classic car repairs

Lotus Europa Repairs

Jon is working on the final preparations of the Lotus Europa, ready for the filming to take place, hopefully, the week after next . A

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A Wonderful New Arrival!

The Bridge Classic Cars Suffolk HQ have welcomed a wonderful new arrival recently. It’s our new 1932 Austin 7 Ulster. This beautiful pre-war road racer,

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A New Arrival

Over the weekend, a very special project arrived at the Bridge Classic Cars Suffolk HQ. This Cobra project has been in the works for the

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Three of a Kind – Our 1955 Aston Martin DB2/4 Drophead Coupe

Over the past few weeks, we’ve welcomed a very special addition to the workshop. The third in a line of Aston Martin DB2/4’s which are being completely restored by our classic car restoration technicians at our Suffolk HQ.

This particular car, is a 1955 Aston Martin DB2/4 Drophead Coupe and one of a rarefied few which remain. This car, which has yet to be named, has been commissioned by its owner for our highly-skilled teams to bring back to its former glory alongside the sister cars of ‘Claret’ and ‘Moonshadow‘.

Although work has already begun on this incredible piece of Aston Martin history, there is still a long way to go. But, like the sister cars, our team are excited and eager to get this wonderful restoration on the move and all of us are lucky enough to have 3 of these stunning DB2/4’s in the workshop.

Just Passing By – Our friend Chris brings over his BMW 1M

Hailed as the modern successor to the legendary BMW E30 M3, the 1M took the world by storm on its release. This rare, straight-six powered miniature meanie is a rare sight to see, especially in the UK and in all black.

BMW M, or M Division, was created in the mid-1970s as BMW’s in-house performance wizards. They took ordinary, everyday road cars and created some of the most sought-after and legendary performance cars until today – with the likes of the M1, M3, M4, M5, M6 etc. In the late 2000’s, M would take the humble 1 series coupe and essentially grafted in elements from the M3 and M4 to create the 1M (not to be confused with the late 70s supercar, the M1).

With only a few hundred of these rare coupes arriving in the UK, most were ordered in colours like Orange and Blue. But this one was ordered in Black with Black leather, making it one of only a handful of cars to be specified like this – making it even closer to its forefather, the fabled E30 M3, whose most common colour was black.

Although we mainly work on classic and vintage vehicles, all of us at Bridge Classic Cars have an appreciation for modern cars which try to rekindle that old-school analogue feel – the 1M being one of those rare machines. Thank you to Chris for bringing it over and lighting up our late afternoon here at the Suffolk HQ.

What’s your thoughts on the BMW 1M?

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A rare chance – Photographing our 1953 Aston Martin DB2/4 ‘Claret’

Although it has been in a workshop for a little while now, and our restoration teams have begun the process of bringing this wonderful early DB2/4 back to its former glory, we never did get to take some of usual arrival photos with the car.

On a Friday evening, our entire Suffolk HQ down tools to clean up all of our workshop and offices ready for the week ahead. This involves moving some, if not all, of our incredible restoration projects outside to safely clean our restoration workshop.

So, I took the chance to grab some photos with this stunning GT car. This is one of the cars that not only cemented the Aston Martin name into automotive history as one of the most illustrious and well-respected names, but also would bring the fabled DB name into the limelight and on wards into the future of the brand.

All of us, both in the workshop and in the team behind them, see it as an absolute pleasure and honour to be able to preserve and cherish these wonderful piece of automotive history and document their rebirth.

A 70’s icon… with a twist! Our 1970 Lotus Europa

Our 1970 Lotus Europa is now live!

The Lotus Europa is without doubt one of the quirkiest and individual sports cars of the 1970s. A low slung, mid-engined, racecar inspired drivers’ cars which has garnered a following amongst marque enthusiasts and classic car fans across the world.

The Europa, with its slab back design, would become a precursor to later performance cars like the Elise of the 1990s. But what if you took that classic style and gave it a modern performance heart? That question is answered with our 1970 Lotus Europa and it could be yours…

This beautiful pale yellow 2-seater has been retrofitted with a legendary Toyota 4AG-E engine, giving this retro silhouette modern day performance. Converted to be run on carburettors and then taken onto a rolling road to be fully set up ready for that backroad thrash or an easy cruise to your local car show.

Recently imported from South Africa, the car has been recommissioned for road use and registered in the UK.

Bridge Classic Cars Competitions is giving you the chance to win this unique and stunning sports car and experience all the classic cool with added modern performance – Enter now for your chance to win our 1970 Lotus Europa.

