Updates, New Crew Members, Jaguars, Alfas, and Healey Eye Candy

Updates, New Crew Members, Jaguars, Alfas, and Healey Eye Candy

As official Content Strategist (Internet Guy) and photographer for Sport and Specialty, I get the pleasure of spending time at the shop to catch up on the newest work and meet the newest crew members. This last trip was preceding VSCDA’s Blackhawk Classic so the energy was even higher than usual.

Many, many updates to come about the work going on “In The Shop” but for now, meet the new crew member Jon Edwards and a his story. Anyone who has visited has probably also met Cameron Schmidt in the shop, but now he’s officially elevated to apprentice status so now you’ll see him getting his hands into the rudimentary details of the work around the shop. 

Oh, and about that eye candy…


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The 2017 Austin-Healey Conclave

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,...

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A Winning Blackhawk Vintage Classic with VSCDA

A Winning Blackhawk Vintage Classic with VSCDA

Last weekend was the annual Father’s Day VSCDA Blackhawk Vintage Classic. After a Spring of rain, cold, and snow, it was a real pleasure to get out with a minimum of precipitation and a maximum of track time.

Ron Soave and Jeff Poracik did an exemplary job as race chairs planning a real racer’s event. There was three days of solid in-car time along with tons of socializing with our fellow Midwest car brothers and sisters. Bill Oakes and I shared a fun paddock and had a blast. See you next year, and looking forward to the October VSCDA Blackhawk event.


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The 2017 Austin-Healey Conclave

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,...

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Engine and Brakes for the Mustang!

Engine and Brakes for the Mustang!

What goes must stop. Ryan Vetter got a crucial delivery for Jim’s 1968 Mustang. Now we can do measurements and build arounds. We’re not in British Leyland territory with this one. Make sure to follow the Mustang’s progress in our In the Shop section of the site. 


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The 2017 Austin-Healey Conclave

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,...

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An Anniversary at Arizona Auction Week

An Anniversary at Arizona Auction Week

 

This year marks the fifth year I’ve ventured out to Arizona for the magic of auction week. In 2014 I brought the 100R out to offer at Bonham’s and became smitten with the cars, sights, and people. It helps that I have close family here that I love spending time with, but it has also allowed me to connect – and stay connected – with so many like-minded people in the car hobby. I’ve already been busy with judging the Future Classics show and yesterday spent time at Worldwide Auctions checking out their offerings.

Today will find me at Barrett Jackson for an inspection of an E-Type and Andy Reid’s always entertaining tour. From there I’ll head towards Bonham’s, followed by a cocktail reception for The RPM Foundation and a birthday dinner for a friend in from Germany. Tomorrow it starts again.

I will try to post current activity with my travels here and share some of the fun. Meanwhile, enjoy some of the sights I see with my pictures posted here and on Facebook.

I have one word for the week: Sunscreen!!!


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The 2017 Austin-Healey Conclave

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,...

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Top 10 Sport and Specialty “On The Road” Cars in 2018 – It’s Been a Great Year

Top 10 Sport and Specialty “On The Road” Cars in 2018 – It’s Been a Great Year

 

It’s that time of year to reflect on our accomplishments in 2018, and it was a great year for us at Sport and Specialty. We worked, we played, we raced, and we even hired a new operations manager for the shop! Things are already looking great for 2019, too.

Looking back over 2018 we’re proud to see the cars that gained “On The Road” status in 2018. They included Austin-Healeys, Jaguars, Alfa Romeos, and even a small armored car…seriously. We made sure that every project got that special attention that their owners count on from us. We’re serious when we say that we preserve the art and soul of vintage sports cars. 

Take a look through our Top 10 “On The Road” cars list below. Just like our children, we really don’t play favorites, they’re all special to us in their own way. Also, make sure to check out our full list of On The Road cars, it’s one of our most popular pages on the website. 

Happy New Year, everyone!


 

#10 – 1965 Austin Healey 3000 BJ8

This car is another re-commission project, having sat for a few years. Some engine work, body work, and a fresh new top and set of tires has this one back on the road being enjoyed by its owner.

 

 

#9 –1966 Austin Healey 3000

With some extensive front end damage, this beauty got refreshed from head-to-toe. We repaired the collision damage and then freshened the paint, interior, and mechanical components to get this one back to the car shows. Make sure to check out the smiles on the owner’s faces as they show it off to their friends.

