show car restoration

Lotus Type 79/1 Restoration

May 23, 2017 in English / Race Car / Restoration / Restoration Shop

This Lotus Type 79/1 Formula 1 vintage race car was the subject of a restoration by Classic Team Lotus in the U.K. The vehicle was originally used as a prototype for the development of under car aerodynamics with help from none other than Mario Andretti, and was also the first Formula 1 car designed using wind tunnel and computer design aids. Later, it was used as his spare race car for the 1978 season. When Lotus enthusiast Paul Rego of Regogo Racing in Texas found out that it was available for sale back in 2010, he took advantage of the opportunity to purchase the rare 1 of 5 car and promptly had it sent back to England where it received it’s renovation under the supervision of Clive Chapman, son of Lotus “add lightness” legend Colin.
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1937 Bugatti Atalante 57S Barn Find

May 10, 2017 in Barn Find / French / Italian / Race Car / Restoration / Survivor / Video

Here’s an interesting video that I highly recommend watching. It tells the story of a doctor’s Bugatti that had been stored away unused for many years until it was discovered in 2008 after his passing, having only accumulated about 26,000 total miles. It has since (unfortunately) been given a full restoration, although you can’t argue that it doesn’t look gorgeous now, regardless of which rear bumper was ultimately used. Judge for yourself:

More information about it’s history and 2009 Bonham’s Retromobile sale HERE.

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1977 Mercedes Benz 450 SEL 6.9 Restoration from Brazil

May 9, 2017 in German / Restoration Shop / Sympathetic Restoration

This 1977 Mercedes Benz 450SEL 6.9 is the subject of a restoration thread on www.mbca.org by “Joe Brasileiro“. His name and impressive work were immediately recognizable, so a quick search confirmed that it was the same person as “jbrasile” who had restored the 1970 Mercedes Benz 300 SEL 6.3 that we previously featured. After all, how many Joe’s could there be restoring vintage Mercedes in Brazil? We gave high accolades to his craftsmanship on the last 6.3, and this latest 6.9 project is no different. The color combination is equally as striking, and as we said before about the last car’s tones, it is so very period of that era. Come take a closer look on the following page, won’t ya?…

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1960 FIAT Abarth Monomille Duck Tail‏ Restoration

May 8, 2017 in Build In Progress / Home Garage Build / Italian / Race Car

This Fiat Abarth Monomille Duck Tail is the subject of an on-going restoration thread on affbb.com by it’s owner, forum member Andrew Schank. He took on the “resurrection” project for a client, starting with a rough car that had been sitting for the past 33 years. It’s always a crime to witness these rare vintage cars left outside to rot, and we can’t help but wonder if it had been rescued even 10 years earlier if some of that cool patina could have been savable. Sympathetic restorations are always favorable over full nut and bolts when possible, but this one was too far gone by that point, unfortunately. It’s previous owner had purchased it second hand in the early 70’s, and luckily it appeared to remain 100% complete with it’s original Abarth 1000 CC engine included as well as a set of rare magnesium Campagnolo “Electron” 13X4 wheels that it was still wearing. Original Campy wheels + roll bar + Abarth badges = always the right mix of ingredients when authentic. In theory it appears to be such a simple formula, but in reality it is oh so very elusive.

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Lamborghini LM002 Restoration

May 3, 2017 in Italian / Restoration

This Lamborghini LM002 was restored over the course of 2,400 work hours by the crew at Lamborghini Wycombe in the U.K. They started with what looked like a very nice blue on gray example, but then did what they had to do by stripping it down to the bone for completing it a to a full show quality restoration that included a color change to black on beige, their 6th LM002 rebuild to date. We have always been huge fans of the model and are trying to imagine a manufacturer today creating a modern interpretation that is as brute and so perfectly politically incorrect as the raging bull has proven to be, but somehow we just can’t envision anything to ever be as raw and sinister again…
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1968 Plymouth Hemi Road Runner Restoration

March 3, 2017 in American / Engine Swap / Race Car / Restoration / Restoration Shop

Hemmings.com recently profiled this ’68 Plymouth 426 Hemi Road Runner that was restored by Supercar Specialties in Portland, Michigan. It was an absolute mess when it showed up at the shop with rust everywhere and even cobwebs in the engine cylinders, but when it was finished it was sporting a 712 hp Ray Barton Racing built engine that was further tuned enabling it to turn the quarter in 10.92 at 126.92 mph. We dig the factory look of the finished restoration, which is now a show car but absolutely not a trailer queen by any stretch of the imagination. Check out the attached pictures of it’s transformation on the next page and then find a link to the full story following after.

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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Dino “Chairs and Flairs” Restoration

February 15, 2017 in Build In Progress / Featured / Italian

The thread linked below is from Ferrarichat.com and features a “chairs and flairs” Dino that is undergoing a full rotisserie restoration by forum member “omgjon”. It’s previous owner had it for the past 33 years and it was still wearing it’s original factory paint, upholstery and carpet when he recently bought it, making it a true “survivor”. Very rare, indeed. The question then arises, why restore it?

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Citroen Maserati SM Restoration

February 13, 2017 in French / Italian / Restoration Shop

This Citroen Maserati SM is the subject of a ground up restoration by a collaboration between two shops in France: Classic-Car-Charolais for the body work, and Patrick Regembeau for the mechanical. Although they do not include any background narrative of this particular SM’s history on either of their sites, there are more than enough restoration pictures posted to piece together it’s rejuvenation story. We have also included pictures of one of the historic work shops where the transformation occurred because it fits so well as the perfectly appropriate setting for the renovation of this French and Italian mixed exotic. In the end, the car’s final results look absolutely stunning in it’s show quality finish. 

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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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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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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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Panel Beating and Restoration Training Course

December 19, 2016 in Build In Progress / English / Restoration Shop

Always wanted to learn how to restore a car but didn’t want to take on a mystery project without the necessary skill set already? Be taught by the experts at CC Coachwork in the U.K. during their 3 day course. Heck, you have done 3 day training courses with race car driving school, now how about taking the hobby to the next level? They only accept a maximum of 2 students per course, so no lesson should go unlearned. Don’t expect to finish a whole car in such a short period of time, of course but this should lay down the groundwork for a whole new hands on approach to building your own Jaguar Low Drag GT, should that be the desired end result. Opens up a whole new world that you knew existed before but never thought that you would be able to do, now doesn’t it? Find their contact information on the following page..
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Video Recommendation: Canepa Shop Walk-Through

December 5, 2016 in American / General Discussion / German / Italian / Race Car / Restoration Shop / Video

We always find it fascinating to see what is currently going on in Bruce Canepa‘s Scott’s Valley, California shop during their weekly video walk throughs. No sound is necessary, the images speak volumes. We have had our eye on the black Interscope 934 in particular, but wonder what the lowered Duesenberg with stock wheels all about, too. In fact, everything in the shop peaks our interest, it’s absolute sensory overload! Enjoy..

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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Survivor: 1961 Mercedes Benz 300 SL

December 1, 2016 in German / Survivor

We are on the subject of comparing Mercedes Benz 300 SL survivors anyways, how about a little overkill with one more feature of the story of two 1961 300 SL’s? We don’t have a lot of information on either one other than the photos this time around, but the final numbers tell the tale of these two that were both sold by Gooding & Company in 2011.
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