Here we treat you to a photo collage of past projects going back to the early 1980s. Back then, it was common to visit panel shops and specialist mechanical workshops to view a wide range of exotic European cars. Sadly, many of those rare and unusual cars have left our shores for European and North American collections.
Here’s a short selection of some of those cars;
Ferrari 250 GT Lusso
I was commissioned to make door skins, boot lid, and a grill for this car. The Lusso repair and paint was intrusted to well-known Ferrari painter, and restorer Ken Ward. Ken has a world -wide reputation for excellence and strong product knowledge of Italian sports cars.
Ferrari 275 Berlinetta
(pre torque tube) 2 cam short nose car. This car was an Australian delivered car. The owner commissioned Ken Ward to paint and restore the car. John Allen, a well-known Ferrari mechanic, managed the mechanical rebuild and I built a boot floor, two sets of door skins and a boot lid.
FR-1 Background & Structure History
The Foundation’s first concept car project, FR-1, began 12 years ago through the efforts of its founder Mr. Brian Tanti. The Foundation believed that concept cars lead the automotive industry by applying stretched thinking to design, leading to ground breaking vehicles that embody specific responses to issues and challenges faced by the automotive industry. From the beginning, the FR-1 project gathered the skills and ideas of a committed team of automotive enthusiasts and artisans to make a unique and stylish concept car. It was a process that included teamwork, problem solving, the acquisition and sharing of skills, and the development of a strategic response to engineering and environmental challenges. The team included people with professional backgrounds in the disciplines of aerospace and automotive engineering, education, technology transfer, design, trades, manufacturing, Industry and commerce. This great mix of people made the Autohorizon Foundation a unique group.
Ferrari 500 TRC
This car came in for a tidy-up of poor repair work, amid the onset of advanced electrolysis where mild-steel wire interfaced with raw aluminium. Paint work was carried out by award- winning painter Mr Peter Vandersluys. Peter is now in partnership with Alistair Taylor with a restoration business ( Re-Creation Automotive) in the eastern suburb of Lilydale.
300 SL Roadster restored at the Fox Workshop Hawthorn Rd
This was my first Roadster project for the Fox Family. The car was seized by customs and then purchased by Lindsay Fox. The car was missing some ancillary components, and had a lot of rust in the lower sections of the car.
Iso Grifo Big block
the owner of the vehicle commissioned me to fabricate a complete front section for the car. The car was built mainly from photos and from some of the badly damaged remaining body sections that was supplied with the car. I was able to map the line of the fenders from the original but rusted doors. I also scaled off the original side profile photos, drawing an imaginary line through the center axis of the front wheel. While there was a number of small block Grifo’s in Australia, I believe this was the only big block in country.
Ferrari 250 GT SWB
Originally imported into Australia by Ferrari Dealer Fred Lowe, I believe this was Fred Lowe’s personal car. At the time of restoration, the car was owned by Tony Kelly. I first started working of the car when I was employed at R.A Mc Dermott & Co. The car came in to have its trim work done by legendry Motor Trimmer, the late Victor Acqulina. Vic was once described by Connolly hides as ‘One of the best motor trimmers in the world.’ The hides were specially ordered through Ferrari and Connolly Hides in the U.K. My job back then was to repair hair cracks in the primary structure of the dash panel. The car then followed me to Peter Vandersluys workshop, where we were commissioned to continue the restoration and preservation of the exterior. The car was painted by Peter’s business partner at the time; master painter Mr Alby Robinson.
Metalic Blue (Hellblau metallic) Gull wing.
This is a very early car with wading between the fender spears and body work. I restored the car at home in my own workshop with parts of the body work having to be cutaway and replaced. The interior of the car was done by Robert Casha.
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