Homeland       Bentley & Rolls-Royce                 Rolls-Royce & Bentley Parts

             Jaguar, MG, Triumph and Austin Healey Parts       Sporting Tires 

                        British car Accessories      Ignitions     Repairs & Services

                                                     Cars for Sale     Odds and Bobs

                                                                                                                              Talk to the Paw or Hoof      Fort Davis, Texas

                                                                                                                               Antique Electric Fans

 

 

Sport and Classic Car Company

 and 

  Billions of Car Parts Company

        10525 Airline Drive        Houston, Texas 77037 

281.448.4739

 

 

 

 

Photo of a 1957 Mercedes Benz 190SL and our sign

 1957 Mercedes Benz 190SL

About restorations, Rustorations and modifications

All is well that ends swell.

 

photo of a Bugeye Sprite and our sign

1962 Austin Healey Sprite heading out

After some 40 years of doing this work we are no longer accepting cars for complete restorations yet are still doing somewhat less involved work such as rebuilding engines, fuel systems, entire brake, steering and clutch systems, suspension rebuilding, complete re-wiring, differential rebuilding, manual and automatic transmission and overdrive rebuilding, carburetor rebuilding and such. The description of less involved work may read like we are still restoring cars but just are not admitting to it and this is perhaps true but we still won't admit it if it is unless we say so.

We are not painting cars any longer but do disassemble and reassemble cars so regular body and paint shops can do what they do best. Not because we are lazy bones have we changed our work interests but we have found that as qualified shops with mechanical skills and experience with vintage British cars have steadily diminished over the years as the people around the planet with direct knowledge get more vintage themselves and fade away our services are in ever greater need so we want to help as many owners as we can with mechanical and electrical  work. We still accept assemblies sent in for rebuilding or restoration such as carburetors, generators, steering boxes, transmissions, various valves and cylinders and more.

photo of a Jaguar XK120 and our sign

A 1952 Jaguar XK120 heading out.

Many of the works we accomplished were completed well before the internet or digital cameras were invented so those works were not well photographed and many of our traditional analog photos got lost or filed away in a drawer somewhere.

( Who knew Kodachrome would one day be like Morse Code!)  Before  reading about our restoration works de art, read some commentary about some of the common pitfalls of car restoration. It's good to be excited about a restoration but it is better to be excited, well funded and well briefed.

True Colours

We are asked for original paint codes quite often. However we do not remember nor have time to look up the paint codes of cars that we were involved with painting over the years so we share the following website that is available for anyone to explore and find the original paint codes for cars built back to 1900. We do not sell automotive painting products and your local auto paint stores will be happy to help you.  Have fun and contact us for original body related parts such as body seals and such. 

www.autocolorlibrary.com

 

photo of a 1974 Jensen Interceptor and our sign

A 1974 Jensen Interceptor heading out

Following are a few quotes from five very smart people whose points of view are worth thinking about in many ways before embarking on a restoration of anything. 

 

"The secret to getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is

 breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks and then

 starting on the first one."  

                                                                                                                   Mark Twain

 

  "Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth"

                                                                   Mike Tyson

 

 "There's a reluctance to confront reality and a desire to soften unpleasant realities."                                                                          George Carlin 

 

 

"Sometimes one pays most for the things one gets for nothing."  

                                                                                                         Albert Einstein

 

" Yeah well it's mine and I'll restore it if I bloody well want to,"

                                                                                            MacClymondsvitzoupoulous II

 

 

True Brit Grit 

photo of a Austin A35 A "distressed" 1958 Austin A35 two door saloon as seen behind a building where it had been quietly waiting for someone to rescue it from doom for some 30 years.

 

photo of a Austin A35  A well dressed Austin A35.

Restoring a car in very rough condition takes courage, blood, sweat, tears lots of money and also being slightly crazy helps a lot. If you do not have a car that you want to restore and are searching for just the right one or are wanting a restored car right now, take your time as these days many cars are advertised for sale with on-line auctions as being "restored" and are well dressed junk metal. Sometimes after an owner makes a unfortunate purchase and takes delivery, we get to closely examine the car. Our consensus is that the mechanical and or structural condition of many cars bought using on line auctions is shockingly bad. All too often we find that recent work done on such cars in order to sell them is superficial at best and outright incompetent and or fraudulent at worst. The internet has made it all too easy for unscrupulous sellers to construct webs of lies in order to sell a car and many buyers can't but should be bothered to do what it takes to have a car checked out before they spend their money unless they literally have piles of money to burn. 

 If you plan on purchasing a car to have restored by using a on line auction for the acquisition, if at all possible have the car checked out by a local shop in the area. Do your homework as some sellers out there regularly and knowingly make broad and specific claims that are simply not factual. It is just the way of the world and probably has been since the cavemen developed mentally sufficiently to conceptualize selling or trading something (some nice berries for arrowheads perhaps) to others. 

For example a sales ad about a 1986 Maserati came to our attention. The seller claimed the car was a "one-off". A "one-off" means the manufacturer made a single car to a certain specification, usually with a unique body style and such a car would be very rare and usually very expensive. In this instance, the seller claimed his car was the only five speed manual transmission model that Maserati manufactured that year. Interestingly, we had another 1986 Maserati five speed in our workshop at the time and know of many others. Do your homework and trust but verify. 

Let's chat more about restoring cars and a little bit of what the process actually involves.

Typically an intensive mechanical and structural restoration involves disassembling the entire car or particular assembly down to the last nut and bolt.  Repairing or rebuilding whatever is encountered comes next. Such an endeavor involves careful planning and a great deal of very organized physical work that requires many new parts to make happen in a proper manner. As our firm does a lot of work for owners that live an inconvenient driving distance from our workshops, we photograph the pleasant and unpleasant discoveries and e-mail the photos to our clients so an owner can make informed decisions and evaluate the visual reality of the condition of their car with the work and expenses involved. In this manner an owner can follow along.

Cars that suffer from large rust damaged areas will cost considerably more to restore than cars that are solid. Cars with extensive rust can and should cost a great deal less to buy than the same model cars if solid. Rust is very easy to hide from photographs and this is especially so on cars with white paintwork.  Restorations can and do involve many hundreds or thousands of hours of labor depending on factors such as the age, condition, complexity of the car, availability of quality properly fitting parts and of course the extent of an owners desire.

  A common question we receive concerns the expense of restoring a car vs. perceived resale value. The simple answer is the extensive labors and high cost of quality parts used in restoring a car will greatly exceed most resale values just as the purchase price of new cars exceed their resale values immediately after driving the car off the lot. Very few cars are worth more than what you paid for them in the short term.

 Performing a complete or extensive restoration in a quality manner is an expensive project to undertake for the car owner and a time and space consuming commitment for the shop doing the work. This is the way it is and this said there are a great many cars out there that have had considerable low quality unskilled work done to them by instant experts. Instant experts are guys that have little regard for the experience of shops like ours. Instant experts tend to make pronouncements that difficult to do jobs are "easy" and the need for new parts to do the job properly is a waste of money. They do all sorts of horrible things to cars in order to avoid buying new parts or to avoid paying for skilled workmanship and always buy the cheapest parts they can find with quality not being a factor. These car owners tend to become frustrated as the car is ever further damaged and not cooperating with the plan to sell the car for as much money as possible with lots of claims of perfection or originality. Eventually someone else ends up with a very expensive mess to sort out.

There are also very skilled home restorers and shops that care a great deal about doing a proper job and they want to buy the best parts available for their projects. These car projects usually take many years to complete as they are hobby weekend projects and tend to be very well done by meticulous people.

So why do it at all? Why do anything? Why not have a boring little life like a jelly fish does? A simple answer is that most car owners that bring their cars to us and to other shops like us are quite smart and have attained discerning skills to choose refined mechanical contraptions (cars) that bring them great pleasure. Of course many fellow creatures on this planet also choose things that bring them pleasure but those creatures cannot drive cars. Yet. 

There are many reasons why car owners choose to restore their cars. Such reasons as they really like the car or perhaps the car belonged to someone they loved very much like their grandparents, parents, family member, friend or well regarded person. These enthusiastic owners appreciate the hard work that goes into making their dream projects into driving reality. They plan to enjoy their car for many years to make the considerable investment sensible to them and we enjoy working for such owners that plan to continually enjoy what we have done for their car. 

