Ok mates, buckle up. Below is a broad example of what a typical restoration at the world's greatest classic car garage looks like. Just so you know, there really is no such thing as a 'typical restoration', as every car has its own unique personal history. From the initial construction at the factory through the years of maintenance and repairs, each car has its own particular strengths and weaknesses. A lot of these cars were hand-built, so things like door gaps on similar models are more than likely different! But we'll give it a go.
Initial Meeting / Consultation
This is pretty self-explanatory, we need to know what we're expected to do! Taking something and making it look good is the essence of our workshop, we know design and what will look good. But, this is where you need to tell us what work would you like carried out, how do you want the car to look at the end, and most importantly what's your budget. We can give our opinion and advise you along the way. Actually, before we go any further, you should read this piece on pricing and values.
We'll check out the car and see what the condition is like. Is it original, what parts are missing, what needs replacing... 'The List' is made here.
Every major assembly component is carefully stripped, with individual parts documented and photographed. Sub-assembly parts are grouped and/or bagged ready for refurbishment or replacement. This is just a fancy way of saying your car is completely stripped out, and every part that's taken off is stored.
Careful media blasting to return any corroded areas on the vehicle back to bare metal. Careful being the keyword here. This is followed by an inspection of the structural condition ahead of any metal rectification. Once the bare metal is exposed, these sections are given an initial coat of primer to protect against corrosion.
Next up is the cutting out of any corroded metal. Rusty bits be-gone! New genuine panels or our fabricated panels are used in replacement and all types of welding are utilised throughout to ensure an authentic appearance.
We've already checked the condition of every part we've taken off, so it's just a case of unboxing all the new pieces we've ordered (it's honestly like Christmas), and for any part that is salvageable we will refurbish it. Things like seals, bushings, rubbers, nuts, bolts, brakes, pipes and hoses are always replaced. Then it's down to the overall finish you want on the car. It could be anything from how shiny do you want it, to fancying an uprated suspension or brake set up... the list is endless, but thankfully you have us to advise you on what to replace and what would look best.
We use a unique 7 stage painting process, developed solely for the restoration of classic cars. Cabin, boot, underbody and under bonnet areas are all sealed and we'll apply the underbody stone-chip protection in body colour. Then it's into the top coat of lacquer before we move onto the colour sanding and polishing stage. Hours are spent at this part to give that flat shiny finish.
Fun time! Shiny shell with brand new parts bolted on. Protective covers are fitted over the body with trim parts covered, and then any safety-critical fixings are replaced, fluids filled, suspension and lights aligned before the final torque checks are applied to finish the reassembly. Then it's the setting up of the fuelling system and ignition timing, followed by the electrical system testing and.... vrooom! The first start.
Mileage testing is then carried out. Look, we built it so we deserve to drive it... maybe to the shops... the cinema even. This is probably the most important part. After all the other numerous important parts! We will drive the car to bed everything in and double-check everything is good to go. Following this shakedown, the vehicle is re-inspected, it gets one last clean and wax and then we say our emotional goodbyes the night before the handover.