Our Amphicar has been taking a temporary back seat in our workshop whilst we wait for the gearbox to come back. Our plan moving forwards is to re-seal the underside with a resin seal, ensuring that this iconic car is watertight and water ready.
Just before Christmas, we discovered an issue with the Amphicar’s gearbox which had become noisy. We decided to take it out and inspect the elements. You can read about the diagnosis here.
The gearbox has been sent to Last Transmissions to be overhauled and replace the bearings. Once this has been done and is back with us, we hope to get it back together again and put on the water.
Our Amphicar is having a few adjustments as we’ve discovered a gearbox issue whilst testing. We noticed a noise which we originally thought was linked to the thrust bearing however it turns out it’s due to the first motion shaft bearing that needs repairing.
We’ve taken out the engine and gearbox, and will now begin the process of fixing the gearbox.
On Friday, we had our friend Sam come in to intricately paint on the word ‘Acrobat’ onto either side. The beautiful wording is done in red with a white shadow that makes the word stand out from the cream bodywork.
This was a surprise for the owner, who had cleverly named the Amphicar ‘Acrobat’, an anagram for ‘Car’ and ‘Boat’. This clever play on words and personalised artwork really does make an already special car stand out even more.
The owner was delighted when he was shown the new addition! We’re looking forward to seeing this acrobatic land to water vehicle take on its next adventure.
We’re delighted to announce that our Amphicar has graduated to become a boat! After its previous inspection by Colin from Wherry Boat Yard, we got the final thumbs-up last week to confirm that the Amphicar passed its certificate to classify it as a boat!
You can take a look at the official paperwork below to see the exact classifications. There’s also been some other small work such as the Bilge pump switches being prewired and the holes prepped by our electric specialist Adam. He’s also made sure that the lights work too.
Our trim shop has added a piece of vinyl in behind the rear seat to tidy it up as seen below.
All the switches have now been labelled with bespoke colour coordinated labels.
You can also see here its first start up. We’re excited to get it out on the water for the first time, soon, to see how it fairs and what needs to be done next.
In order to pass the assessment we needed to make the necessary changes below. The fuel hose needed to be fitted that could withstand 600 degrees, ISO7840 for two hours. Due to the age of the car we considered the existing bilge pump not to be adequate and capable of adhering to the latest legislation so we decided to fit two pulse operated bilge pumps that look for water and when detecting it will start and pump out of the rear. We decided to fit two of these as always health and safety is our paramount concern and have given two totally independent systems with separate exit from the rear of the vehicle.
The fire extinguisher has also been fitted and the pipe flaring has been carried out. To comply with current legislation we have changed the set up of the fuel system to withdraw fuel from the top of the tank through a stainless steel shut off valve.
We have also installed an electrical cut off switch and solder jointed cables to the battery terminal.
Our trim team has been fitting the rear centre section in place, cutting out sound deadening and glueing it to bodywork behind where seats go.
The rear squab section has also been fitted in place, the carpet has been cut to be placed in front of the rear seat base, the rear seat section has been fitted in place, and the leather has been glued to the seat subframes.
Sound deadening has been installed in the rear footwell & tunnel sides, passenger side, passenger side bulkhead, and the front footwells.
The door frames are also undergoing some modifications so that the window glass sits more comfortably. The doors will need to be taken apart and re-welded back together.
Our Peony Red 1960 Jensen 541s has had new door catch fixing plates installed. Our technicians have also made a cover to go over them to stop them from falling down into the sills of the car. They have then been welded into position.
The Triumph TR6 is on the road to recovery with the final tweaks being done. The engine levels have been checked as have the gearbox and rear axels. This stage is mostly a pre-drive service to make sure everything is in the right place and ready for the car to be driven for the first time. The battery holder needs to be installed and the engine to be tuned. Once these last details are done we can turn it on and see how it drives and address any teething problems that may arise.
The Amphicar is currently going through another in-depth stage of troubleshooting the electrics. Much like the TR6, our technicians’ are applying the final checks in preparation for starting the car up for the first time.
The Peugeot 504 is almost finished! The exhaust and break lines have been installed as well as the seat belts which have been added by our technician Scott.
The black 1960 Jensen 541R has come out of paintwork recently to address the corrections made. All the chrome has now been re-installed so it’s looking shiny and new!
Our Lada is one of our most recent patients. We diagnosed it with rusting sills and floor, which is being addressed and corrected by one of our fabricators, Ant. These refurbishments are done through a series of stages that include welding and applying filler to resolve the ageing. Think of it like getting a dermatological facial!
