Behind The Scenes – Handover of the 1975 Ford Escort Mk1 RS Mexico Recreation with BBC Radio Suffolk

One of the best parts about the process of someone winning a dream classic from Bridge Classic Cars Competitions is the look on their face when their new pride and joy is revealed to them for the first time. It’s a beautiful moment and with our latest competition winner, Chris and his 1975 Ford Escort Mk1 RS Mexico Recreation, we were lucky enough to capture the whole process along with a good friend of Bridge Classic Cars.

As the team arrived, with the RS Mexico safely stowed away inside our enclosed transporter, the air was electric. Chris, who won the Escort RS Mexico Recreation on Thursday last week, was there to meet the team and the transporter. As the team got the Transporter in position, a long time friend of Bridge Classic Cars and Classic Bus Enthusiast Luke Deal arrived. Luke is of course one of the voices of BBC Radio Suffolk. Luke has been a friend of Bridge Classic Cars since we did our 1948 Morris Lowlight competition which, just like Chris, was won by someone just round the corner from our headquarters in Pettistree.

After the introductions and the plan had been gone through. It was time for the next big surprise for Chris. He was about to be interviewed live on BBC Radio Suffolk about how he won the car and his thoughts and emotions about now being the proud owner of this incredible classic. As this was happening, the Bridge Team were busy shooting videos and photographs but also Live Streaming the handover on our Facebook Page. Along with Luke having a chat with Chris about his prize, he also spent a few minutes talking to Charlotte about Bridge Classic Cars Competitions, how it is done and the amazing response that we have had across the enthusiast community.

Then, it was time for the big reveal. Standing off to one side of the car, Chris watched on with Luke as Charlotte and Craig pulled back the fitted black cover to reveal Chris’s bright green pride and joy. It was quite a sight to see him overcome with emotion as the realisation sunk in that the car well and truly belonged to him. He had to pause during his live reaction chat with Luke to gather his thoughts a couple of times as you could see how much this car meant to him.

With Chris now the proud new owner of the 1975 Ford Escort Mk1 RS Mexico Recreation, he had a chat with Freddie and Charlotte about how he had entered and his feelings about winning which was so lovely to see a real, genuine person so filled with happiness and excitement about his dream classic. That is what sits at the core of Bridge Classic Cars Competitions.

To listen to both Chris and Charlotte live on the air with Luke Deal today on BBC Radio Suffolk, click the link below and skip to 10:45.

Click here to Listen to Luke Deal with Bridge Classic Cars and the latest winner Chris.

Not All Plain Sailing – Working on the Glastron Sea Ray

The Glastron Sea Ray is back in the Bridge Classic Cars for our technician Jonn to look into the ongoing issue with the carburettors on the engine.

A new unit had been put on order for the boat from Holley and once it had arrived here at the workshop it was time to get the boat from storage and have it fitted to the Volvo engine.

Jonn worked through the various linkages and plates to make sure that everything was safely in its place with no hang-ups or catching. The carburettor is a newer design than the previous unit so it was crucial to make sure the new carburettor plate sat perfectly on the manifold to ensure that when the boat is run up during testing that it behaves.

Next up, it was noted that an issue with the nearside wheel on the boat trailer. Jonn began to carefully take apart the drum and bearing to inspect all of the components to get to the bottom of the grabbing issue.

Expect to see more updates on the Glastron Sea Ray soon on the Bridge Classic Cars blog.

Featured – The Electric Blue Mini at the Birmingham NEC

The blue all-electric Classic Mini we worked on a while ago has been spotted at the recent Birmingham NEC Classic Car Show!

The car was on a stand with several all-electric classics to showcase one of the ways that classic cars will be used in the future. This little car is absolutely incredible and we’re proud to have played a part in its story.

We handled the bodywork and paint for the project, working to make sure the outside met the same wow factor as what lay beneath its tiny turquoise bonnet.

Best Reaction – Calling the Winner of the 1975 Ford Escort Mk1 RS Mexico Recreation

Sometimes a simple phone call can change peoples lives. In some ways, it’s our favourite part of our live draws and of our competitions. Hearing and then seeing the reaction on our winner’s faces and voices when they realise the car is well and truly theirs.

Take for example this video clip of Charlotte calling Chris back after we had announced on the live draw that his winning ticket of 987 had won the competition. We think this is probably the best reaction we’ve ever had to calling a winner. Enjoy!

