The Automotive Restorers Guide
“Calling all Car, Motorcycle Enthusiasts & Restorers”

A restoration parts and services guide for classic cars and motorcycles

Save Time & Money on the Restoration of Parts and Services for Cars & Motorcycles Veteran, Vintage, Classic and Custom.

Automotive Restorers Guide
The Automotive Restorers Guide has been advertised in:
Classic Car Weekly Newspaper
Heritage car insurance blog /newsletter
Mercedes-Benz Owners Magazine
Practical Classics Magazine

No more hunting around for classic car restoration near me

This valuable quality guide can mean no more wasted time hunting around for specialist parts restoration services or looking for classic car restoration nearby as the discount door-to-door worldwide courier service will enable you to use the listed services without having to be local to them.

The ‘Automotive Restorers Guide’ for every veteran, vintage, classic, custom car and motorcycle restorer, amateur or professional.

This valuable guide written from personal experience lists many quality proven companies to help enthusiasts carry out classic car parts restoration and rebuilding services. Details of a worldwide discounted door-to-door courier service are also listed, enabling the guide to be used worldwide so that you do not have to search for classic car restoration near me.

I have found the companies listed to be fair in relation to costs and the excellent work carried out. You may be looking for classic car upholstery, specialist engineering or vintage car restoration services. Whether you are looking for classic car restoration Houston, Texas or in London, England then this guide can provide you many different services so that you do not have to search for classic car restoration shop in the hope of finding a specialist service.

A description of each company along with their name, address, telephone number and website address where applicable are listed in the guide.

Veteran, vintage, classic ,custom car and motorcycle restoration

Alongside some of the different listed companies there are valuable advice notes when using the service or suppliers.

About the Author: Steve Barratt

Barratts Classic Car Hire

I bought the classic Mercedes JMO 9K, a 1971 300 SEL 6.3 in October 2003. Barratts Classic Car Hire was then launched in 2005 after extensive work was completed.

The Mercedes turned out to be a real learning curve, mainly due to the complexity and in general, often awkward design to work on. Over the years spares from around the world were purchased. I have also helped people to get parts reconditioned, and find suppliers.

Steve Barratt with JMO 9K at Mercedes Benz World

Myself with JMO 9K at Mercedes Benz World

Front restored interior view of JMO 9K

Front interior view of JMO 9K

Classic Car Restoration

Classic restored Mercedes 6.3 engine
front view

I soon found that a lot of so-called rebuild services or engine reconditioning services were just agents who would take your parts in, deliver to a reconditioning service, collect the parts or have them delivered back and then charge for their service. Although they advertise themselves as a reconditioning service, they were in fact just acting as a go between.

I then spent what turned out to be many hours of telephone calls and meetings over sixteen years to find reliable people or classic car restoration and engineering services to carry out the different services. This was not just to save money but to ensure that in case of problems I did not have to go through an agent. You can sometimes experience a delay going through an agent, as it depends on how helpful or efficient they are at getting your parts delivered and collected.

Classic Car Restoration

Classic restored Mercedes 6.3 engine
right side view

Classic Car Restoration

Classic restored Mercedes 6.3 engine
left side view

Classic Car Restoration

Classic restored Mercedes 6.3 engine
rear view

All above images of my V8 6.3 litre engine after a rebuild using companies listed in the guide.

Old car restoration

Whether you have an old car from the vintage or veteran era or a more modern classic then the guide lists specialist services to suit all periods.

The ‘Automotive Restorers Guide’ was compiled as other enthusiasts and restorers would often ask me, …’Where can I get this part repaired or reconditioned correctly without being financially taken advantage of’

There is a clear explanation of some services such as ‘chemical brightening’ that some people often confuse with chrome plating. An example of chemical brightened trim would be the bright shiny metal trim around the front windscreen and back screen.

There is also valuable advice when using various listed suppliers.

A look inside some of the Automotive Restorers Guide


Important Information for Chemical Brightening and Polishing of Trim Sections

To explain to those who are not aware…chemical brightening is the process of brightening the trims, which are often around the front windscreen and back screen. Likewise, these trim sections are also around the doors near to the door glass or on interior door panels, etc. Many people commonly mistake these trims as being chrome plated as they look like the bright chrome finish often found on bumpers and door handles. Searches such as classic car restoration parts are used by customers in trying to look for chemical brightening companies. Chemical brightening is where the trim item is dipped into a bath of hot acid which brightens the item, hence the name chemical brightening. The trim item is then anodised to protect the surface and keep it bright.