#8 – 1948 Triumph 2000 Roadster

This unique car came in not running and with overheating issues. Newly acquired by a Healey customer, we set about making it safe and reliable. First, we got all of the gauges working and made sure the doors opened and closed with regularity and then tackled the various mechanical issues. Read on to learn more about this project.

#7 – 1971 Alfa Romeo Kamm Tail Spider

This is a first year Kamm Tail 1750 Spider with only 4,829 produced. We had been working to slowly refurbish the car that would include a full engine rebuild in 2017 when I couldn’t help myself and bought the car for my personal use. You can see and read more on the website. 

#6 –1965 Alfa Romeo Duetto Spider

This car belonged to our friend and Ferrari aficionado Tom Caulfield. We have been servicing the car for years, including an engine overhaul. The current owner, and another regular customer, recently brought it in for a few minor issues and a new exhaust. We also did a service check on this very original and really nice Duetto and got him back on the road. 

#5 – 1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint

This car had been sitting for a quite a few years and been started but not used on the road for a while. It’s a really nice and well-loved car that had an older restoration but needed some service and refreshing.

#4 – Ferret Armored Car

We worked on a Land Rover last year for a customer who has some interesting vehicles. He recently acquired this Ferret Armored Scout Car that he hasn’t been able to get started and asked if we would like a go at it. After a fair amount of troubleshooting we got the six cylinder Rolls Royce gasoline engine to pop, but not run consistently. It was fun to have here for a while, but we don’t see a new niche opening up soon.

#3 – 1969 Alfa Romeo GTV Race Car

It seems that race cars are never really done and are basically new every two or three years. In 2017 I had an issue on the dyno and had to rebuild in a hurry. I got back to the dyno in June of 2018 where I finally got it dialed in, with great torque numbers and good peak horsepower coming in at 7200 RPM. A fresh clutch, gearbox rebuild, some fresh paint on the nose, and some early prep will pay dividends in 2019. Ready to go!!

#2 –1969 Jaguar Series 2 E-Type

This survivor car had been stored in a clean dry environment since the mid 1970s. We brought it back mechanically, got it running, and rebuilt the suspension and drivetrain. Now, with all new glass, trim, and a fresh paint job, the owner is all smiles and back on the road.

#1 – 1965 Ferrari 330GT 2+2

Enzo Ferrari himself declared the Series 1 330 GT 2+2 as his favorite and regular driver. This beautiful Ferrari is a complete nut-and bolt-restoration – and more. An unfortunate accident almost finished this car. It was rear ended and pushed into a telephone pole and ended up looking like a silver fortune cookie, with very few usable body components left. To read the rest of the story of this build, check it out in our Concours Showcase


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The 2017 Austin-Healey Conclave

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,...

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The Ferrari 330GT 2+2 goes home today! One of our finest total builds.

The Ferrari 330GT 2+2 goes home today! One of our finest total builds.

Must be our week to send home some beauties! Our customer drove his Ferrari 330GT 2+2 home today! One of our finest total builds. Took home his parts car too. Glade loved the test drives. To see the history of this beauty, make sure to see it in our Concours Showcase.


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The 2017 Austin-Healey Conclave

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,...

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The 2018 Sport and Specialty Drive Out – Cool cars, nice people, fun projects!

The 2018 Sport and Specialty Drive Out – Cool cars, nice people, fun projects!

Thanks to all who attended our first ever “Drive Out.” The impromptu car show was a great success and the weather couldn’t have been better. This will be an annual event I think. I need to thank the Sport and Specialty crew, Ryan, Bill, Max Lindsay, Glade, and Cameron, along with our great customers and friends for making today so much fun.

As always, make sure to keep checking our Facebook and Instagram pages for more pictures – so many people taking so many pictures!


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The 2017 Austin-Healey Conclave

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,...

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Carry Your Weight: How We Keep a Healey Balanced During Restoration

Carry Your Weight: How We Keep a Healey Balanced During Restoration

Sport and Specialty - Carry Your WeightThere 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 body restoration.

Healeys are especially prone to sag a bit with age, making it even more challenging to get everything just right. Every spring I get calls from folks who install the engine and interior pieces of their car after the body has been restored, painted, or simply put back together. To their surprise, they find their doors don’t close, the style lines don’t match, or the body gaps have changed considerably.

