Award for Excellence 2019, Automotive/Motor Trimming

The purpose of this project was to put the icing on the cake of an extremely long term project that the customer had been planning for over 45 years. Panel and paint restoration had been carried out to an extremely high standard and the interior made had to compliment and enhance the very high standards expected by the owners and builder of the car. The customers request was to match the original trim exactly and raise the standard of workmanship from the factory to concours.

What made this project unique was that I was able to source all OEM matching materials in Australia to fully replicate the original materials used in the factory. The customer had dismantled the car and had a fully logged history of every part in the car that he had started with. The complex part of the job was working out all of the missing wood structures which made up the rear quarter panel, trim supports, rear buckhead between cabin and the boot and the spare wheel shelf in the boot. It seemed as if some or all of the wood structures were missing in these three items and had to be reconstructed simply by using photos of a similar car in New Zealand and a book on the vehicle supplied by the owners. The front seat had to be rebuilt as it was in a deteriorated condition and required most of the wood frame to be rebuilt. All new padding was also required. However, I was fortunate to be able to reuse all of the 50 original coil springs this seat had that was able to be refitted into new individual hessian pockets and reassembled in the seat.

It was sure to be a long and tedious process but the results were amazing. Reusing the springs meant the seat had the same feel as it did originally and the level of comfort that you won't find in a modern car seat. At the start of the project the owner handed me a roll of English wool headlining felt that he purchased in 1972 for this project. The outside of the roll was rotten and had been attacked by silver fish or moths, therefore forfeiting half a metre of fabric. The challenge was to have enough material to do the headlining and sun visors out of the given material. I achieved the mission but only just.

It was fantastic to see the joy when my customer saw his headlining material actually in his car. He too understood that this may have not been possible, due to the damage over the last 46 years. Even though the owners lived far away, my team ensured that the owners were fully engaged in all conversations throughout the project to make sure we delivered exactly as expected. This process enhanced the bond between customer and trimmer to which resulted in a wonderful friendship as well.

The customers were extremely pleased with the final result. More so, as they were able to watch the whole process and follow all aspects of the build through the photos and videos sent along the way. The customers had started this journey over 45 years ago and it had been a dream to see it come to reality. The look of joy and actual surprise to see his beloved project finally very close to going back on the road was a heart-warming experience and one that myself and my team were very lucky too experience and deliver to them.

We were tasked with creating a close to original interior with upgraded quality. The customers had been planning this full restoration for more than 45 years and to see its completion was a dream come true.