Behind the Scenes – Live Draw of the 1974 Ford Escort Mk1 RS Mexico Recreation & REC 901 Watch Bundle

A bit of a change of venue with this week’s Live Draw for the 1975 Ford Escort RS Mexico Recreation and also for the REC 901 Watch & Automobilist print of a 1973 Porsche 911 2.7 Carrera RS. This time, the draw was bought to you from our very own Bridge Classic Cars restoration workshop in Pettistree.

This week, being at the workshop, we thought we would give everyone a look around some of the restoration projects we currently have being worked on. Charlotte and Freddie carefully negotiated their way through the cars to give the audience the best views and little bits of information on each of the cars and the various stages of their restoration.

There was an inevitable question ”where’s the Mustang?” to which Charlotte let everyone know it was safe and sound being stored at The Hangar. However, we did have another competition car parked just behind the Escort RS Mexico, the stunning 1966 Mercedes Benz 250SE Coupe (which tickets are still available for!).

Charlotte gave our live viewers a look around the stunning green metal flaked RS Mexico Recreation with details added in by Freddie to guide our lucky audience around the car. Then, it was time for the main event!

Heading over to the laptop, Charlotte and Freddie ran through the way our draws are run (something we do every single time) to ensure everyone watching along is clear on how this live draw will work. First up, the watch.

As Charlotte entered the parameters for the ticket numbers onto the Google Random Number generator. As the number generator whizzed through, everyone on the pre-published entry list must have been holding their breath with anticipation. Then, appearing on the screen was number 819. After checking through the entry list on the live stream, it was Terry Dawson who became the lucky owner of the REC 901 Porsche Watch and Automobilist print.

Up next, the series of events which would make one very lucky person very happy thanks to Bridge Classic Cars Competitions. As Charlotte reset the numbers for the Google Random Number generator to select from between 1 and 4999. Then with a click of a button, the generator did its thing. The numbers flew past in a haze until it picked a number at complete random. Number 987. It had been the number given to Chris ONeill after his purchase of several tickets as part of Black Friday Event to bolster his chances of getting his hands on this amazing Mk1.

As Charlotte talked to the live audience to console or congratulate, the details for Chris were found by searching his ticket number in our database. Then Nick handed Charlotte the phone to call Chris. One ring. Two rings. Three Rings..

”Welcome to the answering service…” was the response. But just as the live stream had ended and the Bridge Classic Cars competitions began to pack up for the evening. The phone rang. It was Chris calling us back, and we honestly had never heard someone so excited when Charlotte told him where we were calling him from. After a quick chat on the phone and all of us congratulated him on his new 1975 Ford Escort Mk1 RS Mexico Recreation, it was time to wrap up this latest draw of the Bridge Classic Cars Competitions.

If you fancy getting hold of a dream classic of your own, then head over to the Bridge Classic Cars Competitions website and enter now for your chance to win by clicking the link below.

Bridge Classic Cars Competitions

Straight and Narrow – Adjusting the Seat Runners on the 1970 Dodge Charger

Brian and the Bridge Classic Cars in-house trim experts have been working on getting the new bucket seats to sit properly in the 1970 Dodge Charger that is in with us for interior fitting.

When the seats were fixed into the cabin they sat slightly at an angle. The seats are supposed to sit square in the car, which means some modifications were needed to be done to the seat rails. Thankfully, this is no problem for our incredible trim team.

Brian worked on reshaping and reforming the seat rails to fit perfectly into the car and allowed both seats to sit flat, square and evenly in the cockpit of this incredible muscle car.

One Very Lucky Winner – Handing Over the 2021 Lotus Elise Sport 240 Final Edition at Hethel

Hidden in the back roads of Norfolk lies one of the greatest automotive manufacturers and most successful racing teams of all time. Lotus Cars.

Recently, Bridge Classic Cars Competitions joined forces with both Norwich City Football Club and Lotus Cars to help raise money and awareness for the Norwich City Community Sports Foundation. Thanks to a massive group of very generous people, the total raised for the Foundation was £100,000! and each of the entrants wanted a very special car.

Lotus had given Bridge Classic Cars Competitions and Norwich City the first VIN of the 2021 Lotus Elise Sport 240 Final Edition. The first car from the last production run of the iconic, enthusiast led sportscar as it comes to an end after 26 years. Alex got hold of the car by being issued ticket number 4970 after buying an entry that went straight to benefiting young people in Norfolk that have different abilities or backgrounds get into sport.

