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Old 6th July 2011, 22:35   #1
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Default Restoration services : Classic cars with Modern mechanicals

Hey guys,

I was watching an old episode of Top Gear on TV the other day. Jeremy Clarkson tested a Jaguar XJS which had been completely restored by an independent firm. Same goes for a Aston DB5.
The cost was astronomical though the idea was pretty nice.

Basically, you give these people your old car, and they restore it with newer, more reliable electricals, better brakes and suspension, add a few features to the interior like ICE. They also modernize engine components if I remember correctly.

All this said and done, if the idea works in UK and Europe with cars like the XJS, Jag E-Type, Aston DB5 and so on, I'm pretty sure we have many enthusiasts in India who would love to have something such for our beloved Contis, Padminis, 118's, Ambys, Landmasters, Jeeps, Gypsys, old 800's, classic Benzes and a lot more.

Do we have such services in India or do we enthusiasts prefer to do such stuff ourselves, though personally, I felt that modernizing suspension, brakes, electricals, etc needs a lot of knowledge.

What do you guys think of such a service? Would it be useful in India?
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Old 8th July 2011, 00:03   #2
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Default Re: Restoration services to modernize cars available?

What I wouldn't give! Vintage car purists may want to shoot me for typing this post, but I don't understand the fuss people make about "originality". Heck, if I find a better after-market suspension for my vintage, that makes it ride & handle better, why should I insist on using outdated wheezy stock components? Or better headlamps? A cooler air-conditioner? Power steering? Stereo? Tyres? Technology has moved on and there is absolutely nothing wrong in upgrading your ol' beauty.

My drool ride would be a Mercedes W111 with a 6 cylinder common-rail turbo diesel, adaptive suspension, discs all around, 6 speed auto tranny and a well-calibrated hydraulic steering. Or a '65 Mustang with an 8 cylinder petrol + 6 speed manual shift of current time....MUAAHHH!

Caterham cars (UK) are built around a similar philosophy. You might want to check TD cars out too.

Quote:
Do we have such services in India or do we enthusiasts prefer to do such stuff ourselves, though personally
Will be difficult to find the expertise required for a high quality, reliable swap job.

Quote:
What do you guys think of such a service? Would it be useful in India?
As much as I would love for someone to offer this kind of service, the target market size is way too small. Only a few nuts like us will spend lakhs on an old car; the junta prefers to spend that money in a new car showroom.
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Old 8th July 2011, 02:04   #3
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Default Re: Restoration services to modernize cars available?

I, too, have often wondered about this. However, after some thinking I realized that it'll take some time for something similar to Westcoast Customs coming up in India. We still rely a lot on manual labor for majority of automotive repair (aftermarket) and as such customization of the levels mentioned is not feasible.

Having said this, just because there isn't much mechanization, doesn't mean that Indian petrolheads shy away from such customization. Just have a look at the Rubicon project (Hyderabad) in the 4x4 section in the forum. A clean execution.

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What I wouldn't give! Vintage car purists may want to shoot me for typing this post, but I don't understand the fuss people make about "originality". Heck, if I find a better after-market suspension for my vintage, that makes it ride & handle better, why should I insist on using outdated wheezy stock components? Or better headlamps? A cooler air-conditioner? Power steering? Stereo? Tyres? Technology has moved on and there is absolutely nothing wrong in upgrading your ol' beauty.
This my friend is hot-rodding Best of both worlds. But as you are aware purist by the very definition want the sanctity of vintages and classics maintained, and care the least about the 'performance' of the vehicle.

Last edited by Gooney : 8th July 2011 at 02:06. Reason: Typos
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Old 8th July 2011, 09:11   #4
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Default Re: Restoration services to modernize cars available?

Im looking ata project of a W111(smile GTO) with a V6 or an inline 6 mated with an auto tranny and power steering. Should not be difficult to get a Mercedes power plant with all that intact. Suspension is not a problem.
Though id love to get the originality back to my W111, its a lost cause as have had two misadventures of original engine swaps. I guess now its too late to find a working engine at a reasonable cost or even finding parts for that engine. So im frustrated and going to go the above way eventually, that is when offroading season (spelt as rains) is officially over. Who knows, i might get an original engine and gearbox in that time (here i go again)
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Old 8th July 2011, 11:11   #5
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Default Re: Restoration services : Classic cars with Modern mechanicals

@GTO. Your two choices, I agree with. Infact, better than the Mustang would be a Chevelle. And yeah, the idea of this kinda appealed to me. And you're right again with the fact that there are very few car nuts willing to spend that kind of money on older cars.

@Gooney. Yeah, I read about the Rubicon project. That was a nice one.

@V16. Look at UAE as a source. Not specifically Dubai. Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujeirah have a wealth of older Mercs which run well and also junkyards full of the junked out ones. I'm sure you can find something there.
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Old 8th July 2011, 11:32   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by V-16 View Post
Im looking ata project of a W111(smile GTO) with a V6 or an inline 6 mated with an auto tranny and power steering. Should not be difficult to get a Mercedes power plant with all that intact. Suspension is not a problem.
Though id love to get the originality back to my W111, its a lost cause as have had two misadventures of original engine swaps. I guess now its too late to find a working engine at a reasonable cost or even finding parts for that engine. So im frustrated and going to go the above way eventually, that is when offroading season (spelt as rains) is officially over. Who knows, i might get an original engine and gearbox in that time (here i go again)
V16, you might want to get in touch with Mr. Shivanand Jatti (he is present in this forum). A couple of months back he had enquired about classic Mercedes-Benz parts and I provided him with a link within Daimler. You may want to follow-up with Mr. Jatti on the progress.
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Old 3rd July 2013, 21:07   #7
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Hello Friends,
This is a request for any advice or views the gurus here can provide.
As you are aware, many cars from the 40s - 60s came with six volt electrical batteries, bulbs, wipers motors and horns. While it is possible to obtain such batteries and with some trouble also the other electrical equipment, reliability is always a question. I have found (in my case) that the major reason for not using a car with six volt electrical parts is the worry that there may be an electrical failure and I may be stuck on the road with the car refusing to start. Further, one does not use a classic car very regularly which leads to the six volt battery getting weaker over a period of time.