Watch the film with our unique 1970 Lotus Europa here:

The perfect pre-war racer – 1932 Austin 7 ‘Ulster’

Our stunning 1932 Austin 7 ‘Ulster’ is now live to be won on the Bridge Classic Cars Competitions website.

The humble Austin 7 – The car which played a pivotal role in getting Britain on the move would form the basis of some of the earliest homegrown racing efforts across this green and pleasant isle.

In the early decades of motor racing, the only way to be competitive was to pay your way to the top. Granted, there were notable exceptions, but the pre-war years were dominated by the likes of Bugatti, Mercedes, Auto-Union, Alfa Romeo and Bentley. These were the playthings of the ultra-rich and the elite, seen to be out of the grasp of mere mortals. However, smaller firms who built ‘standard’ saloon cars decided to get involved in the blossoming sports of club-racing and hillclimbing. One of those, was Austin.

In 1929/1930, Austin would field a group of cars in the Tourist Trophy at the Ards Circuit in Northern Ireland. After their success, the Austin 7 Sports Special would gain their infamous name and inspire countless homages – the ‘Ulster’.

This beautiful example of an ‘Ulster’, with bodywork by Rod Yates Coachbuilders, is finished with the elegant and traditional boattail rear end and presented in its stunning combination of deep green with a saddle brown bench seat. Originally built as a box saloon in 1932, its conversion to an ‘Ulster’ was carried out in the late 2000’s along with its introduction to the fabled VSCC (Vintage Sports-Car Club). With the car being awarded its eligibility to compete, after a thorough and detailed inspection by the club in April of 2009.

In 2011, the 4-cylinder 747cc engine was sent to Vince Leek Specialised A7 Engineering for rebuild and upgrades which included a new Phoenix crankshaft along with upgraded Honda pistons (to which the block was rebored) and the cars connecting rods ‘remetalled’ and machined to fit the new crankshaft. Along with the internal work, the block was resurfaced and new guides, new seats cut and fit new valves.

The car features an extensive history file including multiple receipts for work undertaken on the car over the last nearly 20 years, as well as handbooks for the Austin 7, conversion manuals for the ‘Ulster’ specification racer, along with period promotion and maintenance materials.

All of this specialist and skilled work, combines to make one of the most charming and elegantly simple pre-war sportscars out there. And now, Bridge Classic Cars Competitions wants to give you the chance of experiencing what so many pioneers of motorsport lived with our 1932 Austin 7 ‘Ulster’.

Enter now and win this nostalgic bite-sized racer!

Full Gallery:

Corroded Brakes on our Volvo 245GL

Pictures show the brake discs that were covered in surface corrosion but were in good condition and cleaned up very well.

Pictures show washer bottle before and after cleaning of sludgy deposits that were blocking jets.

Lotus Europa Repairs

Jon is working on the final preparations of the Lotus Europa, ready for the filming to take place, hopefully, the week after next .

A new, modified fuel sender has been fitted into the tank. Fuel has then been added to check the integrity of sender seal and all ok.

We have fitted tank into the hole in body and aligned the bolts. All fixings have been secured

Jon has then drain the fuel out to connect fuel feed and return pipes.

The electrics were next on his list as he repaired the wiring to the fuel pump and made connections.

Checked pump operates and all ok so we have refilled with fuel.

The gauge is reading ok, 3/4 full on gauge which is accurate.

We have applied underseal in black.

Refit nearside rear wheel and torque up.

Put battery on charge.

Refit engine heatshield and boot liner.

Get car off ramp and start up before carrying out a road test. The car pops and bangs under light throttle conditions but ok under hard acceleration which will need to be addressed.

Slow idle speed down on each carb equally.

A trip to DanST Performance Engineering next week to correct the running issue and hopefully ready for the competitions department!

Ford Transit Mk2 Door Seals

Brian has fitted up the Transit Mk2 with new rubber seals. Help in today’s Storm Ciaran weather!

A proper rear wheel drive classic… that could be yours!

Our 1979 Ford Escort Mk2 is now live on the Bridge Classic Cars Competitions website for you to win!

This legendary, rear-wheel drive fun machine is loved the world over – from the snowy forests of Scandinavia to the dusty outback roads of Australia, the Mk2 Ford Escort has cemented its place in the heart of petrolheads.

Read the write up here:

”It is a mainstay of the classic car world and a favourite amongst blue oval enthusiasts across the world. From the treelined, snowy forests of Sweden and Finland, to the unofficial streetlamp lined racetracks of the North Circular and as far away as the dusty roads of the Australian outback, the Mk2 Escort has reigned supreme across the globe.

It’s timelessly fun attitude of light weight, rear-wheel drive and adaptability of purpose make it a perfect addition to any petrolhead’s arsenal.

