Classic passion at Andrew's Automotive Restorations
In the small industrial suburb of Braeside, just 26 kilometres from Melbourne’s central business district resides a hidden gem for motoring collectors and enthusiasts, Andrews Automotive Restorations.
Specialising in restoration work on older cars, ground up restoration or ‘nut and bolt’ restoration, business commenced for Andrew Melton 21 years ago when he started the business himself in Moorabbin, Victoria. “I have always had a passion for cars,” said Andrew, “I tinkered with cars in my younger years and it went from there.”
From humble beginnings working solo, Andrew has seen his business expand into the success it is today. “I started the business by myself in 1998 and it has grown from there. Originally, in a very small factory in Moorabbin, which I soon outgrew, then moving to a shop twice the size, I was still on my own, until early 2014, when Marty Ryan, our Workshop Manager, joined me. We made the decision to move to our current location in Braeside in May 2014.”
Whilst businesses who specialise in restoration do insurance work, it is not their main source of business. Andrew and his wife Martine run a very professional and friendly family owned business. The quality of the work is reflected in their customer referrals where generations of car enthusiasts have left their prized possessions in quality hands.
“Most of our business comes from word of mouth. We don’t advertise. We do a little bit on Instagram and Facebook now, but I think it is more people seeing the work we do and the referrals,” said Andrew.
Today’s old car is tomorrow’s classic and people who invest in classic cars, want the best look and authenticity for any restoration work completed on their vehicle, this is why Andrews Automotive Restorations use premium refinish brand Glasurit to complete their work. With the Glasurit Color-Profi System showcased in their reception area, Andrew focuses on ensuring his customers get the best colour options for their vehicles.
“It was an easy choice [to switch to Glasurit], we use Glasurit 90 Line” said Andrew, “We use all of it [the Glasurit system], there’s certain clears that work better for us, the medium solid (MS) clears. Some of our jobs we are polishing want a flat finish and shine which the MS clears we find are best suited for.”
Using the Glasurit waterborne system may not have been an obvious choice for Andrew, as the technology most likely did not exist when the vehicles he is working on were manufactured, like the 1929 Austin 7 his team are currently working on.
“It takes a little getting used to [waterborne technology] because in certain ways it is so different from solvent, but once you get your head around how it works, it’s actually easier I think” said Andrew, “we have time to get jobs through as some of our cars have taken months to get to the point of painting”.
ART Victoria supports and supplies Andrews Automotive Restorations with their automotive refinish requirements
“We get excellent service from ART Victoria. Darrin is our representative and Stuart Mason drops in and was one of the original guys when we first gave them a call when we were in Moorabbin” said Andrew.
Darrin Jansen, the Glasurit Technical Sales Representative for Andrew’s Restorations, believes the Glasurit colour offer was one of the main reasons why Andrew decided on using Glasurit 90 Line waterborne paint technology in his business. “Andrew does not cut corners and gives his customers the best quality products available,” said Darrin, “he wanted to have access to our expansive colour range in our Colour Profi System and he recognises the value of having our spectrophotometer when dealing with custom or factory colours.”
Customers who have had their vehicles restored at Andrews Automotive Restorations have gone on to show their vehicles at classic car events and one in particular, a HK Monaro, was shown at Motoclassica and won its class and People’s Choice. This was a shared accolade for the team at Andrews Automotive Restorations and recognition for the high standard of work they complete on all the vehicles that come through their shop.
Picking a favourite vehicle that they have worked on was not possible for Andrew. “There is a lot of satisfaction in repairing a car that was too far gone, that was deemed not salvageable and being able to bring those back [to life]”.
Restoration work faces some challenges during the build as parts and panels are not always readily available due to the age of the vehicle and the materials that were used during the manufacturing process. “Marty, our fabricator is key to our success, being able to hand make any panel, shape and size we need, so we can restore any vehicle,” said Andrew. “Just being able to work out situations where the parts aren’t available, whether it be mechanical or panel requires us to find a way around to get it to work.”
Andrews Automotive Restorations continue their premium quality workmanship with many projects in the pipeline including two 1950’s XK Jaguars, Falcon XB Coupe, HQSS Holden, Morris Minor 1000 and more.
You can find out more about their business and follow their restoration projects on their website: www.andrewsautomotiverestorations.com.au/ or via their Facebook @andrewsautorestoration or Instagram @andrews_auto_restorations