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You made it! C'mere, I must show you the work I’ve done on the roof. This way, it’s upstairs.

Can I just say something to start? Don’t worry, I actually have a solid track record of saying something good to be fair. Take the last event I was at, for example, I only said one word and they told me it meant a lot. All I had to say was ‘Plethora’.

It’s just a little thing that’s been niggling at me every time I see someone talk about MG cars, or when I see one advertised for sale. STOP MIXING UP THE MAKE AND MODEL. Iz no that hard people! MG is the make, B is the model. So it’s not an MG MGB, MB GT, MG ‘whatever you can think of’, it’s simply MG followed by the letter of the model, k?

Where was I? Ah yes, the office.

2020 has been the year of absolutely nada. NO WAIT, it’s been the Chinese Year of the Bat! Don’t mind the psychics, I think it’s the opticians that have a lot to answer for - twenty-twenty vision my bottom eh? Lel.

The lack of car shows, trips away, or just chances to hop in our cars and go for a spin has been pretty bleak. So we’re gearing up for a very busy 2021 and working on something vital for all car trips – our Lyons Garages coffee! Apparently, Lyons Tea was already taken and they haven't returned our calls when we asked them for free tea, so we're going to do it ourselves.

No no, this is actually for real, so if you fancy a mini oil can of coffee beans get in touch. Or get in touch even if it’s just to tell us it’s a great idea, hashtag support local and all that.

classic car coffee

If you happen to be involved in the coffee industry and want to get involved send us an email pals. Also, and to everyone else, we’re still working on the tagline for it, so if you have any ideas we’ll gladly take them, use them as our own and give you zero credit.

Almost half way through this post and not a single mention of any garage cars. “What? Halfway?” I hear you shout at your laptop/phone/cat. “Yes, I’m tired and lazy” I shout back.

After a highly successful first season of “Conversations with Morris” where I posted a whole two pictures and waffled on for a bit, the Morris Minor is now all finito, bubble wrapped, and ready to head home. Morris will be cared for and put back together by his owner… There’s nothing else for people to do at the moment so there’s no point in us doing all the work.

That gives me a new business idea… restoring the shells, painting, buffing and giving the owner a “How To” guide to putting it back together with their boxes of new parts. “Less Time, Charge The Same. A spoofer’s guide to getting rich”. Sounds like I’ve just got the next title for my new book. 2021 will actually be huge.

You might have noticed a white MG A Roadster floating around. (“I SEEN IT” as you might say if English wasn’t your first language. Or you just can’t English good). Well, you just can’t have enough of them to be honest and now there’s one for every day of the week here.

Speaking of MGAs, the Singapore MGA… this is an actual MGA headed for Singapore, it’s not some notion-y thing that we’re doing by pretending we’re Singer Porsche and calling our cars the after where they’re headed, don’t worry. Even though “The Singapore Commission” might sound great, I’m not sure we could keep a straight face if we started that trend here in Ireland. Imagine calling one of the cars we’re building here in the workshop the “The Leitrim Commission”, “The Glounthaune Commission”, or “The Ballyhaunis Commission”. We’re building awesome cars, not nippy tractors.

mgb roadster black chrome bumper

Right, back to where we were… that MGA is finished and will be shipped off to Singapore soon. In a crate. Fast and Furious esque. Now, you might be asking why it’s being sent off unfinished. Great question. Is it something to do with the tax situation in that country, or because the best part of restoring a car is getting to put on all the new parts yourself? I guess we’ll never know…

The Toyota Corolla AE86 is motoring along well, there’s just been a lot… A LOT... of handmade panels, but we’re pretty much at the end of the metalwork road now and so that means painty time soon.

What else have we… There’s a few of our own cars that are pretty close to being finished, but we give priority to our customer cars. Not because we’re getting paid, it’s honestly because we’re just really sound. Honest.

Our next project is to uncover a couple of our own Minis that have been tucked up for too long, dust them off and get them back on the road. Currently making a parts list to build a Café Racer Mini… Interested?

We also have a couple of MGBs that are ready for restoration if you fancy putting your own stamp on a car. Well, we’ll do the stamping, you can tell us the colour.

Isn’t it weird that what was once a very common car on the road is now starting to be thought of as a classic? So strange that these cars are now getting older while I stay the same age. Things are weird.

