Classic car restorers Suffolk – Bridge Traditional Cars — East Anglian Daily Times

When father and son Gordon and Craig Ranson began restoring classic cars ‘for fun’, they never could have imagined, nearly 20 years later, they’d be working on models for TV and film – or revered as one of the best in the business.  

The duo are the particular masterminds behind Bridge Classic Cars, a company specialising in restoring and maintaining some of the UK’s most unique vintage plus classic vehicles.  

And it all started as the passion project – as managing director Craig explains from their Pettistree showroom.  

Gordon and Craig Ranson share a love of classic cars

Gordon and Craig Ranson share a love associated with classic cars

– Credit: Charlotte Bond

“I grew up with a father who had many traditional cars : I used to see him taking them  to shows, plus we’ve always been really close. He didn’t restore them himself but he knew a lot of people who did and had contacts who utilized to restore them for him. So I grew up with vehicles that were restored to a high standard, and that’s what gave me a  love with regard to them. ”

When Craig was working in the movie and television industry plus Gordon  in a whisky distillery, the two had the idea  in order to turn their side task into their own full-time gig.  

An Aston Martin DB4

An Aston Martin DB4

– Credit: Charlotte Relationship

“We started off buying and selling cars in Colchester, and that’s where the name came from, as we were based at the little yard next to the railway bridge. We met a guy who was a part-time restorer, plus asked him if he wanted to come work with us. ” 

The rest is history. “We set upward Bridge Traditional Cars because it’s always the same old story with classic car restoration companies. You give them the car, they put it inside a corner and then 10 many years later these people start to work on it. And you’re left without your car for 10 to 15 years – some people die before they get their particular car back.  

“If you bring a car to us, we may not be able in order to get started on this right away, yet the date we’ll give you is the day we will start working on it. ”   

A Mini

A Mini

— Credit: Charlotte now Bond

Fast forward to present day, and Craig’s company has expanded to include a 20-strong team – all of whom are since passionate about classic cars as he plus his father are. “You can’t just be a general mechanic – you’ve got to have a love, passion, and understanding regarding classic vehicles. Otherwise you’ll get bored. ” 

The particular team  don’t pigeon-hole themselves into one or 2 types of cars – if it’s traditional, they’ll be more than happy to work on it.  

“In theory, you could provide us the 1930s vehicle, or a car from the 1990s, and we’ve got the guys here who are skilled enough to do the work upon them. All of us work on Jaguars, Mercedes, and BMWs – but the ones we love the most are Jensens, which we specialise in.  

Restoring classic cars is a skill and an art

Restoring classic cars is a skill plus an art

– Credit score: Charlotte Connection

“There’s a particular model called the 541, and Jensen made around 260 of them. It’s such the pretty car, and we found one within a barn years ago. It was actually meant to be the particular car James Bond had : it has been between them and Aston Matn, but  Jensen never came to a deal along with them so it ended up going in order to Aston Martin instead. ” 

After coming across such a rare find, Craig, Gordon and the rest of the crew  soon got to focus on the coveted machine.

“We thought it would be a sideline project for us, but  all of us soon realised how difficult it had been going to become. Every Jensen specialist we all spoke to didn’t want to touch it, so we built this ourselves. ” 

Admitting it cost ‘probably twice as much because it should’ve done’, Craig adds that it was a learning curve for all involved – and gave them the skills needed in order to make them masters in the world of Jensen restoration.  

“It ended up becoming the nicest Jensen ever made, and we soon experienced people contacting us to see if we could perform their 541. A couple of months ago, all of us had 13 of all of them in a row, and Jensen themselves said they’d never seen that many together. ” 

Inside the showroom at Bridge Classic Cars

Inside the showroom in Bridge Classic Cars

– Credit: Charlotte Bond

Several models of classic car are no longer made – but the work in no way stops intended for Craig plus Gordon.

“People tend in order to contact us. Often, people will certainly hold onto them yet they’ll hold onto them to get too long. It’s usually that  someone’s grandad has put the classic vehicle away in the 1980s and it hasn’t seen the light of day since, therefore they’ll would like to drag it out and do something with it. Very rarely may we discover one in scrap – people tend not to scrap them because there’s value even in the particular parts. ” 

Whether they will can recover a vehicle “depends how bad the car is in order to start with, inch adds Craig.

“Say it’s been sat in a field for 20 years, we’ll drag this out as the wheels won’t move and we’ll bring it to the workshop. We’ll then lift it up, get it mobile, and observe if the particular engine can turn over by hand. We will then get the wheels moving and put air within the tyres so we all can push it close to. ” 

Any car that comes to the showroom is stripped to its bare bones before the technicians start the restoration process

Any car that will comes to the showroom will be stripped to its bare bones before the technicians start the particular restoration process

– Credit: Charlotte Bond

Then begins the process of stripping the car to its bare bones.  

“Every single nut and bolt will arrive off. The body will then get taken away and blasted or chemically dipped in acid. We all take it back to the rawest form, and that’s where you can notice all of its imperfections, holes, and rust. ” 

The particular welders will then make new body panels, while technicians work on the brakes and axles. “It’s stripped apart, cleaned, polished, and put back together with new seals and rubbers so this can work again. This will take a year or two – after that it is taken into the paintshop where they will shape the body. ” 

A classic VW undergoing restoration

A classic VW undergoing restoration

— Credit: Charlotte now Bond

When the car  comes back as a painted shell, every enthusiast and bolt (which has been kept within storage pertaining to safe keeping) is put back on.  

“There’s so much to it – the particular interiors possess to end up being stripped plus redone, and new seats and a roof  are made. This whole procedure can take up to three years, as you’ve got to treat everything along with care. We’re preserving these cars, plus bringing all of them back in order to life. ” 

‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’, since the old adage goes, and the same can certainly be said meant for restoring the classic car.  

But once it is done, it’s a work of art. And seeing traditional cars upon the road once again is exactly what brings Craig joy.  

Bridge Classic Cars in Pettistree

Bridge Traditional Cars in Pettistree

: Credit: Charlotte Relationship

However , it is not just on the particular road and at car shows where you will see Craig’s cars. Some of his refurbished beauties have found themselves on the small and silver screen, including  a MW 5 Series which usually appeared within the London chase scene of Fast &   Furious 6, a 1974 De Tomaso Pantera which featured on ITV’s This Morning, and the 1972 Vauxhall Victor which usually made the way in to the third season associated with Netflix’s The Crown.  

And in a bid to make classic cars more accessible to all, Craig  began running a series of regular giveaways three yrs ago, allowing anyone who enters the chance to win one of his restored motors.  

“It’s not just regarding working on vehicles, it’s about making a community around them – that is the bit I love so much.  

“At the time, a great deal of individuals within the traditional car world were against what I was doing. They thought to own a classic car, you should be privileged and have money at the rear of you, and that it’s a luxury. But I wanted to bring classic cars to people who love all of them but haven’t got the money to buy one. So why not win 1? The nice thing is the people who’ve won a single now come to the summer car displays and meet other enthusiasts. That’s what we’re almost all about – making sure everyone is welcome. ” 

To find away more  visit bridgeclassiccars. co. uk 

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