 Properly restoring most cars with the object of selling them for a healthy quick profit seldom makes financial sense as every car is not super rare nor in high demand at the moment. Of course buying a new car with the object of selling it for a big profit seldom works out either except for car brokers. 

 We have found that owners without an emotional attachment about their vintage car or that lack a real sense of excitement from owning and driving a particular car or that require instant gratification do not make the best of clients as the car means little or nothing to them. The car is just another soon to be boring object in their cluttered lives and we prefer to work for owners that have a real affection for their car or they plan to grow that affection as they care about its future as well as their personal safely.  (They definitely want good brakes and seat belts.) 

 

                       And now a few words from our wonderful Sponsor!

         ******************unpaid advertisement not seen on TV or anywhere else******************************

 photo of instant mechanic bottle   Here are some exclusive and amazing new products we are offering to anyone gullible enough to buy them.

Tell your doctor that a little spoonful of our freshly made new old stock  Instant Mechanic Elixir will not only satisfy the soul but will instantly transform the imbiber into a whirling dervish of a mechanic. All the secrets of automobilia will appear before the eyes in your head in triplicate. No mechanical problem will be able to resist your arms and charms. The side effects are many and varied. Amongst the effects is a special one such as broken machinery of all sorts will be drawn to your whereabouts.  People with mechanical insecurities will also be seeking you like a French truffle so plan accordingly. 

If you want to restore a car and don't want to do it yourself or don't want to pay for the hundreds or thousands of hours of labor to have the job properly done, well then, use our Instant Restoration Spray! This product when properly applied will instantly restore any non-living thing and will also grow hair! A dab or two will also remove earwax buildups and provide a very lifelike tan.  The spray is also great for selling cars using on line auctions!  Drink a bottle or two and soon you won't care about the quality of anything anyway as everything and everyone will look great. You will think that you are the bee's knees before you pass out.

Better hurry! Only one of each left! However if you buy twenty two we will throw in another one for free!  These products are guaranteed for what we really don't know and are unavailable anywhere.

After we sell out of these products we are going to write a car dieting book so car owners can help their cars lose weight. 

                                                           We approve of this message!

**********************************************************************************************************************

photo of a 1961 MGA Coupe and our sign

1961 MGA Coupe heading out

Back to car restoration:

What is a restoration?

Car restorations can and do have many levels of completeness and quality depending on the skill and standards of the persons doing the work and what the car owner is willing to pay. The definition of restoration is very squishy as there are no a standards of the industry.  Car owners can have their own expectations of what a restoration is and some owners have no idea what to expect for their money. therefore lots of questions should be asked and answered.

We accepted a 1967 Austin Healey 3000 for brake work. When we took the car in we did not know the previous history but learned a little. The car owner had spent $40,000 on the car having it "restored" at a general generic car repair/body shop or so the story went. When the car completed and picked up, it did not have working brakes. The owner and shop had a legal battle that lasted for some years and during the process the car owner passed away. During this time, the car was left out in the weather and suffered. His family eventually worked out  the dispute, took the car and stored it. Upon arrivel with us, we examined the invoices and found that a complete rebuild of the brake system had been done. Below is a photo of the front brakes and brake fluid reservoir as we found them.

 

photo of old brakes    photo of old brakes

The brake calipers were leaking brake fluid, the brake rotors were old, rusty and gouged. We also found that no steering or suspension work had been done qnd no electrical work. The invoices showed that the car had been repainted but the paint was peeling off in places. The invocies listed the convertible top being replaced and the frame painted  but the top had numerous holes as it was being pinched by the top frame. The entire interior had been replaced but as it had been left outside for a long time, the upholstery was damaged.

We don't know the details of what the car owner wanted to have done to the car but what we found was poor indeed.

The lesson here is for a car owner to give serious thought to the sort of business they take a car to for restoration work.

 

What should I expect if a car or series of renovations are described as restored?

Details matter a great deal. Car owners should spend some time researching car restorations. Shops that are into fast service work on late model cars are generally not suited to restoring vintage cars. The mindset is totally different.

How much time does a typical restoration take? 

  There are no typical restorations as all cars have different challanges and a considerable number of hours depending on the scope of work undertaken will be spent.

What does such work cost? 

 ( A considerable number of monetary units ( dollars, pound sterling, Euros, clams, beads etc.) depending on the scope of work undertaken.)

These are amongst the hardest questions to definitely answer as there are no typical restorations and owners have their own ideas on what they want.  Factors such as condition, age, availability of quality parts and owners desires make huge differences in costs and time. Watch the movie," The Money Pit", as an introduction of sorts to restoring vintage cars. It's a very funny movie yet some of the truths about the common pitfalls of restoring cars, houses, boats. aeroplanes and such that are in poor condition are ever so true. Anything done well that involves a great many labor hours and a lot of parts and machine work is going to be expensive for the 99% that are not in the 1%.  Expensive, uncommon, beautiful and stylishly fun things tend to be very desirable and sought after things don't they?

Again, why restore anything? A good reason is that many fantastic things were made in the past such as Hammond organs, Klipschorn speakers, Harmon Karden and McIntosh tube stereo gear,  lots of guitars, Fender tube amps, Sunbeam T-9 toasters, Ansa Sport Exhausts, Genelex KT-88 power tubes and many cars that had wonderful character and enduring beauty. Besides, after tomorrow, everything was made in the past sooner or later!

 

We always tried to make sure that owners understand the costs of automobile restoration work as well as we can as we wanted to make sure they had the financial means to finish the project in a proper manner. However, we expected clients to behave responsibly and not ask us to do works that they did not have the means to pay for and no one is well served for an owner to get deep into a restoration and run out of funds to finish it. We have completed many restoration attempts that other shops and individuals began and did not finish for reasons explained below. 

 

It is unseemly that all may not be what it seems to be when it comes to restoring cars. 

or 

To restore or not to restore, 

 is that not the question?

                                                                       Horatio actually said to the skull:  "You're not too smart. I like that in a skull."

The concept of what a proper restoration involves can certainly be broadly interpreted thus we like to have good meaningful discussions with the car owner on what we want to do with a car and why. Here are photos of the under chassis on a Frogeye Sprite that was purchased as being restored. The new owner of the Sprite brought it to us to replace the interior and told us the car had been restored by a master Sprite restorer. The paint work was very nice but the rest of the car was not very nice. We didn't know what was under the new paint or what was inside the engine.

Photo of a rusty Austin Healey Sprite floor

In this photo those happy fingers waving at you are poking through a rust hole in the drivers floor. The floor and hole were covered by a piece of shaped plywood laid under the old carpet. Perhaps the fellow restoring the car thought that laying some 1/4 inch plywood over the hole rather than replacing the rotten floor was a good way to restore the car. Or perhaps the restorer left it that way so it could be a toilet?

 Photo of a old Sprite suspension

These front suspension parts do not appear to have had genuine restoration work in the last thousand years. Observe the shiny triangular thing inserted into the lower coils of the front spring. This wedge is called a "spring helper"  and it is a horrible device sometimes used by crooks and people that know nothing about car springs. When we encounter these we know the car has been in the wrong hands. As a car road spring ages and eventually sags "some people" will jam a spring helper into the spring and it will push the sagging spring up somewhat so the car does not appear to have bad springs. This is an old trick and does nothing for the suspension but it does enable a car to be sold to an unsuspecting buyer. 

 Photo of rotten wiring in a car

 Here we see rotten 60 year old electrical wiring. The rest of the cars mechanicals appear to be pretty much just a tired old car. 

photo of a MG restoration   photo of a MG restoration

The work is moving along. We have stripped, prepped and repainted the engine bay and are refitting the prepped and painted black parts with new mechanical and electric parts.

 

Shine on you crazy diamond

The re-chroming or plating of the brightwork on a car can involve great risk. The risk is losing small and perhaps irreplaceable parts. Plating work is a nasty business as it involves dangerous and hazardous to health chemicals, a hot environment and a lot of hard physical polishing labor using large polishing machines that can take your fingers right off or might grab the part and fling it at high speed into whatever is in the way. Keeping track of a bunch of small parts and sometimes large parts can be difficult for some shops to manage. We had a chrome shop lose an entire  bumper and often hear stories from clients looking for very hard to replace parts that were lost at chrome shops.  Here are some tips:

1. Always inventory and photograph all parts sent to a chrome shop. Give them copies of the photos and inventory so everyone knows exactly what was left and are expected to be returned. Get written confirmation. If they lose a part, what happens next?

