What does 'Survivor Car' Mean?

Mopar General Discussions

  1. nm9stheham

    nm9stheham Well-Known Member

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    I see the term 'survivor car' in ads and have been trying to figure out what it really means. The associated car descriptions seem to vary wildly as to originality and condition, so I am wondering if this is just used to trick potential buyers into thinking they are getting something special, or does it actaully have a certain definition? (Like the term 'original' has a specific meaning.). Any inputs/info/opinions are welcomed.
     
  2. MTmopars

    MTmopars Well-Known Member

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    yeah, this 'survivor' is clear as mud.

    IMO, survivor should mean its is as it rolled off the showroom floor. with only maintenance done and worn out/defective mechanical parts replaced or fixed.

    It would appear that some think survivor means it has original sheet metal.
     
  3. coronet66jj

    coronet66jj Member

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    I think of a survivor car as a regularly driven car in mostly stock condition, but I think you make good point that it may be away for sellers to exaggerate the value of an otherwise unremarkable car. I have seen some survivor cars that just looked worn out and needing repair.
     
  4. cuda20

    cuda20 Well-Known Member

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    ::happy1:
     
  5. cuda65vpt

    cuda65vpt cuda65vpt

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    Unless the car is now tin cans, technically it is a survivor.

    Another one is "Barn find", with the rust and rot on some of those it has never been in a barn or any other shelter for that matter.

    They are all just advertising phrases misused and abused to sucker somebody into thinking the car is something special. I don't even open an ad if one of the catch phrases are in the title. I saw a list somewhere that gave them funny definitions.
     
  6. 68gtxman

    68gtxman I used to reMember

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    It means you have a Corvette as they copyrighted the term. (Who cares about them anyway!)

    I say a survivor has to have not been repainted but still doesn't have rust holes poking thru everywhere. It only has the chrome it was manufactured with and has the original unrestored engine, trans and interior but they also don't need anything but minor repairs to be considered "good condition". It runs well and doesn't look like it should be towed to a scrap yard soon.

    There are cars that are unrestored, un-repainted and still run, but they are in a completely ratty condition. They do not count as "survivors" but instead they should fall in the "rat rod" or "rat car" category and no, they are not nearly as valuable as true survivors though they are interesting to look at and maybe even to use for reference in the restoration of another car of that same year, make and model.
     
  7. Bulldozer

    Bulldozer free ice cream sandwiches

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    survivor usually means the seller is saying all he can to get the most money out of a beat up piece of crap
     
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    • 3406pk

      3406pk Well-Known Member

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      IMHO a "survivor" is a car or truck that has some value but has never been restored or modified. Sheetmetal should be original with maybe a patch or two but original paint with only touchups. Mechanical should be drivable with original engine and normal maintenance. Maybe FABO moderators should start a thread to define that term.
      Once a car has been restored/rotissoried/modified it will never be original or a survivor again. I think more collectibles should be left as is. The extreme example was B-J a few years ago a survivor Mustang GT350 went for $350,000 and paint was bad and it wasn't clean.
       
    • krazykuda

      krazykuda Well-Known Member FABO Gold Member How-To Section Editor

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      It's supposed to be never restored and as close to stock as possible with no modifications that has been sitting for a long time.

      And they usually like to call them "barn finds"....


      But yeah, it could be another way for sellers to inflate the price. Just like the guys selling a generic small block part as a "340 part".... Yeah, it fits a 340... and a 360... and a 318... and a 273.... Not to be confused with parts like 68-70 340 exh manifolds, steel crank, the proper year carb for a 340, etc...
       
    • Mrmopartech

      Mrmopartech Well-Known Member

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      The term has been bashed and torn apart from one end to the other and thousand think they know what a true survivor is.In fact,a survivor car/truck is a un-restored car/truck with little to NO mods or body mods,which includes,paint,body panels,interior,exterior,drive train,the car has to be as original as possible,with regular maintenance,to keep it running and road safe.Now the problem,what you think and I think on a topic is two different worlds,and that,s where the problem starts.A all original car with factory rusted off fenders and floors and doors and still sporting the original paint,this is not a survivor,it,s a piece of shit,trying to screw some one into paying big bucks for it.A real deal survivor is a car that can pass a state/province inspection with flying colors,and a road test to prove it.Is there cars that have survived 40-50+ years,YES,that are untouched,but are they road worthy????? after 50 years.Be very careful of some one stating that it is a true survivor car unless you know the person or have seen the car,or some one that has seen the car,and they have some type of knowledge of the car.The car I post with this topic is a barn find and is the survivor i found some 3 hours from me,thats is still sporting the original piant-interior-exteriot-drivetrain,the hole deal,with the papers to prove it.And paper work is the king in this sport of muscle cars,mrmopartech
       

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    • 68383GTS

      68383GTS Well-Known Member

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      This was but not anymore.The original slant is going bye bye too.
       