There are people or companies that sell different types of polish to bring the shine back to worn dull trims. In some cases, these cutting type polishes will work but…you will have to constantly keep polishing the trim as the cutting type polish will obviously remove the anodising, which protects the surface. These types of polish are not a permanent finish.

One important point to remember when you go to get your trim sections chemically brightened is that the trim sections need to have the anodising removed before you take or send them to be polished. Removing the anodising can easily be carried out by an anodising service anodising listed further on under Zinc Plating. Any anodising service would be fine for removal. The reason for removing the anodising is that it removes the hard anodised finish so that the sections can easily be polished. This is very important especially on thin delicate trim sections, as these sections need to have the least pressure put on them when polishing to avoid distortion. I have listed a company further on under Metal Polishing, for polishing. Both are experienced in classic car restoration polishing as well as classic motorcycle restoration. Once you have the anodising removed and trim sections polished you can then send to the company listed further on under Chemical Brightening.


Crankshaft Straightening, Journal Repair and *Hardening

A note on crankshaft repairs If you have a damaged crankshaft where some, or all of the journals are scored beyond grinding, and it is impossible to locate a replacement one second-hand, then the journals can be built back up with either metal spraying or submerged arc welding. Damaged crankshafts are not uncommon, and often forms part of vintage or classic car restoration.

Metal spraying is a process where hot metal is sprayed onto a journal after it has been prepared. Submerged arc welding is when metal is welded onto a journal. In both cases, the repaired journals are ground back down to the correct tolerance for the bearings. Metal spraying can be carried out by the engineering listed further on under Engine Reconditioning Specialist, Engineering, Machining, *Welding, *Metal Spraying.

Metal spraying puts far less stress on a crankshaft compared to submerged arc welding. However, some views are that submerged arc welded journals are a superior job as the new metal is actually fused onto a journal by welding. Strictly speaking, a repaired crankshaft should be hardened to the same original factory original hardness.

Using hard chrome plating is often not successful for crankshaft journal repair. It is for this reason that I have not listed it.

The company below can often repair your crankshaft by submerged arc welding.


After repair work, the company below can send the crankshaft away to a specialist hardening company. When a crankshaft is re-hardened, the service is at your own risk.

The risk is that sometimes the hardening process on a repaired crankshaft can distort the crankshaft and render it useless, more so after submerged arc-welded repairs. It is for this reason that many people do not take the risk, and fit the crankshaft without surface hardening.


Hard Chroming / *Nikasil Plating & *Superfinishing

Hard chroming is a very useful service for classic car restoration or automotive restoration especially when shafts or some low stressed journals are worn and need to be built back before machining back down to an exact finish to fit in a bearing. An example of this would be a steering column.

Nikasil is short for Nickel Silicon Carbide. It is a nickel and silicone (ceramic) plating which is very hard. This is used mainly for providing a very hard wearing surface on the inside of aluminium cylinder bores. In some cases over the years it has replaced hard chroming.


Metal Polishing
There are many very good polishing companies around for vintage and classic car restoration. However, finding a company that can polish thin delicate trims that can bend easily is often difficult. The company below can polish from thick large areas down to very small thin fragile soft aluminium sections that many polishing companies would not work on. This is a vital service prior to having sections chemically brightened. If the trim section is not polished, then you will not be able to achieve a bright finish. Sometimes delicate trims can be taped onto a board for polishing to avoid distortion.

Whenever I have sent these delicate sections of trim through a courier, I have made a strong wooden crate from plywood. The crate is then screwed back down and couriered back to you with your polished trims. If the trims are straight, you could use plastic plumbing waste pipe to transport them in.

Just some of the specialist services listed are:

Acid cleaning of engine blocks, body shells
Get your engine block or even body shell dipped clean of paint and corrosion without risking grit blasting getting into oil ways and box sections.
Axle and Differential Rebuilding
This highly useful specialised service can rebuild most axles and differentials.
Auto locksmith
To have keys cut for locks where the original key has been lost, tumblers changed and keyed alike.
Battery Specialist
Get the correct sized battery for vintage or classic vehicles.
Brake Caliper Rebuilding

Get your brake calipers reconditioned.

Carburettor Repair and Rebuilding

Have your carburettor rebuilt.

Cast Iron Welding and Rebuilding

Cracked or broken block or manifold repaired.