2. Check for how long the business has been around.

3.  Regarding chrome plating, as some assemblies like outside door handles have buttons and key lock cylinders,  thick layers of brass and chrome will reduce the bore size of the button hole and the button will no longer fit in the handle. This detail requires discussion. This sort of thing happens with other parts as well.

4. Some chrome shops do no repairing and plating over a dent will not make you happy. Enquire as to what their skills are.

5. Do not expect absolute perfection on parts that are very thin or that are made of pot metal.

6. Parts that have threaded holes will need to be re-tapped and this takes time.

7. Assemblies made of other parts like outside door handles require complete disassembly to be plated.

8. It is always better to have everything intended to be plated done at the same time as chemical mixes do change.

9. Never leave the finished goods at the chrome shop for very long. Never tell them that you don't care about how long the job takes. Pick the parts up the day they are done if at all possible.

10. Good chrome work is very expensive. If your car is dripping in chrome with big chrome bumpers and lots of mouldings, get ready for a large bill.

Reasons for an uncompleted restoration do vary.

1. The car in question may have been in far more pitiable condition than the owner knew. This is a common problem as many cars have been "worked over" many times during their long lives. Very bad and expensive problems can be well hidden only to surface after much work has been expended. ( See the " Money Pit".) Thus some jobs grow extensively as discoveries are made and most owners want newly discovered problems solved as well. ( See the Money Pit again.) The end result can be great but getting there takes stamina and considerable fuel. i.e. funding. 

Thus it's financially but not necessarily emotionally better to start out with a car in relatively good condition. Restoring a car that is rusted out, worn out, trashed, abandoned for years in a swamp, used for target practice or dropped out of a bomber over Baghdad during "Shock and Awe", is not a good place to start unless the car in question has emotional significance to the owner or the car is highly desirable. Cars bought from on line auctions can and many times are especially risky purchases. It's best to carefully examine all such purchases beforehand. 

2. Perhaps the shop entrusted to do the work did not manage the job properly or lacked the experience to handle the job in a proper manner. #2 can probably be avoided by properly vetting a potential shop to find out how long they have been in business and what sort of business they do. A paint and body shop that only does late model crashes may not be the best place to have a classic car body done as such work is too time consuming for their business model. Look into how well organized a shop appears to be, keeping in mind that vintage car shops usually have a lot of vintage parts around that they are working on at all times so clutter can mean a busy shop and many restorationists are packrats. It's in the blood.  Clutter does not mean cars are sitting around covered in layers of dust with parts, old boxes and beer cans piled on top of them. These cars have become a part of the scenery. You don't want your car to become a part of the shop scenery. 

 How enthusiastic about the cars and work are the employees?  If an car owner gives a shop $5K or $10K or more to work with at a time, does the shop have the integrity and organizational ability to manage the funds properly so the work moves along? We have found this last part to be a real problem that results in many unfinished projects. It is not a bad thing to "trust but verify."  We provided photos of works in progress via e-mail for owners that are a distance away and were always happy to show owners the work in progress. It is all part of the enjoyment of having a car restored. 

3. Maybe the car owner or shop encountered financial or personal problems mid-stream during the job that caused the work to slow down or stop. These problems can happen to anyone at anytime. Divorces, cyclical stock market crashes, family or health problems can create a lack of funds or focus. Life is hard sometimes and we did our best to work with our clients while they sorted out the vicissitudes of life that hit us all upon occasion. 

4. Perhaps the car owner had unreasonable expectations on costs or time to complete the work. #4 results in many uncompleted cars.  Once upon a time, we had a client with a car in the workshop, a car that we were well into restoring. This client had placed a bet with a pal of his without telling us beforehand. The bet was that we would restore the car for him by a date certain. The car was in much worse condition than the time frame would allow (lots of rust covered with bondo and heavy paint kind of thing) and no doubt the person that placed the bet had restored a car before and  knew they had suckered their friend. The car owner made this bet without consulting us beforehand and lost as restoring a car is not a game. Working people are not playthings and people should not treat people as pawns in their games. 

 Some owners think that we or other shops have a magic wand of sorts that we can wave over their cars and poof, the work is all done and the cost is whatever they want. Actually, car restoration is a lot of hard physical work that takes considerable planning, thought, parts and funding to accomplish. This work is not done by a computer app or program and is certainly no video game. Working with skilled hands and a clear mind in a time honored manner completes a restoration. Nothing else will make it happen.

5. Sometimes events happen that are beyond the control of the restoration shop such as a mechanic or specialist intimately involved with a job will quit, retire,  become seriously ill or die in the middle of a large job.  This sort of event means the remaining shop employees will have to re-organize the job and determine exactly what remains to be done to complete the work and continue on with their own jobs as well. These unfortunate situations have happened to us over the years and to any shop that has a pedigree. Life just does not cooperate at times and it is what it is.  If the shop is a one man shop, then the situation can mean the car owner has to retrieve their car and parts and hope they get it all. Over the last 35 years we have seen these situations happen many times and have known of car projects that were literally thrown out in pieces before the car owner knew something was wrong. Thus it is best to keep in touch with those working for you.

Once upon a time, a very rough 1956 Jaguar XK140 was towed our workshop with an owner than wanted it restored. We removed the body from the frame and found ithe frame to be severely rusted. The best thing about the car was that it was a XK140 roadster.  After we discussed the likely cost of sorting out the car at well over $110K the owner decided to have it taken to guy that lived out in a rural area and have him restore the car at a much lower cost. We were relieved as this car was on the edge of rusty scrap metal and we really did not want the job but we would have done it as we liked the owner. We lost track of the car for a few years and eventually the owner called us and told us that the fellow that was restoring the car had disappeared. The Jaguar was totally disassembled and had been dumped into a field behind the garage at some point. The money paid was gone with the wind as were a lot of the cars original parts.  We declined to take the job on and he had the pieces picked up and taken to a hot rod shop that operated out of a creepy location. They kept the car for some ten years and eventually the owner abandoned it and whatever money paid was lost.

Recently we heard the sad tale of a 1967 Austin Healey 3000 that an elderly owner wanting to have the car restored took to a shop that works mostly on late model cars. He took the car there because someone in the Austin Healey Club suggested them. For unknown reasons the shop decided to work on the car and quoted a complete restoration cost of $12,000. This was a ridiculous lowball figure and instead of running away the owner left the car. Three years later the car was "finished" and the cost was $48,000 a figure that is still far below a  properly done professional restoration cost. The car has a transmission that does not shift into third gear, has numerous wiring problems, poor brakes and an ill hung exhaust. It has many problems everywhere and worst of all no invoicing from the shop that reveals anything at all about what parts and labors were used.

We no longer respray cars, yet are involved with the process as we frequently disassemble and reassemble cars to be painted and supply many parts for such work.  Once a car is re-sprayed and the body looks great, it is time to replace all the body rubber and sometimes the lenses. Over the years, plastic lenses crack, darken and get sandblasted by air borne dirt. The sun deteriorates the plastic and the material eventually crumbles. New lenses not only make the car look crisp again but they allow more light to shine through as well. yes, we stock many lenses for the cars we work with. 

 

 Photo of a radial tire We offer Vredestein tires for many of the cars we work with. Check our tire section here.

 

 For parts orders call 281.448.4739 or   Send us an e-mail

 

Photo of a Here be dragons road sign

Here be Dragons! (or parts of them)

Some of the cars we have restored are vintage fire breathing fuel drinking dragons that swept the roads of all that lingered before them in their day.  Cars such as big Austin Healey's, Jaguar XK120, XK140, XK150, all the E-Types,  Mercedes Benz 6.3 and perhaps an Iso Grifo, Bristol or Jensen Interceptor amongst them were and still are for many good reasons some of the most desirable cars ever made.  They roared and shook the earth with their powerful engines and tuned exhausts while hurling their delighted owners through the air on down the road.  It's been a real pleasure to bring these cars back to action once again. Here are a few cars we have done over the years.

 

Photo of a MGB  

 

We converted this 1966 MGB from L.H.D. to R.H.D. as it was going back to England as Brits intentionally drive on the wrong side of the road!  Of course they claim that all non Commonwealth drivers drive on the wrong side of the road. Maybe everyone drives on the wrong side of the road. We also performed a total restoration including new leather cockpit, canvas top, ANSA exhaust, total rewire and all mechanicals rebuilt. The ground under the car looked great as well. 

