Driver Level Restoration
A driver level vehicle is generally a vehicle that can be driven on a regular basis. Aside from the preservation level, this is the most affordable of our restoration levels and is usually for the person who wants a reliable, beautiful classic to drive. This vehicle can be shown in driver level competitions but is not a guaranteed winner.
All of our restorations start with a complete and comprehensive evaluation.
We carefully look the vehicle over noting what is original, what has been altered, what is not working, and what is missing. Depending on the unoriginal or altered parts we may or may not bring the vehicle back to its complete original condition since some alterations have been made as an improvement. We start to access the overall condition of the vehicle and document it with a complete set of photographs and notes. After doing various tests, we then start a partial disassembly of it, again taking note of all parts and listing what will need replacing, restoring, or repairing. The disassembly process is very important to correct and account for the vehicle’s alterations and changes during its past.
The body is stripped to bare metal if needed and our experienced technicians work it into the original shape. The rust is removed and if needed, replaced with new factory original panels. When these are unavailable we fabricate panels from the correct gauge sheet metal. The doors, bonnet and boot are properly fit to the body and then removed. The body and parts are epoxy sealed, painted with quality paint, clear coated when requested, color sanded, and buffed to the proper sheen.
New rubber, seals, and gaskets are installed on the body where needed. The doors, bonnet, and boot are refitted. The trim and bright work is freshened up. The seat frames and various parts are restored and cleaned up. The interior, including panels, dash, seats, and carpets are freshened, replacing only the essential items. The cloth or vinyl top for the roadsters may also be replaced if necessary.
The wiring harness is checked over and repaired where needed. The electrical components, instruments, gauges, knobs, lights, and switches are checked over and set up in working order.
Next, all the mechanical items on the vehicle are carefully gone through. The engine is evaluated, cleaned, detailed and dialed in to run nicely. A driver level restoration usually does not entail rebuilding the engine, transmission or rear end but all systems are serviced as needed.
All the components in the engine compartment are evaluated, cleaned, restored or replaced, and painted as needed. The carburetors, oil pump, water pump, and generator/alternator are rebuilt, serviced, or replaced. The radiator is flushed, re-cored as needed, and detailed or replaced. The battery, belts, hoses, filters, and hardware are replaced where needed. All new fluids are added. The stone guards and drip pans are also restored or replaced.
The transmission is checked and serviced to ensure it is in good working order. The clutch system is checked and rebuilt or replaced if needed. The drive shaft is inspected. The under carriage is inspected, including the shocks and suspension parts. Any worn bushings, seals, hardware, and components are replaced. In most vehicles the frame and some suspension parts are powder coated and/or undercoated. The braking system is serviced from the master cylinder to the rear shoes or pads to ensure proper working conditions. The brake lines are replaced when worn, along with the shoes, drums, pads, and rotors. The rear end gears are inspected. The gas tank is inspected and if needed removed, flushed, hot tanked, painted, and repaired. The fuel pump and the fuel lines are also checked and serviced.
Some of the accessory items in the driver level restoration, such as the radio, mirrors, clock, etc… are not restored unless requested.
After the vehicle has been reassembled, our craftsmen and technicians do several checks and road test the vehicle to make sure it is in good working order. We re-inspect after the road test is completed and perform the final detail.