New Zealand Classic Car - - Contents - To make sure you don’t for­get those im­por­tant last de­tails, we spoke to a few in­dus­try in­sid­ers to get all the knowl­edge you’ll need to crown it done. Words: Jaden Martin Photos: New Zealand Clas­sic Car archives / Supplied

Wheel re­pairs Wheels, or as some may re­fer to them, rims, are a cru­cial com­po­nent in your driv­e­line, and of­ten be­come a state­ment-maker for any car — the right choice by a man­u­fac­turer can guar­an­tee a model’s suc­cess or doom it from the get-go. What­ever wheels your car has, a fresh restora­tion can be let down if they don’t match the con­di­tion of the rest of the car, as of­ten they’ll have been around for some years and have seen their fair share of pot­holes, curbs, and other road wear.

Thank­fully, in most cases, this dam­age can be re­paired. We spoke with Lance Bell, owner of Ar­row Wheels — which has been in busi­ness for 36 years, is a cer­ti­fied en­gi­neer­ing com­pany, and re­cently pur­chased a top-of-the-line CNC ma­chine tool — to find out the dif­fer­ent kinds of re­pair that can be made to bring your wheels back to life.

“One of the most com­mon is­sues is dam­age caused by curb­ing a wheel against con­crete. This kind of re­pair can be made quickly and ef­fi­ciently. But per­haps your wheel has been through the wars — hit­ting a curb head on, or that un­ex­pected bump which can cause quite se­vere dam­age — and is now bent or buck­led? Re­plac­ing them can be­come very costly or near-on im­pos­si­ble, so you want to fix up what you have. No sweat; we can sort that out. Even to the point of miss­ing

sec­tions from big im­pacts, which most peo­ple are sur­prised can even be con­sid­ered for re­pair. You don’t have to give up on it; of­ten even large dam­aged or miss­ing sec­tions can be re­paired.

“Cost is a tricky one, as ev­ery wheel and its dam­age is dif­fer­ent. Prices range from $40 for a sim­ple ma­chin­ing of the lips, up to $300 (or more) for full re­con­di­tion­ing, in­clud­ing paint, clear coat­ing, and pol­ish­ing, to make the wheels look like a brand-new set. But we can pro­vide you a quote on the spot when you bring your wheel in — this al­lows us to spin it to check for buck­les and other dam­age that may not be ob­vi­ous while the wheel is still on the ve­hi­cle. Those out­side of Auck­land can email us a photo, and we can pro­vide a rough es­ti­mate on pric­ing be­fore you courier it to our work­shop.

“Re­pairs usu­ally take around two to three work­ing days from ar­riv­ing at our work­shop to be­ing ready for fit­ment back onto your car. This can vary de­pend­ing on how much work needs to be com­pleted — things to think about in­clude whether it needs paint­ing, clear coat­ing, weld­ing, pol­ish­ing, hav­ing old paint stripped off, etc. We have four full-time ex­pe­ri­enced painters and a brand-new sta­teof-the-art full down­draught spray booth on site which can pro­vide a high qual­ity, durable paint fin­ish to your wheels.

“Get in touch, and we’ll talk about what we can do for you.”


Most clas­sic own­ers will be re­al­is­tic about what crea­ture com­forts their ve­hi­cle has to of­fer, and that list is of­ten a rather short one for good rea­son, but one thing you don’t want to put up with is the out­side el­e­ments en­ter­ing your ve­hi­cle. Reusing orig­i­nal seals won’t add value to your restora­tion, as it’ll leave the in­te­rior open to dam­age, not to men­tion the an­noy­ance of be­ing cold and wet. Re­plac­ing worn or non-ex­is­tent seals is es­sen­tial.

We spoke with An­thony from Ba­sis — a mail-or­der restora­tion sup­ply busi­ness in op­er­a­tion for over 30 years — to find out what seals you need to con­sider when piec­ing ev­ery­thing back to­gether.

“Weather strips are one of our most pop­u­lar prod­ucts. No one wants wa­ter and other el­e­ments creep­ing into the in­te­rior of the ve­hi­cle, which can po­ten­tially dam­age com­po­nents in­side, in­clud­ing car­pets, be they new or old. While some ve­hi­cles may have a spe­cific strip to suit, we of­fer a uni­ver­sal op­tions that cover a vast range — things like Austin, Chevro­let, Ford, Holden, Mor­ris, Vaux­hall, from vet­er­ans to clas­sics, as well as air­craft, boats, and car­a­vans — many chan­nels. Rub­bers, sponge, weath­er­strips, and wind­laces can be cut off a roll and used to cover nu­mer­ous dif­fer­ent ap­pli­ca­tions. Th­ese are most com­monly used to seal com­po­nents such as win­dows, doors, and boots — any­thing that has a gap to the out­side world.

