The trim shop has started on Craig’s 1987 Mercedes 500SL trim which is being done in a Claret red. Kath has been painstakingly pouring over the dash, making sure the intricate details of the holes and curves are perfectly catered for and covering in bespoke fabric, which has been pulled taught and glued back by hand. Dashboards are one of the interior details that many people forget about in their car but is the most likely to show signs of wear and sun damage. Being exposed to the sun and regularly act as a shelf for all kinds of ornaments, car dash’s can take quite the beating in their lives and often need re-covering to give it a new lease of life. Kath made a paper pattern first which she followed up by making a mock-up out of black vinyl before cutting and fitting the leather.
Brian has been working on removing the old covers from the rear quarter panels. Brian started at the end of the panel, glueing the leather cover onto the panel. He worked along with the panel slowly, glueing down parts one bit at a time to make sure the leather was pulled tight. Brian also had to work around details such as the speaker hole where he had to sand the edges of the board so it was smooth before applying the glue. Once it was sanded down, he glued the leather onto the back of the panel, sewing on flaps, fasteners and rivets to finish.
Craig’s 1987 Mercedes 500SL seats are still in the capable hands of our in house trim shop.
Lydia has been leading the charge with the interior, creating each seat cover by hand. Brian has also lent a helping hand with the frame and hind mechanisms. Lydia has recently been heating and stretching the fabric, applying sprays of water to help steam and stiffen the leather in the process.
Brian has been fitting the cover to the base of the front seat, pulling the cover tight around the frame and glueing the flaps at the back and hog ringing the rear flap. He has fitted the cover to the front squab seat and glued the centre in place. Pulling the cover around the frame, Brian works on fitting the material tight to the frame and securing it into slots on the side of the frame. The next step included Brian cutting headrest holes out and fitting the plastic trims. With the cover fitted, all that’s left to do is to fit the metal runners and sliding mechanisms to bottom of the base frame.
Lyda has added foam to the shoulders of the front squab seat frame. This ensures the cover fits well enough. Lydia then glued inside for the flute lines to stick to which helps give it definition. Lydia then glued new leather to the backboard which goes with the squab. The backboard slots into place at the back, the sides tuck under the frame to hold in place and plastic ring inserts are added for the headrest poles to go through and connect the seat and headrest. Lydia made slits and holes in the sides of the squabs for the mechanism pieces to slot into place and finished by cleaning up the parts and putting the mechanisms in place.
Lydia has been focusing exclusively on Craig’s 500SL Mercedes interior restoration. Over the last week or so shes been working on the seat covers, re-working the original material and creating new covers.
Lydia began by adding a layer of scrim foam over the top and sides of the frame to replace the old worn out padding which had turned hard. She then drew a line down the centre of the seat to make it easier to identify the middle of the cover. Once this is done, Lydia placed the cover over it and pull the calico inside it. Once fitted, she could pull it tight and glue it in place.
Lydia then applied weight to the frame springs and pulled the other edges of the cover over and under the frame. She then glued down the side flaps around the frame, cleaned up the bolts that screw into the bottom of the seat, and made a hole on each side for them.
Lydia has been making the second front squab seat cover for our 1987 Mercedes 500SL. This included taking the cover off the frame which is something.
Lydia had to start with loosening the sides from the frame by levering the cover off. The next step was to remove the plastic parts by holding the cover down in the centre and shimming the components out. Lydia could then start peeling the cover off the frame completely and take off the plastic rings for the headrest at the top of the squab. The next step is to remove the leather cover and rework that.
Lydia has completed another seat cover using the same process as before. Brian and Kath have also been working at creating a cover for the dashboard.
The dashboard process included measuring out and cutting the leather and cutting out holes for the dials, sewing around the edges to make for a neat fold and fit, and then sticking it all to the dash and then turning over the fabric, pulling it tight to create a neat fit.
Lydia has continued the work with Craig’s 1987 Mercedes 500SL. Here we can see her sewing the piping on to the skirt for the seat. Each detail and design is thoroughly thought through and done by hand.
Lydia has recently completed the glove compartment for the door of the Mercedes 500 SL. This process included skiving the edges of the leather that’s going to recover it, which makes it easier to fold over the edges. The next step was to sand down the vinyl to be recovered in leather.
Lydia has also marked the leather for the seat. It’s her first seat cover that she’s made from scratch and it is looking great so far! The first step was to take off the current base front seat cover and use them as patterns to make the new ones. She’s then cut out the new sidebands and mounted them onto the foam.
Lydia made a mock-up of the fluted design to make sure that the measurements are correct before making the final version. She then measured and marked out the real fluted face once the mock-up was correct. The fluted face was sewn on, the sidebands mounted and cut out, and the piping made up. Lydia then cleaned up the rod that goes inside the flap with wire wool. Once this was all done, she clipped everything together.
We’ve been working on a plastic speaker panel for Craig’s Mercedes 500SL that needed to be stitched back together. This was done by attaching the two pieces together via plastic welding.
