Thinking about having your classic car restored by a professional?

It can be very daunting the first time you commence such a project, not the least of which is selecting a restorer.

Recently we spoke to Rob Ephgrave, owner of Adelaide Hills Panel Works, about the priority issues you ought to consider before you select a professional restorer.

Concourse or daily driver?

One of the most critical things to get right is to decide what you want done and to what level of quality.

It seems simple enough but when someone says `I want my car restored’, Rob asks what they mean by `restoration’ — because everyone has their own definition of `restoration’.

For example: is it to be restored to concourse condition or as a daily driver?

A lot of Rob’s time is spent agreeing what the end product will look like. He suggests that this is where many restorations go wrong.

If the client and the restorer have different perceptions about what the end result will be, then it can only end in tears.

Research, research, research!

Speak with current and former clients about the quality of work done by a restorer.

When considering any restorer, insist you see photos of cars being restored and question the techniques used during the restoration.

Ask about the problems which were encountered and how they were resolved. All of this ought to be willingly provided by any restorer who is proud of their work.

Burrell books go in a flash


David Burrell is founder and editor of, a free online classic cars magazine. Dave has a passion for cars and car design. He's also into speedway, which he's been writing about since 1981. His first car was a rusted-out 1961 Vauxhall Velox. His daily driver is a Pontiac Firebird. Prior to starting Retroautos, David was an executive in a Fortune 500 company, working and living in Australia, NZ, Asia, Latin America and the UK.
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments