1975 Maserati Merak

Shine Supply UK Video of our Maserati Merak

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]A huge thank you to Mike at Shine Supply UK for producing this fantastic video from our 1975 Maserati Merak photoshoot at Butley Priory. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_video

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One final visit to paint

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]It’s the end of another day at Bridge Classic Cars and the Maserati Merak is parked up, ready and waiting for the final trip to

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British Heritage, Classic and Sports Cars

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]We had an amazing day at Sandown Park Race Course for Barons British Heritage, Classic and Sports Cars auction.

In the auctioneer’s words the ‘star of the show’ was our stunning 1975 Maserati Merak, generating a huge amount of attention on the day with many admirers speaking to us personally to learn about the journey we took with the restoration of this car.

With a guide price of between £65000 and £80000 someone got themselves a fantastic deal when the hammer dropped at £69000. Not the result we were looking for with our expectations being more in the region of £95000 but the deal has been done. She’s now off to enjoy her new life with her new owners.

Having loaded her up the day before from our new Pettistree premises, we set off on the road early and it was great that we did as we got a fantastic position within the auction hall on the day.

[/vc_column_text][vc_gallery type=”image_grid” images=”19894,19892,19891,19890,19889,19888,19881,19874,19875,19882,19883,19884,19885,19886,19887,19880,19879,19878,19877,19876,19871,19872,19873″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]She even made the front cover, looking lovely outside Priory Park.


Day trip to London for the Maserati

The sun is shining as we load our Maserati up for a trip to London.

Let’s just hope the weather stays bright as we take to the streets of London for a test drive.

1975 Maserati Merak – Butley Priory

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Butley Priory, near Woodbridge was the setting for our 1975 Maserati Merak photo-shoot.


Deep in the sandy heath lands of east Suffolk, close to the river Butley is the gate house of Butley Priory, virtually all that remains of the Augustinian Priory founded here in 1171. It was built under William de Geystone (prior, 1311 – 1322).

The priory originally comprised a magnificent collection of buildings, and covered an area of twenty acres enclosed by a stone wall. Although nothing remains of this once great priory except the fine gatehouse and an arch which once led out of the south transept of the church, the plan of the site is known from the excavations carried out in 1930 by Montague Rendell, scholar and ex headmaster of Winchester, who bought the Gatehouse in 1926.

Unique features of the building are its extensive armorial frieze on the north side and exuberant flushwork decoration, ‘an amazing fantasy – wonderfully preserved through its complete charm can only be fully realised from a scaffold or by means of a powerful glass, so delicate is its carving and expression of the little sprightly features that adorn it, so rich the imagination with which they are inspired’.

It is thought that the stone used in the building of the priory came from the valley of the Yonne in France, and that it was brought up the Butley River in barges. A canal was cut to bring the stone to the wharf only 200 yards south of the Priory church.

The first king to visit Butley Priory appears to have been Henry III, who arrived on 9th March 1235.

It would seem from early records that the most important person after the sub-prior, and possibly the most popular, was the cellarer. In the only two instances where the records tell of the position previously held by a newly elected prior, we are informed that he had been the cellarer – William de Geystone, 1311, and Thomas Sudbourne, 1528.

Tradition has it that some where within the Priory grounds is buried a Silver Coffin containing the body of Michael de la Pole, third Earl of Suffolk, who fell at the side of Edward Plantagenet, Duke of York, at Agincourt.

It was during the time of Prior Augustine Rivet (1509 – 28) that the priory became the regular resort of many of the nobility who came there for the hunting. Mary Tudor, sister to Henry VIII, was a frequent visitor between 1515 and 1519. In 1527 she stayed for two months accompanied by her new husband Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk.

On 6th August 1527, as it was very hot she ordered her supper to be laid out in a shady part the garden on the east side of the gatehouse.  This she so enjoyed that picnic suppers in the Priory gardens became a regular feature of her stays. It is recorded in Brother Nicholas’s garden the royal party were overtaken by a tremendous storm and had to rush to the church for shelter.