Right that’s it! I’ve been here in the office for way too long, I’m late for my dinner. Lets wrap it up… So, just to recap quickly: we built cars, we’re going to bring out a Lyons Garages branded coffee… and that’s kinda it really! You probably feel a bit silly having to sit through all that now don’t you? Mad how you guys sit and read this spoo… highly educational blog.

As always, you’ll get the latest snaps on Facebook and Instagram. Feel free to send us a message and throw us the odd sympathy like. It means a lot and you never know, it might even help us achieve our dream of becoming famous influencers and get some brand deals and free stuff.

Just before I sign off, let us say that as the world’s greatest sports car restoration team here in the Malibu of Ireland, we welcome your feedback. We don’t take it, but we welcome it all the same. 

Hope you all have a good week bromigos. Lyons Garages, Spanish Point, Miltown Malbay, Co. Clare is the address for all Christmas cards. Take care and God bless.

Come in, come in! Can I take your jacket? Tea? Coffee? Actually, there’s no time for that, just make yourself at home there while I gather my notes. There’s water in the tap.

We have much to discuss my dear palaminos, muchos to discusso. Where to begin though? The start is probably as good a place as any I guess.

I have one word for you – “The New Normal”. No, sorry, I mixed up the pages there. I have three words for you – “Staycation”.

Have you guessed where I’m going with this yet? If not, may I direct you to your local second hand bookshop where you can find a copy of my last book “Feet Up & Rolling In It: A Guide To Getting Loaded”.

Life is slowly returning to normal (tHe NeW nOrMaL), and there’s still a little bit of the summer left, which brings me to the sentence I’ve all been waiting to say: Name a better duo than driving around Ireland in a super spicy classic car.

Yes Pal Pacinos, think about it. Actually, don’t think about it, you don’t want to hurt yourself so allow me to show you a picture I quickly sketched to help illustrate my point.

Unless you’re a bit of a lunatic / have absolutely no regard for anyone’s health and safety, you’re probably going to stay in Ireland and avoid holidaying abroad for a little while… which is where we come in!

As the self-appointed world’s greatest car restoration garage, we’re here to source, repair, restore, upgrade, and service a classic for you to take on a long weekend, or to enjoy for a week by the coast.

A top down, thumbs up roadster along the west coast to get that sea breeze to blow off the cobwebs that have been hiding in your barnet since lockdown… A GT to cruise through the cities and towns… An estate to load up with everything you need for a week holiday to Cork… We’ve got you wink wink.

Here’s the deal: You contact us, we sort you out with a car and do the necessary upgrades to give you a reliable car (electronic ignition, suspension upgrades, tuning, you know yourself), you take the car and go enjoy yourself! There’s even a couple of events that you can take your car to: Drive West is a classic car drive along the coast of Clare on the 23rd August, and there’s also the classic car version of the famous Cannonball – Retro Cannonball which begins on the 7th August. I know, real car things… ‘magine!

Here in our workshop we also have a few classics that are ready to be restored, they just need a new owner to adopt them. Hang on, I’m just walking around here while I type so I don’t miss any… there’s a couple of MGB Roadsters, some Minis, a convertible VW Beetle… With these you can have the final say on how they look and feel, just give us the nod and we’ll pass notes during class.

Anyway, I’m off. I need to amend a parts order here, I forgot that cars we build don’t need wipers. Sorry what’s that? Why? Oh it’s always a perfect day when you drive a Lyons Garages car.

As always, you’ll get the latest snaps on Facebook and Instagram. Feel free to send us a message and throw us the odd sympathy like. It means a lot and you never know, it might even help us achieve our dream of becoming famous influencers.

And finally, let us say that as the world’s greatest sports car restoration team here in the Malibu of Ireland, we welcome your feedback. We don’t take it, but we welcome it all the same.

Enjoy the rest of the week. We’ll keep the internet on in case you email.

Pedal safe.

Alright Pals and Palamenos, you’re in lockdown and probably fed up with all the Espresso Quarantinis you’ve been having and need something different to do. Well throw on your finest old clothes (or at least get dressed in case the postman passes), cause we’re about to learn you some things.

No we’re not telling you how we do what we do, that’s our thing and it’s a secret. Instead, we’ll teach you how to make your classic car look as good as we make ours. I know right? Exciting.

