Episode 38 - Brian Howard and Automobile Conservation

Images courtesy of B. R. Howard

Conservation vs Restoration: Brian Howard, Head Conservationist at B.R. Howard & Associates to discusses automobile conservation, some of the truly significant projects he's worked on, and exactly when a collector might want to consider alternatives to restoration.

Robert begins by asking Brian to explain how he got into conservation, but more importantly, what conservation is and how it's different than restoration (1:14). Then, Brian shares how his early career spent working on carriage conservation (7:12) prepared him for his transition into 'industrial conservation' and his specialty with cars (9:43). Robert and Brian then discuss the unhelpful instinct of some car collectors to 'clean the machine' and the benefits of simply removing the layers of dust and dirt in old finds (11:37) before Robert asks Brian to detail how he approaches conservation vs. restoration on a case by case basis with his clients (16:14). 


After a short break, Robert asks Brian to talk about one unique car he had worked on recently, The Jenkins' Bus--an important fixture in SC during the Civil Rights Movement that has now been permanently placed on the Historic Vehicle Association's National Registry (19:23). Brian shares the history of B.R. Howard and Associates and its philosophy in the conservation industry (23:35). Then Robert asks Brian to share his involvement in and thoughts about the American Institute of Conservators and the code of ethics they uphold (28:23), before sharing some stories about what he has in his own garage (34:00).

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Hosted by: Robert Ross

Produced & Edited by: Chris Porter

Sound Engineering: Michael Kennedy

Theme Music By: Celleste and Eric Dick

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