Honk if you’re horny!
Old car-bumper stickers are the hit! (Again?)
Remember the photos of the Altette I bought a while back? Just to jog your memory, that’s it in the picture above.
This is what it looks like now!!
Quite a transformation, considering. I disassembled it as far as I could go (the main body was left intact, as I was too scared to take it apart any further for fear of damaging the electrics. So, the domed nut and the nut behind, as well as the disk it is holding on came apart. The six screws around the perimeter also were removed, allowing the alloy ring/rim with the script to come off and the bracket, too.
The bracket and the disk were taken to Marshall’s for powder-coating and I sprayed the body as well I could with yer spray-can (not the best paint, I’m afraid, but an undercoat of zinc followed by a black gloss coat should be enough to protect it from the elements, even if not up to everyone’s cosmetic standard! The screws were simply wire-brushed and will be chemically blacked. (They should be domed nuts, I believe…)
The Alloy ring and the two nuts were taken to my chrome-plater and polisher, ‘Reflections’ in Kilkenny for a spruce-up. I had taken quite a few odd bits and pieces there a while ago and they were ready to be picked up yesterday, so off I trotted and got everything. Great job, too, I must say. They de-chrome, polish and copper-nickel-chrome everything. They even offer a genuine matt-chrome, which is unusual…most get around that by wire-brushing the nickel before the final chrome goes on, giving a matted ‘topcoat’, but unfortunately leaving stripes everywhere, visible in sunny reflections.
This is the real McCoy, as can be seen in my pictures??
The oil-filler-nut off the gearbox should also have been dull chrome, but I have another one, so that will be done accordingly. These are most of the bits and pieces, altogether coming to $200 for the lot, which I consider fair, when you take into account all the fiddly work involved!
Unfortunately, there aren’t too many workshops willing to take on jobs like this anymore, as the clients are always whinging about the prices and the finish (trying to reduce the price, of course) and generally leaving a bad impression. If the owners ‘got real’ and grew up, and started to realise that tradesmen don’t charge 1974 prices anymore… there might be a few more still doing the work!
One of the most important assets in a restorer’s hand is a list of good tradesmen and services with relationships based on mutual understanding, respect and trust that the job will be done properly and for a fair price, in a reasonable time. If any of these factors is out of whack, then it’s time to keep an eye out for alternative sources for those much-needed services, which have to be relied upon.
What’s the use of the best widget-return-spring-maker in the world, if you can never get hold of him and you have to wait three years for your bits to get done (after which he’s lost or forgotten half of them anyway)??
I rest my case!
©peter gouws 2012