Our blue jaguar e-type is awaiting its chrome bumper and new steering rack to be fitted. The sun roof has also been fixed. This included taking apart the faulty switch and cleaning the components and then insulating the terminal. Once fitted back together, the sun roof was back to working perfectly again.
Our gold and red 1962 Jensen 541S has had its oil changed and water purged from the engine by our engine specialist, Ady.
Ady is also working on the Austin 7 Nippy engine which is currently at COLTEC to be assessed.
The exhaust has been reinstalled into our Nissan as well as the link pipe between the two exhaust manifolds.
Two bilge pumps have been added to the Amphicar. The original bilge pump remains in its original position in the engine bay and is still in working condition. The old pump still has its wires connected and can be connected at any point in the future, however, it is currently disconnected from the car. The old pump has been kept in for peace of mind.
There’s been a lot going with week already and its only Wednesday! Take a look at what’s been going on s far.
One of our directors, Gordon, had his Range Rover Sport’s tyres refurbished, ready for the cold winter months ahead. Now fully refurbished, Gordon’s Range Rover is ready to take on the elements.
As seen in our blog yesterday, the 1967 Jaguar E-Type Race Car has now been finished! This has been an incredibly exciting project that has been in progress since 2016. Over the last few days, the finishing touches have been added such as the pinstripes on the bonnet and fine-tuning the engine. The bonnet itself has also be re-installed to make sure it fits after the recent engine works.
Our other director, Craig, is in the process of choosing the leather for the interior and the spray finish for the fuel tank. It’s deciding details like this that make classic cars so personal to their owners.
One of the more notable updates on the Morris Minor 1000 is the new hood. The trim shop has done a fantastic job yet again to make the perfect custom hood, allowing this Morris Minor to be more usable throughout the changing seasons. Our technician Scott has also been trying to figure out the reason for the play in its front wheels. The mystery is yet to be solved…
The front suspension has also been tightened, the curtesy light wiring is being installed and Adam is troubleshooting the electrics.
Lots of little updates for the Grey Jensen 541R such as preparing the door rim before it goes to the trim shop, stripping the bonnet ready for paint, made the curtesy light switch by hand, installed the hand brake cables and panhard rod as well as the speedo drive.
Our 1968 Triumph TR5 is awaiting its interior but it has had its heater installed!
Our blue 1973 Jaguar E-Type Series 3 is awaiting on a new steering rack, clutch slave cylinder and bumper to be fitted. The parts have been ordered so the E-Type should be looking good as new in no time!
This lovely 1953 Ford Transit is almost ready to leave us now. We’re just waiting on some new 6 volt bulbs for the headlights and then it’ll be ready to go!
We’re giving the blue Jensen a general nut and bolt service. It came in to have its clutch, exhaust and breaks replaced which have been or are in the process of being fixed.
The Peony Red Jensen 542S has had its seats made up. The next step is to complete the set and install them. Our trim shop never fails to impress us with their stunning interior projects.
The Peugeot 504 has now had all its interior trim completed. The last few pieces include making and fitting the hood which had to have the leather glued to the frame once made up.
The black Jensen is visiting our paint shop for some touch-ups and corrections in the paintwork.
Ady our engine specialist has taken apart both exhaust manifolds on the Nissan 300ZX.
The fuel pump has been rewired, two bilge pumps are set to be added, the brakes have been bled, the grease nipples re-greased and the heater has been ordered.
A new gear stick gaiter has been made and fitted by the trim shop. Our range rover is making steady progress to be completed soon.
Although we don’t have the Black Spitfire back with us, we do have the task of replacing the half shafts. We’re hoping we can order in new pieces however we may need to take these apart instead and refurbish them ourselves.
Our Electrics specialist, Adam, has recently replaced the fuse box and propeller control switch in our 1965 Amphicar.
Here are the before and after shots:
Our trim technician Kath has made and fitted the convertible roof hood cover that can be placed over the roof when its collapsed down.
Making this included measuring it up, attaching stud buttons, and finally fitting it in place.
Our technician Tom has fitted a radiator surround, air filter and pipe as well as refreshing the paint on the bumper brackets and refurbished the bonnet chrome pieces.
The Amphicar has had a new fuel out let pipe and tank vent pipe installed, with fresh welding in the fuel tank so the vehicle now complies with the regulations to allow it to go on the water. We ran some tests on the new pieces and all the welding held up fine however we discovered a leak coming from the fuel tank. In response to this, we removed the rust and retested for leaks. Once we ensured everything was good, it was sent to the paint shop!
