February 2, 2017

Work continues on our Jaguar E-Type bonnet

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The front underpin is now fitted, as is the front light diaphragms. Just a few more welding issues to tackle and Laura will be done with our bonnet.

The styling for our racing series will be seamless. The chrome bonnet trims will be removed and the bonnet will have a completely smooth finish.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_gallery type=”image_grid” images=”9936,9937,9938,9939,9940,9941,9942,9943,9944,9945,9946,9947,9948,9949,9950″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Fabricating the new Jensen 541S chassis

The first site of our newly formed 5″ Jensen 541S chassis, moments before it was fitted to the beautiful 1960 Jensen 541S prototype that we are currently restoring.

Asa has been busy fabricating the piece to replace the rotten component that unfortunately we had little option but to remove.

I am hoping tomorrow that I will be able to update you with images of the chassis being pieced back together. We are now at the stage where everything has been removed that needs to be and now Asa is busy building it all back up ready for the paint preparation to take place.

Our 1971 Jaguar E-Type roadster outside Bridge Classic Cars HQ

Our 1971 Jaguar E-Type V12 roadster finally got given some fresh air today as we let her outside for a bit.

Here we are outside the Bridge Classic Cars headquarters on Deben Road in Ipswich.

It was a little nippy out but the sun was shining.

The Jaguar E-Type, one of the most admired classics. Even in the restoration stages the Jaguar E-Type roadster is still a stunning site and brought a smile to everyone who passed by the doors today.

We often get a few looks in as we are working away during the day but when we park something up outside it’s always lovely to hear people’s comments.

EXCITING NEWS: Opening Monday – Bridge MOT Centre

We are very excited to announce that from Monday 6th February we’ll be taking over one of Ipswich’s longest servicing vehicle maintenance workshops as we expand the Bridge family.

Formerly known as Thorp’s Garage on Deben Road in Ipswich it will be business as usual on Monday morning but with a new look and a new name.

And it is with great delight we can also confirm that both Peter Church and Andy Frost will remain with us and they’ll continue to run the workshop on a day to day basis.

The location and phone number remain the same so basically you don’t need to do anything, other than tell your friends!

Bridge MOT Centre, formerly Thorp’s Garage on Deben Road, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP1 5EN.

Telephone 01473 743033

Our services will continue to include:









…plus much more to reveal soon.

Stay tuned as we launch a brand new website and lots of new incentives for our loyal customers.

From everyone at Bridge Classic Cars, we wish David and his team at Thorp’s Garage all the best for the future and welcome to the Bridge team Peter and Andy.

Bridge MOT Centre, Deben Road, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP1 5EN opening Monday morning at 8am.

Meet Guy, Claire and ‘Exy’, their beloved Bertone X1/9

Fantastic story, written by Andy Russell on the Ipswich Star website from January 2017

Guy and Claire Ransom with the Bertone X1/9 they have ownee since 1990. Picture supplied by Guy Ransom

Guy Ransom, Commercial Director of Finn Geotherm bought his Bertone X1/9 in 1990 and this ‘bella’ Italian sports car is still a big part of his and wife Claire’s lives.

“Having finished university in 1990, and recently married, my wife and I had been using a car kindly provided by my mother-in law – a respectably boring, grey Mark II Ford Escort.

One bright summer morning, however, I was driving past a motor dealership at Thorpe, near Norwich, when a beautiful little metallic blue, wedge-shaped sports car caught my eye – an X1/9.

Generally known as being a Fiat, the car was actually designed by Lucio Bertone in Turin. In 1989 Fiat ceased making the X1/9 and Bertone, still being in love with his ‘bambino Ferrari’, purchased the rights to manufacture it for one more year. This car was one of the Bertone X1/9s. To emphasise the shape of the car, the registration number even ended WEG – what more could I ask for.

With a 1,500cc engine and a twin Webber carb, the X1/9 has ample power to let it skip through the country lanes. As the engine is mounted in the middle of the car, the weight distribution is ideal, allowing superb road holding. The X1/9’s greatest design features however lie in the single panel roof which removes quickly, and easily, to safely stow under the bonnet, still leaving ample space for two large holdalls. In case this isn’t sufficient for your travels, the car has an additional boot behind the engine which holds the two specially-designed X1/9 canvas travel bags.

Exy the Bertone X1/9 finally made it to Le Mans after a engine fire scuppered an earlier trip. Picture supplied by Guy Ransom.

When I purchased my beloved ‘Exy’, she was only a year old and had a mere 14,000 miles on her clock. Despite becoming far more sensible as time moved on, and acquiring various family cars, I have stubbornly held on to my X1/9, keeping her garaged throughout each of the past 26 winters. The result is that she is still the same gleaming testament to the brilliance of Bertone’s design skills that she was when I bought her.