“Sim­i­larly, wind­lace is used for those ve­hi­cles that are prone to dust and wind find­ing their way into the ve­hi­cle. To coun­ter­act this, a wind­lace trim can be in­stalled around the door open­ings on most clas­sic cars. Tack-on wind­lace uti­lizes a rub­ber core [which is] cloth wrapped and then sewn to­gether around it, to cre­ate a damp­ing ef­fect on noise en­ter­ing from the out­side, while the rub­ber be­ing com­press­ible cre­ates an ef­fec­tive seal.

“Th­ese are just a few of the prod­ucts from the large se­lec­tion held in stock at all times to ben­e­fit cus­tomers with their projects. We carry a huge amount of 1940 to 1960 prod­ucts, and with many years in the

Win­dow glass

While most glass re­place­ments are the re­sult of an un­for­tu­nate in­ci­dent after some form of im­pact to the sur­face, deal­ing with glass is also a vi­tal step dur­ing the restora­tion process, as older units will have been sub­jected to a life­time of wear and tear. Scratches, chips, cracks, and miss­ing glass can dampen the over­all fin­ish of a restora­tion; how­ever, though mod­ern op­tions are eas­ily pur­chased off the shelf, clas­sic ex­am­ples can be a bit harder to ob­tain.

To get the in­side knowl­edge on sourc­ing new glass, we spoke to Jeremy from Be­spoke Auto Glass — a spe­cial­ist in clas­sic ve­hi­cle glass and keen en­thu­si­ast.

He told us: “We spe­cial­ize in sourc­ing

curved glass and mak­ing flat clas­sic-car glass. With so many restora­tions tak­ing place where ev­ery as­pect is done right, to have the old, of­ten dam­aged or scratched, glass go back in is a shame. It’s im­por­tant when re­plac­ing any glass that the right kind is fit­ted to the car — we will use tough­ened glass for doors and rear win­dows where pos­si­ble. Most clas­sics use the old lam­i­nated style, which can be iden­ti­fied when look­ing at the edges — there will be a line through the mid­dle that looks like three sec­tions stuck to­gether. When a door swings and some­one grabs it, the glass is what takes the force, which has no strength and can crack eas­ily. An­other is­sue is that it can de­lam­i­nate over time and cause the com­mon cloudy muck — tough­ened glass pre­vents both is­sues and can be iden­ti­fied by the shiny pol­ished­edge look. Ob­vi­ously, where a cus­tomer wants the lam­i­nate, or when a tough­ened op­tion can’t be sourced, we’ll use it as re­quired.

“Curved glass is typ­i­cally sourced from over­seas, and can be or­dered to the cus­tomer’s re­quest. This means tint­ing op­tions and the abil­ity to in­sert a heated screen — take, for ex­am­ple, a ’50s or ’60s car which never re­ally demisted well: heat­ing can be in­serted dur­ing man­u­fac­tur­ing to give that mod­ern com­fort. For those that can’t be sourced new, we can find a good-con­di­tion sec­ond-hand op­tion. We make flat panels in house, mea­sur­ing the pat­tern prop­erly to en­sure cor­rect fit, and use sam­ple glass to match any ex­ist­ing tint­ing when not re­plac­ing all panels.

“We also make a point to use the cor­rect rub­ber and sealer when re­in­stalling the new win­dows. Peo­ple of­ten make the mis­take of us­ing sil­i­cone, which, in essence, isn’t the per­fect prod­uct for such an ap­pli­ca­tion. Soft skin­ning sealer is a black sticky sub­stance that al­lows the win­dow to move with the car, and is specif­i­cally de­signed for this ap­pli­ca­tion.

“For your next re­place­ment, get in touch — if it can be sourced and/or made, let’s do it and do it right.”


Once upon a time, the clas­sic side mir­ror wasn’t stan­dard on a car, and, when it was, it’d come in many shapes and forms. Of course, it’s now con­sid­ered a vi­tal part of the safety equa­tion on a mod­ern ve­hi­cle, but those old orig­i­nals have taken a bat­ter­ing over time. Age can see mir­rors suf­fer quite a ham­mer­ing, es­pe­cially on the fam­ily cars of yes­ter­year, sub­ject to the equiv­a­lents of our su­per­mar­ket car-park en­coun­ters.

Re­plac­ing them with the cor­rect, or a sim­i­lar, op­tion is im­por­tant, though you sim­ply might want to take the op­por­tu­nity to up­grade them while you’re at it — it’s a big world out there.

To bring that big world right to your doorstep, we spoke to Rex from NZ Clas­sic Car Mir­rors and Ac­ces­sories, which spe­cial­izes in mir­rors and clas­sic ac­ces­sories such as lenses, which many cars are knocked back on come WOF time due to cloudi­ness or crack­ing. It also stocks head­lights, which can use halo­gen bulbs for the full ef­fect of a mod­ern car in a clas­sic, so you no longer have to squint to see where you’re go­ing — and so we sat down to chat with him about what op­tions are avail­able.