Sadly we’re not getting paid for endorsing any products, but that just means we’ll tell you the right things to order on the line. So you’re the only real winner here… I’m still waiting on Lyons Tea to send us a box of tea bags, or even just one tea bag… LOOK WHAT WE’VE DONE FOR THE LYONS NAME!

Sorry, I got distracted. Anyway, where were we… Inside, that’s where we are.

Right, classic cars, clean, shiny – here we go. As big a fan of a tan that I am (God damn I’m good at poetry), don’t put your car in the sunlight for any of this. Don’t be awkward and take that literally by cleaning your car at midnight, you actually want to be able to enjoy the shine. And don’t take your car to an automatic car wash at a petrol station, those are beyond useless. They scratch half and leave the other half still dirty! If you really want to throw away the ten or twelve euro that they usually cost, our address is at the bottom of the page.

This is in danger of turning into a list of don’ts, but try not to use a power washer either, if you flake off some paint your car will look terrible, it’ll start to rust, and you’ll come crying to us (with a big bag of money) asking us to fix it. Nobody wants that (we do, but you don’t).

You need: a hose, water to go through the hose, two buckets, a microfiber cloth or special car wash glove thingy, a super sudsy car shampoo (you can do the whole snow foam thing if you’re into that, but that’s just for photos), aaaaand… that’s probably it. Look, I’ll throw a shopping list for you down below, and if you want a Lyons Garages sticker for your car just let us know!

Washy Washy

Wet car. Fill up two buckets with warm water and sudsy bubbles. Wash from the top down because gravity, obviously. Use a brush or different cloth for the wheels. Wheel cleaner is quite harsh, so be careful using it. Rinse the car down, get the second bucket and a new cloth or mitt… And we go again! Why? Because you probably missed a bit and we don’t want to use the dirty gritty bucket again. And it’s good for your bingo wings. Rinse it off, and be careful of around the windows, vents and grills, they’re old cars and you’ll end up wetting the inside. If you’ve a convertible, you shouldn’t need to be told to watch out for leaks! Also, clean your wheels last.

Air drying is fine, but we use a microfiber cloth to gently get rid of the water drops. “Why microfiber cloths I hear you shout” at your laptop. Well they were on offer so why not? No, in sciencey terms, it draws any and all grit away from the body, whereas a sponge would just drag any dust or grit along the paint. Das bad.

Shiny Shiny

If you feel a bit of grit on the surface of the paintwork it probably needs to be addressed. But not like the insane sanding and polishing we do after spraying a car, we just need a nice gentle polish either by hand or you can use a dual action machine polisher with a very soft foam head and set to a slow speed. But, think of the guns you’ll get if you do it by hand. Mr Miyagi taught wax on wax off by hand for a reason. Clay bars are also handy, but it’s a slow process and you’ll need a detailing lubricant too.

Don’t confuse polish and waxing, waxing should be done after every wash, but no matter how smooth the cream looks, polishing does not need to be done that often as it softens the paint/lacquer. Das bad. Use a little foam applicator and rub rub rub away! Then once your arms are sufficiently sore, get a microfiber cloth and buff it all off.

Waxing, uses the exact same method. Apply, let it dry ever so slightly and buff it all off. Rub lightly and quickly, and the hazy dullness will shine!

Next you’ve gotta make the chrome as shiny. Zero point in having all that chrome if it doesn’t attract the magpies to be honest. You can read the instructions, or just get a cloth and rub it into the metal until it disappears and you can see your ugly mug. That wouldn’t happen for me, I’m pretty decent looking. Just FYI.

Dress your tyres! They no like being in the nip, and rubber looks better when it’s glossy. You can use the same stuff for all the rubbers and seals around your car. Clean the glass last, because you’ve probably put some polish or wax on there, so spray it onto the cloth first and then clean. If you spray it onto the glass you’ll just miss and spray some on your waxed paintwork… say it with me now, das bad.

For soft tops we use a selection of Renovo products. There’s a cleaner, a colour restorer, and a sealant to give you that lovely water bead effect. There’s different ones for mohair and vinyl, but it’s some good stuff.

Roysh, so now you’ve got a car that you can show off. But you still have a filthy engine bay and dirty interior so you should probably do something about that. But you can’t go anywhere anyway, so you’ve got plenty of time! If you’re doing the inside, clean before using any polish, you shouldn’t have to be told.

