Whilst we normally recommend cars are restored to their period standard specification, unless history and hindsight suggest otherwise, if someone wants something particular doing to their car then we can cater for those wishes, and in extremis this could be a complete re-working of a car into something truly unique – customised bodywork, mechanicals and bespoke interior and exterior trim – the current buzzword is a restomod.
Car design is all about compromises – Lancia did an admirable job on most models, so that the standard road car was an excellent compromise between performance, refinement, comfort and driveabililty at all speeds. Despite this, there are some improvements that can be made for keen drivers which wish to focus enhanced performance in certain areas, whilst recognising there are likely to be compromises elsewhere. The balance between what is, and what isn’t an acceptable trade off for that enhanced performance in normal day to day driving is a delicate path to tread. Modern traffic conditions are also somewhat different to those expected in the 1950’s, 1960’s or whenever the car was designed.
Market values have shown that as the cars get older and more collectible, originality or at least period modifications are considered more important and the values fetched at auction and on the general market usually reflect this.
Recent work includes:
Fitting electric power steering system to an Aurelia B24 Spider to make it easier for someone with reduced strength and movement to drive. To cope with the additional electrical requirements of this car an alternator conversion was fitted, and to make the brakes more effective a brake servo was fitted. All this work has been done to the car in such a way that it would be easy to revert back to standard if necessary.
Electric power steering was also added to a Fulvia 1600HF to make it easier to drive in London, where average speed is low, and many manoevers are slow speed ones at junctions, where the standard steering can be quite heavy. The assistance tapers off as speed increases.
A Flaminia Touring Convertible with tubular exhaust manifolds (headers) and an uprated camshaft and electronic ignition.
A high performance engine which was fitted to a Flaminia Sport for longer distance road tours. A spare engine was stripped down and re-built to Supersport specification and then enhanced further with our special pistons, valves, camshaft and exhaust. The owner wanted the engine to look original under the bonnet, which then ruled out a fuel injection conversion. The original engine has been inhibited and carefully stored and the works done in such a way that the original engine can easily be refitted.
An enhanced Aurelia B20 Coupe was built with tubular exhaust manifolds, special camshaft and Nardi carburettor kit.
We have built several Fulvias with high performance engines. Some of these have been for racing or rallying, but several have been kept as road cars and have retained full interiors and soundproofing.
Several cars have been painted and trimmed in non standard colour combinations upon instructions of the owner. These include a Flaminia Supersport being painted in the same colour of metallic green paint used by Aston Martin on DB4 Zagatos. The cars were built using the same Superleggera construction techniques, by the same Italian coachbuilders, and possibly painted by the same Italian artisans and the end result was very pleasing.
Special trim work includes the construction of special tonneau covers for a Flaminia Touring Convertible to make the area behind the front seats which is normally exposed, hidden and marginally more secure. On another Flaminia Touring Convertible the owner wanted a burgundy convertible hood making to match other cars in his collection.
A Beta Montecarlo was extensively modified, with a high compression, big-valve engine. The same car was converted from its original carburettor to fuel injection with individial throttle bodies, a wasted spark distributor-less ignition system all controlled by a modern ECU mapped and calibrated on a rolling road system. A wide-band lambda sensor allows the ECU to adjust itself within certain paramaters. The same car was given a number of brake and suspension modifications and the bodywork extensively lightened with the additional of aluminium and composite panels. A competition style dashboard was made with different instruments fitted.
We have fitted modern radio systems to several cars. These have usually been hidden away out of sight, but operated by a remote control. Some period radios have been modified by conversion to FM radio, or the addition of an bluetooth connection for a modern mobile phone.
So, if there is something that really displeases you about your car, maybe there are things that can be done about it.
Give us a call…