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Fine Adjustments – Bracing the 1956 Jensen 541 Chassis

The workshop at Bridge Classic Cars have been working on the fine adjustments to the chassis of the 1956 Jensen 541 in for restoration.

The team are beginning to weld in the necessary braces and panels as the sides and roof structure begin to be put onto the brand-new frame. For a job such as this, the team are having to make sure that each dimension and axis of the chassis is square when it is welded in. Carefully, the team have moved around the frame to allow for this and gently push and pull certain places in order to bring them into line before welding them in permanently to tie the whole piece together.

Repaired – Reworking the Seat Base on the 1955 Triumph TR2

The seat base of the 1955 Triumph TR2 has been taken out of the classic sports car and taken upstairs to the Bridge Classic Cars in-house trim shop to be worked on.

Brian, one of our trimmers, has had the seat base on the bench to begin its repairs.

The first step was to unpicking the stitching on the seat base to remove it from the metal sprung base. Then, the cover could be transferred onto a new piece of calico to create a backing for the repairs to bind to. Along with this, the team recorded the piping to give it back its original shape for the beautiful dark red leather. Whilst the cover was off the metal base, Brian could repair some of the springs which over time had become frail and broken.

Next, the trim team carefully trimmed out the base pieces from the calico before glueing them down and then refit them together with a new foam centre. Finally, the team could stretch the repaired cover over the base and fixed in place with brand-new hog clips before being installed back into the car.

What’s the Story – Why the World Should Know About the 1929 Dodge Brothers DA

The name Dodge conjures up an image of strong, reliable and purposeful cars from the 1950s, 60s and 70s. But, the history of the company, its models and the 2 brothers behind it is greater than the sum of its parts.

The Dodge Brothers, John and Horace, began their empire in a small machine shop in Detroit, Michigan. Originally, the two brothers began making bicycle parts before ever getting involved in the fledgeling automotive industry springing up around the city and surrounding area.

They had worked closely with Henry Ford (in fact, the brothers for a time held high-up positions within the Ford Motor Company) by lending their manufacturing knowledge, business know-how and investment into the very early days of Ford (they also had done engineering and machining work at the early stages of the Oldsmobile company). What they learned while producing all manner of components for the unprecedented production run of the Model T, would set them on the way to creating a car company the likes of which the world had never seen.

Early automobiles of the time were notoriously fragile, dangerous and rather unrefined. The Dodge Brothers set out to change all of that. It’s remarked on that Dodge actually gave the world the word ”Dependability” because of how rugged the engineering behind their own cars was, but also because they didn’t shake their passengers into oblivion across the mostly dirt roads of early 20th century America. And, they didn’t break the bank…

Dodge would also be a pioneer in the use of 12-volt electrics as standard in cars, something that wouldn’t truly catch on industry-wide for another 50-60 years afterwards. The sheer ruggedness of the Dodge Brothers’ cars saw them scattered to the most far-flung reaches of the known world, all four corners of the earth had a Dodge somewhere.

The DA broke cover in 1929, under its official name the DA Six. The car would come 9 years after the unfortunate passing of its founding brothers but carried their legendary name and their approach to rugged yet refined engineering. One of the greatest refinements pioneered on the DA’s was the use of rubber engine mounts, which stopped the harsh vibrations from the 6-cylinder engine and 3-speed gearbox being transmitted through the frame and into the cabin of the car. Not only for comfort but to stop anything from rattling itself loose and to top it all off, the DA’s were fitted with hydraulically controlled drum brakes on all 4 corners of the car. A first for an American-built car up until that point.

Our particular 1929 Dodge Brothers DA Phaeton/Tourer has spent some of its 97-year life in South Africa. The car was in the care of collector John Ryall who used this incredible patina’d pre-war tourer, it was used on rallies and tours across the country and kept stored away safely when not in use. We then acquired the car before having it loaded up inside of a shipping container and sent it all the way to us here in England. Our workshop team could not believe just how good of a condition this classic Dodge was in!

And that is how our part of the story begins with the stunning dark blue 1929 Dodge DA. We’re currently awaiting its UK registration and it is up for sale right now on our classic car sales platform, MyClassics!

If you want to read another absolutely incredible and heartfelt story of a couple’s love story with a one-family owned, 1927 Dodge then click here to read the wonderful story from Motorious which inspired us to write the history of our 1929 Dodge Brothers DA.

