restoration thread

1955 Mercedes Benz 300 SL Gullwing Restoration

March 2, 2017 in Featured / German / Restoration Shop

This 1955 Mercedes Benz 300 SL Gullwing was the subject of a full restoration by Rare Drive in East Kingston, New Hampshire.  Although 300 SL’s are their specialty, they have also won awards on the lawns of Pebble Beach and Amelia Island for their restorations of Ferraris, Ford GT40s and Shelby Cobras too. Their website does not include any details of this specific vehicle, but since the car is such a classic we have included it here along with a bit of history on the model. Our interest has been piqued especially since featuring the 2nd SL ever produced in a previous story that can be seen here: http://www.carbuildindex.com/7856/1952-mercedes-benz-300-sl-restoration-by-factory-2nd-every-produced-2/.
By the time this road-going 300 SL was produced 3 years after the previously mentioned ’52, they had proved to be a force to be reckoned with at the track and on the showroom floors, and this particular example finally received a much needed restoration to bring it back to it’s former glory.

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1977 Lotus Esprit S1 Restoration

February 10, 2017 in English / Featured / Home Garage Build

This 1977 Lotus Esprit S1 has underwent a full nut and bolt restoration by it’s owner, who chronicled the whole process on a website that he dedicated to the 4 year build. His goal was to bring this Esprit S1 back to the way it had left the factory over 30 years ago. The end result exceeds these expectations, a car that certainly would have made Colin Chapman himself proud.
The Lotus had only 18,000 original miles on the clock when he purchased it back in 2009, and he began dismantling it before ever even driving it.

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1968 Fiat Dino Spider Restoration

January 30, 2017 in Home Garage Build / Italian

This 1968 Fiat Dino Spider’s restoration project was posted in a thread on Fiat500USAForum.com by it’s owner, forum member “fredfrey”. The car was light blue when it originally left the factory 40 something years ago, but had been re painted resale red at some point by a previous owner. We are guessing that the Ferrari prancing horse emblem was slapped on the front grill at the same time, which is something that was never applied by either factory during their production run. A small quibble perhaps, considering otherwise discerning good taste is witnessed by both the light blue “Ferrari” Dino color that was chosen for it to be resprayed in and the fact that it has an awesome Alfa Romeo Jr. Zagato and a Fiat 600 both as stablemates. Sometimes, just seeing a garage with interesting cars gives their owner credibility to some of their personal choices that are made during another car’s restoration. Call us car snobs, but would we be second guessing his color choice and emblem decision if he had a PT Cruiser instead of a Zagato as one of his other cars? Probably.

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1959 Maserati 3500GT Vignale Spyder Prototype Restoration

January 26, 2017 in Italian

This 1959 Maserati 3500GT Vignale Spyder Prototype (AM101.504) was the subject of a restoration that can be seen at thecarnut.com, a site which was created by it’s owner. It is said that this car was not only the very first production 3500GT convertible and the first prototype of the Vignale Spyder, it was also the actual car featured by Maserati at the 1959 Turin Motor Show. We are not sure how it could have been both the first production car and the first prototype at the same time, but stranger things have happened we suppose. With a vehicle as gorgeous as this one, we’ll just let it slide for the moment while we gawk at the pictures. We are always such helpless suckers for a curvy topless Italian body, especially when they are so close in relation to other sexy models such as the Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder. Hey, we were talking about cars, come onnn!

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Toyota Mk1 MR-2 Restoration

January 19, 2017 in Japanese / Restoration Shop / Video

This Mark 1 Toyota MR-2 is the subject of a nut and bolt restoration thread on detailingworld.co.uk by it’s owner, forum member “Beeste”. Before anybody throws up their arms and starts questioning the sanity of this car’s owner for spending so much money on the rejuvenation of a car of such meager current economic value, it should be pointed out that Japanese cars are among the next crop of future vintage cars which are likely to see an appreciation in worth. Our information source, Hagerty Insurance, recently wrote an on-line article outlining the top 5 Japanese cars that they predict will become future collectibles. We have cut and pasted it at the bottom of this page, as it makes for an interesting and educational read. Although the MR-2 did not make their short list, we anticipate that they would have included one in their top 10, had that list been extended.