The Amphicar is getting closer to being water worthy! We’ve installed a bow light with a stern light also optional, which can be taken on and off when needed. This means when the Amphicar is out on the water at night, other ships can see it!
Adam, our electrical specialist has also redone the connection block. This has been refurbished to make them easier to access if any repairs or tweaking has to be done in future!
With these fixes made, the Amphicar is steadily getting closer to completion after its recent boat MOT. You can see the check list we were provided below:
We had Colin from Wherry boatyard on behalf of CC Marine and Industrial Supply come in to survey our 1965 Amphicar. As a BSS (Boat Safety Scheme) Examiner, its Colins job to tell us what is needed to make the Amphicar water worthy.
It’s a bit like an MOT but for boats and it’ll allow our Amphicar to be one step closer to getting its tires wet.
The amends includes relocating the battery cut-off switch changing the fuel entry removal system from a bottom to a top entry, replacing rubber hoses with copper pipes to allow a 2 hour 100 degrees safety bracket, installing a fire extinguisher, modify the main battery wiring, replacing the fuel arrester to the fuel tank, general labeling, adding an override switch to the dashboard and installing a modern Bilge pump and float switch.
This morning we took a walk around the workshop to take a peak at how our engineers are getting on with the current projects.
The Nissan Patrol is almost ready to be set free on adventures again. Pete has given it a general ‘health check’ and service to ensure its exploration spirit is still intact.
The last stage on the Nissan is to ‘blacken’ the underside to protect it from rust and erosion, which is all the more important for adventurous vehicles like this Patrol!
Tamas has been working hard on the latest refurbishments to the MGB which has recently included a new radiator as the old one had developed some rust and holes.
The thermostat has also been refurbished along with its housing and the grill. Tamas has also installed new reversing lights as well.
The Rosytle wheels are currently in the hands of our paint specialist Darren who’s just finished applying the first layer of paint to neaten them up.
The Red MGA has had a seasonal refurbishment with a heater being added to accommodate for the cold months approaching!
Paul tells us that “the car originally never had a heater in, so the parts have been shipped in from America.”
Its not uncommon to see our classic cars fitted with modern creature comforts such as heaters and radios.
Scott has been working on fitting the doors, making sure the latches catch and shut efficiently.
Darren has also been working on the Peugeot, painting the engine bay. This needed two sets of paint, one for the inner parts and a separate colour for the outer parts to match the body of the car.
The Jensen is still in the trimming shop where Brian is installing the leather padding that sits just above the windscreen. This piece followed the original design but still had to be cut and made by hand.
Brian tells us ‘It’s quite a fiddly job to fit this panel’.
We can’t wait to see the Jensen completed with its smart new leather from our trim experts.
Our classic car electrician Adam has been working on tidying up the Amphicar’s wires and installing a second pump to ensure enough water is removed from within the vehicle. This means a custom made pump bracket will have to be designed and fitted when the second pump is installed.
Our engineer Anthony is currently applying a filler to the engine bay to smooth out any bumps.
A keen eye for detail from Anthony is needed to ensure that the Mercedes doesn’t leave the fabrication bay with any imperfections.
We had a walkabout this workshop this afternoon to see what everyone’s up to.
One of our classic car technicians Pete has the 1996 Nissan Patrol up on the ramp. “I’m working on the front disc brakes” he explains “the inner seal on the hub has gone.”
Pete’s lined up the front-wheel-drive axel, marking out exactly where each component goes, so it can go back together the exact same way.
The seats on our 1972 MGB Roadster are back from Kath in our in-house trim shop. Tamas is now fitting the seats back into car. “I’m also removing the wheels ready to go into paint” Tamas tells us “as well as refitting the luggage rack back onto the boot”.
Another MG also in the workshop, is our stunning 1960 MGA. Keen to modify the car, her owner is opting for heating to be installed. Some classics would have these modern ‘essentials’ as optional extras back in the day.
“We had to order the heater box from America” our expert Paul explains. “We’re also doing some minor improvements on the gearbox and pistons.” Paul’s also added another mirror that the customer’s asked for. Along with changing the rubber trim around the boot and bonnet from grey to black.
Classic car technician Scott’s continued fitting various bits and pieces onto our 1957 grey Jensen 541R. “I’ve been making the cable ends for the grill flap mechanism” he tells us. The front grill on the 541R opens to act as a cooling aid for the engine. The driver controls this mechanism from the front seat.
Scott’s also fitted the new windscreen washer system this week. Including new washer bottle, pipework and washer jet system.
Our impressive 1967 Jaguar E-Type Race Car has reached a milestone moment today! Our Director Gordon and workshop manager John got her engine roaring and even got flames firing out the exhausts!
