Ex­pert help

New Zealand Classic Car - - Editorial - Ash­ley Webb Editor

When walk­ing around clas­sic car shows in this coun­try I’m al­ways pleas­antly sur­prised by the sheer num­bers, and the dif­fer­ent mar­ques on dis­play. Let’s face it, for a small coun­try with a rel­a­tively small pop­u­la­tion, clas­sic-car own­er­ship is def­i­nitely alive and well.

The seem­ingly end­less ar­ray of clas­sic cars in this coun­try is matched only by the peo­ple who own them. We all buy clas­sic cars for dif­fer­ent rea­sons, whether it be sen­ti­men­tal — hav­ing had one grow­ing up, or a grand­fa­ther who used to own one — or maybe be­cause it was a car you ad­mired as a teenager and as­pired to own one day, when you could afford to shell out the nec­es­sary funds. Or per­haps it’s a restora­tion project to fill in your days, which brings me to an­other point — skill lev­els.

There are many of us who own clas­sic cars and are happy enough to drive and en­joy them, pre­fer­ring to let a friendly me­chanic take care of the gen­eral main­te­nance re­quired: and those at the other end of the scale who are well ca­pa­ble of per­form­ing a full body-off restora­tion.

What­ever your mo­ti­va­tion for restor­ing a clas­sic car, it is the ul­ti­mate labour of love, re­quir­ing time, pa­tience, and a high level of skill, not to men­tion hav­ing the right tools for the job. For a clas­s­ic­car enthusiast, bring­ing a ve­hi­cle back to life is a re­ward­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, to say the least. If you don’t have enough time on your hands, your project will be des­tined to fail from the get-go, or at least stall for long enough to ruin the ex­pe­ri­ence. Restor­ing a clas­sic car needs a par­tic­u­lar set of skills, and many en­thu­si­asts would no doubt pre­fer as­sign­ing this task to ex­perts who have years of ex­pe­ri­ence restor­ing clas­sic cars.

With this in mind we’ve run a se­ries of spe­cial fea­tures over the past sev­eral months show­cas­ing the ex­perts that sup­port our hobby. Ex­perts in fields such as coach­build­ing, en­gine re­con­di­tion­ing, ve­hi­cle un­der­body, and even those spe­cial­iz­ing in build­ing race cars have pro­vided ex­tremely in­for­ma­tive pro­files of their par­tic­u­lar of­fer­ings.

Many own­ers of th­ese com­pa­nies are clas­sic-car en­thu­si­asts them­selves, and more than happy to sit down with you to pre­pare a plan based on your spe­cific re­quire­ments and bud­get. This month, we high­light the one com­po­nent that many of us take for granted and, in many cases, leave un­til some­thing goes wrong — trans­mis­sions — and talk to the peo­ple who re­ally know their stuff.

It’s im­por­tant to re­mem­ber that whether you’re look­ing to have your en­gine re­con­di­tioned, brakes re­paired, ra­di­a­tor recored, a new paint scheme, or ma­jor fab­ri­ca­tion work, that there’s an abun­dance of ex­per­tise right on your doorstep only too will­ing to of­fer ex­pert ad­vice.

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