Chemical Brightening
For those wanting to get windscreen and door window mouldings etc back to the original bright condition. Many people mistakenly think that these mouldings are chrome plated. They then get them chrome plated, which can peel in a short time. Many companies offering chemical brightening often over anodise the finished brightened item resulting in a milky finish, which is not as bright as the factory original. The company listed in the guide anodises correctly to keep the bright finish.
Coloured Anodising
Coloured anodised surface finishes.
Chrome Plating onto Aluminium
Chrome plating onto aluminium.
Chrome Plating Specialist
To repair dents and re chrome on radio surrounds, trims, handles etc.
Custom Exhaust Builders
25 year guarantee on exhaust. For cars, motorcycles, boats.
Classic Blaukpunt and Becker Radio Repairs and Spares
Get your radio repaired or reconditioned.
Crankshaft Straightening and Journal Repair
Offering crankshaft crack inspection, straightening, journal. rebuilding, grinding and hardening.
Cylinder Head Repairs
Aluminium or cast iron cylinder head repaired.
Electrical Ancillaries Repair and Rebuild
For specialist work on starter motors, alternators, solenoids etc.
Electronic Ignition
This established company delivers a huge range of easy to fit electronic ignition systems for cars, boats and agricultural machinery. The beauty of their systems is that you do not have to drill or adapt the distributor.
Engine Bearing Manufacture and Metalling
Engine bearings can be manufactured from new or re metalled and then machined. Very useful if your bearings cannot be purchased new.
Engine Reconditioning Specialist, Engineering, Machining and Metal Spraying

This very established company offers an excellent array of standard and more specialist services. Many so-called engine reconditioning companies use this company to carry out work they say they have done. This company is very respected. They work regularly to rebuild from period car and motorcycle engines, up to work on dragster engines! They offer a very extensive range of engineering, machining and welding services. This company can sometimes also supply engine parts, which are not available elsewhere, for example piston rings, valves, bearings, gaskets, etc.

Exhaust Systems
For a 25 year guarantee. One of these suppliers also manufacture fuel tanks.
Gold and Silver Plating
Sometimes you may need an electrical connection gold plated.
Grit Blast Cleaning, Hot Zinc Spraying and Powder Coating
Have corroded parts blast cleaned, hot zinc sprayed and powder coated to provide an authentic looking yet tough lasting finish.
Hard Chroming
Worn bearing surfaces or steering columns surfaces built up.
Instrument and Gauge Repair
For defective or broken instruments.
Instrument Cluster Repairs and Cable Building
Have worn cables manufactured.
Laser Welding
This high technology welding is used to repair delicate parts and casings, which were often thought as un repairable. Laser welding is virtually distortion free welding due to the concentrated heat source from the laser.
Magneto Rebuilds
Get your magneto rebuilt.
Mechanical Fuel Injection Pump Repair, Spares and Injector Cleaning
For mechanical fuel injection pump repair or reconditioning.
Metal Polishing
This company can polish from thick large areas down to very small thin fragile soft aluminium sections that many polishing companies would not work on.
Oil Seal Manufacture and PTFE Packing
For custom made oil, water and hydraulic seals.
Period Leather and Vinyl Specialist Suppliers
A lot of trimming companies have trouble sourcing the correct original period leather and vinyl. Three specialist suppliers are listed.
Powers Steering Box, Pump and Rack Rebuilding
Have your leaky and or defective power steering box, pump, and rack repaired or rebuilt. Additionally manual steering racks can be rebuilt.
Radiator Repair or Rebuild
For nearly all types of radiators both, vintage and modern, car, motorcycle and bus.
Radio Spares and Repairs
A very useful service for classic Blaupunkt and Becker radios.
Specialist Grit Blasting and Coating
For grit blasting, hot galvanised spraying, spray painting and powder coating on many different surfaces.
Trim, Upholstery, Custom Colour Leather Dyes & Custom Colour Vinyl Paint
This very useful company supply a very large, comprehensive range of products for mainly English vintage and classic cars. A brief example is: trims, window channelling, door panel clips, carpet and trim studs, door and boot seals, hood materials, headlining, foil backed heat insulation, sound insulating felt, millboard, foam sheeting, hessian, piping’s, woven bonnet tape, many black rubber extrusions, screws, bonnet catches, grab handles, door locks, window handles, brass taps and fittings. Even an aeroscreen suitable for RAC competition.
Turbocharger Repairs and Rebuilding
Have your turbocharger repaired or rebuilt.
For specialist tyres that local tyre companies cannot supply.
Vapor Blasting/Wet Blasting
Vapour blasting has become increasingly popular over the years, as more people are using this process to keep mainly aluminium sections clean. Other non-ferrous metals such as brass, copper and including stainless steel can also be vapor blasted.
Water & Hydraulic Pipes Bent to Shape
Steel, copper, brass, aluminium pipes bent to shape.
Wire Wheels
For Wire Wheels, Steel Rims, and Alloy Rims, Hubs Restoration and Manufacture.
Zinc Plating
For different types of zinc plating.
And More!

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