On the 1st March 1538, Butley Priory, with all its lands and properties, was surrendered to Henry VIII. The commissioner, who received the surrender William Petre, stated that ‘we have today received the surrender of Butley, to which the Convent assented very quietly’.

For the next two years the Priory was used as a royal hunting lodge before being granted in 1540 to Thomas, duke of Norfolk, who in turn sold it toWilliam Forthe of Hadleigh in 1544 for £910 2s 2d. Anne, his only daughter inherited it and later married Viscount Hereford, who left it to his daughter Elizabeth. She married John Clyatt in 1684 and having no children settled the estate and heirs.

In 1737 George Wright Esq, married the Clyatt heiress and inherited the property it was George Wright who restored the Gatehouse and converted it into ‘a handsome mansion’. Later the house became the residence or shooting seat of many important people of the day, including the Marquis of Donegall, Lord Archibald Hamilton and Lord Rendlesham. After this time it went into decline for some years and was used periodically for some years as a very cold vicarage, until in 1926 the Gate house was saved again by the aforementioned Dr. Rendall who called in the famous architect Caroe and began an intensive programme of restoration and conservation to a country house.

A new front entrance was introduced into an angle of the east wing. Bedrooms and a bathroom were located above and a kitchen created out of the Georgian annex. Buttresses were repaired and the armorial frieze was carefully conserved.

It appears that such was Dr. Rendall’s passion for the building that he spent his last penny on the restoration work, and was forced to sell the property in his later years to Sir Bernard Greenwell Bart, who generously allowed him to live out his life at Butley.

The Gatehouse is currently owned by his son Sir Edward Greenwell who lives outside Orford. The present tenants, the Cavendish family have lived here since 1987 and have made the house into the very unique combination of private event venue and family home that it is today.

Due to its unique appeal the house has featured in design and interior decorating magazines as well as national newspapers on several occasions. One cannot help but wonder what the monks would have made of it all!

The Shoot

On Thursday 15th February 2018, with the location set and sun was shining we were ready for the exciting Maserati shoot.

John and Craig took the car, along with Mike from Shine Supply UK and Jason at Sugar and Spice Photography. We were welcomed at Butley Priory by Emma who gave us a lovely little tour of the  priory too.

An amazing setting for a wedding and a great location for photographic shoots and filming.


[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_gallery type=”image_grid” images=”17981,17982,17990,17985,17987,17988,17989,17991,17992,17993,17994,17995,17996,17997,17998,17999,18000,18001,18002,18003,18004,18005,18006,17986,17984,17983,17980,17979,17978,17977,17976,17975,17974,17973,17972,17971,17970,17969,17968,17967,17966,17965,17964,17963,17962,17961,17960,17959,17958,17957,17956,17955,17954,17953,17952,17951,17950,17949,17948,17947,17946,17945,17944,17943,17942,17941,17940,17939,17938,17937,17936,17935,17934,17933,17932,17931,17930,17929,17928″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Shine Supply UK Video of our Maserati Merak

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]A huge thank you to Mike at Shine Supply UK for producing this fantastic video from our 1975 Maserati Merak photoshoot at Butley Priory.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7335OFgzhjY”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]And then we have a full walk round of the car on location.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zubwYW_Ek0″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Behind The Scenes at Butley Priory’s Maserati Photo-Shoot

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]First stop of the day was to collect the car from Mike down at Shine Supply UK. It has been with him for a couple of days now getting polished and detailed in preparation for the final photo-shoot.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_gallery type=”image_grid” images=”17790,17791,17792,17793,17794,17795,17796,17797,17798″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The location for one of our most eagerly anticipated shoots is the beautiful setting of Butley Priory near Woodbridge, Suffolk.

We were originally introduced to Frances and Emma from Butley Priory by Sophie at Word In Woodbridge.

And we are so glad we were as the setting is truly stunning.

In addition to renting the house as a holiday getaway, Butley Priory also provides venue hire for a whole range of events and occasions. The house is an inspirational location for Yoga, Pilates and Beauty retreats, having hosted many already! The Great Hall offers a fantastic space for art/music/training courses, business meetings, poetry or song writing ‘lock ins’, birthday parties, corporate events and dinners, as well as wakes and christenings.

And of course the house is also available to rent for photographic shoots and filming, just email or call us on 01394 450 046 them for a quote.

We couldn’t have asked for a better day, especially when the weather was so poor yesterday we feared the worst but we needn’t have worried.

A huge thank you, as always to Jason from Sugar & Spice Photography, we can’t wait to see the real photos! But for now, here’s some Craig made earlier…[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_gallery type=”image_grid” images=”17799,17800,17801,17802,17803,17804,17805,17806,17807,17808″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

It’s not what you think…

Different but very impressive.

We recently spoke to Steve. Steve lives in Manchester and he contacted us after reading up on our Maserati Merak project online.

Steve owns an early golf and it just so happens that it is fitted with Maserati Merak wheels so he sent through some pictures for us to see.

I think you’ll agree, it looks fantastic with the Merak wheels on.

Steve, we love them! And a special mention to Mark Rodway and Cameron Russell for the amazing photos from London Cartel.

The bespoke Bridge Classic Cars badges

The very first Bridge Classic Cars enamel badge.

Fresh off the production line, here is the very first Bridge Classic Cars enamel badge, produced by our friends at Pamela David Enamels. This will be fitted to our 1975 Maserati Merak as the final stage of completion of this fantastic project.

When she leaves our workshops this will be the only car in the world to display the badge and although she may be the beginning of a trend she’ll always be the first.

Bridge Classic Cars visits the Italian Sports Cars Specialists

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]We are hopefully looking, right now, at the final trip for our 1975 Maserati Merak in it’s restoration journey.

Our task at Bridge Classic Cars is now complete so it just needs a few tweaks and the once over from the Italian specialists at Grimaldi Engineering.

Roberto Grimaldi and his team come from Italian and Swiss backgrounds which they are all very proud of and run a business with a flair of Italian style and Swiss precision.

Stepping foot in the door of Grimaldi is every petrol head’s dream as they have a huge array of incredible super cars on display.

Check out their amazing selection of cars on their website or take a look at the images we took whilst we were there…[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_gallery type=”image_grid” images=”15324,15325,15326,15327,15328,15329,15330″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Maserati Merak back from the paintshop

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Our Maserati Merak is now back in our Ipswich workshops after one final visit to the paint shop and she is looking absolutely outstanding.

Just a couple of small areas to work on and the concours restoration will be complete. A couple of removable panels need to be realigned once again and we are waiting on a new badge for the rear to be re-produced by the guys at Pamela David Enamel.

The car is now available for sale, for any interested parties please do not hesitate to contact the office for more information. Price is strictly on application.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_gallery type=”image_grid” images=”14772,14771,14770,14769,14768,14767,14766,14765,14782,14781,14780,14779,14778,14777,14776,14775,14774,14773″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Re-Manufacturing the Merak Headlight Hydraulic Cylinders

Having exhausted all avenues in sourcing some new/good used headlight hydraulic cylinders to operate the raising mechanism of the headlights, we had no other choice than to re-manufacture some brand new components.

Certainly not as easy as it sounds; lots of phone calls later to lots of hydraulic specialists and with no one wanting to take on the task we started to look more locally for help.

Nigel and the guys at Ipswich Hydraulics reluctantly said they would take on the challenge and full credit to the team, they are now back with us, looking amazing and ready to be fitted up. A huge thank you to Ipswich Hydraulics for taking on the challenge.

Will they dread coming to the phone when they next hear ‘it’s Craig from Bridge Classic Cars’ on the phone? Maybe so…haha

…but a huge thank you.