What happened was as those pieces to the car were put back on, the extra weight of the engine or suspension has made the body flex just a little. That’s why you’ll see cars in our shop with sand bags strategically placed in our customer’s cars during restoration. It’s one of those things that years of experience have made the difference in how we prepare our classic cars.

Another quick tip for you do-it-yourselfers: Fit your chrome and trim when you are doing your bodywork and finishing. This too will save hours trying to make trim fit on a now altered (even if just a little) and painted bodywork. Send out those pieces out for chrome after you know it all fits properly.

Want to know more about some of the little lessons we’ve learned? Give me a call, drop me a line, or better yet schedule a time to take a tour of the shop.


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The 2017 Austin-Healey Conclave

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,...

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It’s Insurance Review Season: Do you even know what the limits are on your policy?

It’s Insurance Review Season: Do you even know what the limits are on your policy?

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 it be a total because the entire amount will be used up?

Did you know that, depending upon the state, your insurance company can take possession of your car and sell it for parts or scrap when the payout exceeds a percentage of the limit of your policy?

Over the past five years we have taken in more than a few cars that have been underinsured. In a few cases, they have also had poorly repaired or restored work that must be re-done to fix a current issue. This typically puts me in the uncomfortable position of informing an owner that their beloved vehicle cannot be fixed for what it’s insured.

We don’t have an underinsured rate. It costs the same to properly fix a car regardless of the policy limits. We also don’t have a magic relationship with the insurance carrier where we can “work things out.” No winking and nodding goes on in my world.

A few other things to remember:

  • The policy will not pay to repaint the whole car if only a portion is damaged. You may get a decent color match, but you may end up with a half lacquer and half urethane finished car.
  • Be certain your carrier has adjusters on hand who are acquainted with, and the know how to properly fix your marque. Most don’t, and this will mean hours of time for your chosen repair facility in preparing addendums and correspondence. Most replacement body parts don’t “just bolt on”.
  • Pre-existing conditions don’t only apply to health insurance. New parts cannot be welded or bolted to filler and fiberglass repairs. Many times, this isn’t apparent until the job is underway. The repair for this is the responsibility of the car’s owner.
  • A super original collector car’s value will be significantly diminished once a significant collision repair has been performed. That is real money.

This isn’t an indictment of the insurance industry, simply a reminder that it’s our responsibility as owners and collectors to make sure that we are managing our investments wisely. It may certainly be worth a look!!


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The 2017 Austin-Healey Conclave

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,...

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A Fast Five – Learning to How Balance My Passion With My Livelihood

A Fast Five – Learning to How Balance My Passion With My Livelihood

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 wish I had a boss to dump stuff on, weekends and vacation days, and was back on a “Direct Deposit” plan. But yeah, mostly, things are working out the way I had hoped.

While the automobile restoration business may not move at the speeds of the high tech industry, it certainly doesn’t remain static. Marque values fluctuate, the economy ebbs and flows, projects explode, regulations change, and costs and taxes never go down. These are all things I found I needed to pay attention to in order to stay current.

Without a doubt, I have been blessed with talented employees and grateful customers which have allowed us to deliver exceptional cars and grow our reputation as a place to bring work to if you want it done properly. It would be far easier to provide “good enough” work, even when you know it should be superior quality. By delivering best quality, I have found few things more satisfying than having people comment in superlatives when they see our work in person.

“Good enough” wouldn’t get us the same reactions, and won’t be enough to sustain the future reputation of Sport and Specialty which began twenty plus years ago. Without any snide comments from my friends who may playfully disagree, the good news is I’m still young and enthusiastic enough to do this for quite a while.

It’s been an interesting trip in making the move from hobbyist to professional. I am keenly aware of the slippery slope of losing your passion once your passion becomes your livelihood. I have found that an important part of staying passionate, is being passionate. You must also, work, race, and play with others who share your love of vintage sports and collector cars. Without the support of my circle of
long time car friends I might never have even tried this move. I have also been extremely fortunate to have developed new friendships with some of the nicest, most helpful, and sincerely genuine folks ever.

So, basically, I need my talented employees, valued customers, and wonderful friends and family to accept my profound thanks for your support and loyalty over these past five years. I’m looking forward to our new projects and next adventures! I can’t wait to see what the next five bring.

We’ll continue to grow, and I’ll continue to have fun…..All aboard!


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The 2017 Austin-Healey Conclave

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