Bridge Classic Cars Competitions wants to put one of these pint-size prowlers on your driveway with our 1979 Ford Escort.”

”With vibrant and striking red paintwork and a dark interior, this little terror means business thanks to the addition of a 2-litre 4-cylinder engine and having been upgraded with a 5-speed manual gearbox.

The engine is believed to be a 2.0-litre unit according to invoices from the cars history file along with being fitted with a desirable Weber 32/36 DGV carburettor (supplied by FastRoadCars.co.uk and in the spirit of the original fast Mk2, the RS2000) to help this wonderful 4-cylinder breathe. The history folder also includes an invoice from the legendary Burton Power for a 3J Drivelines NXG 22-spline Limited Slip Differential to make this Mk2 hook up and go!”

”With that additional power and performance, the previous owner made the decision to evoke the spirit and attitude of the Sport 2000 model by paying tribute to this much-loved performance model, with a few of their own styling choices, with this particular Mk2.

Now is your chance to win this devilishly handsome and performance minded Mk2 Escort. Enter now and win our 1979 Ford Escort Mk2.

A Wonderful New Arrival!

The Bridge Classic Cars Suffolk HQ have welcomed a wonderful new arrival recently. It’s our new 1932 Austin 7 Ulster.

This beautiful pre-war road racer, has arrived at our workshops to be checked over by our technicians ahead of one lucky winner ending up with it on their driveway through Bridge Classic Cars Competitions!

Take a look at it’s arrival photos and then keep an eye out for your chance to win our 1932 Austin 7 Ulster.

A wonderfully British classic… And, it could be yours!

The classic Austin-Healey holds a special place in the dream garage of many petrolheads. From the humble Sprite to the suave and sophisticated 3000, the Austin-Healey has earned its pedestal.

Bridge Classic Cars Competitions is giving you the chance to win one of these truly engaging and wonderful classic British sports cars with our 1958 Austin-Healey 100/6.

With stunning red paintwork and a complimenting black leather interior and white piping, this ‘big Healey’ has got charm and character which could only come from a long-legged, drivers Healey.

Fitted with a beautiful 2.7-litre inline-six and 4-speed manual gearbox, this soft-top sports car has got the perfect set-up to be enjoyed on a back road blast or a relaxed road trip.

Recently imported from South Africa at the start of 2023, the car has gone through a recommission by the Bridge Classic Cars team which included a full brake system rebuild as well as some mechanical jobs to get this wonderful classic ready for its new home.

During its time in South Africa, the car took part in several grand-touring rallies and drive-outs including most recently in the 2022 running of the Cape 1000.

The vehicle comes with a full UK registration, 742XWA, as well as several folders of workshop manuals and dating letters and certificates from the Austin-Healey Club and the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust.

Enter now for your chance to win one of the most sought after classic British sports cars.

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Concours of Elegance 2023

Over the weekend, one of the most prestigious car shows in the world took to the palace grounds of Hampton Court to celebrate the most unique, rare and beautiful pieces of machinery the world has ever seen – The Concours of Elegance 2023.

From the moment you stepped foot through the east gate into the palatial gardens, automotive history burst out from every corner and on the perfectly manicured lawns. Cars of such historic note that they have become myths, only to be viewed in the printed pages of books and magazines. But yet here they were, within arms reach. Their flawlessly polished and presented paintwork able to be fogged up by the heavy breathing of petrolheads who had taken this pilgrimage.

Everything from one of only a handful of Mk2 Ford GT40s (the road-going version of the racer, the Mk1) to a fleet of XK120s, 140s, 150s and E-Types flanked the medieval brick walls that ran the perimeters of the palace. But in front of them, over a century of automotive history lay bare for all to see, hear and experience.

Beautifully restored Lamborghini Miura’s, battle scarred all original Jaguar C-Types and Blower Bentley’s were rowmates with the original 1899 Piretti-Bugatti which even came with its original wooden crate next to its brothers, a Type 57 Atalante and a Type 59 unrestored racer. Only at the Concours of Elegance could these machines be brought together as all of the 90 cars on display had been personally invited to attend because of their importance in classic car history.

If it had just stopped there, this still would have been the greatest display that I had ever seen. But, nestled under the branches of a listing oak tree lay what can only be seen in the fever dreams of the most ardent of classic car fans.

These weren’t just some of the best classic cars I had ever seen, these were THE best. On a financial note, the first 5 cars in this row would have a combined value of over £80,000,000 and I was within inches of these achingly beautiful hand built objects d’art.

4 of them well and truly stuck out to me. These 4 to be specific.

