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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.

Unlike many young birds that get kicked out of the nest by their mother, this year actually flew! Here we are now in late November. Wow… feels strange just saying late November, mainly because I’m not saying it, I’m typing it, but also because I’m doing this early in the morning. But sure you know what they say.

Many people dislike the cold weather; the bleak and dreary days, the lack of a real tan, and possibly the worst - having to wear gloves to hold your iced coffee.

But dear pals, there is an upside. Or as they say in France “every cloud has a silver lining”. If I keep the heating off in the workshop, the guys have to work twice as hard to stay warm. It’s actually genius when you think about it, double the productivity and lowering your overheads. My new book, “Feet Up and Rolling In It” will be out just in time for Christmas, drop me a mail if you want a signed copy.

Where was I… Ah yes, 175 words. 176 now. I tell you, banging out a few words every so often is no mean feat, especially when there’s a lot of Netflix to get through.

Don’t worry, this isn’t an end of year review. Partly because that would be a lot of work, but mostly because it’s still November. ie it’s way too early to be putting up Christmas decorations. Cop on.

Since we last spoke we’ve motored along nicely. As owner, director, general manager and founder, I’ve watched the guys get through a lot of work. I’ve helped out the odd time, but it’s important for them to build up experience and learn so I find it best to just tell them what to do and flog them when they don’t do it right.

I joke I joke. I don’t flog them, that’s frowned upon. And possibly illegal. I just make them stand in the corner for a while to think about their mistakes.

The MGA. Jesus where to start. Have you seen the photos? We’ve taken a car and pretty much replaced every panel. Not only that, we’ve built a completely new chassis for it. A lot of work, but worth it to have a completely original MGA…

We said goodbye to a green MGB Roadster, and continued work on the black one with the ghost stripe. The original plan was just a respray. But the conversations about the car kept going something like “we should take this out”, “might as well replace that while we’re here”, “it’s the right thing to do”. So it’s now a full restoration! Boxes of new parts arrived and the shell is just waiting to be rebuilt… after we go through all the colour sanding and polishing. 2,432 coats of lacquer. I’ll be asking for new t-shirts for Christmas after all that buffing. (Because my arms will be so big. Do you get the joke do you?)

An Opel Monza paid a flying visit, long term residents Mr and Mrs Mini Cooper and Estate left us, and a Toyota Corolla is just waiting on one final boot floor piece to be replaced. Cooper the cat is also doing well.

Right, that’ll have to do for now Pal Pacinos. My tea is stone cold so I need to make another.

As is the tradition, we’ll keep treating you to amazing photos of the amazing work carried out by our amazing team. You can see for yourself we know what we’re about son. To be honest, it’s a damn fine team. I mean that sincerely. (It has nothing to do with the foreign lads getting better at English…)

As we’re in the middle of updating our website to showcase our work, for the moment you’ll find all the latest photos on Facebook and Instagram.

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.

Y’all have a nice weekend now.

Nigel, Karlo, Simon, Michael, Noreen and David.

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