On Tuesday, November 15th, the teams from Norwich City, The Community Sports Foundation and Bridge Classic Cars convened in the recently finished and redesigned Customer Experience Centre at Lotus Cars for Alex to meet his new sportscar for the first time.

However, Lotus had a very special day planned for Alex and his son Louis.

Lotus put together a full experience day for our very lucky competition winner. A guided tour around not only the factory and experience centre at Hethel but a tour of the collection at the fabled Classic Team Lotus stable located just down the road.

Gratefully, Lotus also included us here at Bridge along with representatives from Norwich City Football Club and the Community Sports Foundation to come along on the whole day. First up, the original Lotus building.

Lotus had begun work on the first building shortly after their move to Hethel in the mid-1960s. This now housed the engine preparation rooms, subframe assembly area and the body shop. Lotus takes great pride in their cars being for true enthusiasts, they create harmonious packages that work with the dynamics and personality of each of the cars that form their sportscar lineup.

Lotus were proud to show the winner Alex around the facility to demonstrate the level of engineering and care that goes into each individual car, including his very own 2021 Lotus Elise Sport 240 Final Edition.

The tour took Alex and Louis through the entire build process much like their Elise would have gone through earlier this year. Showing Alex every step of the process from the crate engines arriving all the way to the finished cars taking their all important laps on the track for sign off. Then it was over to the fabled Classic Team Lotus. Where a collection of some of the most important Lotus racing cars is stored and lovingly cared for by some of their original mechanics.

After that, Lotus and Norwich City had organised a very special afternoon for Alex. A lunch with Delia Smith. A key owner of Norwich City Football Club, of which Alex is lifelong fan. Then, it was downstairs to begin the handover process. Norwich had also brought in the chairman of Norwich City Community Sports Foundation Jake Humphrey to present Alex and Louis with a signed shirt and to say his appreciation for being involved in this amazing charity.

Then, to give Alex his certificate of authenticity to prove the provenance of the 2021 Final Edition Elise he had one was Lotus Cars MD, Matt Windle. Followed by Delia Smith handing over the keys to Alex’s new Hethel yellow sportscar. During all of this, two surprise guests appeared in the atrium. Formula One legend Jenson Button followed by mechanic and engineer extraordinaire Ant Anstead. They stopped to chat with Alex about the car and congratulate him on his win.

The day wasn’t over yet. To coach Alex on how to get the most out of his new Lotus was former Lotus Formula One Driver and long time Lotus driving coach Martin Donnelly, who took Alex out onto the Hethel test track in an identical Elise to put him through his paces.

We wish Alex all the best in the future with his very special Elise and a huge thank you to everyone who entered and helped raise a staggering amount of donations and awareness of the great work the Community Sports Foundation.

Setting up at the NEC Classic Car Show 2021

Our 1967 Austin Mini is ready to be the star of the show this weekend at the NEC in Birmingham. If you are heading to the show, swing by the Electric Classic Cars stand where you will see our collaborative Tesla Powered Mini, built in collaboration with Team C racing take pride of place. Painted by our in-house paint shop, this Mini is now powered by a Tesla motor. Love it or hate it, this Mini certainly grabs attention.

Behind the Scenes – Photoshoot for the 1975 Ford Escort RS Mexico Recreation

The Ford Escort Mk1 is an incredible car. But an Escort RS Mexico is another thing all together. This is 1975 Ford Escort RS Mexico Recreation. Think of it almost like an RS Mexico Plus…

This bright green flash made its way down the taxiway of the airbase with its upgraded 2 litre 4 cylinder singing along with all the balance and good grace you should wish from the infamous Pinto engine on a crisp, autumn morning for its date in front of Freddie’s lens. It was time for the customary Bridge Classic Cars Competitions photoshoot with the Escort.

Its stunning green went beyond bright. It was like a beacon amongst the dark asphalt on the ground of the the base. This car features every detail of an original RS Mexico down to everything, including the dials in the dash. Freddie beautifully captured the personality of this car with his photos. A fun and playful character but with a sharp, pinpoint undertone like the racer that inspired it and the countless racers that it inspired.

This amazing 1975 Ford Escort RS Mexico Recreation is currently up for grabs if you fancy being the next owner? All you do is click the link below and enter for your chance to win this incredible car.