Over the years we have suffered a few challenges – including her engine overheating while warming up in my garage before driving to Le Mans in France. This was not a normal overheat however. Walking into the garage, I noticed the engine had stopped and found flames and smoke coming from under the bonnet.

The Bertone X1/9 in Monte Carlo as part of a tour of Italy and France. Picture supplied by Guy Ransom.

The consequence was missing the Le Mans trip but, more seriously, having an engine bay refit with all pipes and wires – plus other consumable plastic items – being replaced. The engine however remained fine.

In the main, however, Exy has given us many years of brilliant motoring. It has included taking her on a circuit of France, complete with tent, cooking equipment, food and clothing for two weeks – and, yes, we did eventually reach Le Mans.

We’ve also taken her, as a classic car more than 25 years old, on the London to Brighton car rally twice. Our most recent trip this summer was to take her on a 4,000-mile journey through France, Switzerland and Italy – including a stop-off at the Lucio Bertone factory in Turin (now owned by Maserati). Over the 16 days of our journey, including driving over the Alps, through traffic jams in Turin and mile after mile of beautiful vineyard-bordered roads in Provence, she didn’t miss a beat. Indeed, my wife and I were still competing for whose turn it was to drive on the last day of our travels.

The next major journey we’re planning is of a similar length, but this time starting in Santander in Spain, getting there by ferry, and travelling round the circumference of Spain to include as many of the must-see spots of ‘real Spain’ en route.

For us, the X1/9 remains one of the best-designed, yet most under-rated examples of Italian sports cars. As we had called to us several times as we drove through Turin – “Bella, bella!”.

The Ipswich Star are keen to hear from you about your first car and the adventures and scrapes you had – email your motoring memories with a picture of the car to motoring@archant.co.uk or post it to Andy Russell, motoring editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE.

And why not cc us in on the story too info@bridgeclassiccars.co.uk The original story can be found at Ipswich Star online. Further permission has been granted by Guy Ransom for the use of images and content by Bridge Classic Cars.

Is it best to buy new or re-chrome?

We get asked this a lot, is it best to buy new or re-chrome original parts? Let’s look at the facts:

Original chrome taken from a 1949 MG YT

Buying New

Who is the supplier of the new products? Are they a reputable company and do they specialise in your particular vehicle? I guess the last part isn’t crucial but it is something we consider when working on our projects at Bridge Classic Cars. The way to look at it, if you find a company that has been trading for many years and they specialise in a particular make or group of vehicles then it’s certainly more reassuring that the chrome they supply will fit. At the end of the day, it’s all about reputation, if you are good at what you do then you get known for being.

With new, more often than not the parts are produced of a lesser quality material. Because we live in a world of tight budgets products have to be produced cheaper, this way they can be sold more competitively.

People are often put off by the ‘Chinese’ market but it’s no longer the case that something made in China is no good, it is. If you are sold into the idea that a product produced in Germany is better than one from China then unfortunately you may be missing out on a great product.

Buying new is often the cheaper alternative to re-chroming the existing products and this is really important. If the part is small and considered less significant then buying new is totally the way to go. Why waste money on the most expensive option?

To sum up, buying new is fantastic, everything is shiny and perfect and with modern tooling it is safe to say that it will most likely fit how it should. There is however one key thing to consider…

Using Existing

…it isn’t original.

Original is great, it has a story. The car came with it on, it belongs on the car, therefore, if it can be refurbished then it should remain.

Having said that, it can often be the most expensive option so you do need to sit down and really assess the importance of original against cost.

Secondly, do you have a good chromer and polisher? There is an art to rechroming so do ensure the company you use are good and that you’ve seen their work. We use a company in Thetford, Wyatt Polishing, they are fantastic and have been doing it for many years. They undertake all kinds of metal restoration on classic, custom cars and bikes. Basically anything that needs plating they can provide a triple service which involves copper, nickel and chrome. They offer a repair service for damaged items such as rusty and holed car bumpers, damaged trims, badly pitted mazak can repaired before plating.

Original chrome taken from a 1949 MG YT

Here at Bridge Classic Cars, we do not limit our options. We consider both options on every occasion. Some parts are nearly impossible to get hold of which therefore means our only option is to repair. Other’s are so much cheaper to replace with new so it makes sense to do it that way. There really is no right or wrong answer to this question.

This is our 1949 MG YT chrome, we have purchased some parts new but the majority has gone over to the platers to be refurbished ready to be refitted.

Original chrome taken from a 1949 MG YT

Original chrome taken from a 1949 MG YT

Original chrome taken from a 1949 MG YT

Original chrome taken from a 1949 MG YT