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1973 Brumos Porsche 911 S Current Restoration/Build Thread

January 9, 2017 in Build In Progress / Engine Swap / German / Home Garage Build / Race Car / Restoration

There’s a really interesting 1973 Porsche 911 S home garage build thread currently unfolding on PellicanParts.com, which can be found linked on the following page. For those of you who want to be caught up to date with the Cliff Notes version first, all you got to do is continue reading here for the highlights before jumping in. The project starts with a long hood which was originally built by Florida based championship race winning Brumos Porsche as their own iteration of a factory lightweight RS or Clubsport package car. It includes an actual genuine “retired” IROC 3.0 RSR engine that was first installed back in ’74, the crown jewel of this project. Since it is being rebuilt as a street car still, forum member/car owner “chriskimmelshue” is keeping it’s electric sunroof and windows, heat and carpet and is building it exactly to his spec, regardless of others are suggesting he does with the rare race engine or original Brumos history, and here’s how it is going down…
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1986 Lancia Delta Integrale Restoration

December 29, 2016 in Home Garage Build / Italian

This 1986 Lancia Delta Integrale 8V was the subject of a restoration on guy-croft.com by it’s owner, forum member “samo”. To be quite honest, we thought the thread was pretty boring and tedious to read and we are thinking that most of you would think the same thing too. It is really meant for the absolute die-hard Delta Integrale fan boy because it is really just too lengthy and goes into far too much unnecessary detail for anybody else. Sometimes that works when a car is being modified with upgraded performance parts during it’s restoration, but when it is being rebuilt back to stock we are thinking we don’t need all of the intricate particulars. We decided to include it here because we have always loved these cars growing up. Now we just like watching them being torn apart and rebuilt by maniacs possessed with obsessive-compulsive disorders, especially when finished to such a high standard as this one. In any case, find this Lancia Delta Integrale restoration thread’s key photos here along with a bit of the model’s competition-bred history in the story below…

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Ex-Jim Clark Lister Jaguar “Flat Iron” Restoration for Goodwood Revival

December 28, 2016 in Build In Progress / English / Race Car / Restoration Shop / Video

This ex-Jim Clark Lister Jaguar “flat iron” is the subject of a two part restoration video series on FortyOneSix.com. The iconic race car was being finished for the Goodwood Revival meeting by CKL Developments in the UK. The car was originally built with a Bristol engine, but after it was crashed badly during it’s early racing career, a privateer team bought it and a Jaguar XK engine found it’s way into the bay. Jim Clark recently had a few choice words to say about the driving experience…

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1955 SIATA 208 CS Balbo Coupé Restoration

December 2, 2016 in Italian / Restoration Shop

This 1955 SIATA 208 CS Balboa Coupe was renovated by Auto Restorations in New Zealand, who are well known among the concours crowd for their award winning restorations of rare cars which are brought to them by customers from around the globe. SIATA (Societa Italiana Applicazioni Trasformazioni Automobilistiche) was established in Turin in 1926 by amateur racing driver Giorgio Ambrosini as a manufacturer of tuning accessories for Fiats. He sold high performance cylinder heads with over head valves and superchargers to make these beauts scoot as good as they looked before actually producing his very first car in 1948.
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1969 BMW 2800 FIA Gruppe 2 CSL Barn Find Restoration