Perfect Finish – Wheel Wells on the 1956 Jensen 541 in Primer

The Bridge Classic Cars paint and body team have been working on perfecting the wheel wells of the 1956 Jensen 541.

After the team had finished with the careful resin and fibreglass filler work, the team brought them into our in-house paint booth/oven to have their first coats of primer.

The team have carefully blended aluminium and fibreglass to remake and repair the wheel wells so the primer has covered these seamlessly blends. The wells will be now put into storage for the reassembly stage of the restoration.

Update – Reassembly of the 1987 Daimler Double Six

The 1987 Daimler Double Six has been coming back together in the Bridge Classic Cars restoration workshop at our Suffolk HQ.

The workshop team have been getting the classic Daimler back together in order to perform the first fire-up of the V12. Firstly the team have put the newly repainted and refurbished fan shroud onto the cars core support so the various leads and hoses can be routed on the front of the car. At the same time, the team have worked on refitting the chrome trim to the flanks of the Daimler as well as spraying the wheel wells with durable, hard-wearing black paint.

This is all part of the cars restoration journey, in which the team will fire up the car to check all the necessary systems which were removed from the car.

Inspection – The Bridge Classic Cars Paint & Body Team Inspecting the 1958 Jensen 541R

The paint and body team at the Bridge Classic Cars restoration workshop have been out to inspect the 1958 Jensen 541R which arrived yesterday at the Bridge Classic Cars Suffolk HQ from Holland.

Chris and Mauro inspected the body for damage and areas which need repair or refinement in order to come up with a plan to get this stunning 1950s GT car into the best shape possible before heading into the booth for its paintwork.

The car will be finished in Ice Blue Metallic with a Lobelia Blue roof by the team for its owner.

Change Over – 1986 Daimler DS420 in the Fabrication Shop

The 1986 Daimler DS420 has been moved from the body preparation department into the in-house fabrication shop at the Bridge Classic Cars Suffolk restoration workshops.

After having the body stripped back to discover some areas of quite deep corrosion by the body team, it is now down to the fabrication department to get the metal on the classic Daimler back in order. First, the team will carry out an assessment of the area to see how deep and far into or up the car the corrosion goes and then work out a plan to get the fresh pieces securely and properly welded into the car.

There will be more updates very soon on the metal repairs to the 1986 Daimler DS420.

Preparations – 1969 Morris Minor Convertible in the Body Shop

The 1969 Morris Minor Convertible has moved over from the fabrication bay into the body shop here at the Bridge Classic Cars HQ in Suffolk.

After extensive and crucial metal work had been done, the car now will be worked on by our paint and body technicians to perfect its shape and lines before the paint team take the car into our on-site booth/oven and begin its process into colour as part of its restoration journey.

Keep an eye out on the Bridge Classic Cars news page for more updates soon on the 1969 Morris Minor Convertible

The First Steps – Work Begins on the 1956 Jensen 541 Chassis

The 1956 Jensen 541 chassis which arrived back at the Bridge Classic Cars HQ recently has been moved into our restoration workshops for the team to begin work on the brand-new frame.

At this stage, Rob is preparing the blank bulkhead to be fitted onto the car in preparation for its left-hand drive conversion. Carefully he has set the pieces into place along the bulkhead before using another 541 chassis next to it in the workshop as reference. This will be used as a guide for hole diameters and orientation purposes for the brand new, hand-made chassis for the 1956 Jensen 541 undergoing its restoration journey.

Keep a look out on the Bridge Classic Cars news page for more updates on the 1956 Jensen 541 restoration very soon.

Empty – Draining the Fuel Tank on the 1960 Jensen 541S ‘’Peony Red’’

The Bridge Classic Cars workshop team have been looking at the 1960 Jensen 541S as part of an investigation into a running issue on the classic GT car.

The team have decided to drain the fuel tank on the classic Jensen to both inspect the fuel and the tank itself as part of the diagnostics. For this, the team use a small electric fuel pump to siphon the fuel out of the tank to be stored in transparent containers for visual inspection of sediment or dirt.

Then, the team can begin the visual inspection of the fuel tank itself to check for debris or dirt in different areas. At the same time, they will begin to inspect the carburettor for any build-up of dirt and debris. After looking into the bowls of the carburettor, they found some small deposits of sediment at the base of the bowls but not an amount which could cause the issue.