1954 Jaguar D-Type Prototype recently restored by the craftspeople at DK Engineering to exactly as it would have left Browns Lane ahead of testing. A car driven by the greats such as Dewis, Hamilton and Hawthron. The only words that can describe it as are ”life changing” in that something with so much story, actually lives and breathes.

There was all manner of multi-million pound metal as far as the eye could see. Bugatti 57S Atlante’s, Ferrari 275’s, Countaches, Rolls Royces, Porsche’s you name it. But, one of the most rare beasts just stood there next to one of the most important sports cars in history but first, let’s talk about the White One.

A Ferrari 250 GTO is one of the most sought-after and highly prized pieces of the classic car world. In fact, I would go as far as to say they transcend being a machine and become object d’art. In total, just 36 of these cars were made for the 1962/1963 season to represent the Scuderia and its affiliated privateer teams. The tales of these cars passed into legend, whether it be through certain drivers or just because of their rarity. These cars will openly trade for over £30m+ so just to see one in the wild was beyond far out. Oh, and it was truly stunning.

Possibly one of the most beautiful cars to have been penned by Giotto Bizarrini paired with the elegant violence of the majestic Colombo 3-litre V12, it is completely understandable how something like this is mentioned in the same breathe as paintings by the masters.

As if just this car on its own wasn’t enough, it was flanked either side by cars that make grown men weak at the knees. But the car to the left of the 250GTO was particularly important to us for several reasons and part of the reason that we paid for the ticket and made the effort to go all the way south just to see when it was announced it was going to be there.

It is CSX2001.

CSX2001 is the first production Shelby Cobra to be built. Built in July of 1962, CSX2001 and delivered to one of the first customers located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The car was enjoyed for a little while before being brought back and chopped in against a brand new Porsche.

It was then purchased by ‘Lucky’ Casner – who basically founded the American arm of the Maserati factory race team. Because of that, CSX2001 was converted into full race duties for upcoming races. Once the conversion was complete it was ready to hit the track but one thing lead to another and CSX2001 was sold to French driver Jean Marie Vincent ahead of the 1964 24 hours of Le Mans but it would never compete that year. Between 1964 and 1965, the car would be raced throughout Europe by Jean Marie including the Tour de France, 1000kms de Paris and several others.

The car was then upgraded into 1964 specification for the Cobras. The gnarly 289ci V8 was dropped in the front along with that gorgeous set of Halibrands which required the aluminium flares to be sank into the body. Oh, and it has rack and pinion steering rack installed in it by AC Cars here in the UK.

In 1966 it was sold to another Frenchman and continued to be raced throughout Europe.

In 2006, it was bought by petrolhead extraordinaire Bruce Meyer who is the president of the Petersen Museum in LA and an eminent collector of significant road and race cars in his own right.

To celebrate the restoration of CSX2001 in its new black paintwork, Bruce rallied the car to Budapest as part of its shakedown.

In the same row as CSX2001 was another piece of myth, it wore the prancing horse on its nose and again I never thought I’d get the chance to ever see this car in the flesh.

This particular 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California Spider is not like the others. It was owned by French actor Alain Delon and was actually rediscovered in a French barn along with 60 other rare classics before being recommissioned and brought back to life.

The most famous of its siblings is of course the James Coburn car but Delon’s car still reached an impressive $18.5m when it went across the auction block after its reawakening in Paris around 10 years ago. It has always worn this number as well, in period photos (some of which included Delon and Jane Fonda arriving on set for the film ‘Les Fellins’ it still has the number 4452 on its plate.

A beautiful piece of not only Ferrari history but classic car history in general and by the looks of things, the pride and joy of its new owners collection and to be honest, a bit of privilege to get to take photos of.

Also to celebrate the 100 years of Le Mans, Concours of Elegance had put together a very special display of Le Mans winning cars. The special things being that these cars hadn’t just won the worlds toughest endurance race once, but back it up with a double win. Not the same model of car which is common place in modern endurance racing but the same chassis with back to back wins.

Cars like the 1929 and 1930 winning Bentley ‘Old Number One’, the 1952 Merecedes W194, 1968 and 1969 Le Mans Ford GT40 (in full Gulf livery), the 1963 and 1964 Le Mans winning Ferrari 275P as well as the 1974 Matra MS670B driven by the legendary pairing of Henri Pescarola and Gerard Larousse.

It was an absolute pleasure to be able to attend an event such as this in such a beautiful setting. It was also a true petrolheads honour to even be around these machines and soak up the atmosphere and history. Guaranteed, its already on my calendar for 2023.’

Nick attended this event with his side project, Caster & Camber. To see more of this project and more of his work check them out on Instagram and Facebook.

Check out the full gallery from the 2023 Concours of Elegance here: