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Contact: Brad Merrick
Address:
Melton Vic
Phone: 03 9743 4351
Mobile: 0417 396 026

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Restorations

31/8/18
THE RESTORATION VACANCY HAS NOW BEEN FILLED. I'M NOW COMPLETELY BOOKED FOR 2019 and 2020. THANKS.
  
A BIT ABOUT ME:  I'm a professional Spray painter from the automotive restoration and prestige industry.  Always having an interest in old cars, I did approx 6 weeks of work experience (while at secondary school) at Rod City Reproductions, who built high quality Hot Rods, chassis and  components. Immediately after completing the Rod City work experience in 1989, I knew this was the sort of thing I wanted to do, and got the opportunity to start an apprenticeship at a restoration shop. I've been in the restoration industry ever since. In 1990, I purchased my first XU-1 and have specialised particularly in XU-1 Torana's and can perform any sort of fabrication body work you need, and all to show standard. I began making my own reproduction parts in 1990, copied from originals, to complete my own XU-1's, and then this lead to the parts production that I still do today. I can do any work needed, from body panel fabrication which includes fitting new guards, nose cones, front valance panels, floor pans, removal of flared guards and re-creation of original arches in steel, complete reconstruction and skinning of rusted door pillars, the correction or re working of old poorly done collision repairs, rails straightened and squared up, rust removal, panel making, file finishing and paint, then assembly to a full Concours detailed turn-key car. If needed, I can also perform chassis fabrication or repairs to standards that will pass engineering certification for road registration.
 
Full rotisserie restoration, carby rebuilds and tuning, and the reproduction parts to complete these cars to Concours condition. Every dent or section of rust removed, panel beaten straight and file finished in metal. The bodies are painted exactly how the car left GM. With red oxide showing in places in the cabin and underneath on the floor pan. Two Pack preparation and finished in Acrylic top coats. Approximate costs for this sort of body and paint is $50-60K, depending on the condition of the body after the paint is removed. The cost of the paint stage on the restorations basicaly stays the same, but the overall cost rises if lots of panel fabrication is needed or if there are parts missing that have to be located and purchased.
 
There are some restoration places out there, with no experience with XU-1's who are charging $50-60K (and even more),  for body fabrication and paint, who rely on the customers knowledge to complete the paint and resto. In these instances, these places still stuff up critical aspects which will impact on the cars final result, authenticity and value.  We specialise exclusively on XU-1's, and can return your XU-1 to how it left the factory.  Aside from the body and paint, there's the restoration of all the components and assembly. Your XU-1 will be completed to a totally authentic state. Original colour codes, shades and paint formulas are used. The car will be assembled and finished off with all the inspection stencils, stamps, parts ID stickers and coloured inspection marks. If the original paint work is still evident, it's documented with pictures and measurements and patterns BEFORE the paint is removed to ensure it's replicated exactly. Each XU-1 restoration is finished to such a standard that the vehicle can go straight into a judged Concours show.
 
Even if you have bought an XU-1 and the original paint is long gone from previous paintwork, then we can replicate the paintwork and blackouts according to other documented XU-1's of the similar build date/plant.  I have a vast photographic history of documented original XU-1's.  While the body and paint is under way, the component restoration will be going on at the same time, so that the suspension is ready to go in once the body is finished. 
 
I'VE HAD A NUMBER OF CALLS ASKING IF I CAN RESTORE/ FIX AND CORRECT XU-1'S WHICH OWNERS HAVE REALISED THAT THERE CARS ARE NOT GENUINE. I AM NOT INTERESTED IN FIXING XU-1'S WHICH ARE REBODIED OR FAKES. IF A CLIENT BRINGS A TORANA IN, WHICH ENDS UP NOT BEING GENUINE, (AFTER AN INITIAL INSPECTION), THE CLIENT WILL BE NOTIFIED AND THE RESTORATION WILL NOT PROCEED.
 