Photo of a Bentley Continental rebuilding

 How about a 1962 Bentley Park Ward Continental Convertible? In for transmission rebuilding, differential work, replacement of the top wood parts, total rebuild on front and rear suspension and steering,  upgrading the air conditioning system and various improvements. 

 Photo of a Mercedes Benz 250SE brake rebuild

 Everyone looks good in a great 1967 Mercedes Benz 250SE Convertible. In our workshop for brakes, steering, front and rear suspension rebuild, stainless exhaust, general road work and freshening up on the mechanicals before a cross country road trip to Florida.

 

 A photo of a MGTD with our sign

We totally restored this 1952 MGTD a while back.

 Photo of a 1952 MGTD automobile

Some 18 years before we were engaged to restore this MG. The car had been totally disassembled by the owners son. After he had parts scattered all over the lad took off and left the car in pieces. The owner moved several times in the interim and many critical parts were lost. Parts like the crankshaft, main caps, oil pump and connecting rods among others were gone. This MGTD was brought to us in several truck loads. We rebuilt the car and these days the owner drives the car whenever she wants to. 

Photo of a MGTD interior 

The MGTD interior in leather. 

 

Secret Sins of the Automotive Ages

    Restorations in Various Stages

 

 

 Photo of a Jaguar XK140 restoration

Photo of a Jaguar XK140 restoration

This 1956 Jaguar XK140 roadster was poorly restored several decades ago. The owner wanted some refreshing.  

 A photo of Jaguar XK140 resto work

Check out the horrible structural condition. There was old rusty nasty stuff hidden here. 

 A photo of Jaguar XK140 resto work 

The car had a nice looking paint job on top of who knows what horrors lurking underneath and the owner did not want to ruin the paint to find out. He asked us to solve the structural problems without damaging the paint, a difficult assignment. During the discovery process we discovered that the right hand structural door sill was repaired in the past by grafting two pieces of galvanized sheet metal together with pop rivets. This "repair " provided no strength to the chassis.  A thick layer of plastic filler was applied with some paint on top of the junk metal and that was that. It is always disappointing to find such scary work on these great cars. The car also suffered from shake, rattle and roll from worn out suspension and dubious brakes. We sliced away both sills and cleaned and chemically treated all accessible rusty areas.

 A photo of Jaguar XK140 resto work

We made a removable jig to hold the body in place and fitted new structural pieces that were welded into place. We replaced the door hinges as this car had the typical door sag from badly worn and seized hinges. This is a difficult job as the hinges are not designed to be replaced without removing the nicely painted welded on fenders. 

A photo of Jaguar XK140 resto work  

We saved the expensive paintwork by "surgically" removing the hinges from the inside in a  manner not envisioned by the original designer.  The car is structurally solid once again and the owner can enjoy the car as it was intended. We rebuilt the rear suspension , front suspension, steering and brakes on the car as well. The original column push horn was also rebuilt and now the cockpit works as intended.

A photo of Jaguar XK140 resto work

A fresh stainless steel exhaust was fitted once the structural work was completed.

A photo of a Jaguar XK140 and our sign

The now great XK140 driving off to Florida after it's  reconstruction. 

A photo of a Bentley Continental on our lift  

This 1962 Bentley S2 Continental drophead (ragtop) was treated to a major "pit stop". 

A photo of a Bentley Continental work 

We completely rebuilt the front suspension and steering on this Bentley. All good parts were removed, cleaned, bead blasted and repainted and all worn parts replaced.

A photo of a Bentley Continental work A photo of a Bentley Continental work

New front springs and specially rebuilt rear springs were fitted  with new leather wraps. We stock new front springs for all Silver Cloud series.

A photo of a Bentley Continental work

This vintage Bentley now steers as it should. We custom made and installed the convertible top tacking wood using a nice close grained mahogany. This fresh wood allowed a new top to be properly fitted. 

MGB

  A photo of a MGB engine

A 1977 MGB enjoying a nine month restoration with tasteful customizations that include a total change of paint color to a 2001 BMW deep red metallic, custom tan leather seats and interior, tan canvas top, bolt on chrome 15" wire wheels with Michelin tires, detailed engine compartment, , upholstered trunk, rebuilt steering, suspension, new wiring and  stainless steel headers with an ANSA exhaust. This is a fine toy and it looks fabulous.

Jaguar Mark II Restoration

 A photo of a Jaguar Mark II Restoration      A photo of a Jaguar Mark II Restoration      A photo of a Jaguar Mark II Restoration

We converted this Jaguar from right hand drive to left hand drive. We also converted the car from an automatic transmission to a four speed with overdrive transmission and changed wheel specification from steel wheel to original spline drive wire wheel specification. The enhancements included new paint work and body seals, fitting an electric aerial with a state of the art sound system, rebuilding the engine, brakes, suspension, steering, replacing all wiring,  and fitting additional insulation as well. The entire interior is fresh with new leather, carpets, panels, headliner etc. This car sports a set of original and rare recliner front seats and will have all the bells and whistles. 

MGA Coupe Restoration

 A photo of a MGA Coupe restoration 

This MGA Coupe body and all mechanicals were removed and rebuilt. 

 A photo of a MGA Coupe restoration

In this photo, the rebuilt engine is being re-fitted. 

We can completely strip down any mechanical system, clean and paint all components with high grade automotive enamel and rebuild the entire vehicle with whatever new parts are required to return the car to as new or better drivability and endurance.

Nash Metropolitan Restoration

  A photo os a Nash restoration

A 1961 Nash Metropolitan that was once owned by Graham Nash of Crosby Stills and Nash. Hidden in the car was a scrap of paper with these lyrics. We believe it was an alternate version of "Our House".

 

Our Nash

is a very very very nice Nash.

With two cats on the dash

 sure hope we don't crash

and our very very very nice Nash

gets smashed

as the cops might find our stash

In our very very very nice Nash

 

The little car somehow made it's way to Texas and we restored it to daily driving condition for the new owner. At some point in it's long life the car was actually brush painted with a broom and then allowed to slowly rot away. 

 A photo os a Nash restoration

In this photo we were stripping the car to it's basic shell and cutting out all the rust we could find and welding in new steel. We replaced about half the floorboards and discovered that the left front fender had been in a collision and the "ancient repair" included about three inches of thick bondo. 

 A photo os a Nash restoration

We removed the old body filler and reshaped the steel properly and painted the shell with a catalyzed primer.   The car was then painted the original colors.

 A photo of Nash Metropolitan

This last photo shows the car painted and ready to be assembled.

   

A 1968 Jaguar E-Type 2+2 Mechanical Restoration for a Street Driving Man

  A photo of 1969 Jaguar E-Type restoration old motor

This 1968 Jaguar E-Type sat up for several decades and we performed a major mechanical and electrical restoration with some interior renovations as well. Here is the engine and bay as found after it's long slumber.

 A photo of 1969 Jaguar E-Type restoration old gas tank

This gross photo is not the anal sphincter of this Jaguar. The photo shows the bottom of the inside of old fuel tank with the many layers of debris and crud that build up in these fuel tanks from many decades of old fuel, water and additives evaporating in the tank. 

 A photo of 1969 Jaguar E-Type restoration old rear end

In this photo the mummified rear suspension/ differential assembly is removed for rebuilding. 

 A photo of 1969 Jaguar E-Type restoration rear end

This photo shows some of the rear end components after a lot of work and is ready for reassembly. 

 A photo of 1969 Jaguar E-Type restoration differential

Here is the inside of the Pow-R-Lok Posidrive differential after we replaced the clutches and bearings. 

 A photo of 1969 Jaguar E-Type restoration brakes

This photo shows the rear brake calipers ready to fit. We replaced the caliper halves with new assembles. We made new pipes and did some pretty work as well.

  A photo of1969 Jaguar E-Type restoration

Here you can see the original motor, steering and suspension assemblies still in the space frame just before we stripped it all down. 

 

 A photo of 1969 Jaguar E-Type restoration

In this photo we have removed the engine and transmission, stripped the engine bay of components and removed the space frame. We will be repainting the engine bay the original Primrose yellow before refitting the rebuilt steering and suspension. 

  A photo of 1969 Jaguar E-Type restoration

This photo shows the newly painted bulkhead. We previously repaired some rust damage by cutting out the rusty areas and welding in new steel. The entire bulkhead was ground down to the metal. 