I am tempted to convert such an American classic car from its present six volt to twelve volt electricals. This will result in my having powerful headlights, wipers and horn (required in Mumbai!) and easy to find replacements. I will then be able to use the car regularly and hopefully even as a daily driver.

On the downside, it may result in loss of "originality" and may affect the value as well, if and when one decides to part with the vehicle.

In the light of the above, may I request for views or any advice the gurus here can provide on -
1. The technical issues I need to take care of, and,
2. More importantly, how would it affect the "originality" of the car and the financial as well as historic or archival value of the vehicle.
Many thanks.
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Old 4th July 2013, 08:30   #8
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Default Re: Restoration services : Classic cars with Modern mechanicals

Please go ahead and convert to a twelve volt system and enjoy your car. the process being totally reversible as long as you retain the old parts, should not affect the value of the car should you decide to sell. better to have a car that can be used than a can of metal which will only rust and allow you pride of possession and nothing else.
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Old 4th July 2013, 15:44   #9
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Default Re: Restoration services : Classic cars with Modern mechanicals

Please look out for a 12volt drop down to 6 volt for some of the meters but that with the help of a meter guy can be converted to 12 volt . And trust me its less a headache when stuck of shorting something.

All my cars are 12 volt and thank god I opted for it.

Cheers


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Originally Posted by Caddy View Post
Hello Friends,
This is a request for any advice or views the gurus here can provide.
As you are aware, many cars from the 40s - 60s came with six volt electrical batteries, bulbs, wipers motors and horns. While it is possible to obtain such batteries and with some trouble also the other electrical equipment, reliability is always a question. I have found (in my case) that the major reason for not using a car with six volt electrical parts is the worry that there may be an electrical failure and I may be stuck on the road with the car refusing to start. Further, one does not use a classic car very regularly which leads to the six volt battery getting weaker over a period of time.

I am tempted to convert such an American classic car from its present six volt to twelve volt electricals. This will result in my having powerful headlights, wipers and horn (required in Mumbai!) and easy to find replacements. I will then be able to use the car regularly and hopefully even as a daily driver.

On the downside, it may result in loss of "originality" and may affect the value as well, if and when one decides to part with the vehicle.

In the light of the above, may I request for views or any advice the gurus here can provide on -
1. The technical issues I need to take care of, and,
2. More importantly, how would it affect the "originality" of the car and the financial as well as historic or archival value of the vehicle.
Many thanks.
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Old 4th July 2013, 16:02   #10
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Default Re: Restoration services : Classic cars with Modern mechanicals

Dear Bulldogji and Kasli,
Many thanks for your prompt response and advice.
Coming from both of you, my fears are at rest and I have decided to convert from Six to Twelve volts.
Best regards,
Caddy.
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Old 4th July 2013, 20:42   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kasli View Post
Please look out for a 12volt drop down to 6 volt for some of the meters but that with the help of a meter guy can be converted to 12 volt . And trust me its less a headache when stuck of shorting something.

All my cars are 12 volt and thank god I opted for it.

Cheers
Even the fitment of an alternator is preferred. Don't go for rewinding the dynamo to 12 volt. That's another unreliable error if done. Secondly, always docket what changes have been done . Stick to an regional wiring diagram with help of relays etc will & should have everything working perfectly and can be sorted at all times. The originality of a car on the 6 to 12 is not affected at all as wiring is a reversible process while internationally many such alterations have come into an acceptable format.

Cheers

Last edited by kasli : 4th July 2013 at 20:43.
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Old 5th July 2013, 15:51   #12
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Default Re: Restoration services : Classic cars with Modern mechanicals

Quote:
Originally Posted by kasli View Post
Even the fitment of an alternator is preferred. Don't go for rewinding the dynamo to 12 volt. That's another unreliable error if done. Secondly, always docket what changes have been done . Stick to an regional wiring diagram with help of relays etc will & should have everything working perfectly and can be sorted at all times. The originality of a car on the 6 to 12 is not affected at all as wiring is a reversible process while internationally many such alterations have come into an acceptable format.

Cheers
Thanks, Kasli. An alternator is a logical step when one intends to convert to twelve volts. Had not thought of that. Fortunately these cars have lots of room under the hood so not worried of finding space if the size differs. In any case, an alternator may occupy less space as compared to a dynamo.
Caddy.
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Old 6th July 2013, 11:18   #13
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Default Re: Restoration services : Classic cars with Modern mechanicals

By the way Caddy, what car are we talking about?

Do tell and post some pictures if possible.
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Old 8th July 2013, 15:01   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogji View Post
By the way Caddy, what car are we talking about?

Do tell and post some pictures if possible.
Its a Plymouth Savoy, 1954, Four door.
Here are the pics. These are the same posted earlier.
Also one Landmaster, A family heirloom.
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Attached Thumbnails
Restoration services : Classic cars with Modern mechanicals-1.front.jpg  

Restoration services : Classic cars with Modern mechanicals-6.rear.jpg  

Restoration services : Classic cars with Modern mechanicals-2.interior.jpg  

Restoration services : Classic cars with Modern mechanicals-3.engine.jpg  

Restoration services : Classic cars with Modern mechanicals-07690013.jpg  

Restoration services : Classic cars with Modern mechanicals-landmaster.jpg  

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