Survivor Car Australia Guidelines
A vehicle be 30 years old or more and must fall within the guidelines in at least 4 of the 5 categories listed below for it to be classified as a true Survivor car.
Original paintwork is a very important feature of the car. A Survivor car needs to have most of its original paintwork. This does not mean that minor repairs over the years make the car ineligible. At some stage, some Survivors have had rust repairs. This is fine, as long as only small sections have been repaired. Original factory paint work that is faded, weathered or showing signs of a few small rust spots is what people who love Survivors like to see!
Original factory interiors are a good indicator of Survivor car status. Worn carpets, seats which have some of their stitching coming apart, worn steering wheels and gear selectors are all features of a Survivor. Repairs to parts of the interior are fine. Torn seats that have been repaired, broken window winders which have been replaced are all perfectly acceptable for a Survivor car. The replacement of safety items, such as seat belts, is admissible.
The Drive Line
A Survivor car should have its original engine. This is perhaps a touchy issue for some, as sometimes mechanical failure cannot be avoided no matter how well maintained the engine is. Of course, if the engine was replaced under warranty or with a period correct engine sometime in the car’s life, this still makes it a Survivor. Reconditioned original engines are fine but of course an original untouched engine (apart from regular maintenance) attracts more interest.
Wheels & Tyres
Whilst it’s impressive to see a Survivor car still wearing original tyres, this can be quite an impossible ask for many. A tyre is an organic compound which means it degrades over time. For example, a tyre from a ‘59 FC Holden Survivor may have decent tread and still look okay, but this tyre would probably disintegrate if it was put through its paces on the road. In a nutshell, original factory tyres are great but not a necessity. Factory-style period reproduction tyres are a better, safer alternative and quite acceptable. Original factory standard wheels add to a Survivor’s provenance. Some Survivor cars will have period correct aftermarket wheels such as ‘alloy mags’ fitted which is also perfectly fine. The undercarriage of a Survivor should remain as close to factory original as possible without compromising safety.
Even when purchasing a 2nd hand car today original paperwork such as the sales receipt, owner’s service books and a service history are highly valued. This rule applies more so to a Survivor. Documentation such as this not only substantiates your Survivor but adds value. Also included in this category are old original photographs. ‘Happy snap’ photos of a Survivor chronicling its life story are a fantastic bonus.
In summary, Survivor Car Australia’s goal is to bring Survivor cars to the forefront and give them the long overdue praise and appreciation that they richly deserve. It doesn’t matter if you are a one eyed Holden enthusiast, a fanatical Ford fan, a Chrysler nut or a lover of any other make of old cars because when it comes to Survivor cars, we are all brothers in arms, banded together in our appreciation for these unique cars. After all, they're only original once!