  A photo of 1969 Jaguar E-Type restoration   A photo of 1969 Jaguar E-Type restoration

Here the engine bay assembly work is moving right along and we re-wired the entire car with new fuse boxes, switches as required. 

  A photo of 1969 Jaguar E-Type restoration A photo of 1969 Jaguar E-Type restoration engine 

 In these photos the newly rebuilt engine is being fitted. You can see the newly fitted electronic ignition in the distributor. 

   A photo of 1969 Jaguar E-Type restoration engine  A photo of 1969 Jaguar E-Type restoration engine

 

The engine is now settled into it's nest and is mated to a new stainless exhaust.  The 1968 2+2 model featured the across the top of the engine polished mixture crossover manifold as seen near the rear of the engine.  On later cars Jaguar did away with this manifold part but kept the cutaway in the cam covers for many years. 

Rolls-Royce six banger

A photo of Rolls Royce Engine restoration 

Here is a photo of a 1950's six cylinder Rolls-Royce engine being disassembled for a complete rebuild. 

 A photo of Rolls Royce Engine restoration

 Here is the finished engine fitted into the restored rolling chassis. (My that was quick wasn't it? No, we did not use our magic spray.)

Our intent is to return the various systems to like new or better functionality and appearance.  During these jobs, we may offer a client subtle improvements like electronic ignition, stainless exhaust systems, body soundproofing, state of the art sound systems which are carefully hidden and more.

 

 MG Midget Restoration 

 A photo of MG MIdget restoration

Here is the as found underbody of a 1964 MG Midget about to enjoy some restoration. This car is an old friend of it's owner and is being rewarded for many years of loyal service with an extensive pit stop. We removed the transmission and the original 1098cc engine for rebuilding. As many newly manufactured parts for this engine are of dubious quality these days, we supplied new old stock oversize Hepolite pistons, a "race" quality oil pump and lifters, re-ground cam and other new old stock parts to make the engine as nice as possible.

 A photo of MG MIdget restoration

We cleaned and stripped the engine bay and made and welded in a new battery box that was damaged from spilt acid. Acid had run into the car and throughout the fresh air venting so pieces of acid eaten metal were flying into the drivers face. We neutralized everything and clean and rust treated everywhere so no more of that!

 A photo of AustinHhealey Sprite restoration

The engine bay was cleaned again, prepped, primed and painted to match the outside hot red color.   

     

 A photo of AustinHhealey Sprite restoration

The entire brake system was replaced including the brake master cylinder and all metal pipes. That is sort of a repetitively redundant sentence isn't it.  All suspension and steering components   were cleaned, rebuilt, painted with automotive high impact paint. 

 A photo of AustinHhealey Sprite restoration

The brake box as shown in this photo was disassembled, blasted,  painted and serviced so it will work well. The MG was fitted with a new correct wiring loom as well as new air horns , electronic ignition and many other enhancements like state of the art insulation, new carpets and panels and fresh red door wind lace. This photo is of the cockpit in the middle of refurbishment. 

 A photo of AustinHhealey Sprite restoration

This next photo shows the stripped cockpit with the new wiring just being pulled through. The rusty floorboards were cut away and replaced. The cockpit will receive insulation after more prep and the new wiring is set in place.     

A photo of AustinHhealey Sprite restoration  

Here the cockpit work is well under weigh.  An electric aerial was tastefully fitted with a new CD player and speakers. 

 Jensen Healey Restorations

 A  photo of a Jensen Healey restoration       A  photo of a Jensen Healey restoration      A  photo of a Jensen Healey restoration         

Jensen Healey's  are great driving sports cars with their hot Lotus engines.

The owner of this 1972 Jensen Healey roadster completely disassembled his car 20 years or so before we received it. Eventually frustrated yet still enthusiastic he brought the car to us to complete his dream. Enhancements included Dellorto carburetion, Lotus 777 cams, burled walnut dash, canvas top and fancy stereo as well as a total rebuild on all mechanical and electrical systems.

 

  A  photo of a Jensen Healey restoration

Here is a 1973 Jensen Healey Roadster. This great sports car was restored for a State of Maine owner that embarked on a large scale restoration involving rebuilding the chassis with new rockers and various rust repairs. 

The chassis was sandblasted with all rust removed and bad sections replaced with fresh steel. 

 A  photo of a Jensen Healey old brakes

The entire front and rear suspension, steering and rusty brakes were restored. This photo shows the state of the brakes before the work began. 

 A  photo of a Jensen Healey restoration

We fitted new brake rotors, rebuilt the brake calipers, replaced the road springs, bushings, ball joints, bearings, shocks etc. All parts were blasted and painted with high quality black paint. 

 A  photo of a Jensen Healey restoration

Here is a photo of the renovated differential with a very rare set of KONI rear shocks fitted.

 A  photo of a Jensen Healey convertible A  photo of a Jensen Healey convertible 

  The body was rebuilt, reworked and painted 2005 Jaguar Racing Green, a color chosen by it's owner. The new paint is receiving it's first sunshine in this last photo. A fresh cockpit will be fitted fitted with newly done wood to replace the cracked original wood. 

  A  photo of a Jensen Healey convertible seat frames

We sandblasted and painted the seat frames.

 A  photo of a Jensen Healey convertible seats

Here is a photo of the rebuilt seats. Our upholsterer rebuilt the seats with high grade hand sculpted foam and a nice material of a color to the owners liking to make these seats comfortable and very attractive.

  A  photo of a Jensen Healey convertible

Custom made Wilton wool carpets of Rolls-Royce  quality are bound in the seat material and fitted.  This Jensen Healey received new Dellorto carbs, high performance Lotus cam shafts, canvas top and matching boot and much more. The owner supplied an original Jensen Healey 8 track and the car will be great to cruise the beautiful Maine coast and find some fresh lobster rolls with Shipyard Ale from the brewery in Kennebunkport.

 A  photo of a Jensen Healey convertible

This last photo is the car on delivery day soon to head out on a nice drive to Maine with the owner and his dad sharing the wheel.  We hear from the owner every year and he has won many prizes with the car. He drives it all over the east coast of the USA. The owner and his machine are a great pair and we consider this Jensen Healey the best example on the planet. The car has now been driven more than  22,000 miles after the restoration and the only work the car has required have been oil changes. This sort of job is why we go to work everyday. 

 

MGC-GT Restoration

  A  photo of MGC interior

This photo of a rare MGC-GT shows the dash being fitted and wiring being completed. We installed a new leather interior. The car was brought to us about 1/3 finished from a shop in Florida. The workmanship was mostly good but the shop had lost interest in the job. The owner eventually shipped the car with the remainder of the parts for us to complete. 

  A  photo of MGC engine

The MG is nearing delivery in above photo.

 

1957 Mercedes Benz 190SL mechanical restoration

photo of a restored 1957 Mercedes 190sl

A mechanical restoration with engine bay renovations and various enhancements

Here we have a beautiful car that was simply worn out.  The car came in for a series of renovations the owner wanted such as a transmission rebuild and brake work but once we had inspected the car there was much more to do. The owner wanted the car to be in tip top shape again so the car can be driven safely so away we went. The engine had very little compression and turned out to have broken piston rings, cracked cam bearings, chewed up flywheel, rusted engine side covers and was a worn down and very tired engine. The motor had been previously rebuilt in 1974 and was more than ready again. The suspension and steering had considerable wear and the right lower control arm was bent. The brake shoes had little contact and the drums were out of round.

A  photo of Mercedes Benz 190sl restoration  

Here the engine and transmssion have been removed and the removal of all engine bay componets is happening so we can prep and repaint the engine bay before refitting the rebuilt engine and transmission.

 

Here the engine bay has been stripped and the replacement of the rusted out battery box is happening.

    A  photo of Mercedes Benz 190sl restoration   A  photo of Mercedes Benz 190sl engine restoration

The engine and transmssion have been refited to the bay.

photo of a 1957 Mercedes Benz 190sl engine bay   photo of a 1957 Mercedes Benz 190sl engine bay   Photo of a 1959 Mercedes 190sl engine

Here are photos of the completed restoration of the engine engine bay with placement of the labels and stickers.

 

photo of a Mercedes 190sl transmission gear set   photo of a 1957 Mercedes Benz 190sl transmssion bell housing   photo of a1957  Mercedes Benz 190sl transmission

The transmission was generally worn but had damaged reverse teeth on several gears. In these photos the gearbox is about completed after receiving all new bearings, syncros, reverse syncro slider gear and reverse gear.