One final visit to paint

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]It’s the end of another day at Bridge Classic Cars and the Maserati Merak is parked up, ready and waiting for the final trip to the paint shop. In the diary for the beginning of next week.

Once  we have completed the final few touches she’ll be ready for one of our ‘now famous’ photo-shoots…after a good detail that is!

Location of the shoot is to be confirmed.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_gallery type=”image_grid” images=”13293,13294,13295,13296,13297,13298,13299,13300,13301,13302,13303,13304″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

New Maserati Horn Push Arrives

We reported earlier in the project that our original horn push came with the car damaged.

Because of the rarity of almost everything on the Merak, we have commissioned Pamela David Enamels to design and re-manufacture a new one for us.

Today, we received delivery of the new horn push…



On the road for the first time in years

…well not strictly true!

As you can see from our recent posts, our 1975 Maserati Merak has been somewhat missing the feel of the road for quite a while now. Due to a visit at the weekend, the workshops are being moved and that means the Maserati has been taken outside for a couple of minutes whilst all the shifting commences.

…and I’m sure you’ll agree, even though we’ve not quite finished with the paintwork she still looks absolutely stunning.

Re-Manufacturing The Maserati Merak Horn Push

We’ve been hunting high and low for a replacement badge for the horn push on our Maserati Merak. Unfortunately the only results we could find was a full horn itself. Thinking this was the best solution we snapped it up but we soon realised that it was not what we needed. The size was right but the set up and finish was all wrong for what we were looking for so back to the drawing board…

… quite literally.

We’ve worked with Pamela David Enamels in the past on our now, world famous 1961 Jensen 541S project so we put a call in to them to see whether they could help in our hour of need. Andy guess what, they have come up trumps once again. A brand new badge is being manufactured as we speak and will be an exact match to the one broken from the car.

Fitting the Maserati Merak Interior

What better combination than Indi Verde green against the stunning red leather. It is not so much noticeable on the seats but the entire interior set up has been stitched in green to match the car colour. It is more noticeable on the rear cover.

Ordinarily the rear column on the Merak’s are covered in a plain leather/vinyl cover. From new, this column was not built symmetrically, after careful consideration and a lot of research we felt that a plain cover was not striking enough and would highlight the fact that it was not symmetrical. You can see what we mean by google many images of other Maserati Meraks…beautiful but in our opinion not beautiful enough.

We kept with the original black finish but instead, we diamond stitched our column in green and the pictures below speak for themselves.

The broken Maserati Merak seat bracket cover

A great example of when having the right tools operated by the right people can overcome anything…

Here we have one of the L bracket covers from our 1975 Maserati Merak front seats. Unless you can find a Merak that is being broken (which we only know of one currently) these brackets are no longer available.

The mechanism is still working perfectly, it’s just the outer plastic cover that has not survived the test of time.

However, Tommy has yet again come to the rescue. We believe everyone needs a Tommy!

With a little TLC and some fibre glass he has managed to rescue the piece.

It may not be the most visible part of the interior and removing the damaged piece may not have caused any issues, aesthetically, but we are back to full speed now!!



Running up the Maserati Merak engine for the first time

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]After months of hard-graft rebuilding the engine, Don Warman was back with us today to run up the 1976 Maserati Merak engine for the first time. This is the first time since it has been fitted in the recently restored car so it was a big day for all involved.

A small issue with a hose leaking but John was quick to act and resolve the problem so Don could continue with what he needed to do.

The engine runs beautifully, a few small tweaks are needed but a very successful day.

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Fitting the bespoke polished floor

Images of the underneath of our 1976 Maserati Merak.

Dave and John are currently designing and producing the bespoke polished flooring that will be fitted later in the week.

The Maserati Merak has water

Just a few weeks away from completion of our 1976 Maserati Merak. It’s been a long and challenging build but we are now very close to reaching the end.

This week John has fitted the water tank and hoses. He then filled the system ready for the engine test run next week.

The air filters and filter housing have also been positioned as has the fuel pump.

