While the engine powers a vehicle and the paneling gives a car its distinctive shape and look, it is the coachwork that is the true heart and soul of any design.
Truly exceptional coachwork is the kind that goes unnoticed, supporting and enhancing every other aspect of the car from its aesthetics to its performance, but it is often one of the most complex and technical areas of the design that takes skilled craftsmen many hours to make. That’s why we at Carrosserie take special pride in the quality and authenticity of our coachbuilding techniques, inspired by the finest of traditions and updated with the latest in modern skills.
Our talented and dedicated coachbuilding team have decades of experience between them in constructing and restoring coachwork across a wide range of different models and types of vehicle, from ground-up construction to repair and replacement. Each element of the coachbuilding process brings with it technical challenges that are best solved by skilled hands and an experienced eye: In many projects the coachwork is badly damaged or missing entirely, which requires a thorough knowledge of the original design intention and exceptional craftsman’s skill to solve. In other projects, replacing smaller pieces of coachwork can be harder still, because each individual part needs to match its original neighbours perfectly while gapping correctly with doors, windscreens and boots.
The answer to these issues, as well as the guiding philosophy that drives our coachbuilding team, is to focus meticulously on traditional skills using authentic materials and techniques. Building or repairing the frame of the vehicle is the key starting point for any project, and we prefer to use ash because it is flexible and easy to work with as well as being lightweight and strong enough to stand up to the rigours of the road. This is where our coachbuilding specialists’ exceptional carpentry and joinery skills come into play, using time honoured techniques as well as patience and experience to create parts or whole frames that complement the performance of the car as well as the paneling and trim that will be added later.
Coachbuilding of quality requires a very diverse set of skills as well as a range of specialist tools old and new, which is why we have invested so much time and money into creating a complete workshop of talented individuals and top class equipment, so we can handle each project from start to finish. When it comes to unique, hand built classic cars there are no two projects that are the same, while some cars are different from one end to the other, so our specialists are experts at working together to marry their disciplines together: Panel specialists using age old tools like sandbags and the English Wheel work alongside carpenters using lathes and chisels, wrapping metal skins around wooden frames in layers of craftsmanship to build a body that is strong and flexible enough to give many more years of service.