Click here to enter to win the 1975 Ford Escort Mk1 RS Mexico Recreation from Bridge Classic Cars Competitions

Final Inspection – Preparing the Triumph TR3A for Birmingham NEC Auction

Our in-house restoration technician John has been hard at work getting the 1958 Triumph TR3A ready for its date across the auction block at this years Birmingham NEC Auction.

Upon inspection, it was found that the front main oil seal, sump gasket and the timing cover gaskets were weeping slightly and would need to be replaced. Methodically, John worked through each component carefully to gain access to the affected parts. The entire front valance and radiator needed to be removed due to their proximity to the crank pulley which needs to be removed.

Along with that, quite a bit of the car’s wiring needed to be disconnected in order to safely remove the front valance to gain access. This was also carefully logged and noted for the reinstallation of the components. John carefully catalogued and stored every fixing and bracket to ensure everything went back as it should.

With the front end of the car and the oil pan removed, John could now begin the task of assessing, cleaning and preparing the surfaces for their new gaskets and seals. A crucial process to ensure the best fit and seal for the new gaskets. With the new set of gaskets and seals in place, John refitted the covers and made sure the main oil seal was seated correctly and tight in the crank seal before beginning the process to get the whole car back together.

During that, John also rerouted some of the necessary cables and wires which had been worked on by a previous garage prior to us working on the car to ensure the safety and ease of maintenance were all correct as they should have been.

Once back together, the car was run up to temperature after refilling all the vital fluids such as coolant and oil to ensure that the engine was happy and the car would be in the best condition for its lucky new owner.

Take a Seat – Building and Fitting the Seats to the 1970 Dodge Charger

Brian is working on the inside of the 1970 Dodge Charger that is in the Bridge Classic Cars in-house trim shop.

Brian has been building up the seats ready to be fitted into the car, both front and rear. Brian built up the rear seats to get into the car to begin with so that each of the other pieces can be put into place. The rear bench seat splits into two pieces so the careful placement of the covers and fixings to make sure all of the patterns lay straight and true to each other.

Then it was time for the front seats. All the side trims for the front seats needed to be fitted in preparation for them to be fitted into the Chargers cabin. All of these pieces were carefully fitted by Brian as to not mark or scuff any of the plastic trims. Then, once all finished and present they were put into the interior of this amazing Muscle Car.

Final Check-Up – Pre MOT Inspection of the 1984 BMW 635CSi

Bridge Classic Cars have it’s latest Bridge Classic Cars Competitions car in the workshop before its draw tomorrow night.

The car is being checked over by our in-house restoration team as part of its delivery and MOT inspection. Our technicians are checking each system is functioning as it should and also that the crucial safety components needed for the MOT are being inspected and addressed if needs be.

There are still tickets available for this stunning 1980s icon! Just head over to Bridge Classic Cars Competitions by clicking the link below.

From Top to Bottom – Treating the Underside of a 1970 Citroen DS

Preparing a classic car for winter is very important. And, at Bridge Classic Cars we know what it takes to keep your pride and joy safe. Take for example this 1970 Citroen DS21.

This stunning example of the DS has come into us to have the underside cleaned and treated as part of its winter preparation. For this, it isn’t a case of just laying on a thick coat of undersealer. It takes time, attention, care and an understanding of what each individual car requires.

To begin with, Tamas, evaluated the areas that would require cleaning back more than others. Then to protect the wonderful pale French blue paintwork, he covered the bodywork and delicate components with plastic coverings and specific paint tape as to not damage any part of the car. Then, using a variety of steel, brass and copper wire wheels he removed any contaminants/surface issues. After that was removed from the underside and arches of the car (which on the rear must be removed to take the wheel off) Tamas then cleaned down the surfaces thoroughly and carefully to give the chemical treatment in the undersealer the best conditions to work on.

Over many hours, Tamas patiently applied the undersealer to the bottom of the car. Allowing time between each coat for the chemicals in the spray to flash off and begin to cure. This is crucial in order to get the best coverage and more importantly the best protection for the car over the winter.

Then, the car was left to cure with specifically placed heat lamps to make sure that the treatment cured correctly and evenly on the car.

Behind the Scenes – Making a glovebox for the 1970 Dodge Charger

Brian, one of our in-house trim experts at Bridge Classic Cars, has been hard at work fabricating a new glovebox for the 1970 Dodge Charger.

Firstly, Brian created a mockup to use as a template and check the fitment of the piece within the dash itself. Making sure to note down all of the mounts and holes needed to secure it into place.

