We have the technicians, special tools and equipment to successfully perform the full range of mechanical, coach-building, paint, custom metal and wood fabrication, machining and upholstery on any and all Pre-War European or American made automobiles, from racing models to horseless carriages. We offer complete body off ground up restoration, preservation of original condition un-restored automobiles and all kinds of repairs and overhauls.
...means re-creating the car as it was when new, including a fine tuned engine and all aspects of the car being suitable for the Concourse as well as the road. We will re-manufacture the car to original specifications and make it drive as well as it looks. This includes collaboration of technicians from various trades to transform the car as good as or better than it was when new. We extensively road test the automobile as a chassis then as a complete car, to assure reliability. We assure the car will be free of squeaks or rattles by test driving extensively.
The cost of restoration can vary greatly, no two cars are alike. The better the condition of the car, the less the cost of the restoration. The marque of the car will also affect the cost of restoration, as parts are more readily available for some marques and less for others. The first step is to evaluate the car for wear and tear, serious hidden damage and originality. We will provide a preliminary estimate, after this estimate the car is completely disassembled, with thousands of photographs and descriptions taken along the way. Disassembly is very important, as every piece tells a story, so a technician skilled in upholstery will work on that phase, while a master mechanic will work on the chassis and engine. Finally the body and shell will be removed and the wood frames inspected. Most all Pre-War automobile bodies are built on wood frames, many times these are split or decayed and require at the least repair, and many times replacement. Metal panels are removed as needed and the metal worked to remove all dents, cracks and any rust or corrosion. We have the ability to re-manufacture these metal panels if need be, but it is usually more cost effective to repair the existing panels. The body shop will continue on with repairs to the body and fenders. While the mechanical department works on the Chassis, brakes, engine and suspension. It is very difficult to provide an accurate cost on this type of restoration work as the work proceeds.
With so many hidden and fundamental unknowns, a ground up restoration can take as little as 700 hours to 1000 hours on a well preserved vintage car which does not require any major body work and has a well serviced chassis. 1500 to 3000 hours is not unusual on a typical classic car from the 1920s or 1930s which requires a complete ground up approach and has issues such as rust problems, wood repairs, engine and chassis overhaul.
Our services also include the re-creation of the original wiring looms for the electrical system, re-creating seat springs and arm rests for those gone missing. Re-molding or re-carving of steering wheels that cannot be repaired. We have the ability to re-manufacture almost any component that is broken or missing, but prefer to find a good original replacement where ever possible. We have a vast network of connections for finding parts for any automobile from 1895 to 1940. The hardware used to hold the body, chassis and engine is unique for every marque and is time sensitive. During and after World War II many countries changed their specifications for nut, bolts and rivets. Therefore we try to save and re-use original hardware, as they are unique for that time period and certainly unique for many marques.
Preservation and Maintenance
We have the greatest respect for all Pre-War vehicles, in the case of Preservation cars we understand the need to not restore and replace, but to conserve the condition for future generations to observe the magnificent workmanship that went into these vehicles. And how after so many years they can still be very presentable and provide us with a time capsule of the way things were once done. We have the same attitude on maintaining a restored car. The original parts of the car should preserved whenever feasible.
We provide complete research on every vehicle, if possible we like to trace back previous owners and obtain period photographs of the actual automobile or similar ones. This provides essential information on authenticity and “as built” data. Many times the color of the car or a scrap of original upholstery will be will be discovered while the car is being disassembled. The photographs, notes and sketches taken during disassembly are perhaps the most valuable source of data.
We are familiar with presentation of fine automobiles, we can assist in getting your automobile entered into prestigious events anywhere in the world, and we also can provide transportation to and from the events and assistance at the event. We are very close to Pebble Beach and can provide full service for this event at any time.