Restoration Process

Here’s a guide as to how we’ll complete your classic car restoration project:

  • Assessment of works required:  You can bring your vehicle to us, send us some photos or we can visit you and your project.  At this stage we can identify the work required, give advice on the potential solutions and confirm if it’s something we can do.  There is no commitment to proceed, just some sound advice and a conversation about what you want to achieve.
  • Detailed quotation:  We can quote any way you like – for a small part of your project, a full restoration or anything in between.  We will provide you with a breakdown of labour and parts and give you an idea of how long the whole process will take.  We’ll also agree what allowances you might want to make for any hidden issues we encounter later and, for longer projects, what the payment schedule will look like.
  • Strip down and detailed assessment:  Once we’ve agreed a quotation, we’ll then start stripping and assessing the vehicle.  At this stage, we’ll discuss any findings that come to light as part of the strip down.  We often find things that we weren’t able to spot during the initial assessment and we believe it’s important to be transparent throughout the project so that you can keep close to any additional works and expenses that might be needed.  It’s at this stage that you can make amends to the final build, based on what needs to be replaced and what can be refurbished or just left as-is.
  • Refurbishment and replacement:  All mechanical running gear will either be replaced or refurbished in accordance to your wishes and we can do upgrades such as conversion of drums brakes to discs, for improved stopping power.  Refurbishment of metal parts will include bead blasting back to bare metal, followed by anti-rust treatment, epoxy priming and painting.  For items such as bushes, bearings and belts, we usually find it’s best to replace these.  Engine and gearbox work can be undertaken to your specification, including upgrades where desired/available. It’s the details that matter at this stage – getting everything sorted here will make the difference between a vehicle that drives ok and one that drives like new.
  • Bodywork and paint preparation:  In this phase we’ll replace or fabricate panels, weld in new metal where required and ensure that the chassis and body are finished to the highest standards.  We like to avoid body filler or other ‘short-cuts’ as this often results in a poor finish or has the potential for problems to arise later on in ownership.  Once we have bead blasted and sanded everything back to bare metal, we then spend many hours in anti-rust treatment and preparation, ensuring that every surface is as it should be. It’s where the bulk of the hours often go, but good bodywork that will stand the test of time is a product of detailed preparation.  Finally the paint can be applied – usually several coats of epoxy primer followed by several coats of final colour and, depending on the type of paint, clear coat to finish; flatting back between coats, as necessary and machine polishing to get the ultimate finish.
  • Interior refurbishment:  According to your wishes, we can either replace, re-trim or just give your interior a professional clean.  Wooden trim can be stripped and refinished; plastics can be cleaned or painted to a different colour using special flexible paints; we find it best to replace old foam, but sometimes customers like to keep the seat surfaces as they were found or we can upgrade to full leather where desired, making your vehicle a nice place to sit.
  • Reassembly and finishing:  At the end of all the hard work comes the bit where we get to see the final result.  We’ll carefully put everything back together, ensure all the fluids are correct, test everything to make sure it works and then go back over all the details for a final shakedown and polish.  Only after we are happy with the quality will we invite you to drive the car and sign-off the work done.  Once you have approved the work and we’ve made any adjustments requested, you can collect or take delivery of your vehicle, knowing that is has been the subject of a high quality restoration that can be cherished for years to come.  You’ll also receive a full photographic restoration book to accompany your pride and joy.