What's happening at Upper Classics?

Update on VW Kombi
If you scroll down the page you will see some earlier reports on the work we have done to ressurect this Kombi bus.  By the time all the rusty metal was removed there was not much left !
Kombi outside small   Kombi front small   Kombi side small
We are now in the fit up stage before the van is painted.  It is critical that the vehicle is completely built up at this stage and all parts are checked for fit, as any alterations are so much harder when the vehicle is painted.

 

Reproducation of an Original Number Plate
Brian Beni SS90 Original small   One of our customers in the U.S.A. has an SS90 which was sold new in New Zealand back in 1935.  He has this lovely period photo of the car ;in action'.  Whilst he had the AA badges shown in the photo he asked us to reproduce the New Zealand number plate.  This took some work to create a one off press tool but the front of the car is now complete again.   Brian Beni SS90 Number Plate 1 small

 

Harley Fat Boy

Harleysmall   Harley Tanksmall   HarleyFatboysmall
After a minor accident the owner of this Harley decided he would like a change from the original black of his Fatboy.  We re-painted the tank and guards a Jaguar gunmetal colour to give the bike a whole new look.

 

Stainless Mouldings
Cadillac moulding small   Moulding small   Lid Moulding small
The large stainless moulding on the boot of this 1959 Cadillac was damaged beyond repair.  We folded up 2 new sections for the main part of the moulding and welded them together.  The pressed section around the boot lock was cut from the original moulding and grafted into the new moulding.  After dressing the welds and a final polish we had recreated a part that is very hard to find.

 

Often due to the age of the cars we work on, parts are missing or damaged and replacements are usually no longer available.
Handles 1 small   Handles 2 small   Handles 3 small
On this early SS car we only had one original outer door handle.  From this a mould was made and new handles cast.  These were then machined and shaped to produce a pair of as new handles, including a locking handle for the drivers side.

 

 

We have recently completed the restoration of a 1960 Jaguar XK150S OTS.  The 'S' model had an uprated engine fitted with triple SU carbs.
Jaguar XK150 000017 small   Jaguar XK150 000019 small   Jaguar XK150 000021 small
The running gear and engine will be restored by Zwakman Motors Europe.

 

MGA Twin Cam
Another car recently completed is this MGA Twin Cam.  Although a matching number car it was little more than a bare body shell and chassis when we started.  Luckily most of the unique twin cam mechanical parts were still with the car in boxes.
MGA 02095 small   MGA 2088 small   MGA 2086 small
Progress of this car has been documented on our 'For Sale' page over the past few years. Only around 2100 twin cams were built from a total production run of approx 1000,000 MGA's of all types.

 

Of course not all our work involves total restorations.  Recently we have done some rust repair work to the firewall area of a Holden HQ wagon.  The owner wants to get the car back on the road, so as more funds become available, we will work our way down the car.
HQ 1512 small   HQ 1536 small   HQ 0286 small

 

240Z small   Another small job was a rust repair in the engine bay of a Datsun 240Z for a WOF where the inner guard meets the firewall.  The affected area was cut out, a repair section welded in and the paint touched in.   240Z 4169 small
         
If you need any work done on your classic, big or small, mechanical, panel or paint  -  we can help.

 

 

HoldenEnginesmall   At the moment we have a real variety of work in, from a V8 engine swap and re-assembly of an HZ Holden Ute through to some minor paint and panel work on a Ferrari Dino.   dino1small
         
We are carrying out rust removal, panel work and a full repaint of an S2 Bentley.  Although a sound car for its age it still required some major work around the sill structure and lower panels.
bentley1small   bentley2small   bentley3small
         
         
In the early 1970's when rotary engines were all the rage, Suzuki bought out a rotary engined motorcycle.  Although a sales 'flop' when new (only 28 were sold in New Zealand) they are now quite sort after.  We currently have 4 RE5's in for repair and rebuilds from around the country.
Bike 1small   Front of RE5s small   Rear of RE5s small
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1947  Kurtis Kraft Midget

midgesmall 083610    Our work on this 1947 car is now complete and it has been reunited with its owner.   midgetrearsmall 083626

 

Kurtis Kraft was an American designer and builder of race cars.  The company built midget cars, quartermidgets, sports cars, sprint cars, Bonneville cars, and USAC Championship cars.

This car was brought into New Zealand from America and we installed an Offenhauser engine into it.  The 'Offy' or Offenhauser racing engine is a racing engine design that dominated American open wheel racing for more than 50 years and is still popular among vintage sprint and midget car racers.

This has been an exciting project and we are very pleased with the end result.

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Although much of our work comes in from overseas, we still get involved with many jobs for local customers. 
         