Things we use:

You'll figure out what works best through testing them out for yourself, but this is what we like at the mo.

  • Microfiber cloths. Don’t be afraid to use a lot of these.
  • Meguairs Gold Class Shampoo and Conditioner
  • Meguairs Gold Class Wax (the smell is phenomenal)
  • AutoGlym Instant Tire Dressing or High Performance Tyre Gel / Meguairs Endurance High Gloss Gel (wear a glove)
  • Meguairs NXT all metal polish
  • Glass is glass, so even a Mr Muscle window and glass cleaner is perfect
  • Water. Bottled Ballygowan if you can afford it.
  • Coffee – usually Nespresso, the Milano one. But now that the weather is nice we’ve moved onto Dalgano iced coffees.
  • Sun tan lotion – no no, olive oil. Some lemon juice then for natural highlights.

What day is it?

Quarantine is such a strange time… I’ve started making a “Where’s Wally” audiobook: Dog. Guy in top hat. Gymnast. Guy in red/white striped shirt (not Wally). Surfer dude. Wally. Cat.

To be honest, I needed something to do after I gave up reading in Braille. I realised I couldn’t handle the constant feeling that something terrible was about to happen when I was reading a horror book.

I suppose now that the country is pretty much shut down, we can focus on some of our own car projects that we’ve left idle for a while. (There’s one car pun, whip out the calculator Pal Pacino to keep track, there may be at least two in this post).

Oh! Just a quick note to say that even if you’re within the 2km of us, you can feck off and stay away because we still won't be taking any visitors to the workshop until this all blows over. You'll still get us on the phone, email, pigeon and by smoke signals as is the tradition. Make sure you disinfect the phone beforehand though, you never know.

Unless you're coming with money that is, then just leave the duffel bag at the door aaand... Walk. Slowly. Away.

Anyway, stay safe, wash your hands, listen to all the real advice and don't be too gullible with those dodgy forwarded on WhatsApp messages. Now that that's all sorted we can get back to our regular scheduled programme. Time for a coffee. Iced as is the tradition.

Ps. I won't lie, we've watched I Am Legend a few times just to be extra safe. Who are we to say it’s not a documentary about this pandemic?

Ok, enough procrastinating, we all know you’re only here to be nosy and to see what we’ve been at. Well I’ll tell you - We’ve been stock piling petrol and plan on selling it on when the price goes back up. Just a reminder that for more money making schemes, my book “Feet Up and Rolling In It” is available in all good back alley second hand shops now.

To be honest, we’ve been pretty busy. Which is great! Everyone has clearly reached the ‘cleaning out the shed’ stage of quarantine and remembering they have a classic hiding under a cover that could do with a lil sum sum from the LG crew.

It’s been so quiet and lonely since we sent the guys home with lego car kits to work on during the lockdown…. Please keep calling us to tell us about your car… Please.

The Morris Minor is slowly coming together, the VTec Mini has left us for a little while, and the Jaguar MkII is coming along nicely. That’s Mark Two. It’s like when you’re talking about a son called Mark whose father also happens to be called Mark. As an avid fan and follower you’ve probably seen some of the photos of the Jag engine being rebuilt and clicked like yeah? I thought so. God bless.

Work has slowed down on some cars, because obviously. We don’t really need to explain why do we? So we made a new vapour blasting cabinet (I know, I know, impressive right?) and have been cleaning and polishing every part we can get our hands on.

We’re buffing the body of an MG B, and then attention will move to rebuilding the engine of a Lambretta scooter. Two seaters and scooters will be the way forward if social distancing stays around for a while. You heard it here first. Then I suppose we’ll make the garage look even more impressive… but look, that update will have to do. I’ve paused ‘Contagion’ on Netflix for far too long at this stage so I’ll have to restart it now.

As you probably have a lot of free time to think about your own classic car, or you’re thinking of getting one and having it turned into a work of art, feel free to get in touch! We’ll get the ball rolling and get you on the prestigious Lyons Garages list.

Also, if you are thinking of selling a valuable classic car and don’t know its true value, we’ll make you a cheap offer and take it off your hands. We’re very sound like that.

As always, you’ll get the latest snaps on Facebook and Instagram. Feel free to send us a message and throw us the odd sympathy like. It means a lot and you never know, it might even help us achieve our dream of becoming famous influencers.

