Consultation and Vehicle Inspection
We sit down with you and inspect the condition of your vehicle, determining how extensive the project will be. Necessary repairs, upgrades and modification possibilities are all discussed at this time so we can establish clear expectations, develop a timeline and forecast financials. As a rule, a full frame off restoration should take approximately 1 year. Usually completed in less time, this varies depending on the scope of the project, scheduling and of course, your budget.
Disassembly…The Work Begins
We begin the disassembly process by carefully noting any worn or damaged parts that may need to be replaced. All parts removed from your car are carefully sorted and set aside for future use, later on in the restoration process. For those of you that haven’t seen your car run in a long time, during this stage we’ll attempt to get the car back into driving condition so that we may assess how much work must actually be done. Full scale, frame off restorations generally proceed directly to disassembly due to their thorough nature, but ultimately, you decide what you’d like done. At this time, the various components are sent out for repair- engines and transmissions to be rebuilt, trim pieces to be polished, plated or re-chromed, and accessories to be painted or powder-coated.
Suspension, Chassis & Undercarriage
During this phase we remove all necessary frame related parts from your vehicle, usually separating the body from the frame. While the body and frame are apart, we address the underside of the body, performing any necessary welding and fabrication, then prepping the undercarriage and applying your choice of undercoating. Concurrently, the frame is cleaned, detailed and either painted or powder- coated. Next, all suspension work and modifications are performed, the engine, transmission and rearend are installed, and whenever possible, the engine is fired. Now that we have a complete rolling chassis, we can mate the body and frame back together, install new fuel and brake lines, and send the car to paint.
Paint and Body
In most cases, we prefer to have the body and frame assembled during the body and paint process. We take extensive measures to thoroughly mask off all completed work, ensuring that no overspray results. Working in this order allows us to focus directly on final assembly once the car is painted. Depending on the condition of your vehicle’s body, the car is stripped down, mounting holes are filled and drilled, door gaps & panel fitments are meticulously aligned and the car is thoroughly blocked and primed/sealed before any paint work begins. Once the body is perfect, all jambs are painted, followed by application of the color base coat on the remainder of the entire body. To ensure the best possible finish, any custom or factory striping is applied/painted, then the whole car is sprayed thoroughly with multiple layers of “clear coat”, which gives it the deep luster and shine. After the paint has fully cured, the car is meticulously wet sanded to remove any blemishes and orange-peel, then buffed and polished, resulting in a rich show car finish.
Interior and Final Body Assembly
Once painted, your car is ready to have the interior assembled by our award winning upholstery specialist. Stock or custom, the seats are wrapped, carpet laid, headliner, dash and door panels installed. All weatherstripping is replaced and exterior trim, moldings and badges are installed. If not previously completed, all remaining electrical work is finalized, bulbs replaced, the engine fired, and all hoses, cables and ground straps are installed. Windows are aligned and/or installed, bumpers, lenses and all other assembly related steps are completed.
Mechanical and Driveability
Now that the project is almost finished, we perform any necessary remaining mechanical work, break-in procedures are completed and loose ends are tied up (ex: charge the A/C, wheel alignment, bleed the brakes, etc). At this point, road testing begins. For all restorations, we insist on a minimum of 50 miles drivability testing to ensure smooth, reliable performance. Additionally, we’ll require a 500 mile check up…we want to make sure everything is in correct working order, as your satisfaction is our #1 concern.
Putting You in The Driver’s Seat
All work completed, the car is thoroughly detailed and arrangements are made for pickup or delivery. Upon acceptance of your finalized restoration project to your satisfaction, you take possession of your car, drive and enjoy! In special cases, we’ll choose cars to appear with us at select classic car shows and other promotional events.