The team will continue to inspect and investigate the root cause of the running issue on the 1960 Jensen 541S.

This Just In – 1955 Triumph TR2

Just arrived at the Bridge Classic Cars workshop in Pettistree is this 1955 Triumph TR2.

The sports car will be going into our workshop in order for our technicians to have a look into a couple of issues for its owner as well as having a full gearbox service for the car.

Along with that, the trim team will be taking a look at the passenger seat to see if anything can be done to it.

Keep an eye out on the Bridge Classic Cars news page for more on the 1955 Triumph TR2.

This Just In – 1958 Jensen 541R Arriving from Holland

The Bridge Classic Cars workshop welcomed the latest arrival to our Suffolk HQ recently, another very special Jensen.

This 1958 Jensen 541R is actually one of the prototype cars produced by Jensen as a proof of concept for the automatic gearbox option. It is also believed one of its original owners was part of the Lever family, which went on to become the global company behind Unilever.

It also features a custom, handmade grille which was made by the owner for the car that the team will incorporate into the reassembly for its owner but our team will be delivered to the customer with its signature radiator flap, a key element of the 541R.

This 1958 Jensen 541R has come to us from the Netherlands for our body and trim teams to work their craft on the classic GT car. The car will be fully assessed for any repairs that need to be made before it is refined and worked on by the body team while the trim shop begins work on the interior of the classic 541R.

The car will be finished in Ice Blue Metallic with a Lobelia Blue roof by the paint team with a complimenting dark blue interior and grey piping.

We’re always excited to welcome another 541 into the Bridge Classic Cars family and can’t wait to show you the progress very soon on this special 1958 Jensen 541R.

Have a look at the gallery below of the 1958 Jensen 541R as it arrived on its trailer from Holland!

Behind the Scenes – Shooting the 1993 Land Rover Defender 90

Just launched over on the Bridge Classic Cars Competitions website is this! Our 1993 Land Rover Defender 90.

After a full check over by the Bridge Classic Cars workshop who gave it a clean bill of health after fitting the battery cut-off switch ahead of its date in front of the camera.

Recently the team took it out around our filming location near our Pettistree workshop to do the full video and photoshoot for the off-roader.

The beauty of the Defender was clear when as soon as we pulled off the beaten track, the truck felt at home. Uneven ground, changing surfaces and slow, steady progress across any type of terrain is the best place for a classic Land Rover. But then, as soon you put it back onto solid ground it became a pleasant cruiser. The updates done by the previous owner made the car far more civilised than one would imagine.

The quilted seats and upholstered armrests made driving the car an absolute delight on the road and made sure you had some comfort while the 4-wheel drive system did its work underneath you in the rough stuff. Although built in 1993, the truck was updated last year to a much more modern specification to use around town as a rugged, reliable daily driver or the perfect set-up for a weekend away in the country.

And now, it could be yours! Head over to the Bridge Classic Cars Competitions website right now and get your tickets to win our 1993 Land Rover Defender 90.

To see the full gallery and video, see below:

First Steps – The 1959 Jensen 541R Begins its Inspection

After arriving this morning at the Bridge Classic Cars Suffolk HQ, the 1959 Jensen 541R has already made its way onto the ramp for the team to begin assessing and inspecting the 1950s GT car.

As with all of our restorations and projects, the car will go through a full inspection and assessment by the various departments (both aesthetic and mechanical) to compile a report and come up with a plan for the restoration of the unique British grand tourer.

Keep an eye out on the Bridge Classic Cars news page very soon for more updates on the 1959 Jensen 541R.

Double Checked – Checking the Fuel Sender on the 1951 Jaguar XK120 Roadster

As part of the checks on the reported fuel gauge issue with the 1951 Jaguar XK120 Roadster, Jon has checked some wiring on the classic Jaguar.

Jon has been in the boot of the Roadster to check the wiring for the fuel tank sender which also controls the fuel gauge. He checked the overall condition of the connections as well as performing a continuity test on the circuit.

All came back completely clear and showing a good ground.

Stronger – Fibreglass Repairs on the Boot of the 1956 Jensen 541

The body team at Bridge Classic Cars have been performing some fibreglass repairs on the boot lid of the 1956 Jensen 541 in with us for restoration.