 

We are replacing the front and rear shocks, springs, many steering and suspension parts,

A photo of a Mercedes Benz 190sl driveshaft bearing

This photo is the rebuilt driveshaft carrier assembly.

 

photo of a Mercedes Benz 190sl engine we restored

The vintage Solex carburetors were in poor condition and we are replacing them with a set of new Weber 40 DCOE carburetors.

 

photo of a 1957 Mercedes 190sl alternator conversion

We are converting the charging system from a generator to an alternator. A new twin SPAL electric cooling fans and Pertronix electronic ignition will also be fitted. All of these updates can be removed and the original parts refitted in the future if so desired.

photo of a ATE T50 brake booster on a 1957 190sl

 This photo shows a new ATE T 50 brake booster the car owner had purchased from Mercedes Benz about a year before we began the 190sl restoration. We installed it when the time was right but the unit was defective and leaked. The factory would not honor a warranty. So we rebuilt it with a new booster valve and other parts. We made and fitted all new brake pipes and replace the wheel cylinders, master cylinder, had the brake drums relined and new brake shoes arched to fit. Most cars from the 1950's should have the brake pipes replaced if never done.

 

Mercedes Benz 350SL Re-Restoration

Here are photos of a scarce 1972 Mercedes Benz 350SL that is enjoying a nice restoration. This car was bought new by the owners father and is a family pet.   

We fitted a remanufactured engine and rebuilt transmission.  The entire brake system was replaced and the suspensions totally rebuilt. We stripped out the interior and replaced some of the floors. We removed the dash and sorted out the climate system and vacuum systems while upgrading the air conditioning system. We repaired and carefully serviced the unavailable original wiring. We replaced the old brittle fuel  injector harness with a fresh new harness , replaced the fuel injectors, all mounts and rubber parts. 

   A before photo of Mercedes Benz 350sl restoration

The interior has been done with new leather  and all seat pads and chrome parts replaced as well as original style carpets with original Mercedes floor mats. We supplied new red rubber door treads so the entrance looks nice again. A period Becker radio/cassette player was installed with an I-pod jack modification that makes the vintage unit much more useable. 

  A before photo of Mercedes Benz 350sl restoration A before photo of Mercedes Benz 350sl restoration 

A new canvas top was fitted and of course the car was repainted to a fine appearance with the engine bay detailed  and painted as well.

This Mercedes Benz restoration was completed in 2007. In 2008 the owners young son whilst driving the car at high speed lost control and drove over some major tree roots knocking over a fire hydrant and abruptly stopping against a tree thus ripping the suspension and steering into twisted pieces. The driver fought the tree and the tree definitely won. Much of the original restoration work we did was destroyed by the impact. The car sustained extensive damage to the body and mechanicals but did its job as the young laddie came through without a scratch. The owner decided to have us repair and restore the damaged car back to its former glory regardless of the damage and so it begins. In a different world than our company inhabits, such cars are considered totaled as the damage is massive and the eventual cost unknown. In this case the ingredients for a successful outcome are in place. The car is an old friend, the owner wants it fixed,  has the means and the owner agreed to allow us to have full control over the work to make the determinations of what needs to be done to save the car so we did.  

 A before photo of Mercedes Benz 350sl damage

The smashed differential. The large non stock hole was made as the differential was partially ripped off the car from the impact. The rear trailing arms were both bent as were the axles and just about everything else to do with the steering, brakes and suspension.

 A before photo of Mercedes Benz 350sl

In this photo, you can see the center tie rod bar bent into a "U" shape. It was straight before the crash.

 A photo of wrecked Mercedes Benz 350sl wheel

The right front tire was torn right off the wheel. The wheel is a bit bent as well. Once we complete the mechanical rebuilding the car will go to the frame shop to make the body straight again. When the car hit the tree it flipped up and then down so hard the frame was bent upwards thus the door gaps are badly skewed. However these old Mercs are tough and very well built cars. They can take a massive smash and be repaired well if there is enough mind over matter. 

 

For parts orders call 281.448.4739 or Send us an e-mail!

Triumph TR6 Restoration

  A before photo of Triumph TR6 restoration     A before photo of Triumph TR6 restoration     A before photo of Triumph TR6 restoration     A before photo of Triumph TR6 restoration     A before photo of Triumph TR6 restoration      A before photo of Triumph TR6 restoration    

Here are some photos of the car as delivered to us and just after separating the body from the frame. This 1969 TR6 was in dry storage for some 20 years. The car owner wanted the car to look like an old car but wants it 100% rebuilt mechanically and electrically. He also wanted the frame restored. So some of the photos show some strange appearances as the engine compartment was not painted but the rebuilt engine was.

For this job we are doing no body or interior work. The restoration entailed removing the body from the frame, repairing the frame for stress cracks and having the frame powder coated. We rebuilt the engine with performance enhancements, rebuilt the transmission and overdrive and rebuilt the differential with a new gear set. We rebuilt the suspensions, steering, cooling, fuel system as well. Once the nice looking rolling frame was completed we refit the beat up body.

A photo of Triumph TR6 frame     A photo of Triumph TR6 frame    A photo of Triumph TR6 frame

 

A photo of Triumph TR6 engine rebuild   Here the motor is close to completion. The special hot cam was set up with a new vernier gear. The head was ported and balanced for a set of twin downdraft Webers mated to headers with an ANSA exhaust sounding the charge. It's a sleeper so to speak as it looks like a sad neglected old car but it's beautiful underneath.

1966 Bristol 409  Renovation

   A photo os a 1966 Bristol 409 grill

We supply quite a few parts for certain models such as the elusive and seldom seen Bristol 409.  This very scarce hand built high performance all aluminum body English muscle car is one of 42 or so Bristol cars built that year

( Bristol Cars won't reveal what their production figures were. ) The car features a factory fitted 5.2 litre V8 Chrysler 318 engine with push button shift Torqueflite automatic transmission. These V8 engines replaced the venerable six cylinder pre-war BMW derived engine that were previously manufactured by the Bristol factory. Bristol Cars purchased new engines from Chrysler and would totally disassemble them. They would check the tolerances to make sure they were perfect enough for them as merely perfect was not deemed good enough.  Many bolts and fasteners on Bristol cars are wire tied or used Nyloc nuts like were used in airplane construction. This is because Bristol Cars emerged from the old Bristol Airplane Company that manufactured war planes during WW2. The Bristol 409 car body is an all aluminum body construction mounted on a very stable steel frame using four wheel multi piston disc brakes. These were the most advanced brake systems available at the time. Considered by automotive enthusiasts then and now as one of the finest driving automobiles ever built, Bristol cars are still hand built in very limited numbers ( they won't say) for owners with plenty of cash and discretion. 

For this Bristol 409 restoration we rebuilt the entire brake system with new caliper pistons, brake pipes, brake hoses, new brake servo and brake master cylinder. The brake discs were lightly surface machined.  We rebuilt the Marles steering box, replaced the ball joints, bushings, tie rod ends and we installed Royal Purple synthetic lubricants.  The suspension systems were rebuilt with attention to associated details like replacing the copper wire used to wire tie the differential cover bolts. The front suspension subframe was removed, disassembled, sandblasted and repainted with epoxy primer and black paint.  The no longer available new vintage KONI shocks were rebuilt, up-graded with improved valving and restored for this job by the KONI factory. 

a photo of a 1966 Bristol 409 dash

The exquisite interior wood trim was restored and all aspects of the mechanicals were refreshed.   ANSA tuned exhaust tips are fitted. We installed a Pertronix electronic ignition of course. There was not much rust in the steel body sections and these areas we cut away and welded in new steel. The original carburetor and alternator were also rebuilt. The engine received a new timing chain with new sprockets and we replaced the oil pump for good measure. The heater box was removed and restored. The radiator was rebuilt with a high efficiency core and the original Kenlowe radiator cooling fans were restored. The front grill was disassembled, the frame repainted and the grill reassembled. New Vredestein radial tires were fitted. The front and rear windshield seals were replaced.

Triumph Spitfire Restoration

  A photo of Triumph Spitfire differential

Here are photos of a completed differential rebuild from a 1970 Triumph Spitfire. 

  A photo of Triumph Spitfire differential

The car belonged to the owners father and we are restoring the mechanicals. Parts for these cars are really drying up but we were able to supply what was needed to rebuild these assemblies. All bearings and syncros were replaced and parts that are unavailable, made by us and fitted.    