November 29, 2016 in Barn Find / German / Race Car / Reader Submission / Video

UPDATE: Motoporter has a great new website that can be seen here at: http://www.motoporter.com/ 
Our original feature from December 15th, 2013:
This 1969 BMW 2800 FIA Gruppe 2 CSL (chassis number 22000093) was the subject of a restoration by Arthur W. Porter, known worldwide as the leading authority on BMW’s CSL competition cars. He originally came across the orange painted race car in a Stockholm, Sweden storage facility in 1990, and then wisely kept in touch with it’s owner until he was finally able to put a deal together to purchase it in 2007. After, he had it shipped to his shop in Denver, Colorado where he took it upon himself to complete an impressively quick full rotisserie restoration just in time for that year’s Monterey Historics.
This is just the type of story that we thrive here at CarBuildIndex, as it checks all of the right boxes for us. Barn find? Well, technically a storage facility, but yeah, we can roll with that. Check. Vintage competition car with race history resurrected to race once again on some of the world’s finest circuits? Check. Track down one of the car’s past driver’s? Check. Shall we continue? As you wish, so follow along with us on the next page as we delve deeper into this particular car’s literally colorful history…
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The Brilliant Shin Yoshikawa. Part 1

October 31, 2016 in Japanese / Restoration Shop / Video

We set aside the day today in order to focus on Shin Yoshikawa, an awe-inspiring man blessed with multiple automotive related and unrelated talents and skills. If his name sounds familiar, it may be because last month we featured his stunning restoration of the 1968 Toyota 2000GT which was once owned by the un-licensed 1960’s supermodel Twiggy, a rare model of vehicle that Shin has become an expert of. Since we want to make sure that his multi-faceted talents are given the proper justice they deserve, we decided to break his story into 2 features today. Additional upcoming features will include a glimpse into the cut-a-way drawings that he is so well known for and of his book about the Toyota 2000GT, too. Watch out for them in the coming week.
Part 1 begins below with a Vimeo video presentation about the man described as a professional photographer, designer, writer, restoration specialist and concert pianist all wrapped up in one package. From Silly Thing, please enjoy “Into the Wilderness“. Make sure to watch it in HD and full screen. Shall we begin?

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1986 Toyota Celica Group B Race Car Restoration

October 26, 2016 in Japanese / Race Car / Restoration Shop / Video

This 1986 Group B Toyota Celica was the subject of a full rotisserie restoration by Rallye-Engine in Germany. While we may just have previously featured an almost identical 1984 Group B Celica restoration by MAT in Finland only a few weeks ago, can you really blame us for wanting to feature another one again so soon after seeing the first one? Since then we have been having delusions of grandeur of sliding it at speed during muddy forest stages in between massive Sequoia’s while our co-driver is feeding us route map notes…”Right. Left. Jump in 100 feet. Then hard brake and 90 degree left!”…
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1984 Toyota Celica Turbo Rally Car Restoration

October 4, 2016 in Japanese / Race Car / Restoration Shop / Video

This 1984 Toyota Celica Turbo TC35 Rally Car was the subject of a restoration by Mäkelä Auto Tuning in Finland. It’s shop owner is retired rally driver Kari Mäkelä, who you may remember from our previous feature of their absolutely jaw dropping 1983 Ferrari 308 Michelotto Group B rally car replica build, which can be found in “Related posts” on the following page. Back to the subject at hand, this particular 2 wheel drive, 1.8 liter 4 cylinder turbo (4T-GTE) Group B rally car’s revival journey began by getting completely gutted before being fully rebuilt from the ground up. The shop’s crew custom fabricated an impressive amount of the vehicle back into it’s original Group B configuration, and knowing MAT, possibly even a few giant leaps beyond…
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1971 Ford F100 NORRA Mexican 1000 Baja Race Truck Build

September 29, 2016 in American / Engine Swap / Modification Thread / Race Car

This 1971 Ford F100 was the subject of a race truck restoration and build on http://www.race-dezert.com/home/, by forum member “bajaxp”. As his on-line name suggests, the truck was being prepared for competition in Baja for the 2013 NORRA Mexican 1000. It’s truly a no-holds barred, balls out build that started picking up sponsors as quickly as tumbleweed rolls through the desert (“quickly”…we were going for “quickly” here…) throughout it’s full 24 page thread. Continue with us on the next page as we follow the project from the time of purchase to beyond race day…
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1988 Volkswagen GTI Restoration