Mauro has carefully reglassed certain areas of the bootlid to strengthen key places as well as refit the stripped-back boot latch. All of these were then built up over several layers before the resin was left to harden and cure.

Sealed Up Tight – Fixing the Rear Cam Seal on the 1951 Jaguar XK120 Roadster

Our technician Jon has been looking into an oil leak at the back of the engine on the 1951 Jaguar XK120 Roadster.

After inspecting the engine once it had been run up to temperature, he found the offside rear cam cover was weeping past its seal. After removing it, he found the seal was not the correct arrangement for the back cover on the cylinder head. Comparing it to the resource materials we have for these engines as well as several other freshly built Jaguar straight-sixes from the era we have in our workshop, Jon could come up with a solution to fix the oil leak once the cover was reinstalled.

After the test, there was no longer an oil leak from the back of the cylinder head. However, the rear mains eal in the engine does leak and out the bottom of the bell-housing of the gearbox.

Bound – Binding the Carpet Edges of the 1970 Bristol 411

The new carpet set for the 1968 Morris Minor Van has been taken up from the workshop to the trim shop in order for the team to finish off the pieces for the car.

Lydia, has taken the individual pieces which were made Brian to create the neat hand-bound edges which run all the way rough each carpet panel that make up the entire set. Now with these finished, they can go back down into the workshop to be installed into the car.

This Just In – 1959 Jensen 541R

The 1959 Jensen 541R which has been up for sale and stored at our secure storage facility, The Hangar, has been transferred over to our Pettistree restoration workshop to begin its journey.

The classic Jensen has been commissioned to be built by our workshop from the ground up for its new owner.

Keep an eye out on the Bridge Classic Cars news page for more updates very soon on the 1959 Jensen 541R.

Refresh – Gearbox Service and Checking a Fuel Issue on the 1951 Jaguar XK120

The Bridge Classic Cars team have been working on the Jaguar XK120 with this round of work comprising of a gearbox oil change and looking into a fuel issue.

To begin with, the team began to look for a reported fuel leak at the rear of the car. Jon inspected all pipework to and from the tank, with no evidence of a leak anywhere to be found with all fittings tight and secure. Next, he looked into the issue of the fuel gauge not reading correctly, however for the team here the gauge worked correctly on test.

Moving on with the work we had been asked to carry out was a gearbox service on the classic Jaguar. For this, the team had to remove the gearbox drain and allow the entire casing to empty completely (the team also inspected the oil for any debris) before moving into the cabin of the XK120. Carefully they moved the carpets back and cover them. Then they could remove the inspection plate which allows the team to fill the gearbox from the top of the transmission. After that, the plate was put back on and secured, and carpets fitted back into place and hoovered throughout by the team.

Refinished – 1987 Daimler Double Six Parts in Satin Black

The Bridge Classic Cars in-house paint shop have been working on refinishing some of the final pieces for the 1987 Daimler Double.

Various brackets, panels and the fan shroud have all been stripped, cleaned and prepared before being taken into our paint booth/oven to be finished in Satin Black for the project.

Once these have completely cured, the workshop team can begin getting them fit back onto the classic Daimler in with us for restoration.

Behind the Scenes – Live Draw of the 1968 Morris Minor Van

Last night, Bridge Classic Cars Competitions found out who the lucky winner of the 1968 Morris Minor Van was and as always, we live streamed it on our Facebook page!

Moments before the live stream started, the classic Morris van sold out completely!

The night began with a walkaround of our new competitions building with Hayley and Freddie showing everyone watching along what we’ve got coming up and what is currently live on our Competitions website.

Then, Hayley handed over to our director Craig for a brief tour around our restoration workshop to show you a very special moment where we had 3 Jensen 541’s in for work, all in different stages of their build. From a bare chassis back from sandblasting to a full rebuilt frame and then a finished and complete 541R.

But, it was time to give the audience what they had been waiting for. Finding out just who had won the classic Morris Minor Van. So, using our random number generator and pre-published entry list the team began the process.

As Hayley input the numbers between 1 and 4199 in the number generator the anticipation built. Messages of luck were shared between total strangers on the internet wishing each other well. Then with one click of a button, the new owner had been found.

Robert Cargill had been allocated ticket 1124 – The number that had appeared on the random number generator and checked against our entry list.