Buicksmall   Buick1small   Pontiacsmall
     In the last month we have finished two larger projects on a 1939 Buick Straight 8 and a 1947 Chevrolet Fleetmaster, along with a respray of a Pontiac Firebird.

 

Another local car with a long motor racing history is the Ransley Riley.  This car was first raced in February 1949 at the first race held at Wigram Air Force Base.
Ransleysmall   Ransley1small   Ransley2small

In February 2014 whilst being raced at Levels Raceway in Timaru it suffered a catastrophic failure of the clutch assembly.  Whilst the driver was lucky to escape serious injury the body, wood frame and various other mechanical components suffered quite some damage as large chunks of 'shrapnel' exited the car at speed.  Our job is to repair the body and wood frame.

 

The 1912 Little which featured on our stand at the 2015 Inter Marque Car Display at Pioneer Stadium has now been trimmed.
Littlesmall   Little3small   Little1small
The next major step is to get the engine running.  It is probably more than 70 years since this car has moved under its own power so this will be an exciting moment for all those involved.

 

 Kombismall   With the body of the Kombi back from sand blasting what was left was painted with an epoxy coating inside and out to protect the bare steel.    KombiAsmall
 Kombi1small    Kombi2small    Komb3small
Many small areas of rust need repairing before the outer panels can be fitted.  The pictures show some of the repairs around the window openings.  The main floor is now in place and the rear corner panels are being trial fitted.
 Kombi4small    Kombi5small    Kombi6small
We have now moved to the front part of the Kombi where a lot of work has been done to repair or replace the interior parts of the cab. This included the floor 'A' and 'B' posts, and repairs to the opening windscreens.  With a new front panel on it is starting to look like a Kombi again.
 Kombi7small    Kombi8small    Kombi9small

 

 

Just Arrived In !!
 
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Just arrived in for a full body restoration is this rare 1959, 23 window VW Kombi Bus imported into New Zealand in 1961.  I am sure it has some stories to tell !!

Unfortunately, like many of these VW buses it is very rusty.  By the time we cut back to sound steel, there was a large pile of rusty metal on the ground.  The body was mounted on our large steel bed before any cutting was done, along with some internal bracing to ensure what was left stayed where it should.  Once sufficient strength was restored in the chassis and floor area, the shell was put back on wheels for a trip to the sand blaster.

 
DSCF4986small   DSC08829small   DSC09292 Kombi small

  

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Many American cars of the 1930's and 40's had a 'wood grain' effect painted or printed on metal parts such as the dash.  Whilst I doubt anyone thought it was real wood, the effect can be quite convincing.

The 1939 Buick we are restoring had this wood grain on the dash and window surrounds.  With a bit of experimentation we have been able to duplicate this.

Once installed in the car the effect is quite striking.

 
DSCF4344 DSCF1881 DSCF1882 size 200

 

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Triang Pedal Car        
Pedal 2 small   Pedal 3 small   Pedal 4 small

No job is too big or too small !! - this is a Triang Pedal Car - circa 1955.  One of our regular local customers brought this in for us to restore to its former glory.

 

1911 Little Radiator
New top and bottom tanks were fabricated using some fittings salvaged from the old radiator.  These were then soldered to a new core imported from the USA.

Rust damage and the odd dent was repaired in the surround and the complete unit was assembled using soldered tags as original.

little2 small little1 small little3 small

 

BSA small

As a change from painting cars we have recently completed a number of motor cycle tanks and parts.  The tank on the left is from a BSA B31.  We had the tank chromed then masked up and painted the tank as original.  The tank on the right is from a 1976 XS500 Yamaha.  The stickers were unobtainable for this model so we scanned and duplicated the originals.

 Yamaha small

 One of the most difficult restorations we have undertaken is the recreation of the correct bodywork for an SS1 Airline. This car was 'chopped' down to look like a tourer in the 1970s and most of the original bodywork and fittings were removed. The green car is the car as we received it and the Burgandy car is how it should look!

News 6   news 7

Luckily as we had restored an Airline before we were able to get the body work 3D scanned. From this we were able to create patterns to recreate the wooden frame of the car. This was CNC cut from a cheap wood (MDF) so we could test assemble the framework and make any changes required. Once we were sure everything fitted the appropriate changes were made to the scanned data and from this the actual frame can be CNC cut from Ash laminated planks. Should we need to make another Airline in the future another frame could easily be recreated.

Whats happening 1 small   whats happening 2 small   whats happening 3 small

We have just completed this Jaguar XK140FHC, its no ordinary restoration though as this car is used in many Classic Marathon type rallies. Whilst the car is of course completed to our usual high standard we have also carried out many modifications, some obvious, some not, to ensure it will survive the rigours of these events

News 1   News 2 news 3  

 

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For more information, please contact us.