Can AI Replace Us?
Although the concept is sometimes attractive, here in our Restoration, Special Request, and our Motorsport department we struggle to imagine a future without the people, without the team…
Surely classic Porsche restoration is simple because the cars have basic technology – yes? It’s a hard NO WAY!
Whether we are making a World class restoration that replicates exacting details as to how a car left the factory 50 years ago, or we’re building a bespoke Porsche and changing everything, or we’re preparing the car for competition, it’s the skill of the people who have their hands on the project that make the difference between the typical, and the outstanding.
What parts of the process below could be automated or replaced by AI? We ask the questions below, but if you have the answers, please let us know!
Can AI understand the vision inside our clients head?
Best for the car?
If it’s historically significant, should it not be rebuilt to exactly how it left the Factory? If it’s not ‘significant’ then let’s rebuild it to the way the customer visualises it, which might not be exactly how he says he ‘wants’ it. Some ingredients such as specification, the components, or the aesthetics – we know don’t mix well.
How the car once was?
That’s knowledge built up over decades of just how the Factory put a car together, not only which type of nut and bolt, but how trim was stitched, how finished or unfinished an aspect was.
I recall standing with Graham looking at a selection of colour sample cards for one 911. All the same colour, allegedly mixed the same, different manufactures, different paint techniques…but only one, just one of 10 we decided was ‘right’. No website can teach that.
How should the car perform?
This knowledge comes from decades of dealing with the original cars from their era, whether we are talking about how the door should shut with a ‘thunk’, or how it should feel at speed.
How to apply them to their best? How do you know when you have stretched that bit of material just enough? How you have curved the metal so that it’s perfect. That is done by feeling and judgement.
Motivating the team?
Somehow, we need to keep them motivated to do their best when the task seems endless, and the end result is out of sight.
Persistence in sourcing parts?
Someone, typically Lilly or Graham, will be scouring contacts worldwide attempting to unearth the unobtainable.
Who has taken something apart and made a jumbled pile of pieces? We can’t do that, it needs to be organized, bearing in mind there are circa 4000 components in a car.
All that work, hundreds or thousands of hours, components, and £’s need to be communicated, recorded, and documented – once completed it’s then created into a build book to be presented with the finished article and retained as part of the car’s history and value..
Surely this is the fun part? We test, we critique, we retest, and sooner or later we’re able to sign off and call it finished….but human nature is that no one wants the responsibility of saying ’it’s done’.
Which of the these could we automate or use AI?
Our restoration of the 930 Martini tested all aspects of our team, and the result we think…was outstanding – here is the case study.