After finding his details, Hayley gave him a ring live on the Facebook stream with possible the best reaction we have ever had to a competition. Robert and his wife were absolutely ecstatic with their new classic Morris Minor!

Remember, you could be getting that phone call too! There are always new dream classics going up on our Bridge Classic Cars Competitions website for you to enter, head over there now and get your tickets!

Full Set – Making the New Carpet Set for the 1970 Bristol 411

The trim team at Bridge Classic Cars have been working on carefully removing the original carpets from the 1970 Bristol 411 in order to template replacement pieces as part of its restorative works.

Brian, one of our trimmers, has been removing the pieces from the classic GT in order to separate them into their basic parts for pattern making and to work out the plan of how they all lay into the cockpit of the car.

Once out, the original pieces are laid onto new carpeting and carefully cut, test fit and then bound before being put back into the car over the top of the replacement sound deadening material.

Next Up – Sorting the Brakes and Sump on the 1951 Jaguar XK120

The workshop at Bridge Classic Cars have been working through the list of jobs on the 1951 Jaguar XK120 in with us.

Next up for our technicians is to sort out a binding front brake. Upon inspection, Jon found one of the wheel cylinders was in need of a rebuild, and looking closer discovered an issue with a brake hose. The cylinder was completely stripped down and thoroughly cleaned before reassembly. Then, once in place, Jon could remove the brake hose and replace it with a brand new piece before cleaning up the rest of the brake system and bleeding the brakes.

Next up was for Jon to sort out an oil leak from the sump. Assessing the sump area he found the inspection cover gasket had begun to weep so it was replaced with a brand new gasket before he turned his attention to the sump plug. Removing the sump bung, Jon found an issue with the threads which weren’t allowing the bung to be tightened down correctly and seal. So, the team carefully remove the threads and installed a Helicoil in its place for the sump bung to thread into and tighten down correctly.

Then, the engine could be refilled with oil and level checked.

As good as New – The Steering Wheel of the 1905 Riley 9HP Gets Laser Cleaned

Our 1905 Riley 9HP has had its steering wheel removed by the workshop team here at Bridge Classic Cars to be sent off for a new cleaning process specifically made for delicate or antique parts. The steering well was sent to Re-Go Auto Parts in Kent where the team could carry out the process.

The original steering wheel shows 117 years of ageing across the wooden and metal surfaces of the piece. With a new process of Laser cleaning, the team could be extremely precise with just where and how strong the laser was. They cleaned up the main spokes of the steering wheel with a relative high-powered pass to clean off the steel but made sure that the power was turned down when passing over any softer materials like the aluminium.

The wood wasn’t touched by the laser. This was hand-cleaned by the team at Re-Go to bring it back to as close to the original as possible.

It looks absolutely incredible and we cannot wait to get it back to our Pettistree workshop to have a proper look at it.

Tailored to Suit – The Tonneau and Hood Cover on the 1932 Lagonda Tourer

The trim team at Bridge Classic Cars have carefully tailored the new tonneau and hood cover specifically for the 1932 Lagonda Tourer in with us.

Lydia, one of our trimmers, has worked on refining the patterns for both pieces and in terms of the hood cover revised the entire piece to envelope the entire hood frame within the piece. These have been checked and double-checked before being transferred onto mohair.

Once on the final material, Lydia could make tight-fitting pieces perfectly tailored to suit the pre-war convertible with a single zip running up the centre to close the interior once the clips are pressed onto the body.

Final Pieces – Final Metal Repairs on the 1969 Morris Minor Convertible

The fabrication shop at Bridge Classic Cars have been finishing off the final metal repairs to the 1969 Morris Minor Convertible before it is handed over to our paint and body team.

The team have finished up the repairs needed to the driver’s side rear quarter panel frame and sill before welding in the new patch panel into the body of the classic Morris. Once completed, the team could move on to getting the doors of the car repaired.

The door of the car required several new pieces to be welded in to remove any corrosion. The bottoms of the doors required a new piece from front to rear which was welded in to seal up the door ready for the body team to work on.

Next, the front valance and wings were then worked on with some small repairs done to fix a few areas in the valance and the replacement wings were trimmed and refined in order to get the best fit possible for the restoration of the classic Morris Minor Convertible.

Now, the car will be transferred from the fabrication shop over to our in-house paint and body department to be worked on.