There are sand bags hiding in these two Healeys. We're not waiting for a flood or storing for the sandblaster, we’re making sure that everything is in balance. To get the lines and gaps right you really need to weight a car’s chassis when you do a total...read more
The majority of our restoration work at Sport and Specialty doesn’t drive or roll into the shop. Most of our work is pushed in on a transport dolly and unloaded unceremoniously in a variety of mismatched wood and cardboard boxes. Sometimes we even see parts loaded up in old laundry baskets.
The projects come to us in many shapes and forms
Mostly the parts are worn out, rusty and dusty. Occasionally, the pieces and portions were treated to some sort of amateur restoration, long lost its newly painted sheen, and was never tested for use afterwards in a running and driving automobile. Usually, if lucky, the original fasteners abound in discarded coffee and margarine containers. It takes more time and costs more to inspect and inventory all of these items when the car comes in this way.
Don’t get me wrong, this is our bread and butter, and I love seeing these pieces come in. What breaks my heart sometimes is that someone simply abandoned the project when they got in over their head, because this all looks kind of easy on TV.
Assessing the projects
One of my least favorites is going out and assessing cars that have been disassembled, yet have beautiful new wheels and tires. That’s restoration with a Visa card and just dumb. Many times, the new wheels are beginning to pit already and the tires show no wear – but expired two years ago. The last thing done in car restoration should be new wheels and tires.
My professional advice is simple on this topic – if you own or find a major restoration candidate, stop right now! Take a deep breath and think for a few minutes. Most projects start out with extreme enthusiasm and the best of intentions.
Getting some advice
Call someone who has done this before, amateur or professional, and discuss how to best go about this serious undertaking. A detailed budget, a plan, some working room, organizational skills, and patience are as essential as mechanical skills. Don’t explode the car and figure out the rest later, it’s a sure recipe for disaster unless you’ve done a few of these.
Before you start taking it apart…
Finally, I try to relate to the owners of new projects that once you take them apart, they’re worth even less than that great deal you negotiated. Remember, a car in a million pieces is called a project, and worth a small portion of the finished product. On the other hand, a car that’s really rough – but still assembled – is called a barn find and can somehow be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
So, take that deep breath, do a little homework, and leave the dust on until you’re ready!
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Write this down on your car’s to-do list: Check your classic car insurance coverage. Today! Do you even know what the limits are on your policy? Do you know what the current value of your vehicle is? If your car gets hit, will you be able to fix it or will...read more
Hurray! In a few days I will celebrate five years as a small business owner. I often believe I have made it over the hump, but I know enough to never become complacent when moving forward. I hear a lot about “Living the Dream,” but there are some days I...read more
I was honored to be interviewed by Cars Yeah's Mark Greene, "an incurable automotive enthusiast interviewing successful automotive entrepreneurs who live a lifestyle around their passion for automobiles" for his latest podcast. You can find the full...read more
A quick wrap up from my trip to the 2017 Austin-Healey Conclave - in short: another great event, organized this time by the Texas Austin Healey Clubs. A quick wrap up from my trip to the 2017 Austin-Healey Conclave - in short: another great event,...read more
After spending some time studying my new Hammer Price app (a must-have) and going through some of my auction notes for the week, I have come to some of the same conclusions I did last year—some marques did well, and others lost a little ground in value. it...read more
Ever since I sold Mark Baker’s 100R Healey at Bonham’s Auction in Scottsdale four years ago I eagerly await coming back to Arizona for my now annual trip to the land of auctions and car shows. Once here, a common question I get from old and new friends...read more
The majority of our restoration work at Sport and Specialty doesn’t drive or roll into the shop. Most of our work is pushed in on a transport dolly and unloaded unceremoniously in a variety of mismatched wood and cardboard boxes. Sometimes we even see...read more
Last weekend we pulled the trigger and launched the latest iteration of the Sport and Specialty website. All of the digital switches fell into place and with a sigh of relief a year’s worth of effort came to fruition. We had put together a simpler site...read more
We delivered this beautiful BJ8 Healey to David and Ellen with a mini mechanical restoration. Full engine and all accessories rebuild with a new wiring harness. Good for many more thousands of miles of fun! Read More of My Blog...read more
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Yesterday's results. People's choice 1951 Dodge. Founders Award 1952 A6G Maserati. Best in Show 1914 Stutz Bearcat!! Beautiful Car! Read More of My Blog...read more