Then he transferred that onto felt covered hardback to make and bend the shapes needed for the glovebox. Once that was completed, it was riveted together and installed into its final position.

This, is the small but crucial touches our trim-shop are the best at.

A Whole New Feel – Recovering the Steering Wheel on the 1970 Dodge Charger

Refinishing or recovering a steering wheel is no simple task. The right balance of tactile feel, smoothness, finish and contrast is something that only comes with skills, understanding and complete knowledge of your craft. And that, is why our in-house trim experts at Bridge Classic Cars are the best.

The original wooden wheel on the 1970 Dodge Charger currently in at Bridge Classic Cars for an interior refit had seen better days. It was discoloured, the original varnish has begun to flake away. This just wouldn’t have matched the incredible black and orange theme chosen by the customer. So, Kath recovered the wheel using that colour palette to create a stunning piece for the car.

Kath chose her materials to closely match the existing materials used throughout the iconic muscle car and tie it into the custom interior. Deep black leather with vibrant orange stitching.

Kath measured out the black leather and cut it to size. Allowing a snug but not overly stretched fitment to the wooden wheel underneath. Then, after being hemmed, Kath began to stitch in the piece to envelop the large wooden steering wheel. Something like this, being so intricate and restricted, can only be done by hand and this is where the skill of a true craftsperson shines. The final fit and delicate stitchwork just fit the car, with its custom one-off feel.

With the Grain – Recovering the Centre Console of the 1970 Dodge Charger

We have an incredible in-house trim team here at Bridge Classic Cars. They’ve been hard at work on the interior of the 1970 Dodge Charger that is currently in our trim shop.

Here, you can see the work Kath has done refinishing the centre console to match the exterior of the Bright Orange Mopar. Kath carefully removed the original veneers from the piece in order to create templates for the new Orange vinyl that adorns the giant centrepiece of the interior in a wonderful contrast against the rest of the black vinyl.

After cutting out the templates, Kath began to wrap the original pieces after test fitting. Once all in place, Kath cleaned up all of the accompanying brightwork to make the Orange stand out even more. Then, once all the adhesive had correctly cured and settled into place. Kath, test fit the new centre console with the seats just placed in the car.

I think we can all agree, it looks absolutely sensational.

This Just In – 1970 Citroen DS21

It’s always a pleasure to see one of these at our workshop. Such an iconic, fun and interesting car that is beloved by so many throughout the automotive world. It is, of course, a Citroen DS. Specifically, this is a 1970 Citroen DS21.

This car has come into us to be prepared for the winter months ahead. For this, that means cleaning up and treating the whole underside of the car and wheel arches. Our in-house technicians will carefully take back all the road grime and contaminants from the belly of this French marvel and then clean it thoroughly.

After that, it will be treated with a thick coat of under-sealant in order to protect it from the ever inclosing Winter weather that faces all of our classics in the coming months.

Find out more about the process of cleaning, treating and curing the weather protection in our next post about the 1970 Citroen DS21 on the Bridge Classic Cars blog.

The Winners Circle – 1983 Ford Capri 1.6 & 1971 Morris Traveller

Our latest winners have taken delivery of their cars! Recently we had the draw for the 1983 Ford Capri and then a week later the draw for the 1971 Morris Traveller.

The Ford Capri has gone all the way up to the Orkney Islands in Scotland! Bridge Classic Cars had the car transported to the port closest to the island for a very excited John Macintosh to take delivery of his stunning classic Ford Capri and take back to the island. John’s winning ticket of 3775 bagged him this 1980s icon and we wish him all the best with the car in the future.

The Morris Traveller draw was held the week after the Capri. The car, which was won by John Turner, was delivered down to Devon for its ecstatic new owner. John’s face tells the whole story of this wonderful classic Morris. It’s simple charm and universal love is what a classic car is all about and with the winning ticket of 896, we wish John Turner all the excitement with this wonderful Morris Traveller.

Fancy bagging yourself a dream classic? Then head over to Bridge Classic Cars Competitions and enter now for your chance to win a classic car by clicking the link below.

Click here to enter now at Bridge Classic Cars Competitions.

What’s Underneath – Inspection of the 1975 Ford Escort RS Mexico Recreation

It’s always interesting the first time we put a car up on the ramps in our workshop. You find out more about the story of the car from underneath. Clues and suggestions at its life from a viewpoint rarely seen.

