PROJECTS

Some of the interesting projects we have been working on...

Rolls Royce Silver Shadow

Rolls Royce Silver Shadow in Mason's Black

Rolls Royce Silver Shadow

This very original and solid Silver Shadow was sent up from it's Buckinghamshire home for a total paint strip and respray in Mason's Black, which is not a common colour on Silver Shadows but looks very smart indeed.

Fiat Panda special

Fiat Panda Sisley Classic 4x4

Fiat Panda Sisley Classic 4x4

I bought a Fiat Panda Classic Sisley 4x4 a couple of years ago when we were threatened with a very harsh winter. These cars are superb "go anyhere" vehicles. The promised snow never materialised (I should have bought a boat!), but I kept the car as a handy runabout. It was in reasonable condition but a bit too rusty for me. A visit to the Restoration Show at NEC provided the inspiration as there were some upgraded Pandas on the Fiat Club stand.

Fiat Panda Rear View

Fiat Panda Rear View

We stripped the car back to a bare shell, shot blasted it, then spent a long time welding up the many holes and gaps exposed by the blasting. In the meantime we cleaned up the driveshaft, axles etc and painted them. The shell was then sprayed in a BMW Mini colour "Jungle Green" which suits it quite well. The plastic side panels and arch covers were ditched and all badges left off.

Fiat Panda Interior

Fiat Panda Interior

I bought a Fiat Punto 1.2 16valve with no MOT quite reasonably, and that provided a donor engine and front discs. It slots in fairly easily, only requiring modifications to the heater airbox to fit, and rewiring to allow for the ECU and remote throttle pedal. The Punto engine is claimed to be 80bhp as opposed to the 50bhp of the Panda engine, but with no cat and better breathing I think we will be about 90bhp. The car weighs in at around 750kg so circa 120bhp per ton makes it quite sprightly.

Fiat Panda Re-trimmed seats

Fiat Panda Re-trimmed Seats

We fitted an uprated clutch to cope with the torquier engine. The original five speed Panda box works fine, first gear is very low and the car starts easily in second or even third gear on the level.

A four branch exhaust manifold mated to a slightly larger bore stainless steel exhaust which we fabricated ourselves gives a fine rorty exhaust note.

Having fitted the larger brake discs the original wheels did not fit, but some suitable 15" wheels were found on the internet and Pirelli snow tyres fitted.

The rear seats were thrown away and a wooden tray made to convert the rear into a suitable dog/cargo carrying platform, and the front seats, door cards and dash roll were re-trimmed in tan leather and the carpets made to measure, that work being done very nicely by Max Tait at Northumbrian Leather. A wooden Mota Lita steering wheel gives a nice finishing touch.

It has cost quite a bit for a 25 year old Fiat Panda, but still less than a comparable new four wheel drive, and we have a unique and attractive car which will last for many years and will not depreciate. About 35-40mpg depending on driving attitude is quite acceptable, and the car has been referred to by one enthusiastic friend as a mini Range Rover. It certainly attracts a lot of attention.

Rolls Royce Silver Shadow

Rolls Royce Silver Shadow

Rolls Royce Silver Shadow

This car came to us with rotten sills, we removed all the old sills, front and rear valances and wheel arches, effectively replacing the bottom six inches or so of bodywork all around the car.

The paintwork was then taken back to bare metal, all the panels fitted up and finished with lead work and then the whole car was resprayed in its original Champagne colour.

Various E-Types

1.  This car came in for an MOT and the owner was very upset to learn that his beautiful E-Type had rotten sills beneath its gleaming paintwork.

Jaguar E-Type

Jaguar E-Type

We removed the interior, removed the outer sills, welded up the floor pans which had never been fitted properly during an earlier so called restoration and dealt with various holes in the side panels and wheel arches. The bonnet was also removed and repaired around the hinges and old accident damage to the nose was rectified properly, then the whole car was resprayed. The car has since taken its proud owners on a tour of France and Spain never missing a beat.

