There is nothing like a goal to motivate behavior. SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) is one of the industry’s largest gathering of aftermarket and manufacturers in the world. More than 50,000 people representing more than a 1,000 unique auto and truck builds are presented at the event. To prepare for something of this magnitude is more than simply a backyard restoration, and certainly a lot more motivating!
For the Volvo/Bertone 780 restoration, we had to begin by totally disassembling the concept 780. It was literally broken down to almost every part, beginning in full almost 2 years ago, with a year of pre-planning and parts sourcing a year before that.
Working with the students in Rebuilding Generations, we began the task of “bagging and tagging” along with taking more than 3,000 photos trying to capture each component and how Bertone installed it from the beginning. Trying to determine which parts can and should be replaced rather than simply cleaned up proved to be a tedious task. Some parts, like the starter, were working fine before the restoration began so we opted to simply clean and repaint. (We learned upon installation that the car wouldn’t start and the “new” starter solenoid had failed, so we had to quickly find another used starter from one of our parts cars and make the switch!).
Many items were simply no longer available. Volvo, who was one of our generous sponsors, was able to find a new door handle gasket (driver’s side only) and the front window screen they could only source the side trim but not the top or bottom.
There’s no better way to learn how a car works than to literally take it all apart and put it fully back together. Lots of challenges to make all of the old and new components look the same, and even better than new. Stay tuned for more updates from SEMA 2021! Follow us on the Rebuilding Generations Facebook page…