"There are no shortcuts to a great result"
At Prestige Paintworks Ltd we specialise in Aston Martin, Ferrari and Jaguar heritage models, Whether it's a full nut and bolt restoration to Concours standard, accident repairs or a sympathetic conservation retaining patina and originality.
We understand that when these cars were new they were built to factory specification with a blend of the owners personal preferences too but the new custodians of these cars may choose something completely different to how it left the factory and that's ok, we have the expertise to handle any size job to suit each clients personal request.
We also carry out accident repairs on the Heritage models too including major chassis straightening and alignment on our Globaljig this is a mobile, universal bracket system with an additional overhead bridge for strut and upper body comparative checks. Essential for achieving the right results.
Full inventories are given to all vehicles dis-assembled, with every detail and part being documented. There's a commonality in procedures across most of the restorations with one of them being all panel fit measurements, we log all panel fit, whether that's the actual gap size or it's transition into the adjoining panel, its all relevant information that needs logging before any dis-assembly begins.
Once all the material is removed it often tells a different story, for us though it's one of the best parts of the process, revealing its history, low budget repairs, even old accident damage, the colour changes it's had through the years even and finding old magazines or news clippings fallen behind trim long since forgotten about. This is all part of the vehicle's history so needs logging and photographing.
The biggest variable in cost is for the remedial work stage, corrosion and/or damage. This is the area where hours can be consumed with rectifying old repairs from periods of relatively low value and corrosion etc that simply cannot be seen until the car is stripped of all its fittings and material.
There really is no set price for this stage, only transparency and communication with the owner as to what path is taken in terms of cost/safety/necessity/aesthetics.
A full restoration normally requires chemical dipping or blasting the shell back to bare metal to have the best foundation to any restoration, any restoration that is not a bare metal one is always a risk because you can only guarantee your products on what they are being applied to. Any corrosion or previous damage is rectified and if necessary with the vehicle mounted on our Globaljig, this ensures the car is kept square and true and that if you were replacing a suspension point for example, it is exactly where it should be precisely.
Vehicles requiring extensive panel replacement are kept on the Globaljig for reference data etc as we are able to make the car far more symmetrical than they left the factory using the overhead beam attachment with numerical pointers that can give millimetre precision on any irregularities. All metal shaping, panel alignment bonnet, boot and door gaps are minimised in variation to a consistent 5mm.
After all the panel work and gapping is complete we do a complete dry fit of the lights, bumpers and trims etc to eliminate the chance of fouling or poor fit later in the build, this dry fit process is then repeated after levelling and again after the first round of polyester blocking to maintain consistency and efficiency, some companies don't go through with this dry fit procedure once but we carry this out three times regardless. Sure it takes time but considerably less than reworking things to fit once the car is painted.
The vehicles are then levelled with a fine skim of body filler, often called profiling and is a key stage often undervalued and more often than not misunderstood but is an essential key element in producing the correct result and will be used by all top end restorers striving for perfection. This stage leaves a flowing, flawless shape to the car and ultimately an unbroken reflection when painted and the difference between a good paint job and a great one.
This key stage is hugely detrimental to the end result if not applied but so often avoided when lower budgets are imposed. Once the bodywork and levelling is completed it is then given four coats of polyester primer.
This is then dry sanded through grades from p180 to p500 before the car is finally ready for spray painting with the colour of choice and the bodywork flattened and polished to produce a flawless deep gloss shine.
A complete nut and bolt zero compromise restoration will include all the suspension and drive train getting overhauled too, items that can be sandblasted are, they are then epoxy primed and refinished in a gloss or satin black two pack polyurethane topcoat, the customer can choose their preference.
The interior is lined with Dynamat soundproofing products for sound and heat reduction that has proven to be extremely effective. Our aim is to leave no stone unturned so that what we produce is the best it can possibly be, which is of course wholly dictated by budget so we fully understand each journey will be different but nonetheless each a satisfying one.
The vehicle is then refitted using new hardware, new plumbing and new/ refurbished components installed to complete the restoration process.
Engine, Gearbox and transmission rebuilds for Aston Martin and Jaguars along with Chrome Plating and Upholstery work are outsourced to our carefully chosen marques specialist partners, whilst everything else mechanical is dealt with in house including all general routine maintenance, servicing and mot requirements.
All the cars we build have Evans Waterless coolant used instead of regular anti-freeze as its a far superior alternative with far too many benefits to consider otherwise.