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A trip down Memory Lane

CLASSIC CARS RESTORED BACK TO LIFE.

For almost 30 years Mark Schofield has successfully been restoring fine motor cars at Memory Lane Classic Cars in Bayswater, Western Australia.

Immigrating from the U.K, Mark had decided that there was a market for restoration work in Australia. “I had done this work in the U.K” said Mark, “It is slightly different to what we did over there, but you apply all the same skills”.

With decades of experience, no customer is the same when they come to the team at Memory Lane Classic Cars. Every car they receive is different, so are the customer expectations of how they want their car restored. “Not everyone wants something that is absolutely original to factory build” said Mark.

Restoration work is a specialised field and differs from general smash repair work, requiring months and sometimes years to complete customer builds. It also comes with many hurdles due to the age of vehicle, repair history and the materials used during its original manufacture.

“We may be asked to make a door from scratch, sometimes we have to make our own panels, because a lot of parts are not available, or it is really expensive to get into Australia” said Mark, “so we make our own UK panels if the cost becomes too great. There is a fair bit of aluminium panels on old cars, which becomes a bit of a problem, because the 1950’s and earlier aluminium has a lot more impurities then the new stuff.”

History of the vehicle is another pivotal role played in the restoration process. “People may have had it poorly repaired over the years and it is difficult to know what is correct and we need to work with the owner on that. At the time of purchase these cars were not as valuable, so people had a ‘just fix it up’ attitude. Nowadays people have increased knowledge about their cars’ value and vehicle and body numbers.”

Mark has been using Glasurit, the premium refinish brand of BASF, for ten years for the refinish of the vehicles he restores. “You can buy cheaper product, but at the end of the day, the product has to stand up to the quality that our customers are paying for” said Mark.

The team recently restored a Jaguar XK140 from the 50’s era and the end result was an absolute show stopper.

“Our customer approached us after buying the car from the [United] States, the car was completely cut in half. It was a complete rebuild” said Mark, “He wanted certain things a certain way with the look of the car which was different from standard. For this vehicle we used a Glasurit basecoat and clear”.

And the colour? Mercedes Black “the blackest black that there is” according to Mark.

The customer has been in contact with Mark since the finalisation of the build with praise for the final finish. “He said I can’t believe how good this paint looks. He is over the moon with it. He has a lot of cars, but I think this one [Jaguar] is one of his favourites, we have since done a number of cars with that customer now”.