Today it’s the turn of our 1975 Ford Escort Mk1 RS Mexico Recreation. It is being fully inspected and assessed by our in-house restoration teams to determine what, if anything, may need doing to make sure the car is in its best shape.

From a brief visual look, the car is in great shape underneath. The vibrant green paintwork extends all the way through the car and the deep, rich black of the suspension and chassis components contrasts against the eye and allows for easy recognition of any issues that might be there.

Find out more about this amazing Mk1 Escort Mexico soon on the Bridge Classic Cars blog.

Off To A New Home – Saying Goodbye to our 1965 Amphicar

Well, it’s always sad to say goodbye. Our wonderful little 1965 Amphicar that we completely restored in-house here at Bridge Classic Cars has gone off to its new home.

The whole car was restored by our in-house restoration team, each playing a role in making this car not only look the absolute business but also fully functional.

It was up for auction recently on Car & Classic and which was by its lucky new owner. So, it was time for her to start a new journey. Sad to see her go but happy that we got the privilege to restore and work on such a unique and interesting classic.

New Arrival: 1975 Ford Escort MK1 Mexico Recreation

Brightening up or morning today is this beautiful MK1 Escort. As the vehicle rolled out of our vehicle transporter, this gorgeous classic ford was met with plenty of attention from our workshop technicians.

A vehicle recently purchased by us here at Bridge Classic Cars, this vehicle started life as a 1975 Ford Escort. It has since been restored and upgraded to recreate a MK1 Mexico, with a few slight upgrades. Most notable of which is the engine. Our escort is powered by a more powerful 2.0l Pinto engine, as found in the RS2000.

The interior is all correct for a Mexico and is incredibly well presented. The exterior is finished in a striking candy green and features correct Mexico details.

The vehicle will enter our workshop for some minor works, including fitting front fog lights, refitting the dashboard, centralising the gear stick knob, wheel balancing, refitting the ignition barrel and then we will carry out a thorough inspection.

Keep your eyes peeled to find out what is next for this lovely Ford.

£99,054 Raised For Charity! Lotus Elise Draw

Last night, our biggest ever car competition came to a dramatic finale. Alex Juggins was drawn as the winner for our very special 2021 Lotus Elise 240 Sport Final Edition. Alex had bought just a single ticket, number 4970, and is now the proud new owner of the last ever Lotus Elise.

Click here to watch the live draw!

We would like to give a huge ‘thank you’ to everyone who entered this competition. We have managed to raise a jaw-dropping £99,054 for the Norwich City Community Sports Foundation Charity, which will have a huge impact in allowing them to continue the fabulous work they do, improving the lives of people with disabilities in our area.

Coming Soon: 1975 Ford Escort Mk1 RS Mexico Recreation

Soon, Bridge Classic Cars will be welcoming this incredible 1975 Ford Escort RS Mexico Recreation to our workshop here in Suffolk.

This amazing recreation pays homage to the original RS Mexico Escorts of the 1970s. This particular car is powered by the infamous 2 litre Ford Pinto engine meaning it has a little bit more bite than the original 1598cc inline-four and is slightly closer to the legendary RS2000.

Once it arrives, it will be fully inspected and evaluated by our in-house restoration teams.

On Order – New Carburettors for the Glastron Sea Ray

It’s been a while since the last update on the Glastron Sea Ray Speedboat that belongs to our director Craig.

During testing, our team found the engine just wouldn’t run quite right. Our in-house engine builder Ady began to have a look through the carburettors and found that they need to either be rebuilt or replaced. After trying to source a rebuild kit for them to no avail, Ady has sourced a supplier in the US who can help us with replacements.

For that, they need us to send over a series of specific measurements to ensure that the right set is sent to us.

Expect to see more on this project soon!

Namesake – Elisa, the girl behind the car, visits Hethel

In 1996, the world was introduced to the small, dynamic, lightweight and soon-to-be cult classic the Lotus Elise. Codenamed Project 111 throughout its development, this wonderful little sportscar would hit the stage with a very important name with a beautiful story behind it.

Lotus had a long history of naming cars by their mark number. One-Eleven was designed to be launched as the latest Hethel based sportscar in the companies history. Even to the point where the then head of communications from Lotus had bought the number plate M111 LCL to be used for prototype testing. Then, in comes Romano Artioli. The chairman of Lotus at the time decided that he would honour his beloved granddaughter Elisa with her name permanently attached to what has been Lotus’s most successful product of its entire history.