And finally, let us say that as the world’s greatest sports car restoration team here in the Malibu of Ireland, we welcome your feedback. We don’t take it, but we welcome it all the same.

Enjoy the rest of the week broteins.

Well, well, well. Here we are – February 2020. I had started writing a “2019 year in review”, but to be honest that was too much like hard work so I just left it off for a while and now it seems like I’ve gotten away with it. Kinda like when your teacher forgets to ask for last night’s homework, the same homework that you completely ignored because the Angelus was on. And sure then it was Reeling in the Years…

“Jesus, if there was work on the bed he’d probably sleep on the floor”, says you.

Just to note that there’ll be absolutely zero “twenty-twenty vision” jokes, we’re above all those and have much better jokes.

Anyway, where was I? I’m not sure how to say this, but I’ll give it a go – ‘Worcestershire’.

I suppose we have much to discuss, it’s been a while. But first things first – tea. For me that is, I can’t be offering you tea as well, I’ve a business to run and overheads to think of. Freeloader.

Well, the MG A now has a fully rebuilt chassis, the metal work is finished on the body and it’s now ready for some epoxy primer. It’s been a long journey, but not as long as the journey it has to make to its new home in Singapore. Yeah, we’re internationally global now. Impressive eh?

“Do you think I talk about MGs too much when I write these updates?” I asked Cooper the cat. He was silent, like a B Series 1,798cc engine when it’s not running, but it said it all.

What else… oh yes, a biscuit would be nice. A Mini arrived into the workshop, a bit hole-y but we’ve waved a magic wand over it and suddenly all the rust has been cut out and replaced with shiny new panels. By “magic wand” and “suddenly” we mean Nigel has spent hours, and hours, and hours working on it to build a shell that’s ready for fitting a Honda Vtec engine into it. Should be nippy ’nuff.

Just strolling around here till I see what else the guys have been working on… Isn’t it amazing how out of touch with manual labour you become when you find a new series on Netflix? There’s a green Morris Minor… well it’s more of a frame than a car at the minute, but we’ve got the doors looking decent now TG.

The Corolla has a new rear quarter panel fitted to the right-hand side. Or the offside as we say in the bizz. Do you know why that is? No pal, I’m asking you because I haven’t a clue.

The black MG B Roadster is pretty much there. Or thereabouts. Suspensions in, engine and gearbox in… did you see the shine in the engine bay? I honestly don’t know if we can justify even taking it around our test track to make sure everything works… it’s too clean and shiny! Anyway, all that’s left is a slight interior upgrade with some wine leather, buff the body, put on the brightwork and throw on the wheels. So it should be done by Christmas. Charging by the hour is great… heh heh.

Is that it? I better check the word count… you don’t want to say too little, but then again you don’t want to say too much either. I like to compare my writing to a cup of milky tea... I think I’m going to leave that simile like that, I don’t have the time nor the crayons to explain it to you.

I feel like I’m forgetting something… We’ve had a VW camper in for metalwork… a lot of metal work! Oh the Pagoda! We've been working on a Mercedes, just a few bits n' things. Look at that, casually forgetting about one of the most expensive cars around like we’re loaded. You’d swear we won the lotto... or just don’t pay any tax.

Right, that’ll have to do Palaminos, you’ve been here way too long and it’s coming up to lunchtime.

The website had a little mini-makeover, so if you hop on to the various Builds pages under The Garage menu, you’ll see a whole host of photos of shiny cars. Even cars that we built. I joke, we built them all. Start here sure: MG Builds (you’ll find the others on the menu on your right if you’re using a laptop, or just scroll down if you’re on le phone).

As always, you’ll get the latest snaps on Facebook and Instagram. Feel free to send us a message and throw us the odd sympathy like. It means a lot and you never know, it might even help us achieve our dream of becoming famous influencers.

And finally, let us say that as the world’s greatest sports car restoration team here in the Malibu of Ireland, we welcome your feedback. We don’t take it, but we welcome it all the same.

Enjoy the rest of the week bromigos.

WAIT!!

We’re on the lookout for new slaves people that would like to work with us to build some great cars! If that’s you, or you know someone that knows someone that may know someone else that would be interested, send them this link: Classic Car Workshop Employees.

Ok, you can go home now.

Our Morse Code is a bit rusty, but you can still phone or email.  Contact Us

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