This is a very exciting moment here at Bridge. After quite an exhaustive restoration, it’s a beautiful thing to finally have a car up and running again.
Gordon even managed a quick test drive round the car park!
In the trim shop our interior experts Kath and Brian are making great progress on our 1960 Black Jensen 541R. The back seats, front seats and centre console all now in position.
Rosie the dog even came to say hello!
Our car electrician Adam has been working on the 1965 Amphicar’s wiring. “I’ve been tidying up the engine bay wiring” Adam explains. “All the engine accessories and wiring wasn’t waterproof. Which for an Amphicar- is pretty important!”
Interestingly, the Amphicar’s engine is in the boot, much like boat engines are. Whereas under the bonnet, is where the fuel tank and storage space is.
Our engine expert Ady’s is getting ready to put the engine back in our 1972 Peugeot 504.
He’s also done some engine work on the 1953 Ford Taunus Transit Van. “It was running a bit rough. So, I’ve done a few engine tweaks and am hoping to do an oil and filter change next.”
Last but certainly not least, our body shop expert Anthony has been working on our 1987 Mercedes 500SL. “We need to get the underseal off the metal shell” explains Anthony. “It’s really tough to remove so we use a method of literally burning it off, it’s almost like melting it.”
Phew! What a busy week we’re having here at the workshop. As we fast approach the weekend I think everyone earned a well deserved break. Well done Bridge Class Cars team!
If you haven’t already, say hello to our Amphicar! Part boat, part car, this curious little vehicle can drive both on land and on water. Jovially referred to as ‘the fastest car on the water’.
The Amphicar was only in production from 1961 to 1968, so our 1965 model is an incredibly rare find. We’re so lucky to have the opportunity to be doing a full restoration on this intriguing little car (or is it a boat!?)
Along with returning the car to her former glory by doing a complete bodywork restoration, the team have also returned her to her original colour- ‘Beach Strand White’. We think she looks gorgeous!
Our Amphicar has been in the trim shop this week having her new roof fitted. Brian’s been working on the task. “I’ve fitted the locating pins around the roof edge” Brian describes “then glued and turned the corners of the roofs front rail”.
Brian’s then trimmed off any excess material and screwed the metal trim in place. The edges looking nice a neat now. “I then fitted the metal trim round the bottom of the back of the roof using Tenax fasteners” he explains.
“I’ve then glued flaps around the rear window frame” Brian continues “again adding the neat metal trim to smarten up the edges and also, to hold the window rubber in”.
Even though the roof was a ready-made, it still had to be custom fitted and therefore provided it’s own challenges! Brian told us how tricky it was to get the roof liner to fit. “When we make our own parts we can measure against the car and use those exact patters” Brian explains. “But, when it’s ‘off the shelf’ the product arrives and we have to work with what we’re presented with.”
Brian’s also fitted the back seat “I glued the rubber down first” he explains “then fitted the seat Kath and I have made onto it.”
Raise your hand if you want to take this swimmingly fun car for a test-dive!?
Tom is currently working on our Amphicar restoration. He’s recently installed a new exhaust gasket, refitted the carburettors, refitted the air filter as well as custom fabricating and fitting new seat rails as the old rails had severely rusted.
Lovely work, Tom.
The interior is now really coming together on our Amphicar Restoration. When we received the seats, they were not quite up to our high standards. After a visit to our trim shop for some adjustments, the leather now fits perfect and has been installed into the car by Tom.
Tom has been making progress on our rare Amphicar restoration.
After installing the new floor he has fitted the rubber lining to the floor, vehicle sides and door cards. Being an amphibious vehicle, the interior needs to be waterproof should any spray enterer the vehicle cabin.
Tom has also adjusted the handbrake to bite sooner and for pressure to be applied evenly across both of the rear brakes. We’ve aligned the metal exterior trim to sit as a perfect pinstripe across the side of the car.
The front seats have also been now been installed. The next steps in our Amphicar restoration will be to install the seatbelts, make rubber matting to cover the soft top well and install front and rear chrome light surrounds.
Kath, Bridge Classic Cars’ in-house trimmer has made a new double gear lever gaiter for our Amphicar. She started by dismantling the old, worn gaiter. Then Kath used the old components as a reference for the new materal to be cut to. She then stitched and re-assembled the fabric into shape.
Wonderful work, Kath!
Tom has picked back up work on our 1965 Amphicar, a vehicle that can travel both on land and water.
Tom has been busy fabricating new floorboards, using the original, rotten flooring as a template. He’s also refitted all the rubber seals and started assembling the rear seats.