Restore It

January 25th, 2018
Restore It
A 50-year-old Mount Barker company, comprising a dozen-strong team of highly skilled professionals, is taking on a unique automative challenge to showcase their expertise.

Over the past 13 months, the Finch Restorations proprietor Peter Roberts and his team have been designing and building their SS 120, an homage to the original Jaguar SS 100.

They will be presenting the SS 120 at this year’s All British Day. Peter has been a supporter of All British Day for years and said 40 to 50 per cent of the cars they restore are from British origin.

Jaguar, formerly known as Swallow Sidecar, changed their name during World War II due to connotations associated with Nazi soldiers.

The SS 100 was also known as the Jaguar which is where they got the new name for their company.

Peter wanted to design and build the SS 120 to fully realise what the original SS 100 would have looked like.

“The car we’ve built is our interpretation of what the car would have looked like if production hadn’t been interrupted. It’s also what we think it would have evolved into.” Peter said.

The process which is set to take 16 months all up is in its final stages.

“In doing this process we’ve looked at other one off vehicles and post-war models that were created in the 40s and 50s.” Peter said.

Peter and his team ensured they also looked into the philosophy behind Jaguar while building the SS 120.

“We researched what the creator of Jaguar, William Lyons, was doing at the time of war as well as what he built post war to ensure we were fully informed,” Peter said.

While the car is certainly reminiscent of the past, Peter said it is not completely authentic.

“Parts are becoming harder for authentic models, so with this car you are not bound by authenticity, it’s a great way to showcase our talents.”

Peter explained there are major differences between the Finch SS 120 and Jaguar SS 100.
“The SS 100 was a wooden bodied car with a metal skin, whereas our car is all metal, as were the post war Jaguars.”

The differences are also in the structure and overall comfort of the car.

“The car we’ve built is much more comfortable, it suits modern adults better.”

Peter pointed out that, pre war, people were generally a lot smaller and shorter.

“I’m over six feet tall and there is enough elbow and leg room for me,” Peter said.

It’s clear why the SS 120 will take 16 months to complete as everything is fashioned individually.

“This is a hand built car, it’s not manufactured in a factory offshore. We use local, highly skilled artisans. I call them a grey beard work force,” Peter said.

While Finch Restorations offers a lot of expertise into maintaining and reviving older cars they are also proficient in areas like mechanics, panel beating and more.

“We have to have the old school skills, mechanics, paneling, coach building – old worldy skills. Those with the knowledge are older and going into retirement.”

Peter stressed the importance on having the skills to maintain these older model cars.

A customer of Finch Restorations said they were really impressed with the company’s services.

Cameron Mighall, a Strathalbyn local, bought a speedy two door MGB to take his wife on drives.

“The car was riding too low so we took it to Finch Restorations for some mechanical work,” Cameron said.

“It was a big process and a complex job but I wasn’t held up unduly.”

Cameron highlighted that the process went smoothly.

“They know what they’re doing, they have the skill-set you can’t find anywhere else.”

Cameron would recommend Finch Restorations to anyone needing mechanical help.

You can view the SS 120 at All British Day at Echunga on Sunday, February 11.

To find out more about Finch Restorations head to http://www.finchrestorations.com.au To make an inquiry phone 8398 2332.

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