 A photo of Triumph Spitfire motor    A photo of Triumph Spitfire motor

The almost completed Spitfire 1300cc engine now mounted in the engine bay. We had previously rebuilt the front and rear suspensions, brake system, complete rewire, fuel system rebuild and so forth. This car is now completed and on the road again. 

 

Austin Healey 3000 Basket case and Modification s

 A photo of Austin Healey restoration   A photo of Austin Healey restoration   A photo of Austin Healey restoration

A "basket case" 1965 Austin Healey 3000. "Basket case" means a car or assembly arrives disassembled with degrees of organization ranging from parts just being tossed into baskets, boxes or just placed in the interior and trunk. This Healey is a mess but is now a car again. Off the road since 1983, the car was partially disassembled many years ago and not completed.

   A photo of Austin Healey restoration

We began by removing the radiator and fuel tank for renovation.  The original wiring harness had been removed and a replacement was partly fitted in the past. The entire cockpit had been removed and dumped back inside. 

   A photo of Triumph bushings-rotten

In this photo are remnants of a  47 year old rear transmission mount. The rubber sections of the mount had long disintegrated.  Behind the old mount is a new mount.  

  A photo of Triumph rusty brake pipes

Next is a near death photo of a rear steel brake pipe. Notice the rust and corrosion on the pipe. This fragile pipe could have burst at any time and the result would have been fast fluid loss and catastrophic brake failure. 

  A photo of Triumph rusty pipes

In this photo you see the right front brake and rusted brake rotor as discovered.

 

MGB-GT  Rustoration

Here we have a 1973 MGB-GT in for very extensive rust repairs, considerable mechanical renovations and a totally new cockpit after a long storage. The car now belongs to the son of the original owner. 

  A photo of MGB-GT rust damage    A photo of MGB-GT rust damage

This photo shows window screen and bondo used to "repair" rust damage on this 1973 MGB-GT.  It's classical trash bodywork. We sliced open a rocker panel so as to observe the extent of the rust and do a proper repair plan. We will be replacing  body sections on this MGB-GT and photos of this work will follow as it moves along. 

  A photo of MGB-GT rust damage

The car lived in Michigan and became quite rusty. Here you see large chunks of rust that have cracked off inside the rocker panel.

 

  A photo of MGB-GT rust damage   A photo of MGB-GT rust damage

A few photos of the rusty under carriage.

  A photo of MGB-GT rust damage    A photo of MGB-GT rust damage

Here are photos of the front subframe and suspension and soon will be another photo with the work on it well under weigh. 

  A photo of MGB-GT rust

This photo is a section of the MGB-GT lower chassis where the section has collapsed from rust weakening the structure. This is a difficult repair that requires substantial preparation involving sandblasting, grinding, fabrication and welding to accomplish in a long lasting manner. Yes, it's easier to slap window screen and bondo on and send the car down the road. The people that did this work should be banished from "repairing" automobiles. Perhaps they have more skill with drinking beer. Perhaps not.  

 A photo of MGB-GT chassis rust

 We are cutting away the rusty areas and grinding away rotting metal in preparation for welding in new steel sections. This car will be strong once again and the rust will be laid low. 

A photo of MGB-GT restoration  A photo of MGB-GT restoration  A photo of MGB-GT restoration  A photo of MGB-GT restoration

Here the car is seen after painting by a local body shop to a color of the owners choosing. Our re-assembly work has just begun. The car body was customized by a little  "smoothie" inspiration of the owners by removing the side moldings and repainting the car with a non original metallic. The interior will be leather with lots of enhancements to be fitted as we go along. An earlier all chrome grill will be fitted. ANSA exhaust with stainless headers, new chrome wire wheels and Vredestein tires. Leather interior.  Instead of replacing the bumpers with the el cheapo reproduction bumpers, we had these original bumpers re-chromed to a superior standard.

Here are photos of the almost finished car.

We don't well remember all the cars we have done over the last 35 years and a lot of the old photos are in old hard drives or were done with Kodachrome so we may not get around to listing them.

Austin Healey Sprite

photo of old Sprite suspension        photo of old Sprite suspension        photo of old Sprite suspension   

This "restored" car was purchased from a purported Sprite restoration expert that neglected to rebuild the engine, suspension, brakes or anything else that we could determine other than repainting the car. The paint did did look nice. The new owner wanted the car properly done so away we went. We found that the crankshaft was bent, the timing chain was shot, the inside of the engine was filthy, the suspension was totally worn out except someone had replaced the front shocks but not the bushings. There were holes in the floors, the rear axle had never been touched in 60 years, the carburetors were a disaster, the radiator was rotten, the poor car needed a big pit stop.

Photo of a Sprite restoration   Photo of a Sprite restoration   Photo of a Sprite restoration     Photo of a Sprite restoration    Photo of a Sprite restoration    And away she goes!  Photo of a Bugeye Sprite and our MG sign

We rebuilt the engine, steering , suspension, brakes, clutch, replaced all the wiring, replaced the interior, replaced a floorboard that was rusted out, fitted state of the art cockpit insulation and generally made the car into a fine driving machine again with electronic ignition fitted as well. Sprites are great little cars and the owner of this car has a fine one.

 

A little Austin Healey restoration work.

Photo of a Austin Healey axle      Photo of a Austin Healey restoration      Photo of a Austin Healey axle      Photo of a Austin Healey restoration

Here the rear axle assembly has been refitted and the rear end work is about done. 

 

  1960 Triumph TR3A supercharged speed machine

Photo of a Triumph TR3

 The owner of this car purchased it from a Florida seller and there were many aspects of the car that were not as advertised. The car was supposed to have been restored but much of the restoration that had been domne was done by a spray can of paint. Here we see red paint on a brake caliper and you can see that this was done in situ for some sort of appearnce as if it had been rebuilt. The caliper was not removed to paint it.

Photo of a Triumph TR3 restoration

 Once he realized the condition of the car, the owner decided to have it built into his dream car. He wanted significant improvments in engine power as well as a rebuild of the front suspension, transmission, rear suspension, steering, electrical, differential. He wanted everything and well, more. We rebuilt the engine with new pistons and liners and installed a mid range performance camshaft along with premium quality lifters. The owner had us install a rear main seal kit as well. The motor was balanced, machined and made new as possible. 

Photo of a Triumph TR3 restoration  The cylinder head as it was. These heads like old tractor motors, did not have valve seat inserts.   The valves just bang against the head casting.

 Photo of a Triumph TR3 head   The head was ported, gas flowed and machined with new seats, bronze valve guides and oversize valves.

 Photo of a Triumph TR3 restoration  The intake manifold was ported to match the head ports.

 Photo of a Triumph TR3 restoration engine  A vernier wheel used to set the timing for the new camshaft.

 

Photo of a Triumph TR3 restoration engine  Stainless exhaust headers being trial fitted and modified as required to the cylinder head.

 

 

Photo of a Triumph TR3 motor restoration   The assembled engine going back where it belongs. 

 Photo of a Triumph TR3 supercharger    The new supercharger being fitted.                                                                          

 

Photo of a Triumph TR3 radiator   A new high quality aluminum radiator helps the cooling cause.  

 

 Photo of a Triumph TR3 restoration   Photo of a Triumph TR3 supercharger The Supercharger and Super radiator. The engine also had a improved waterpump and oil cooler installed.  

 

Photo of a Triumph TR3 restoration The new interior going in.

 

Photo of a Triumph TR3 brake rebuild   The rear brakes as found.

Photo of a Triumph TR3 brake pedal     One of the owners legs was shorter than the other so we made a modified adjustable pedal so he can have it where he wants it.

 Electronic ignition was installed. We replaced the entire interior and added a lot of extra insulation. The car was rewired with extra circuits and now has a gear reduction starter and an alternator. The original transmission was retained and rebuilt with some new gears involved. The differential was rebuilt with a 3:45 to 1 crownwheel and pinion gear set. Koni front shocks were fitted with new springs, bushings and joints. The car is very fast and likely drives better than any other TR3 .

