Look­ing af­ter them

Classic Cars (UK) - - The Collector -

‘I’m not a good me­chanic,’ says Luca, ‘but Minis are so easy that even I can do some of the sim­ple jobs. With the other cars I’m too scared to mess up the job, so I pre­fer to use pro­fes­sion­als.’ Over years of col­lect­ing he has de­vel­oped a net­work of trusted me­chan­ics, body work­ers and other spe­cial­ists. He has also bought com­plete stocks of spare parts from clos­ing-down deal­ers or shops and now some rooms of the house are ded­i­cated to stor­ing them. He’s glad he did, be­cause he laments, ‘To­day re­pro­duc­tions of just about any­thing are avail­able. Un­for­tu­nately most of the new parts are man­u­fac­tured in the far east, and are very low qual­ity – worse than the orig­i­nals, some of which weren’t too good in the first place. They are cheap to buy but are worth even less.’ His stock of parts al­lows him to be vir­tu­ally self-suf­fi­cient when restor­ing a car. ‘My me­chan­ics are now so ex­pert in Minis that they can work to a very high stan­dard,’ he adds. He uses the same pro­fes­sion­als to work on all his cars, with each one be­ing treated to a change of all flu­ids every three years at the very least.

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