Both ends of the spectrum
it's easy to appreciate a complete, tasteful resto-mod. but there's something to be said for those who can show love to the less than ideal...
We tend to see builds in their finished forms, mostly at shows and across social media. However, it's not often that the original state of a build is shared very openly. In this case, we're talking about classic cars. Perhaps you'll see it as a "Transformation Tuesday" comparison at best. Sometimes it's all about a first impression. Sometimes it's an unwanted image that they think will follow the build. I've seen some pretty negative reactions to before-and-after threads, mostly from people who have not even the slightest idea of what they're talking about. Nevertheless, I think it can sometimes deter people from fully sharing their builds in progress.
My fiancé is what I would call entirely batshit crazy for 510s. He sold his perfectly reliable NB Miata and started looking at BMW 2002s, but found a 510 instead. Since he picked up the blue four door over three years ago, these cars are all he can think about. Sure, he thinks my love for Z cars is cool, but the 510 is what does it for him. He's constantly on Yahoo Japan Auctions, Craigslist, and any other outlet he can find, if it means he might find those rare parts he's looking for.
He recently acquired the orange wagon you see here, and it's given both of us (especially me) a refreshed appreciation for just how well put together the blue car feels in comparison...
While I really enjoy riding in and driving the four door, I've also been reminded of a couple things since the wagon came around. First, is that a lot of projects like the blue car often start out in the wagon's state, unless you're lucky enough to find a well kept example. Mechanically, the wagon is pretty solid. Cosmetically, well... let's just say some of the people in our wealthy Silicon Valley region furrow their brows when they see it putting down the road. This isn't to say that I don't enjoy the wagon, because I do. I think it's got tons of character (even if all the windows rattle obnoxiously). And in all reality, it's really not that bad compared to what a full resto would need.
But that's not the point. Sometimes Dustin looks at the blue car and focuses just on the things he hasn't done yet. Now that he's gotten it to a point where he's almost content, he can finally enjoy it more. The second thing I've been reminded of is: it's not so much about what works and what doesn't, as it is about appreciating each phase the car goes through. I also know that sometimes it's easier said than done. The wagon is going to take some time to build, but we love it and think it's off to a pretty good start.