Show Level Restoration
A show level car is a 99 + point or better vehicle. These vehicles are generally not driven more than a few miles a year and found in a museum or collection. They may also be found in a climate controlled facility and transported in an enclosed trailer to Concours and car shows. All components are original or an exact replacement. Classic Showcase does their utmost to locate NOS (new old stock) parts for every vehicle. If a specific part is no longer available in NOS, we source the best aftermarket parts available.
This level of nut and bolt restoration may be daunting to most companies; however, Classic Showcase’s top specialists have the experience and expertise to complete these projects successfully. With our knowledge of the rules and regulations in judged events, we are able to provide unsurpassed work and craftsmanship with the proper restorations and reconstruction of our cars.
Similar to our other levels of restoration, we start all our projects with a complete and comprehensive evaluation. We research the vehicles history and check for any and all documentation we can find. We carefully look the vehicle over, noting what is original, what has been altered or what is not working, and what is missing. We start to assess the overall condition and document it with a complete set of photographs and notes. After doing various extensive tests and evaluation inspections on the vehicle, we then start the disassembly of the vehicle, again taking note of all parts and listing what will need replacing, restoring, or repairing, also making note of originality as we proceed.
The body is lifted away from the chassis for further examination and evaluation when possible. Custom jigs are constructed, if necessary, and the body is carefully fastened to it. The body is removed of all trim, glass, rubber and parts and stripped to bare metal. The doors, bonnets and boot are removed.
The way a door hangs or a panel fits can be a critical point on a show vehicle. Achieving the proper fit on a vehicle, to factory standards or better, takes experience, patience, time and the proper tools. Extensive hours go into the proper fit and alignment of the doors, bonnet and boot, taking into account the geometry of the vehicle from front to rear as well as rubber, seals, and door strikers that may change the fit. A door or panel can sometimes be removed and refit more than 10 times during the various stages of restoration till it meets our high standards. We ensure all the panels fit when the vehicle is in the bare metal stage, again after the vehicle has been worked and prepped, and yet again after the car has been painted.
Extreme rust is removed and replaced with new factory original panels. When these are unavailable we fabricate panels from the correct gauge sheet metal. Our most experienced specialists meticulously hand work the body into its original shape, repairing and finishing the imperfections. Our expert body technicians work the metal into a near perfect state before applying lead as needed. Even the smallest ding will be metal worked to near perfection. The body is then primered and blocked to ensure a straight and smooth panel. Often this part of the restoration is the most time consuming as we work and rework the body till it meets our high and critical standards. The body and parts are epoxy sealed then painted using the highest quality paint and products, color sanded and buffed to a lustrous rich finish.
We then go through all the hardware and items that need to be plated and separate them according to the finish it will receive. This can include but is not limited to white and yellow cad, nickel, black, and zinc oxide. Any structural hardware will be replaced with NOS (new old stock) parts or better if available. All the aesthetic hardware is refinished or replaced with NOS using proper hardware with the correct markings.
All new rubber, seals, gaskets and grommets are installed after they have been fit and adjusted. Often these pieces are not a perfect fit right from the factory so we sand down and treat any rough or uneven edges to make sure they will fit with a proper and equal amount of rubber or seal showing. The glass is installed after being polished or replaced. The doors, bonnet and boot are refitted insuring proper gaps and fit. The door strikers, latches, and window mechanisms are all restored or replaced and properly adjusted. The trim and bright work is replaced or re-plated. The seat frames, armrests, radio console, console cowl and many other unseen parts are refinished or powder coated to ensure durability and longevity of the vehicle. The top bows on the roadsters are fit and adjusted then powder coated. The steering wheel and horn push button are epoxy sealed and refinished to a superb condition. The wood steering wheels are restored and refinished to like new condition.
The interior, including panels, dash, seats, and carpets as well as the top on the roadsters are redone with proper high quality materials. Our upholstery department ensures the usage of proper patterns, design, stitching, color, texture, and even the hardware. Our craftsman stitch and install the pieces for a custom look and fit. Sometimes it can take up to three days to acquire the ideal fit of the top. The best carpets, leathers, and fabrics are bought for the vehicle and used on the convertible top and interior. The craftsmanship is critical to the overall look.
A new wiring harness is almost always installed. The wire loom is restored or replaced using an original style that does not take anything away from the original aesthetics. The electrical components, instruments, gauges, knobs, lights, and switches are re-screened, restored, rebuilt, or replaced.
Next, all the mechanical items on the vehicle are carefully gone through. The engine is broken down and evaluated for any damage. The block, head, crank, and cams are then sent out to the machine shop to be hot tanked, magnafluxed, measured, balanced, line bored, and blueprinted as needed. Once the engine has been set to factory standards it returns to us for a final inspection and reassembly. All the wearable parts are replaced such as pistons, piston rings, bearings, valve guides, seats, springs, seals, timing chain, etc...
All the components in the engine compartment are removed and evaluated. The parts are cleaned, restored, or replaced and painted or re-plated with the proper color or finish if needed. The following parts are rebuilt or replaced; carburetors, oil pump, water pump and generator/alternator. The radiator is hot tanked and re-cored or replaced. All the belts, hoses, filters, fluids, and hardware is replaced down to the last proper hose clamp. The stone guards and drip pans are also restored or replaced.
The transmission is rebuilt using new gears, seals, layshaft and syncros as needed. The clutch system is rebuilt or replaced when necessary. The drive shaft is balanced. The under carriage is rebuilt, including the shocks and suspension parts. Many of the structural hardware pieces are upgraded from a grade 5 to a grade 8 for durability. All new bushings, seals, hardware, and components are used. In most vehicles the frame and suspension parts are media blasted and powder coated in the proper colors for durability and longevity. The braking system is restored from the master cylinder to the rear shoes or pads. The wheel cylinders are honed, re-sleeved in brass or stainless steel for a lifetime guarantee and new seals and pistons are installed. All the brake lines are replaced, along with the shoes, drums, pads, and rotors. The rear end gears are checked, calibrated, and rebuilt, replacing parts as needed. The gas tank is removed, flushed, hot tanked, repaired if needed, then epoxy sealed or replaced and refinished to high standards. The fuel pump is replaced or rebuilt as well as the fuel lines. A new exhaust system is fitted to the vehicle. The battery is replaced with the correct size. All five wheels are replaced or restored and trued before we mount the proper vintage style tires on them.
After the vehicle has been reassembled, our craftsmen and technicians do a complete check to make sure everything is in excellent working order. We complete a pre-service test drive, adjust the valves, re-torque the head, check the tolerances of the engine, and re-torque the nuts and bolts throughout the vehicle. Often, we take the vehicles out to various shows to win awards before offering them for sale. This helps ensure our customers receive that Pedigree show winner! Right before a vehicle is ready for its new home, we complete a final detail and show its new owners the proper way to drive, care, and maintain for their new classic.
Occasionally, people are surprised that their show vehicle does not have the same accessories as their newer vehicles or even other classic vehicles they may come across. Most of the show vehicles Classic Showcase restores do not have outside mirrors or radios, as these were usually dealer added items.