 

  1971 Jaguar E-Type 2 + 2  V12 dream machine

 

   Photo of a Jaguar E-Type V12 restoratrion     Photo of a Jaguar E-Type V12 body restoratrion     Photo of a Jaguar E-Type V12 restoratrion         

 

This V12 project began as a tuneup and evaluation and considerably evolved after we examined it. We discovered the the entire bottom of the car had been coated with thick layers of undercoat. Beneath the undercoat were considerable rusty sins.  The owner decided to have us remake the car into his ultimate dream machine. We removed the engine and transmission and found clues that the car had been extensively wrecked at least two times in the past.  The floors were rotten and the rusty rot extended to parts of the bulkhead so we replaced the floors and all rotted metal with new steel sections. The space frame was found to be cracked in several locations and was quite fragile so we fitted new spaceframes. Later we fitted a five speed transmission, six downdraft Weber carburetors, stainless steel headers, special red poly hoses, aluminum radiator with enhanced fans, high volumn fuel pump, new electronic igniiton and much more such a a total re-wire, new brakes, suspensions, steering and many modifcations such as chrome a/c compressor, power steering pump and drier. The original CAV alternator was removed and a modern one wire alternator (chromed) was custom fitted with a chrome power steering pump.  This car is to be a sleeper meaning it will appear stock on the outside.

Photo of a Jaguar E-Type V12 restoratrion             Photo of a Jaguar E-Type V12 restoratrion

Here are the new space frame sections being trial fitted and after many adjustments, painted.

   Photo of a Jaguar E-Type V12 engine            Photo of a Jaguar E-Type V12 engine           Photo of a Jaguar E-Type V12 tank          Photo of a Jaguar E-Type V12 engine

The engine, now with stainless headers and six downdraft two barrel Weber carburetors with custom made linkage fitted along with high quality aluminum radiator and header tank, improved SPAL cooling fans, new wiring, new brakes, new suspension, new a/c evaporator and condensor, new and rebuilt steering, new fuel system and much more.

1961 Jaguar Mk II

Photo of a Jaguar 1962 MKII old interior Interior being removed.

 This Jaguar was stored away since 1978 and the daughter of the original owner is having us restore the car for general driving use. The plan is to rebuild the engine, transmission, brakes, suspension, rewire the car, rebuild the fuel system, heater system and everything else. The car will have all the interior wood re-veenered and the interior trim will be replaced. We began by removing the entire interior and various mechanicals. The body has been completely stripped of all trim. We found and welded many extra holes in the floors and performed some structural repairs.

 

1967 Austin Healey 3000

This one owner car was brought to us after a period of storage.  Prior to being stored, the car had substantial renovations done by a generic shop that did not specialize in restoring these cars. Around $40K was spent and this figure included a complete rebuild of the brake system. There was a dispute between the owner and the shop and the owner passed away during this time.  The car did not have operational brakes when it was picked up by the family and they were frustrated and put the car away. They eventually recovered and had it brough to us. We examined the brake system and found contaminated brake fluid, a stew of fluids actually. This fluid essentially ruined the new parts they installed.

Photo of old Austin Healey brakes

We also found the front brakes in the terrible conditon seen in this photo. The original brake rotors were still on the car and were rusted and grooved. The brake calipers were leaking fluid. We found pitted and badly worn front wheel bearings that had been repacked with new grease. The bearings were so bad the wheels shook. The wheel seals fell out when we removed the rotors.  We were informed that the car had been repainted by the same shop that did the brakes. The paint was actually peeling off like potato chips in places. A new convertible top had been installed and it had a lot of holes created by a poor fit. There were a lot more problems but we were asked to do the brakes and have a look at the rest.

Photo of rebuilt Austin Healey brakes

Here is a photo of the completed front brakes with new bearings, rotors, rebuilt calipers with stainless pistons and new hoses.

The lesson is that a car owner should take their car to a shop that cares about the quality of the work. There are many very good shops out there and we supply parts to shops that want to do a top job for a willing car owner.

 

Gearbox no more.

  Photo of a Austin Healey transmssion in a a wheelbarrow

This photo shows a 1958 Austin Healey 100/6 transmission brought to us in a wheel barrow. No, this is not a rare Austin Healey wheel barrow as AH did not make wheel barrows. The transmission is in pieces after a failed attempt was made to replace the bearings. After a lot of no doubt frustrating time, the owner decided to bring the transmission to us to "get it back together again." 

  Photo of a Laycock Healey overdrive unit

This photo shows the very dirty inside of the overdrive unit. All that black stuff on the bottom is a combination of burned clutch material and ancient lubricant. This is not what you want to see in a Laycock de Normanville overdrive. What you want to see is a very clean assembly. This sort of basket case job is not exactly our favorite to undertake but it has to be done and as we know how to do this sort of rebuilding. 

Lord of the Rings

If Frodo had owned a car (say a Mini) that we had restored, he and Samwise would have cruised on over to Mordor a lot sooner. We re-manufacture engines to a very high standard and of course they always receive new rings and pistons. As we rebuild engines by Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Lotus, MG, Jaguar, Triumph and Mercedes Benz, the specifics of the rebuilding process varies by engine type and owner desires. Please contact us with your engine details for more information on costs and the many possibilities for performance.

 

 Photo of Lotus engine rebuids

These photos show a brace of Lotus engines being rebuilt. 

 Photo of MGA engine rebuild

A rebuilt MGA 1500 motor ready to be installed into an owners car. 

 

MGTF complete frame and mechanical restoration with many enhancements such as a five speed transmssion, front sway bar, front disc brakes, electronic ignition.  This car had been totally disassembled down to the last nut and bolt by a previous owner. The new owner brought the old parts to us in many pickup loads and we rebuilt the engine, differential, brakes, carburetors,  suspension and frame.

Photo of MGTF brakes   Photo of MGTF brakes and suspension   Photo of MGTF rear axle   Photo of MGTF frame   Photo of MGTF transmission    Photo of MGTF engine    Photo of MGTF restoration

Here we have the MGTF 1500 engine rebuild just completed and fitted with the five speed transmission. We reckon the engine had been rebuilt 3 or 4 times previously to varying degrees and it was a very tired motor. This engine received a new crankshaft, connecting rods, cylinder sleeves, new standard pistons, new pushrods, a very rare new old stock oil pump, new valves, springs, rocker shaft, head bolts and more. 

Specifics on engine work

1. All parts are of the finest quality available. 

2. All worn parts are either rebuilt or replaced or machined if available or possible.

3. Owners will be advised about enhancements or upgrades available to increase performance, reliability or drivability. 

4. Attention to detail. All parts are painted in original colors and all work is performed to keep the car as original as possible in appearance unless an owner has other ideas.  Enhancements such as electronic ignition, modern style fuel pumps and accessories can be subtly fitted where possible for enhanced reliability. We offer many enhancements to improve reliability and drivability.

 Smiths and Jaeger Instruments

If your dash instruments need repair or restoration, send them to us. We have a great many used and some new gauges as well.

Dim Bulbs

Light up your life. The various light bulbs used on cars last a very long time. Sometimes the bulbs can last 50 or more years. However, the brightness of a light bulb steadily diminishes over time as the bulbs are not modern LED bulbs and are miniature Edison style bulbs burning a filament so bulbs get dimmer and dimmer as the filaments burn. Thus our workshop replaces all the dash light bulbs and all exterior bulbs when we rewire or restore a car. New bulbs really do work a lot better than old bulbs. We stock many light bulbs.

Lord of the Dings             Image of a bouncing car

For a proper restorative paint job, the car should have all chrome, lamps and trim removed. In many cases the interior is removed as well. The body is sanded down to the original primer if it exists or primed with a high grade catalyzed primer. All dings and body flaws are repaired and the entire body shell is laboriously hand block sanded to remove waves and body flaws. The result is a smooth finish able to show the top coats well. To achieve a "show car" paint job, the car usually has to be painted two or three times to achieve virtual perfection. This is a tedious, expensive and very time consuming process as perfection is not possible on this world but humans still try to get close. We suggest that owners critically evaluate any paint shop for signs of how well they are organized as we regularly supply parts to body shops that have lost expensive and hard to obtain parts. Some shops throw parts away without regard for what they are dealing with. Thus its always good to take a lot of detailed photos of your car to document what was there. Always tell your body shop NOT to cut the wiring to remove an electrical part and always call us to purchase your parts of course. 

Jaguar XJ6C Coupe with our sign

A 1977 Jaguar XJ6C

For parts orders call 281.448.4739 or Send us an e-mail!

 

Sport and Classic Car Company

10525 Airline Drive

Houston, Texas 77037

USA

telephone 281.448.4739