An Aston Martin Departs

21 months into a 6 month project, and finally the Aston is finished! I still don’t know how it took that long. A full on body off restoration on one of my Renaults would take only 3 months, and all I had to do on the Aston was replace the sills.

I think a lot of it was due to the special hand crafted nature of the Aston. These cars are actually quite complex. Where an A pillar repair on a Renault might just involve cutting out the rusty bit then welding in a new bit of metal and painting, the Aston V8 requires the aluminium body cutting off, and then half a dozen different panels replacing. 2 hours for the Renault vs 2 months for the Aston.

It’s the same with service items. The Renault can have new brake discs after half an hours work. Replacing the rear discs on the Aston involves dropping the differential. 30 minutes for the Renault vs 3 days for the Aston!

Before and after photos for the restoration are nonsense as all the really nice work is hidden underneath, but here they are anyway. The car seems happier now:

Before:
mini-start.jpg
After:
mini-finish.jpg

Very few people will appreciate my 21 months of work. An MOT tester might look underneath in 20 years time and appreciate why this one hasn’t rusted like all the others. And the owner should find the structure trouble free for the rest of his ownership. Nobody else will notice any difference. But that’s not important. The important thing to me is that I restored an Aston and restored it well. There’s a lot of satisfaction to be had in that.

My therapy following the Aston is a Renault 4 restoration. Follow the progress here: Renault 4 Restoration

One thought on “An Aston Martin Departs

  1. jlaurij

    As the owner of the Aston project, I wish to say a few words about this.

    Nearly two years ago I went to get the car out of a 6 year storage period in the garage to find that the brakes had seized. Despite it being in a relatively dry and warm garage the rust had taken hold of it also. After a tedious task to un-seize the brakes, the car went to the a Aston Martin dealer whom prepared a detailed report on all the work that required doing in order to be road legal, never mind in good condition. This was a long list of pretty major tasks and an estimate of cost well beyond market value of the car even in good condition.

    The choice was either fix it or sell the car for parts, the latter hurt even more, but to fix it went well beyond my capabilities and resources. In came my son who suggested that a friend of his was really good at this and perhaps he may be interested in performing the task. I had previously seen some of Malcolm’s work on his MGB which was superb, but very much doubted that Malcolm had the time or interest in doing this. So my son called him, and a little while later Malcolm came to see the car. To my surprise and great relief Malcolm in his understated and gently manner said it is not as bad as he had feared and thought he would be able to fix it. We came to an understanding immediately; one of which was that he would do this as his other activities have left him free time, so harm done to me.

    So the only regret I have with regard to the nearly two years it has taken is that it has taken up so much of Malcolm’s valuable time and the frustration that it no doubt has caused him, even though he never showed it.

    To my great satisfaction though Malcolm’s precision and high standards were of course met and with an amazing persistency at some of the Astons quirky design/manufacturing aspects. To the point that he has improved on it which should give the Aston at least another 20 years life if not more. I visited on many occasions and witnessed the above precision and quality workmanship.

    Thanks again Malcolm for al the wonderful work you have done, and hopefully be able to meet up again and see your, Robert and Nigel’s projects.

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