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Thread: Alsa automotive - metal wizard!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Bristol
    Name
    Dave
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    3

    Smile Alsa automotive - metal wizard!

    1991 Euro (UK) 1991 348TS

    Just thought Iíd write a few words describing some coachwork refurbishment I had carried out earlier this year to my 348. I have no affiliation with the company concerned other than now being an extremely happy customer.

    Although my 348 has had extremely low road use over the years. In fact when new the car was some 10 years in storage as a speculators car - they never learn do they?. This low use didnít preclude the fact that the vehicle was starting to show the inevitable signs of degradation from a) being steel bodied and of Italian breeding, and b) having resided in the UK climate for 17 years. The list of work required to be carried out was topped by the correction of areas where surface corrosion had started to become visible; most particularly the wheel arch inner edge lips. Other items on the list of areas to be addressed included improving the o/s door closure alignment, straightening jack point location channels (I suspect the previous work of an over zealous non authorised/low grade mechanic), removing a couple of minor dings and finally refinishing the lower panels back to the original factory spec satin(?) black.

    Having had my engine out recently for the cambelt replacement and detailing I was now ready to concentrate effort and funds on getting the bodywork sorted. After spending a considerable amount of time researching potential repairers I stumbled across details of an establishment for whom I had read great things about and that had been highly recommended by others on various forums who had entrusted their vehicles. Alsa Automotive are a small concern located in the foothills of the Breconís in South Wales, UK. A quick browse of their website gives an initial indication of the capabilities of Alun Wilshire the proprietor, and indeed the resultant quality of the work. Alun generally spends his time repairing earlier Classic cars, including some extremely high $ (at least that was before the recent credit crunch!) Ferraris, so reserves the right to choose work on the more modern vehicles. In view of this I felt very privileged that he agreed to take mine in and work his magic.

    Hopefully Alun wonít mind me saying it was with some trepidation that I waved goodbye to my car on the morning of its journey across to Alsa Automotive, the shop where the transformation was to take place. It was to my great surprise and delight when I found that, once the car was in Alunís hands I would receive an almost daily stream of E mails detailing the progress being made in refurbishment, each mail supported with numerous pictures! This was a very personal touch and one that Iím sure the majority of more commercial repairers would consider impractical and an activity they were either unable to, or not prepared to, undertake.

    Once Alun started the work it seemed to progress at an unexpectedly fast rate and it didnít seem too long before we were arranging for me to come across to Alunís place to collect the vehicle, a very exciting time! On the day of handover I found that my biggest concern, that of how well the new paint would match the original, had been needless. Alun had really done wonders and the paint match was simply superb. It was just a great feeling to have the car back with all traces of surface corrosion rectified, all previous owner induced marks gone and the awful (to me) so called colour Ďcodingí having been returned to factory spec black. In my view the car looks so much fresher with the factory look restored, i.e. with black sills and lower front and rear bumper areas and those who have seen the car before and after have all agreed.

    So there we have it, the result of all this is one nearly 18 year old UK 348TS with bodywork to die for and all down to the skills of a real artisan of his craft. My many thanks go to Alun for bringing my car back to a standard I can now be very proud of owning.

    Inevitably the list of jobs to be done is never exhausted and as soon as I can Iíd like to now remove a pair of high level stop lights that were installed by either the initial or previous owner. Removal of the lights will reveal a couple of small screw holes in the trim so I will only do this when I can find either a NOS or mint pair of replacement interior rear panels, or someone who can do a top job of recovering my existing panels with matching black leather. Iíd also like to replace all of the suspension and anti roll bar bushes. This is proving more challenging than one would think, with seemingly numerous kit options for 355 owners but none, other than the OE items, for those wanting to sort out a 348 (amazing considering most 348ís will need doing by now).

    The car is now mostly tucked away for the cold season. When I get around to it and we get some nice warm weather again! Iíll post some pics.

  2. #2
    tonyh's Avatar
    tonyh is offline Bus station dosser Club Member
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    Nov 2005
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    Tony H
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    btw, i agree al's pretty damn good too

    http://www.clubscuderia.co.uk/forum/...ad.php?t=25286

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Essex boy
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    Lord Adam
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    I think it's always nice to read a testimonial. Word of mouth is the most important thing for a business so credit to you for taking time out to type this out.

    Oh and yeah...pics would be nice!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    South Wales, UK.
    Name
    Al
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    1,816

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    Hi Dave, thank you very much indeed
    I really enjoyed doing the job, such a lovely car
    Hope all is fine & everything is going well?
    Have you used her much this summer?

    A couple of pics from when she was in with me if that's any use (quality of photography aside)
    Attached Images Attached Images   

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