He deals with sev­eral brands, Tex be­ing the pri­mary source for mir­rors for many English mod­els, as well as some Aus­tralian ones. Then there’s Orig­i­nal Equip­ment Re­pro­duc­tion (OER), sev­eral more for other mar­kets like the Amer­i­can mar­ket or vin­tage mar­ket (brass mir­rors), and rac­ing prod­ucts (car­bon-fi­bre) for open-wheel­ers and race cars

“De­pend­ing on what you’re after, we can of­fer a large range of op­tions. Mix and match for the front spring-back mir­ror types — take an early Mor­ris or Austin, for ex­am­ple. The spring-back mir­ror is ef­fec­tively an arm with a spring mech­a­nism at the base, con­nected through a hole in the guard to bolt up un­derneath. From there, you have three or four dif­fer­ent stem shapes avail­able, and then the same again for the head — round, rec­tan­gle, square, etc. Then you can choose a con­cave or flat glass. Door mir­rors are a lit­tle more spe­cific, de­pend­ing on the base that is re­quired, but, gen­er­ally speak­ing, you can fit any of our mir­rors to any car; it of­ten comes down to a style choice. The most pop­u­lar choice is what we call the ‘M68990/1’, which came out on Jags, Tri­umphs, and also came out on Es­corts. It’s a ta­pered rec­tan­gle with a nice moulded base. It looks great on just about any car, be­ing a pol­ished, shiny unit with lots of view. Then you have a fixed base, which will fit spe­cific door types — such as a US hump door, found on some­thing like a MKII or III Ze­phyr.

“Tor­pedo mir­rors are also a pop­u­lar choice

and look great on many cars, but of­fer lit­tle vi­sion, so we of­ten rec­om­mend an ex­tend­ed­base bul­let mir­ror for peo­ple that re­ally want the tor­pedo but are aware of the lack of view and go for ex­tended base for bet­ter vi­sion. You can also get clamp-on mir­rors, which hold onto win­dow frames with­out af­fect­ing wa­ter­tight­ness. There are plenty of op­tions to suit what­ever your need; it’s re­ally down to what look you want to achieve — and it’s ob­vi­ously a good safety fea­ture, too.”

Vet­eran, vin­tage, and clas­sic tyres

And, fi­nally, al­most the last items to com­plete a restora­tion are the tyres — although, for some, this will be the first pur­chase, to al­low a ground-up project to be ma­noeu­vred around the work­shop. But, alas, for many, after they’ve spent up large on other as­pects of a restora­tion, tyres be­come a grudge pur­chase at any price, rather than a thought-out in­vest­ment.

To dis­cover how best to find the cor­rect tyre to go on to your vet­eran, vin­tage, or clas­sic restora­tion, we spoke with Peter Wood­end at Clas­sic Tyres — a busi­ness orig­i­nally cre­ated in 1991, fol­low­ing the ces­sa­tion of cross-ply tyre man­u­fac­tur­ing in New Zealand by both Dun­lop (South Pa­cific Tyres) and Bridge­stone-fire­stone.

“The fo­cus has al­ways been on re­place­ment of tyres to man­u­fac­tur­ers’ orig­i­nal spec­i­fi­ca­tions, and, for the ma­jor­ity of ve­hi­cles reg­is­tered prior to the 1960s, there re­ally are very few op­tions for change to later or ra­dial ver­sions. How­ever, with the ad­vent of the 15-inch-rim era many more op­tions can be con­sid­ered, and even ‘change for change’s sake’.

“Our range runs from the first pneu­mat­ics at the turn of the 1900s — com­monly re­ferred to as ‘beaded-edge’ tyres, or in Us-speak, ‘clincher’ tyres — through [to] the high-pres­sure and bal­loon era, ‘nor­mal’ cross-plies with ever-chang­ing (re­duc­ing) rim di­am­e­ters, to a range of spe­cial­ity white­wall ra­di­als. In other words, a cat­a­logue of con­stantly im­prov­ing tyre tech­nol­ogy span­ning 115 years, where the Corolla of to­day runs com­pletely dif­fer­ent tyres to that of a decade pre­vi­ously.

“In older ve­hi­cles prior to the 1950s and the ad­vent of tube­less tyres, nearly all tyres were tubed. A full se­lec­tion of tubes and lin­ers is also held in stock. In some in­stances, a dif­fer­ent tube in­side the same case when mounted on a dif­fer­ent make of rim may be ap­pro­pri­ate. Plus the New Zealand favourite dress-up items, ‘clip-on’ white­walls. All items in the in­ven­tory are EU, or US DOT cer­ti­fied and, with­out ex­cep­tion, au­tho­rized for use in New Zealand — and in only deal­ing di­rectly with au­tho­rized over­seas sup­pli­ers, and man­u­fac­tur­ers’ agents, full re­place­ment war­ranties ap­ply. With many ref­er­ence sched­ules and man­u­als on hand, ad­vice is freely given to en­sure the right tyre for your ve­hi­cle is avail­able.”

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