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    • dmoore

      dmoore NO IT'S NOT RESTORED

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      Below is a link to Mel Major's criteria for cars displayed under the Survivor Tent's during Chrysler's @ Carlisle & Mopar National's. As you can see there is little room for stretching the word "Survivor". Click on the link at the very bottom of my post for a GOOD example.

      Mel Major's Mopar Survivor Rules
       
    • krazykuda

      krazykuda Well-Known Member FABO Gold Member How-To Section Editor

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      Ok, now having thinking about it a while....


      A TRUE SURVIVOR car is supposed to be low miles, as close to how it came off the factory assembly line as possible. These cars are supposed to be so close to "original" that they should be fully documented and complete pictures taken for others to use a reference to restore a similiar car back to its factory original condition. NOTHING MODIFIED.

      Some of them still have original belts and hoses. (not all of them may have original belts and hoses as they are a regular maintenance item). These cars are supposed to be used to document how they were built at the factory. Any special "marks" on parts or places with paint pens. (these marks are usually from a special inspection and used to indicate that it was certified as ok).


      Barn finds are allowed to have more modifications and higher miles, but still in good condition (with a deep clean up).
       
    • krazykuda

      krazykuda Well-Known Member FABO Gold Member How-To Section Editor

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      Not a bad description.
       
    • krazykuda

      krazykuda Well-Known Member FABO Gold Member How-To Section Editor

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      Oh, a SURVIVOR is the biggest a-hole that is the last one left on the island after everyone else has been kicked off....
       
    • DA4AD

      DA4AD Well-Known Member

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      Each to his own, but any old car still Rollin today is a survivor in my books!
      :burnout:
       
    • longarm

      longarm Car sold back to original owners

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      It is used to add possible increased value to an otherwise
      common car and mostly used to open terms of negotiation
      with a uninformed potential buyer.
       
    • nm9stheham

      nm9stheham Well-Known Member

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      That is what I am trying to avoid.....! I sure appreciate all the answers and viewpoints; there seems to be a fairly common theme on what it means when I sift through all of this. And of course there is a new term to me in the link provided: 'unrestified'...LOL
       
    • nm9stheham

      nm9stheham Well-Known Member

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      Yep, there is plenty of that kind of shenanigans out there!
       
    • moper

      moper Well-Known Member

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      x2.
      My personal definition mirrors MrMopar's. Original everything but normal service/maintenance items, unrestored and showing the usual war wounds of a used life. It doesn't have to be low miles. It could have some minor collision type body repairs (like a previously-wrinkled-but-repaired fender or quarter), but nothing requiring a respray of more than the panel affected.
      The definition has been stretched by sellers to mean it has some original stuff but is partially restored, or it has nothing usable left in it but still runs and drives. So be aware as a buyer.
       
    • YY1

      YY1 Well-Known Member

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      My 73 satellite had 54000 miles when I bought it. I'm now at 60K.

      It had one repaint with single stage that most people can't spot unless I tell them.

      It still has the original hose clamps, and a few of the original hoses.

      The PO added aftermarket sway bars and converted the A/C to 134.

      I removed the green bench seat, upper door panels, and rear seat (all in VGC), stored them, and installed recovered white factory buckets and matching rear seat and panels.
      I added a tuff wheel, factory sport mirrors and rallye wheels.

      I still consider this car a survivor, as it has been on the road and in serviceable condition since new and has never been "restored" or rebuilt in any way other than what I've described.

      "Survivor" is one of those terms that's easier to describe what it isn't, than what it is.

      I love seeing ads for "survivors" that need both quarters replaced, have shredded interiors, and don't run because the motor is locked up and missing parts.

      Those cars didn't survive!
       
    • Woods74

      Woods74 Broke Senior

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      Original sheet metal is overrated.
       
    • 68383GTS

      68383GTS Well-Known Member

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      YY1 If the whole car has been repainted then it is not a survivor....
       
    • MileHighDart

      MileHighDart Well-Known Member

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      To me, regardless of the condition of the car it should be,

      Original paint
      Original interior, carpet, upholstery, headliner, etc
      No aftermarket stereo with holes cut in the door panels for speakers, and dash not cut.
      Original wheels, no aftermarket rims
      Engine never modified, and never out of the car or rebuilt
      No dual exhaust, or headers on cars that has single exhaust originally.
      Nothing done to it but maintenance

      But I'm sure everyone has an opinion
       
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      • dmoore

        dmoore NO IT'S NOT RESTORED

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        And that statement should be survivor definition 101
         
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