September 29, 2014

Fall Colors for Your Cruise in Wisconsin

Wisconsin Fall driveWisconsin offers a bounty of fall colors. 

This time of year features comfortable weather, breathtaking scenery and some outdoor activities to enjoy just before the snow falls and you're forced to park you classic for the winter. 

Our personal favorite day trip location is

August 31, 2014

Decision Making- Your Brain on Restorations

At this very moment, there are at least a couple thousand people looking at a computer screen sorting through ideas for their restoration project. 

Some are working with a shop, others are going to do it alone. Either way, they are browsing, and an endless number of options lay before them. As my father says, "decisions, decisions".
car building decisions
In any given day, a single person can only

August 23, 2014

Addressing the Generation Gap in the Classic Car Industry

"Son on a '69": photo credit: Carrie Anciaux Photography

The following is a link to a Monterey Experts Panel sponsored by Hagerty.

The link will take you to Hemming's Motor News blog and has generated a significant amount of commentary. I am in the minority group of those that commented.

August 17, 2014

The Evolution of a Car Girl

I am a car girl. 

As a young woman, I learned a lot about basic car repair simply by owning a car that required me to practice.I grew up loving cars, probably because I never had a "nice" car of my own.

My first car was a Honda Civic Wagon. Much like the one pictured below(although admittedly mine was in much worse shape). It sported the baby blue paint and stock wheel covers.

Honda Civic Wagon

Yes, that's right. A Civic Wagon. My parents drove it, then my sisters drove it...and then I got the car.

August 1, 2014

Classic Car Buying and Beyond

Purchasing a classic car

It starts with a photograph. 
It's the car!

Frantically emailing the seller you hope that it's still available and the owner will have his wits about him enough to be able to sell it to you, but not so much that he actually knows what he's got. You still can't believe the low price.

You type the message. Hit send..... And wait......And wait.....

July 19, 2014

Leave the Waving to the Driver

Have you ever seen a car wave at you?

 You may have no idea what that means. I'm referring to the shimmer of light as it reflects of the side of a car that isn't quite straight causing you to notice it "waving" as it rolls by. Many car's that are un-restored are understandably nowhere near straight, and appear extremely wavy. However, there are some classics that have been worked on,and even had frame off restorations that are quite "friendly" and will wave at you as they drive past.

Achieving a show winning level of straight and true body lines does not happen overnight. Nor does it happen by haphazardly applying materials and thinking, "yeah, that'll be good enough!" It requires patience, a baffling number of layers of various materials, knowledge tools and techniques and knowing when to replace, fill, sand, prime, and paint. Plus it needs that touch. What you may not see without the shimmer of clear coat can be detected by sliding a skilled hand over the car, feeling the panels for minor imperfections. I watch Steve do this and marvel at how he will know where every last curve should happen and he can find the smallest of indentations.

It takes a number of steps to prep a vehicle, straighten and finally re-paint it in your chosen color. It's not just for looks, ensuring straight and true panels done the RIGHT way creates the longest lasting restoration and return on investment for you as an owner.

 As an example the 1951 Ford Custom Convertible is seen in multiple photos below. It's not finished yet, but it's on track to being a #1 restoration. This is no small task.

1951 Ford Custom Convertible-Red
The 1951 Ford Custom Convertible as it arrived at our shop.(above)

July 16, 2014

Craigslist: You found WHAT?

The joys of Craigslist
Useful for hours of bathroom entertainment (or so I'm told), it CAN be a valuable shopping tool to score BIG finds. We have braved the world of online classifieds to purchase and sell various parts and cars over the years. As a result, we've experienced some interesting nuances and consequences of using Craigslist.

One example of the diversity that IS online buying and selling:

What... you weren't in the market for a dually Honda with a "pa speaker" and 8 "cb wips"? (whatever those may be...spelling people)

June 30, 2014

Glass Replacement: 50's Ford Pickup

So you've got a broken vent window and you need to save the vent window frame... Now what?  

54 F100 Broken Vent Window
1954 F100 Broken Vent Window w/Broken Glass

There are no vent window frames available, and the ones on the truck aren't "terrible", so really you could get by with the existing equipment if you could just replace the glass. But how do you get the glass out of the frame?

You could call the glass company. 
They would be more than willing to help you out, and charge you for it.

You could check the forums for repair ideas...but that's probably why you're Googling it right?
Well we found suggestions for the glued-in glass on this  '54 Ford F-100 such as:
"break the window and then dig it out"
"Call the glass company"
Are those your only choices?   No.
We found a much easier solution than breaking  the glass and leaving a mess behind OR paying the glass company.

June 22, 2014

Classic Auto Repair: Who Do You Trust?