September 26, 2016 in German / Home Garage Build / Modification Thread

This 1988 Volkswagen MK2 Golf GTI was the subject of a restoration project on http://www.clubgti.com/content.php by it’s owner/restorer, forum member “SMc”. The thread is extremely short and doesn’t go into a ton of detail, but a fair amount of photographs tell what’s necessary of the 3 1/2 year restoration story. As vintage VW fans ourselves, this one ticked all of the right boxes for us. A quick scroll to the end showed us everything we needed to know to decide if we wanted to include it here…let’s see, what do we have here: Euro bumpers and grill with Hella H4’s, a 16 valve front chin spoiler and a roof mounted Fuba antannae, all tastefully lowered on BBS RA 15×6 rims. Done, that’s alll ya had to say.
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1972 Porsche 917/10-008 Restoration

September 6, 2016 in German / Race Car / Restoration Shop / Video

This 1972 Porsche 917/10-008 was the subject of a restoration by Freisinger Motorsport in Germany. You may remember the shop from our recent previous feature of their “Moby Dick” 935 renovation, which can be found linked in “Related posts” at the bottom of the following page. The shop is involved with restorations of a number of historic Porsche race cars and this particular 917 is no exception. It is an ex Vasek Polak Can Am racer formally driven by Milt Minter and said to have crashed in 1972 during “training”, which we assume translates to “practice”. The pictures of the project are fascinating, as are the performance numbers that these brutal animals produced…
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1995 BMW M3 Hill Climb Race Car Build

August 30, 2016 in German / Home Garage Build / Modification Thread / Race Car / Video

This 1995 BMW E36 M3 was the subject of a build thread on http://www.bimmerforums.com/ by forum member “bimmerbumm193” (real name is Kendrick). In it, he set out to build a race car on a budget to compete in his local Weatherly Hill Climb in Pennsylvania. We at CBI always appreciate a dual purpose street/race car, especially when it has tasteful mods such as this car and is daily driven. After all, what true car enthusiast doesn’t respect a properly set up black on black M3 with a roll bar and race parts? We couldn’t agree more.
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1986 Renault R5 Turbo 2 Restoration Video

August 26, 2016 in Build In Progress / French / Home Garage Build / Video

We have been looking for a good Renault R5 Turbo restoration to feature here for some time now, so we were happy to have come across this video. Nothing speaks louder to us than box flares, a roll cage and BBS rims all wrapped up in a mid engine, rear drive platform, especially when that vehicle was originally sold as a front wheel drive econo box. Would that qualify it as a “sleeper”? Normally yes, but in this case not a chance in hell. After all, you did see those flares, right?
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1973 Porsche 911 RS Restoration

August 19, 2016 in German / Restoration Shop

This 1973 Porsche 911 RS was the subject of a nut and bolt rotisserie restoration by the marque experts at CPR Classic Restorations in Fallbrook, California. The master craftsmen have been in business for over 40 years, restoring some of the best 356′s and 911′s in the world to absolute show winning examples, and this particular RS is no exception. We can never go very long here without featuring a 911 build or restoration project of some sort, as the iconic model has been around for so many years in an assortment of so many flavors that we actually have to restrain ourselves from including too many. It is especially difficult when we have one of the best shops at our disposal at just a few finger taps away on the internet. They always include a multitude of detailed photographs of their meticulous projects, making it hard for us to hold back for the perfect timing. Unfortunately, what we don’t have is any back story of this car, so let’s fill in the blanks by starting with a bit of the 911 RS’s history in general, shall we?
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Sleeper 1970 Porsche 914-6 Restoration

August 8, 2016 in Engine Swap / German / Modification Thread / Sleeper

This Canary Yellow 1970 Porsche 914-6 was the subject of a bare metal rotisserie restoration and build by Vintage Excellence in San Diego, California. We always enjoy seeing a car that has been restored while taking full advantage of performance upgrades at the same time. More “sleeper” than “resto-mod”, if you will. With it’s modified 3.0 SC engine, Brembo AM brakes and reworked suspension and transmission, it’s builder says, “This car is now faster and handles better than a 911 RS lightweight”.  Not to mention the car looks entirely innocent and stock, exactly how we like them. Follow along with us below for more details of this particular car’s build…
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