Project Shop are experts in building classic cars so that they are fully restored, reliable, fun to drive and are ‘right’ down to the last detail.

We call it Detail Engineering, it’s a process we have evolved having built cars from the shell up dozens of times.

It is true that body shops will offer a service where they put your classic car ‘back together’ but their expertise generally lies in bodywork and not in mechanical engineering. Our workshops are clean, organised and free from body shop dust. Our staff are all qualified, experienced auto engineers overseen by John Jardine who has decades of experience in building and developing cars.

We have seen hundreds of beautifully painted classic cars which have poor panel gaps, leaky window and door seals, that won’t start easily or fail to proceed once they warm through.

There is nothing worse than having an unreliable car so before a spanner is picked up we start by assessing every part that has come off the vehicle:

Is it a ‘lived part’ that needs replacing?
Does it need cleaning, painting or reconditioning?
Are there any modern alternatives that would give greater enjoyment, reliability or safety?
What is missing, modified or incorrect for the vehicle?
Are new parts easily available and what is the cost benefit of fitting new?
Do we need to make unavailable parts?
Can we package components differently for better reliability or future servicing?

We have a huge collection of reference manuals and workshop handbooks not to mention contacts at owners’ clubs and specialist parts suppliers. Once these questions are answered we use these resources to draw up comprehensive list of what needs to be done making sure each system on the vehicle is correct and will remain reliable for years to come.

We prefer to start with a bare bodyshell returned painted from the bodyshop. If the paint company you have chosen is a good one, they will have done a ‘dry build’ on the bodyshell of all the components and fittings to ensure that items such as bumpers and lamps fit the shape of the panelwork, and that any swage lines, for instance running the length of the car, all match up when the car is assembled.

Project Shop’s part in the build of your cherished motor is to ensure that the car is assembled correctly and safely, with reliability built-in. We like to be able to order the parts necessary to do this: for the simple reason that parts mis-matches slow the workflow down and interrupt the speed we can build your car for you.

Our classic car builds are process and system based, not simply dealing with each component as it comes up we brake each build into the following areas:

  • Wiring loom and auto electrics
  • Engine and drive train
  • Cooling system
  • Heating system
  • Fuel system
  • Steering and suspension
  • Doors, window mechanisms and seals
  • Insulation and heat management
  • Dash, door cards and headlining
  • Instruments
  • Panel gap and alignment
  • Chrome, bumpers and exterior fixtures and fittings

By making sure that all the components work and fit as part of each system we can insure that the finished product is a well built, complete car that will function as well or better than it did when it was new.

We can also liase with trimmers to ensure that at the correct time – before the windows go in – the headliner is installed, before the rest of the car is completed.

Building a classic car can sometimes be an involved process, especially if you are upgrading items to improve drivability and power. All Project Shop’s engineers are well-versed in building cars from the ground-up. And have built cars as diverse as Alfa Romeo Spider, Bond Bug, Citroen SM and Traction Avant, Datsun 240 & 260Z, Jaguar MkII and E-type, Jensens, Mercedes W114 coupe, VW Golf GTis, Mk1 Austin Cooper – who doesn’t love a Mini? – and sportscars such as Austin Healey Sprite, MGA and Triumph TR5.

Project Shop has the wide range of ability necessary to not be fazed by anything a build might throw up, and the perseverance to deliver you a car that fulfils every requirement.

Once the car is completed, we have all the equipment to fine tune the engine and suspension settings before we complete a rigorous shake down of the vehicle. Most complete mechanical builds will take between 400 and 600 man hours.

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