2.  A customer bought a series 1 FHC as a part completed project, basically a kit of parts and we have sub-contracted painting the shell, then we have a massive 3D jigsaw as we put the mass of spare parts together again.

3.  We had a Series 3 E Type in for an engine rebuild and suspension overhaul. The customer has owned the car for many years and uses it enthusiastically, and the time had come for a major engine out and strip down. The car is now up together and performing like new, when I spoke to him recently he was so pleased with it, and the fact that it has used not a drop of oil over many miles.

4.  A customer had bought a Series 2 Roadster at auction, and we were able to go through the car dealing with numerous items needing attention so that it now starts, runs and stops as it should do.

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Jaguar Mark 2

Jaguar Mark 2

Jaguar Mark 2

This project arrived as a rolling shell which someone started to restore some years ago, unfortunately it has stood in damp conditions at some time and the body shell had to be taken back to bare metal again. We have repaired panels, rectified accident damage, and fully prepared the car for paint, which we subcontract out.

MG Midget

MG Midget

MG Midget

This car was bought as a project by the current owner, and we worked with him on the restoration. He stripped the car down and refurbished many of the parts, while we restored the bodywork and rebuilt the engine and gearbox.

Defender 110

This was a very smart Defender having had a cosmetic makeover by Land Rover specialists Twisted Performance. The owner uses the car a lot, but found the power a bit low for longer journeys, so we have sourced and fitted a 4.6 litre V8 from a P38 Range Rover, having first rebuilt the engine with a few performance mods to increase the power output to close to 300bhp. This was then engineered into the 110 along with the automatic gearbox from the Range Rover. The job became very complicated getting the electronics of the Range Rover ECUs for the engine and gearbox to communicate properly with each other and with the Defender, and we had to make a new dashboard as the 110 dash was a completely different set up. However after much detailed work and many hours of rewiring and soldering the result is a most impressive vehicle.

1935 Morris Oxford

This delightful vintage saloon is basically in pretty good condition but came to us for some general tlc and fine tuning. We adjusted the timing which was out by quite a bit, and fitted a better carburettor and these two adjustments made the car much livelier. We then rebuilt the brake master cylinder having sourced the correct seal for it (cheap to buy but hard to find) and now it goes well and stops well too. We fitted indicators to the car to assist coping with modern traffic conditions, found the correct cork gasket material to allow us to open up the panels on the side of the block and check the internals which seem in good order. We re-shaped and repainted the front cowl after an unfortunate encounter had modified it inappropriately, and we checked over the brakes, diff and gearbox. All in all the car now inspires much more confidence than it did before and will be very reliable for the coming season.

MGA

A customer came to us to say that he had decided to buy the car of his dreams, an MGA 1600, and asked us to find him a project to restore to his specification. In the event we found a very sound car already restored some years ago which was available at an acceptable price, and after travelling to Yorkshire to inspect the car we got the go-ahead to buy it, bring it back to Rothbury and carry out the minor fettling needed to make the car exactly what the client wanted.

Also...

Recommissioning a Jaguar XJS which had sat unused for eight years, including engine overhaul, complete repaint, re-chroming, curing electrical problems, re-trimming carpets.

Re-building the engine of a 1935 Aston Martin following the break up of a bronze bush at the heart of the engine, including having a new bush machined from scratch.

Daimler

Exhuming the Daimler

Upgrading and repairing an MGBGT ready for a continental tour including race circuit use, including solving a long running head gasket problem

Re-building the engine of a Daimler Majestic Major which had been unused in a barn for 35 years. Welding up sills and wheel arches, curing gearbox leak, fitting new brake callipers and pads, and generally recommissioning without losing the originality and patina of this magnificent car.

Stripping down an Austin Westminster A95 Countryman to a bare bodyshell, acid dipping it to bare metal, then welding and fabricating new panels to commence restoration. Making a rotating jig to allow the body to be positioned for welding at all angles.

Fitting an lpg conversion to a Rolls Royce Silver Spirit