All work including assembly is at an hourly rate + parts.  I can also locate missing parts if needed.  A full Concours turn-key restoration of an XU-1 to this standard is usually around the $90-100K figure. This cost is based on an LC or LJ XU-1 that has ' the usual' rusty areas and body issues, and is mostly complete, but the cost will rise if the body needs vast amounts of body reconstruction and panel making. The location and purchase of missing parts will also cause an increase in the overall cost. Also see pics of triple carby restorations and heater box restorations. I'll soon list pics of the fully detailed front and rear suspension, engine and gear box. Completely detailed to how it left GM.
 
IMPORTANT: CLIENTS NEED TO BE FINANCIALLY READY FOR WORK TO BEGIN ONCE THEIR CAR ARRIVES. EACH RESTORATION USUALLY TAKES 12-18 MONTHS, SO THIS WORKS OUT TO BE APPROXIMATELY $8,300 PER MONTH OVER 12 MONTHS, TO $5,500 PER MONTH OVER 18 MONTHS,  BASED ON A $100K RESTORATION. ANY MISSING OR DAMAGED PARTS THAT NEED TO BE REPLACED WILL ADD TO THIS $100K FIGURE.  STORAGE AND TRANSPORT COSTS WILL BE CHARGED WHEN WORK PROGRESS IS BROUGHT TO A HALT DUE TO LACK OF FUNDS, UNTIL FINANCES BECOME AVAILABLE TO CONTINUE WORK OR THE CAR IS COLLECTED. RATE WILL BE CHARGED AT A STANDARD DAILY COST, SET BY VIC CONSUMER LAW.
 
The cars are worked on and assembled at a workshop on the Mornington Peninsula, Vic, and then transported to Melbourne once completed, for collection by the client.
 
The Juniper XU-1 in the pics was completed and collected by the owner in August in 2015. He had not been able to drive his XU-1 since the early 1990's. It was a great pleasure and an honour to restore this 1973 Bathurst Special XU-1, knowing it's race history as a Group C Touring car. This XU-1 is a 1 of 1 build. Juniper exterior with Juniper trim.
 
A lot of people ask where I get other parts rebuilt or plating done. It's taken many years to find reputable, reliable and highly knowledgeable people for these sorts of jobs.
Sterling plating in Heidleberg Vic, for all chrome, and zinc plating. 
Aaron Sumner in Melton Vic, for all wiring loom restorations and electrical rebuilds like Starter motors, Wiper motors Alternators, horns etc.
MLP Carburettors in Reservior Vic, for all triple carby and fuel pump rebuilds and restorations.
H & K Automotive in Bacchus Marsh Vic, for all gearbox, diff, brake boosters, master cylinders and brake caliper rebuilds etc. 
Engine Solutions in Airport West Vic, for all engine and cylinder head rebuilds.
Dash Original in SA for the reproduction door trim sets. 
 
Enjoy the pics!
Thanks.

This 72 Bathurst was missing the self aligning sprintmasters, genuine date coded head and correct 72 Bathurst dated carbs which we had to locate. Luckily the vehicle still had the engine, gearbox and ID plates etc.   

Full restoration of this Baroda Silver 8/72 Bathurst Special. The client had the seats trimmed by a local company, so they weren't fitted prior to leaving. the Sprintmaster caps were also out of stock prior to completion, so they'll be fitted at a later date. 

This XU-1 had all 4 guards flared and bent rails from a collision in the 70's, plus other usual rust repairs. The car had to undergo quite a bit of fabrication and correction of old poorly done collision repairs. 

Completely new interior. Seats, door trims etc. Everything rebuilt including the steering column, pedal assembly and finished in the correct original colour black.

Completely original inside the boot. Original colour for this Adelaide built car, mint original boot mat etc.

1973 Bathurst special. Full rotisserie restoration. Metal finished, finished in acrylic top coats.

Mustard 73 Bathurst special 50X trim. Full restoration.

A number of small dents were all over this vehicle. These have all been tapped up and every panel file finished.

This area was full of  filler and the join was just as bad, from a previous collision. This whole area has been tapped up and file finished. The join was completely reworked and will be re-leaded as original. 