Work continues on the Maserati Merak engine bay

Progress has been further made on our 1976 Maserati Merak engine bay. The plumbing in of the brakes is now complete, the water pipes and vacuum pipes have also been connected up. We’ve replaced all of the pipes on the return system for the brakes. The fuel hoses have been fitted.

John has also successfully installed the Alternator, Brake Pump and Air Conditioning Compressor.

Still a bit of a way to go on this very challenging project but we are certainly getting through it. John has been working tirelessly on this project and it certainly hasn’t come without it’s frustrations. It’s when you step back and look at the pure beauty of this machine do you realise that all the hard work and hours are absolutely worth it.

We are now on the look out

First glimpse of the new Maserati Merak door cards

I couldn’t resist posting a few pictures of our ‘almost’ complete Maserati Merak door cards.

I’m sure there’s not many cars on the road today with red leather stitched in green but then again, there’s not many cars on the road today with both a Maserati and a Merak badge.

Preparing for installation of the Merak fuel tanks

A task that would be made a whole lot harder if the interior was already installed. Here we are applying rivets to the outer shell of the fuel tank compartments. This is a view from behind the seats prior to the fuel tank insulation and tanks themselves being fitted later this week.

A view from under the rear arches of the Maserati Merak fuel tank outer housing.

Bleeding the Merak LHM system

  1. Assuming entire system to be dry but connected and engine ready to run, add fresh LHM fluid to the reservoir.
  2. Also, prime the LHM pump by pouring LHM down the return pipe or filling prior to installation.
  3. Start the engine and allo fluid to circulate around the system for 10 to 20 seconds. Keep the engine running throughout the bleeding procedure to maintain hydraulic pressure.
  4. Keep checking and topping up the level of LHM in the reservoir throughout the following procedure.
  5. Firstly bleed the regulator. To do this, locate the 12mm a/f bolt on the side of the regulator that is the bleed screw. Loosen this and you will hear air whistle out. Keep this open until the noise stops and then repeat three to four times. lock the bleed screw.
  6. Next bleed the brakes. Start with the rear calipers and assemble a bleed bottle on the nipple in the normal way. Open the nipple and push the brake pedal. You will only need to gently push the pedal as the LHM will come out quite quickly. After a few seconds, close the nipple, release the pedal and start again. Due to the high pressure nature of the system, it is impossible to check for air bubbles in the bleed tube. Just repeat the procedure as below.
  7. Bleed each of the four brake calipers in turn at least twice.
  8. Next bleed the clutch; to do this, assemble the bleed bottle on the nipple on the slave cylinder. With the engine running, open the nipple and push the pedal down to the floor and keep depressed. At the same time, operate the headlamp pod raising and lowering switch up and down continuously and also pump the brake pedal. This is because although the headlamp pod system is self bleeding, it is possible for air in this system to be drawn into the clutch circuit. After a few seconds, close the nipple and then repeat the procedure.
  9. By now you should have brakes and clutch action. However, we recommend repeating the entire procedure starting with the regulator.
  10. Having completed to this point, check operation of brakes and clutch.
  11. To check the clutch, just depress the pedal and check that the clutch fork moves throughout its range. keep pedal depressed and check that the fork does not ‘slip’ back. Check again the next day after running the engine. If the clutch pressure has disappeared, there is still air in the system. Therefore try bleeding once again.
  12. To check the brakes, push the pedal and listen for rasping noise. if there is noise, bleed the system once again. Then drive the car and check for delay in braking action when pressing the pedal. If there is delay then there is still air in the system and it should be bled again. If not, then the system is ready for use.

This information has been provided to us from the Maserati Club.

Re-Re-Furbishing the Maserati Merak wheels was a success

Our next attempt on the 1976 Maserati Merak wheels have been a success.

Having stripped them all back we have managed to further improve the magnesium finish to the wheels before applying a new coat of light gloss wheel paint.

It was a lot of effort and intricate detailing but the results on this attempt have very much improved.