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  • Barney

Autumn Leaves

Despite winter well and truly approaching and the clocks going back next week, the thought of us being able to put our feet up for a few weeks after an exceptionally busy summer, is now looking rather unlikely. In fact, we appear to be busier than ever over the coming months. Discussions with customers are well underway about the activities planned for their cars next spring and into the summer of 2019.

Our new workshop building is fully operational and it never ceases to amaze me how quickly the extra capacity is filled.

Here is a little insight into recent activities and a small selection of projects being carried out alongside our more routine service and maintenance work.

The amazing Fern Green 840 Ci Sport we advertised last week has already been sold and added to a local customer’s car collection. It was a delight to be able to introduce the new owner to the previous owner as part of the hand over. They shook hands and John said goodbye to his beloved car after 20 years.

Prior to collection by the lucky new owner of this extraordinary 840, he requested that the car be booked into the workshop and, on top of the normal sales preparation work, the car should have a full underside clean, detailing and cavity wax protection followed by the all original paintwork benefiting from paint correction, detailing and finished with ceramic coat.

On collection of his new toy, he was so impressed, he decided to leave his one owner from new, 20,000 mile, E46 M3 convertible with us and his instruction was to carry out the same level of care to that.

Also this week, an existing customers bought in his new purchase. We serviced and inspected his gorgeous 14,000-mile F10 M5 and were delighted to confirm the car was in as good condition as he believed and wanted for nothing.

Our own 9,000 mile 1.6 205 GTi is in the workshop for final detailing before being properly marketed for sale.

The underside of this car is a joy and in as new condition. It has to be the best 205 GTi in the country. Our car has now been joined by an exceptional 1.9 GTi with only 47,000 miles and in incredibly original condition. The owner has had the car in long-term storage for 12 years as she has been too busy to use it. We have now been asked to produce a report on the car with a view to recommissioning and long-term preventive maintenance. We are really looking forward to seeing her face when she drives it again after 12 years.

We sold this E30 Alpina C2 2.7 two years ago and car and owner have well and truly bonded. A service, two new front tyres, tracking and a top up of cavity wax behind the Alpina sill skirts is all the is required before being put away for the winter.

This white 1M is owned by a customer with an M3 CSL and E30 M3 Ravaglia. He read and watched our recent 1M cavity wax and rust prevention newsletter. His 1M is a daily driver but despite this the car is cared for to the same standard as the other two cars in his collection. Because of this regular use he totally agreed that his car should benefit from proper cleaning of the underside and cavity wax protection.

We have an M3 Cecotto in for some structural repairs to the front floors, A pillars and front lifting pads. Once all the fabrication is finished the repaired areas will be treated to seam sealer, zinc primer and Dinitrol stone-chip product to ensure the original underside finish is replicated perfectly. When our customer saw the exceptionally high quality of finish to the fabrication, he asked us to take it a stage further. The entire underside of the car has now been stripped to bare metal and entirely new stone-chip product applied to the original standard and finish. Once all reassembled the shell will be sympathetically treated with cavity wax corrosion protection.

Yet another E30 M3 has arrived with us. The car is just passing the 100,000-mile mark and it’s time for engine be taken out. The motor has been stripped, inspected, cleaned, valve seats lapped in and cylinder head rebuilt with new valve stem oil seals. The engine has then been reassembled with new crankshaft sprocket, timing chain, oil pump chain, big end shells, tensioners, guide rails, hydraulic chain tensioner, head gasket, all engine gaskets, O rings and oil seals. She will be all set for the next 100,000 miles.

A customer delivered his Polaris silver 3.0 SI to us for a tune up due to poor running and to alleviate the appalling smell of petrol when the car was filled with fuel. It was make or break time as his expectant girlfriend had given him an ultimatum. When the baby arrives, either the fuel smell goes or the car goes. We felt his worry and pain and set about solving the problem. Valve clearances where checked, new plugs, dwell angle, timing and CO adjusted.

The readings on the exhaust gas analyser showed all to be well. We thought all was sorted but after a long run a loud bong was heard from the boot. On further investigation the tank was found to be imploding and expanding depending on use and temperature. We discovered that the fuel tank had been replaced by a previous garage and installed with no tank venting whatsoever. This continual expansion and contraction due to lack of venting had caused a small hair-line crack in the tank. We removed the tank and carried out a specialist repair as new tanks are no longer available. Once back in the car the venting problem was then resolved. It looks like the first car their new baby will travel in will be this much loved E3 3.0 SI. Glad we could help.

We also have in yet another 2002 Tii for conversion to limited slip differential. Very few normally aspirated 2002s were ever built with limited slip diffs. Original units are so rare they are almost impossible to find and when they do crop up the price of second-hand units is stratospheric. We now buy up as many E21 3 series LSDs as possible as these are now converted to fit 2002s.

Either our customers are getting older and their eyesight failing or they are getting used to the rather better and brighter headlights now fitted to modern cars. More and more often we are asked to convert classic car headlights to HID. The difference is amazing and really does make a lot of these modern classics a lot safer to use at night.

We care for so many E24 635 CSIs and M635 CSIs, but occasionally we are visited by a car that we have not seen before and that really stands out in the E24 crowd. This amazing two owner from new Highline 635 CSI with only 67,646 miles is exceptional. She has survived in truly stunning condition throughout and amazingly still showing of her original Delphin Grey paintwork. The interior is as new as is the underside of the car. The lucky owner did have an inkling just how good his car was as he previously owned and 635 CSI Motorsport that was a disappointment to him. When both cars were compared he found them to be polar opposites in both drive and condition. The Motorsport was then disposed of. Our job was to inspect the car and draw up a list of faults and a programme of both mechanical and bodywork age related preventive maintenance. This work is now being carried out ensuring the car is both turnkey, 100% reliable and protected for many years to come.

Finally, our race Group 2 CSL is in the final stages of preparation for her paintwork. Carefully measuring and hours studying original photographs to ensure the livery is created as accurately as possible was made rather easier for us thanks to Minichamps. One of their latest releases is a 1:18 recreation of the very car we are building. Thank you Minichamps, you saved us a lot of work. Now we have the rather easier task of simply scaling the livery back up to full size.

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