Hand made area like this and all file finished. Customers get to see/inspect all body work before proceeding to primer/paint stage.

Completely file finished, 2 pack preparation and finished in acrylic top coats. Painted to show standard. The body was completed to the original Holden colour codes and the underneath was painted in the same manner that the factory painted it, with red oxide showing in the necessary spots etc. Seam sealer and underbody deadener was all left intact and undesturbed to be perfectly original.

Fully detailed engine, gearbox and front end assembly, about to be installed into the painted shell. The diff assembly was done to the same level of detail. NOS ball joints, bushes, control arm bushes etc.

The rear section either side of the filler hole and the top area where the boot rubber sits, was full of filler from previous crash repairs. The section where the rubber sits was even full of puncture holes from a screwdriver when the shonky repairer levered up the panel and filled it with filler. This area was cut out and a new section made and fitted. Once again we remove the dents and file up.  Top workmanship is just a matter of spending the time and doing any repairs the right way. 

Very rare colour coded as Juniper exterior with Juniper trim.  This was the start of the most extensive restoration of an XU-1 that I had ever been asked to undertake.

The interior was mint and original and the only item replaced was the door trims, as the originals were damaged during it's time while racing. You may notice the black arm rests. These Juniper trim cars had black arm rests and dash pad from factory, not colour coded.

The speaker holes were filled with hand made sections. See the next 2 images.

The pressed section is now complete, ready to be welded into place.

The replacement section is now welded in with no overlaps. Hand made for the particular hole. The same process was repeated for the left speaker hole and then awaiting the paint prep stage. 

A number of NOS parts in the engine bay (like the oil cap and radiator cap) really topped off this restoration. The pics are intentionally slightly blurred, to obscure the details of the ID plates.

This Baroda Silver XU-1 unfortunately had the rear 1/4's flared, but they had been done by peeling the guard lips outward and welding the outer panel and the inner arch together along the edge. See next images.

It was thought that the rear 1/4's may have to be replaced, but after blasting, it was decided to re-create the original arches all in steel.

This image shows the arches after being finished in steel and in the file finishing process. Both wheel arches were repaired in the same way.

Finally completed. Detailed right down to the inspection marks, finished off with a full set of Dunlop Aquajets and being collected by the owner.

It's common for the A pillars to be rusted out. This Baroda Silver 72 Bathurst had to have the outer skin removed, treated and a new skin hand made and fitted. See next image of the finished pillar.

The door pillar after being completely re-skinned. Completely hand formed and done at the same time as the sills are replaced. Both right and left pillars were redone. 

72 Bathurst Resto. Finished at the blasters and just starting on the body work.

New XU-1 14 FPI  2 row radiators.  These are the original 5/8" tubes type, not the cheaper 1/2" tube cores. These have the same cooling as a 3 row core.  Every aspect of the originals have been duplicated, date coded to suit your XU-1's build date and finished in the original colour.  $950 + courier.

This pic shows the G3 date code for a 73 Bathurst. I had die plates made for every date code that we found during research.  XU-1 Radiators from the LC CK onwards had date coded top tanks. Depending on the build date, this date code varied.  After a sizable deposit or full payment is received the top tanks will be stamped. The 1970 and 1971 XU-1's had a date coded plate on the shroud. See the other pics.

This radiator guard has the 1970 LC XU-1 date code and part number.

This section under the scuttle is commonly rusted out but rarely replaced. Hand made section (which will be completely un-seen once finished) made with all the folds as the original. Spot welded into place as original.

Wiring harness complete professional restoration. Refurbished original wires and replaced wires where necessary. The loom and all contacts, plugs, globe housings checked, cleaned, tested and detailed. Finally re-wrapped in the correct tape. Just an amazing job.
Full triple carby restoration for triple 150's and 175cd's.
Original AC fuel pump. Properly rebuilt and restored with the correct re-plating of the body and other items.
Completely rebuilt and restored LJ XU-1 175cd's. Back to 100% factory original.