There are few minefields out there that are quite as nerve-wracking as trying to find the right restoration specialist for your precious classic. Our treasured collectable vehicles are irreplaceable in many cases, and entrusting such a pride and joy to a complete stranger can get the pulse racing for all the wrong reasons, so it’s essential that you are put at ease and made confident that the most careful of attention will be lavished upon it.
This is a situation that is understood clearly by Charles Palmer, owner and managing director of Classic Restorations (Scotland) Ltd. Even in his early life his life revolved around cars, as his father and his brothers had all been motorists from the early days of motoring. In fact, from the age of about five years old he had free rein of cars of all makes, which were stored for the duration of World War II in a local garage where his father’s Citroen Rosalie was kept. Charles left school in 1954 at the age of fifteen to start work as an apprentice motor engineer; back in those days an apprentice in a country garage did not specialise in one make of car, as they tend to today, and so Charles worked on vehicles of all makes and types including trucks, tractors and agricultural machinery. As well as learning to be a mechanic he also learned about electrics, panel-beating and painting, the wide experience and knowledge gained proving to be very valuable in his later life in restoration work, thanks to the insight it provided into all aspects of motor vehicles, from tractors to Bentleys.
Since starting his restoration business as a one-man operation in 1982 he has gradually developed and expanded over many years by employing and training local people in the craft and the skills required to give them the knowledge and ability to maintain, repair and restore classic, vintage and veteran vehicles. Classic Restorations (Scotland) Ltd has developed into a one-stop-shop, where all the skills required to restore any vehicle from an Austin Seven to a Rolls-Royce Phantom are embodied under one roof.
Classic Restorations (Scotland) train and employ craftsmen in all of the required trades, including traditionally-skilled mechanics, coach-builders who can repair and re-make ash-frames, panel–beaters who can make up panels using an extensive range of sheet metal machinery and painters who can work in cellulose, two-pack paints and the latest water-based paints & lacquers. In addition, coach-trimmers are employed who, as well as re-upholstering seats and patterning carpets, can also make bespoke hoods for all cars. “We continue training apprentices as we always have” Charles explains; “they are the seed-corn of the company’s future, and are being trained in skills that will stand them in good stead for a lifetime.”
Located in Perthshire, the stunning results of Classic Restorations (Scotland)’s work have been seen by us here at Irish Vintage Scene many times, at the NEC Classic Motor Show in Birmingham and in recent years at the Irish Classic & Vintage Motorshow in Terenure, where Charles regularly has a trade stand and a car on display (as he will this year on the 7th of July). The finished cars speak for themselves; anyone who offers a service to convert a Bentley S3 saloon to a stunning, exacting replica of a HJ Mulliner drophead coupe obviously knows what they are doing, and any Irish classic car owner searching for a highly professional and accomplished restoration service would find it well worth giving Classic Restorations (Scotland) a call.
For further information on Classic Restorations, log onto their website at www.classicrestorations.co.uk, call 0044 (0)1828 633 293 or email [email protected] Alternatively, call to their trade stand at the upcoming Irish Classic & Vintage Motor Show in Terenure, Dublin on the 7th of July.