The Restoration Process
Restoration is both a science and an art. It’s a combination of processes, a blend of conservation, preservation, refurbishment, renewal and rebuilding that, when used appropriately, preserves as much of the original car as possible, both materially, in personality and in spirit. Restoration can be a daunting task.
Simply replacing worn out components and damaged body parts isn’t restoration. It may be easier and less expensive to simply replace a particular component, but doing so means that part of the original car is lost forever – taken to the extreme, it’s a process that will eventually result in a ‘new’ car, its originality and value seriously compromised.
Returning a classic car to its former glory can only be achieved with technical excellence and outstanding craftsmanship, underpinned with knowledge and experience, passion and perfectionism. Work is carried out to exacting standards by a team who are passionate about what they do: it’s the quality of workmanship, the accuracy of fit, the authenticity of the ‘look and feel’ that is poured back into the car that counts.
A very personalised project
Every restoration project is unique. The make and model of the car, its age, its historical significance, its rarity, the condition it’s in and what you want us to do all affect the project that’s developed. You may have an exceptionally rare competition model that’s been standing in a garage for years and that you want brought back to ‘Concours’ standard, or you may have a lovingly cared for ‘production car’ that needs little more than the paint work refinished and a thorough service.
Our first steps are to carry out a basic, but very thorough, assessment of what you have and then talk to you in detail about what you’d like us to do. Our initial assessment usually results in numerous questions, either for us to address or you to answer, along with a list of ‘things to consider’. Either may influence what you ask us to do.
The result of the assessment, combined with the outcome of our discussions with you, means we can start to finalise a plan for restoring your car. The project plan will be unique and will set out a detailed programme of potential work, provide cost estimates and give a projected timetable.
Bringing your car back to life
Bringing a car back to life is relatively easy – anyone can do that! – restoring a masterpiece is anything but. Recapturing a car’s original personality, reviving its spirit and returning it to its former glory requires a combination of technical excellence and outstanding craftsmanship underpinned by knowledge, experience, passion and perfectionism. It’s both a science and an art.
Our technicians have a thorough understanding of the ‘nut-and-bolt’ technology used by Ferrari and Aston Martin; those working on the body are skilled craftsmen, experts in hand-forming and finishing panels using tools and techniques that are fast becoming lost skills. No corners are cut. No stones left unturned. “That’ll do”, simply won’t.
Having researched the subject meticulously and discussed your requirements in detail we’ll know exactly what we have to do: the project will call for a blend of preservation, conservation, refurbishment, restoration, renewal, remanufacturing, refinishing and revival. We’ll document everything we do, take high-resolution photos and create a restoration project file that forms part of the car’s documented history. Naturally we’ll keep you informed of progress and as involved with the project as you want to be.
Following reassembly and refinishing, the car will be fully tested both in the workshops and on the road. In the workshops, a thorough inspection will be carried out to verify that reassembly has met the project’s specification, that everything is working as it should do and that fit and finish meets the manufacturer’s standards. The engine will be fine-tuned on a dynamometer to allow optimum performance to be achieved. The car will then have an extended road test to discover and rectify any ‘rattles and squeaks’, start to run-in the engine, transmission and drivetrain and bed-in new brakes.
Before we return the car to you we’ll give it a final valet and polish, ensure that its restoration project documentation is up to date and that the build file and photos are on a USB memory stick.
Ideally the project shouldn’t end when you receive your car back. Although we expect it to provide you with trouble-free enjoyment for many years to come, we recommend you bring it back to us after about 1,000 miles for a minor service and inspection.
Manufacturer certification – Ferrari Classiche
We’re proud to say that the quality of our restoration work meets Ferrari Classiche standards. Ferrari Classiche is the official Ferrari certification and authentication programme, a service established to provide restoration and maintenance services, technical assistance and Certificates of Authenticity for owners of classic Ferraris. The programme provides owners of road-going Ferraris over 20 years old, and all Ferrari competition cars, confirmation from Ferrari about the authenticity of their car.
This is an uncompromising task. Ferrari does not issue a ‘Certificazione di Autenticità’, it’s ‘Red Book’ unless its certification committee, the COCER, is certain that any restoration work carried out meets their expectations. At the end of the project, technical representatives from Ferrari check that everything – the chassis, engine, transmission, brakes, suspension, steering, wheels, bodywork and interior – are original and/or comply with the car’s original specification.
A detailed report is compiled by Ferrari’s assessor and this is sent to the Ferrari Classiche department at Maranello. Details are checked against factory records and, if the restoration is approved, Ferrari issues a ‘Ferrari Classiche Certificazione di Autenticità’, a document which adds to the car’s provenance, desirability and value.