The Classic Mechanic Showcase

If you need a mechanic for your classic car, who do you call? It's not the dealership. Our customer's have trusted us with their investments, family heirlooms and childhood dreams. The next time you need mechanical repairs on your classic car or truck, call someone you can trust! We promise, we won't leave swirl marks in the paint, or grease on the upholstery. We know what that vehicle is worth, both in dollar value and history.

This video features some of the wide variety of cars and trucks that Driven Restorations has had the opportunity to rebuild and enhance over the years we have been in business. Some are fully original restorations, while others are "built to order" for performance. 

What would you build?

Thank you to our customers!  

June 10, 2014

Mopar Window Repair/Replacements: 1970 B-Body

 If you need to replace the weather stripping or seals on your windows in a 1970 B-Body Mopar, and you're wondering how in the world the vent window fits back in the door properly, there is little hidden trick.

 There is a screw behind the rubber on the vertical vent window channel. When the screw is removed, you can pull the vertical piece of the vent window outward, just enough, after the whole assembly is in the door, to allow for installation of the door glass and glass guides.  See photos below.

1. All glass and trim removed from the car. The vent widow was cleaned and inspected.  This car, a 1970 Roadrunner, received all new glass channel run, felt, glass guides, hardware, and weatherstrip. You will need a phillips head screwdriver and likely PBR or WD40 to get the screw to loosen.

May 26, 2014

Parts and Pieces: The 1965 Galaxie and "other" Ford's

The good news about having this Galaxie: This vehicle type is growing in popularity
The bad news about having this car: We still have this car...and it's still not done! But, that's the story of a shop owned project.
1965 Ford Galaxie Fastback
1965 Ford Galaxie Fastback

We have gotten a lot of questions about where we source parts for this car (and several other Fords) and we will share some of our thoughts on our sources below in this blog post.  We are well on our way to having her up for sale. We just need the "free time"

May 21, 2014

1970 Road Runner: Mopar Makeover

1970 Road Runner (Before)
This 1970 Mopar arrived at the shop with 90% original parts and featured a mere 38,000 original miles. While that is often considered desirable, the lack of updated parts(such as spark plug wires) left this Plymouth Road runner with a rough idle and in dire need of maintenance.

After closer inspections it became obvious that the blue on blue Road Runner was also in need of a face lift. Although there is something to be said for an all original time capsule, she needed some attention...

May 18, 2014

1949 Chevy Pickup 3100: Frame Off Restoration

Enjoy these before and after photos and video of one of our first and favorite frame off restoration of this 5 window 1949 Chevy 3100 Pickup
Mechanical, body, paint and interior were completed by Driven Restorations LLC.

1949 Chevy truck original bed boards                     
Refinishing the original bed boards was a labor of love for the owner. The challenge with using the original boards was the oil staining from the extra mechanical parts leaking over the years. With some time and patience the boards were brought back to their former glory and kept some of their original character. 

March 1, 2014

7 Strategies We've Used to Teach our Kid about Cars

A kid in a restoration shop in sort of like a wild boar in a glass factory. All you can do is hold your breath and wait for the bill for damages. We follow the general rule of high-end paint shops and do not have kids around projects. However, this restricted ability to show off to children what we do in "real time" presents a challenge for our industry. How do we get the youth of today interested in this profession and the car collecting hobby?

We protect our customers cars to the fullest. On the other hand, want our son and other kids to understand the joys of automotive building and refinishing. They need to understand how rewarding the hands-on work can be. We simply ask that the kids use the care and restraint of an adult while doing so! Yeah. Right. This is not an easy task for 5 year old! Children Rowan's age learn best by touch or by interacting with what they are learning about.

So, how does someone in this industry introduce cars and the love of the automotive industry to a child? Relying on the vehicles we drive to the grocery store in will likely not generate much of an interest in working with cars, especially fixing them. Luckily, we have some other strategies. And since Rowan likes to have jobs when he's learning something, we used the Rowan approach and gave job titles for each area of expertise.

7 Strategies to Teach Kids About Cars
1) Photograher in Training:
The Nintendo DS has a surprisingly fun and high quality feature allowing kids as young as age 4 to take pictures, draw on their photos or edit them, and then view them all as a slide show. Rowan has a great time following me around taking pictures of the same cars I am documenting. We often compete for the best picture of each car.

 A photography scavenger hunt allow kids to learn car parts as you ask them take a picture each part as you call out the name. If you know very little about cars, consider this a learning opportunity for you as well and use a diagram to check your work! Kids love seeing if their teacher was wrong. Some kids really enjoy using the chart to search for the parts. It's similar to learning map skills and presents a different type of challenge. If your child is learning to read you can provide a list of the parts based on their reading level. To make it more challenging, time them and give them a limited number of "helps". Rowan enjoys trying to beat his own time, and tries much harder at sounding things out or finding the part on the car when he knows he can only ask me for a hint 3 times.

Continue reading for more fun ideas...