By Martin Alva - January 16, 2019
Classic Cars Now Have A New Lease Of Life!
However much we care for classics by giving them the very best of service, maintenance, and timely repairs, the fact is that on a long enough timescale, everyone’s survival rate drops to zero. Cars are no exception to the norm. Even with the best of care, perishables like leather, oils, rubber parts and sealants and similar components are wont to wear away, needing replacement. It’s all fine, for such parts can be easily sourced and the car repaired. What happens when the metal starts to rust through?
Except for high-end car manufacturers like Porsche, Jaguar, Ferrari, and lately Nissan, most automakers around the world no longer make parts and components for classic cars. You might search high and low for a new hood for your Lancia Delta HF Integrale, but chances are slim. If you do come across a perfect hood for your beloved rally car, you have already slimmed the chances for finding another such component, both for yourself and others in possession of the same car. It is indeed a frightening fact to realise that parts for old cars are getting used up quickly.
What if, the next time your Lancia eats through another hood, and you are unable to source a replacement for it? You can only patch up rusted or torn metal so much. Such tasks also rob the parts of their authenticity, which you definitely would not prefer. What do you do in such cases?
Well, we might drive old cars, but we live in a modern world. A world which has life-saving technology like 3D printers. This particular tech has progressed so much since its inception barely a decade ago, that now you can fabricate custom parts and components out of any material you choose. Just give the printer a 3D design, choose your preferred material and hit the ‘Go’ button.
3D printers nowadays spew out components made of carbon fibre, titanium, steel, and many others besides. Fabricating the hood of a Lancia Delta HF Integrale is no herculean task for these machines. hell, even Porsche uses 3D printers to manufacture some crucial components for its present as well as heritage range of models. If a stalwart manufacturer of one of the finest race cars through the decades sees it fit to adorn its storied cars with modern 3D printed components, there should be no reason for the rest of us aficionados to not choose the same path. After all, peripheral parts like hood, doors, and body panels do not come stamped with serial numbers from the factory. Just choose the same composition of metal they were made of, feed the information and the material to the printer, and the good old machine will take care of the rest.
There is a lot to say about 3D printers than what we have touched upon. After all, the ramifications of such ground-breaking technology are huge. As classic car aficionados and enthusiasts, we at The Collectors’ Workshop are only looking at how we might benefit from it. It might come across a bit selfish, but hey, if our Lancia were made road-worthy due to 3D printers, we are not complaining. We will just be driving it out there, secure in the knowledge that this feisty little classic car is here to stay for another century.