The name was connected to the car because Artioli thought the cars small, playful, high energy characteristics reminded him of his granddaughter. So, for him, it had to be done. Soon after, everyone agreed on the name and the reasoning behind it.

Recently, Elisa returned to Hethel to have one last look at the car she not only shares a name with but also a deep history and connection to her Grandfather. It’s a beautiful story and we’re so happy and lucky to be a part of it.

The Touches – Retrimming Parts on the 1970 Dodge Charger

Brian, our in-house trim master, has been busy working on retrimming and refitting trim pieces for the 1970 Dodge Charger that is in at Bridge Classic Cars.

To start with, Brian began working on retrimming the seatbacks for the plush, thick black leather bucket seats. Brian created the coverings by hand trying to get the closest he possibly could to the same thickness and quality leather used on the fronts to create one uniform piece.

Along with that, Brian also worked on recovering the seat adjusters in matching black leather for the final finishing touch of the seats.

After that, Brian then turned his attention onto the dash. This along with the seats are the next step for installation into the car. The dash pad and A-pillars were hand wrapped in matching leather to create another uniform look throughout the whole car, just another little touch on this amazing Charger

Behind the Scenes – Live Draw of the 1971 Morris Traveller

Thursday nights draw was a bit different than normal. It first started with the NCCSF Lotus Elise being driven to the runway near our hanger at RAF Bentwaters and secondly because it was our Director, Craig, who was carrying out proceedings for the night.

After a quick walk around of the bright yellow final production run Elise by Craig and Freddie, it was time to work our way through the hanger. Next up was the newly released 1984 BMW 635CSi, this is our latest competition car which people are already really interested in and is an incredible example of a German classic GT car.

Alongside it was the very rare RHD 1967 Ford Mustang Convertible. Finished in pale blue with some genuine Shelby GT350 parts, this car is a very good example of a replica done right with the RHD conversion makes it all the more useable here in the UK. More on this car later.

Then at the end of the row was the 1969 Mercedes 250SE W111 Coupe. A wonderful piece of luxury, style and grace. The car is imposing to say the least but it conducts itself with a sense of poise and decorum as you would expect with a 1960s Mercedes.

Finally, the bit everybody had been waiting for. The draw of 1971 Morris Traveller 1000. This little car was massively popular and sold out around 24 hours before the draw. With the entries confirmed on the pre-published entry list on the Bridge Classic Cars Competitions website, it was time to fire up the random number generator to see who would be this wonderful little cars new owner.

Congratulations to the winner John Turner with the winning ticket of 896!

Detail and Trim – Front Carpets and Centre Console Retrim on the 1970 Dodge Charger

Kath and the in-house trim team at Bridge Classic Cars have been busy working on the interior of the 1970 Dodge Charger.

Last time Kath rebound the carpet edges after they required some trimming to ensure the best fit and finish for this iconic muscle car to look absolutely perfect. Now, those front carpets are firmly in place in the car awaiting all the other interior trim to be fit over the top of them.

Kath began to look at the centre console as the next step for the interior of the Charger. It’s a rather large piece so it’s very noticeable if it isn’t looking its best. So, Kath began to carefully dismantle the centre console in preparation for its retrim. Even the wooden veneer had to be slowly and methodically removed inch by inch to preserve it to be refurbished.

All of the panels have been removed from the centre console one by one to be evaluated and a plan worked out for each of them. Polishing the brightwork, making templates for new cutouts and then, the entire console itself was retrimmed in matching black leather.

It looks sensational. This will be the next item going back into the car once the seats (which Brian has been working on alongside Kath) are finished and ready to go in.

Featured – Our 2021 Lotus Elise Sport 240 Final Edition in Car & Classic

Our Bridge Classic Cars Competitions 2021 Lotus Elise Sport 240 Final Edition has been featured in Car & Classic!

The car, which is being drawn on Sunday 31st October at 7 pm on our Facebook page, is the first VIN number for the last ever Lotus Elise production run. Together with Lotus Cars and Norwich City Football Club, Bridge Classic Cars Competitions wants to give one lucky winner the chance to become the owner of this very special sports car. And at the same time, help support an incredible charity.

Chris Pollitt has written up an amazing piece shared on their main website which you can see here!

The car is still available to enter, however. Tickets are £9 and 100% of the proceeds go towards helping the Norwich City Community Sports Foundation.

Click here to enter now!