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February 24th 2013

The Guild of Automotive Restorers Tour

This was a "Break the Winter Blahs" type of event. And it most certainly did!

Saturday, the 24th, was a kind of non-descript (blah) February winter day. It was just one day after an incredibly crappy storm passed south of us. We did miss the foot of snow from the storm and the howling cold lake effect wind from behind it.

For most of us the schedule went swimmingly. Some arrived at the Crow's Nest in Newmarket, just a little early, us from the Grey Bruce and Owen Sound areas at pretty much 11:30. Unfortunately a couple of people missed and hit the Guild a bit earlier than scheduled. I think they still had a good time.

When we gathered at The Guild, Paul Taylor, his son and wife, toured us through the show rooms and shops of the Guild. A big thanks to them all.

Now, this is the dead of winter. Everything was inside; this is a working shop, not a museum. The pictures are not pretty, like you would find in a show display or museum. The major project, at the time, did have some space around it. The rest were cheek by jowl around the shop. This is not to say there is nothing interesting here. Everywhere you look there is something. Model planes, tin toy planes, dirigibles were hanging from the ceiling. Diecast of all scales were around the walls and display cases. There was something to draw attention everywhere in the shop.


Originally this place was a country/farmers market. That is where the windmill on the roof comes from (the Holland Marsh). Down this atrium (conservatory) on the east side of the building were mostly the owner's projects and collections. These included everything from an amusement ride to a small aircraft, originally powered by a Ford Model T engine.


Included was this Soapbox racer, the Flying Tiger, with stuffed Scoobie Doo driving.


A couple of Czech motorcycles caught Jim Ellis' eye.


1930 Ford Model A Pick Up

This Model A pickup was a working farm truck until just recently, just check out the plate on the front with a September 2011 sticker


1901 De Dion Bouton

This car comes with just about the best provenance any car can come with. A picture of the car with the original owner is on the seat, a seat with original leather. The leather was rejuvenated and backing fabric was added to give it strength for the future.


1910 Locomobile Model 30

This is a rare early speedster, two seats, a huge gas tank, and a built up engine (to period). Again it has history and the provenance to back it up.


1918 Roamer Four-Passenger Sport Touring

A 54 hp Continental motor powered this Kalamazoo Michigan made Roamer. The Roamer line was marketed as "America's Smartest Car", from the beginning, 1916, to the end in 1929.

More History at Wikipedia


Bugatti Type 57 Chassis with Aerolithe Coachwork

This coachwork debuted at the 1935 Paris Auto Show Bugatti Stand. It disappeared shortly thereafter. It left 11 pictures. That's it.


Some of you may be asking, "Why the riveted external seams?". Well, the material used was "Elektron", an aircraft magnesium alloy. Anyone who knows the material understands that when it catches fire there is nothing that will put it out. This flash point and the temperature required to weld it are very close. Back in the day they were too close, so the metal was formed with intention of using these seams to assemble the coachwork.

Another annoying property about "Elektron" is its memory. Initially pieces of it were formed and would straighten back out in just a few hours. The Guild sheet metal people had to re-learn or learn techniques to get this metal to hold its new form


Tires, these are not cheap.

Tire manufacturers keep some tire moulds for years and decades. Dunlop scrapped off the moulds for these in the mid 1930s, just about the time the car was built.

The tires shodding this car are not hand made but really, really close. Permission had to be obtained from Dunlop to re-create the tire. First the base tire was made to the proper size, with the proper tread pattern. The white wall had to be made, then the raised lettering was added.


Everything required for this car was fabricated in house. Only the tires, glass, and the chrome were farmed out.

It is stunning outside


And inside


I do hope drool marks aren't permanent :)


1947 Healey Beutler Coupe

I had never heard about it before. An early Donald Healey frame was sent off to Beutler (pronounced "BOYT-ler") of Thun Switzerland. Here the experienced coachbuilder fabricated this car.

I think it was stuck in a back corner for a while. It popped up a few times since built in 1947, and here about 2009 came up for air, so to speak, in the GP Suisse Bern 2009 as Car #49 in the Sports and Touring Cars 1949-1960 Class. Livery, which it still wears today.


1925 Ford Model T "Snow Flyer"

Skiing anyone. Well to be a bit more precise it is more snowmobiling.

The skis in the top picture fit on the mount (lower picture) inboard of the two front wheels of a Ford Model T.

Also, as part of this aftermarket package was an additional none driven rear axle and a belt to connect the new set of tires to the driven, original, rear tires as a track


Jim Ellis and Rob Ockenden
Admiring a Jeepster


Paul Taylor with his son


1972 Opel GT

Beautiful flames. The owner of this car was present at our tour. He is presently having some work done, mainly, on the interior, which was gutted.


Muskoka Boat

The Guild does not exclusively work on cars. This Muskoka boat came to the shop from a not entirely successful previous restoration. One of the niggleties was the Phillips screw. The screw was invented in 1934, the boat was built in 1927. Never the less there are numerous Phillips screws in this boat.


Jim Colburne with son Daniel


Mr. Beep

Mr. Beep was a safety car found in BP advertisements, starting in 1958. Small plastic models were a premium for customers. The Ontario Motor League partnered in and Mr. Beep became a real car. From 1959 until the late 60s he toured Ontario giving, yes giving, safety classes to school children.

Mr. Beep could give these classes via a short-wave radio connection to Mr. Beep's mounted speakers.

Now, you don't see the picture of Mr. Beep as it is at present. That is because Mr. Beep will be featured on a new History Channel series Canadian Restorers that will air in the fall of 2013, and the owner has not seen it yet. So, no picture here, except for the "back in the day" picture.

You're going to have to watch the show. A pilot of Canadian Restorers can be viewed at the History Channel.

Until then, trip off to and Mr. Beep's Facebook page

BTW, he does look good.


The Owner, David's 1982 Landrover 109 Series 3.

A Landie in its natural state




1963 Econoline Custom, The Grasshopper

When you can take the Grasshopper, looks like you will have to catch it first!

This is an example of the Guild's custom work.


George Barris' 1958 Turbo-Sonic Dragster

Aims are to have this, along with the Barris Supervan to be out at a show near you this Spring.



1958 Lancia

This Lancia is going through the last bits of prep before hitting the paint shop. Basically the car was toast along the bottom, a condition that would put it into parts car status. At times the car is special for it is rare or has sentimental value, it happens often. This car has gone through a lot of work to get to this stage.


Here we have a Jeepster next to a Rolls.

Restorations shops make strange bedfellows.


Freshly painted 1967 Mustang. It looks beautiful and it reminds me of mine, which I do miss.

You have to walk carefully here.


This is in the paint prep area.

We stayed out of this room, but we could pop our heads in.

1942 Alfa Romeo

This poor little car was damaged in shipping. It bent in the middle while being craned.

A repair/restoration was attempted on this car sometime after that event. It was not successful. It was then brought to the Guild.

With research and examination of the car the Guild developed a plan to repair previous work and work to a quality restoration.

These pictures show the car as they test fit trim pieces (copper plated at this stage), roof, windscreen and interior pieces to see that all will fit as the restoration progresses.


Here we are, back in the showroom. It is all not cars here. All sorts of memorabilia is here from Go-Go Mixers, the Robot from Lost in Space, to scale trains.


Here we are at the end, thanks to Paul Taylor, his son and wife for taking out a good hunk of their Saturday afternoon for us.

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