Lydia, one of our trim shop technicians, has been working on preparing and creating the interior for Craig’s 1987 Mercedes 500SL. A while ago Craig decided to go with a Claret red to dress the interior of his custom classic, and now the interior trim creation begins
Lydia has been focusing on preparing the gearstick holder. Once stripped, it is ready for recovering by sanding and filling. Lydia makes the first draft of the paper patterns, she then cuts out vinyl for a vinyl draft copy. By sewing the vinyl together, Lydia can see how the cover would fit and address any issues that may arise. Once the first draft is made, Lydia then makes a second draft paper pattern, makes it in vinyl and re-addresses how the parts come together. This process also allows her to test out how much topstitching to sew on and if her measurements are correct. From these drafts, Lydia took the decision to add topstitching all over as she believed this would be the most efficient design.
Once the drafts have been made and corrected, Lydia can start making the real leather cover. She does this by marking up the second vinyl draft so that she can take it apart and use the pattern pieces as a guide for the leather. Once the leather is all marked up and ready for cutting out, the leather pieces can be sewn together, topstitched all over and fit.
Craig has recently decided on a colour for the interior of his 1987 Mercedes 500SL. The trim shop has just started tackling the trim which will be done in a Claret red.
Lydia has been prepping the windscreen panels for recovering, which have been done in the claret leather. The sanding and filling of the front window panels has been completed, allowing for Lydia to get started on the next step. The cover is first marked out in paper, then leather and then sewn and glued together.
Our director Craig has had his Mercedes 500SL in for restoration for a while now. There are many choices to be made when you’re not only restoring your classic but also redesigning it. Some of those choices are more interesting than others. One of the more fun choices in the customising process is choosing the colour of the interior. There were many options, all of which took on brown and orange tones to contrast with the bright blue exterior.
After taking a while to think and decide, Craig took the decision to go with… none of these options. But instead went for a rich Claret, a beautiful burgundy red!
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.
Now the exterior colour of our 1987 Mercedes 500SL has been chosen we are now on to the decision of our interior.
All interior components are now down off the shelf and in the Trim Shop with Kath and Brian ready to be rebuilt to our bespoke specifications.
The colour will be chosen within the coming weeks, very little will be original and the interior will be completely transformed…so watch this space!
Our 1987 Mercedes 500SL has had its colour transformation initiated with a prep mask being applied in the engine bay. It then continued to have prime and topcoat added.
Soon it’ll have a whole body of fresh paint.
Our 1987 Mercedes 500SL has had its primer and flattening completed by our technicians Ant and Chris.
This stage allows the bodywork to be perfected and smoothened and allows the next layer of paint to stick.
This is the last stage before the colour paintwork begins.
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.
Our Director Craig’s 1987 Mercedes 500SL has been with Anthony in our body shop this week.
Anthony has been carrying out some extensive work on the the Mercedes’ shell. “Now the body’s been completely stripped and primed” Anthony explains “we’ve put a full black raptor coating on the entire shell.”
Raptor is tough and durable coating to protect your pride and joy from the elements. Mostly used for cars that go off-road or come into contact with more adverse weathers. You can apply raptor coatings to any vehicle. However, it’s not always necessary.
For more information and advice on raptor coating, feel free to give us a call- 01473 742038
Our stunning 1987 Mercedes 500SL has been in the paint shop having her primer sprayed ahead of being shaped and re-primed.
Her owner, our Director Craig, is yet to choose the colour for his gorgeous classic. It was originally in silver, but he’s keen for a change.
What colour would you go for?
Our soon-to-be stunning 1987 Mercedes SL500 is being prepped for a complete paint re-spray.
She’s been with us for over a year where we’ve worked tirelessly on repairing her body from an incredible amount of rust and damage. All the welding work is now complete though, so- it’s onto our precious paint shop!
First things first, all the old body paint has to be stripped so the entire shell can be prepped and primed ready for her final paint job.
We’ve used a highly erosive acidic paint stripper to remove all the old paint from the body work. If you look closely you can see the bubbles getting to work!
After spending many years stored under a tree before arriving here at Bridge, we continue to uncover rust and corrosion throughout the 1987 Mercedes 500SL.
One of our welders Toby has completed welding work in the boot this week. “There was excessive corrosion all over the boot floor,” Toby described. “So I’ve welded a new piece into place.”
There’s still a way to go to get this classic into tip-top condition. Belonging to one of our Directors Craig, he’s enjoying seeing the progress so far.
Toby, Bridge Classic Cars’ new Fabricator Welder has been working on our 500SL bodywork restoration.
Toby has cut out the rear chassis rust and replaced with new sheet metal. The replacement nearside boot floor panel has been fully welded. The rear of the boot has also had all the rot cut out and fresh metal let in.
Inside the rear of the boot, the rust has all been cut out and prepared for the new fabricated panel to go in. Top work, Toby!
The 1987 Mercedes 500SL has received a new floor in welding shop this week.
The car arrived to us with so much work to have done, so we really are stripping it back to it’s bare metal and rebuilding it from there. These pictures are of the floor itself, along with the spare wheel well.
The car belongs to the company’s Director Craig. “I plan to keep and enjoy this car for many years after it’s restoration. It’s one of my favourite classics, so I’m glad the team are able to able to give it special attention and get her back into mint condition.”