, a #2 vehicle will take the top award in many judged shows, except when squared off against a #1 example in its own class. It may also be driven 800-1,000 miles each year to shows, on tours and simply for pleasure.
# 3 Condition - Very Good: Completely operable original or "older restoration" showing wear. Also, a good amateur restoration, all presentable and serviceable inside and out. Plus, combinations of well-done restoration and good operable components, or a partially restored car with all parts necessary to complete it and/or valuable NOS (New Old Stock) parts. This is a "20-footer." That is, from 20 feet away it may look perfect. But as we approach it, we begin to notice that the paint may be getting a little thin in spots from frequent washing and polishing. Looking inside we might detect some wear on the driver's seat, foot pedals and carpeting. The chrome trim, while still quite presentable, may have lost the sharp, mirror-like reflective quality it had when new. All systems and equipment on the car are in good operating order. In general, most of the vehicles seen at car shows are #3s.
#4 Condition - Good: A driveable vehicle needing no, or only minor work to be functional. Also, a deteriorated restoration or a very poor amateur restoration. All components may need restoration to be "excellent, " but the car is mostly usable as is." This is a driver. It may be in the process of restoration or its owner may have big plans, but even from 20 feet away, there is no doubt that it needs a lot of help.
#5 Condition - Restorable: Needs complete restoration of body, chassis and interior. May or may not be running, but isn't weathered, wrecked and/or stripped to the point of being useful only for parts. This car needs everything. It may not be operable, but it is essentially all there and has only minor surface rust, if any rust at all. While presenting a real challenge to the restorer, it won't have him doing a lot of chasing for missing parts.
#6 Condition - Parts Car: May or may not be running, but is weathered, wrecked and/or stripped to the point of being useful primarily for parts only. This is an incomplete or greatly deteriorated, perhaps rusty, vehicle that has value only as a parts donor for other restoration projects.