When you think about restorations in India, quality may be the last thing that crosses your mind, that is until you see an operation like this or even one of their products. The first time I met Allan, he showed me around the place and it was unlike anything I’d imagined before, I was awestruck, I was lost, it was hard for me to believe my eyes! Luckily the second time around I managed to take a few (hundred) pictures that I’m very grateful to be allowed to share.
Allan Almeida runs a high-end restoration workshop that caters for those who would like an unmatched quality of work. The car could be restored to show quality where even the factory manufacturers quirks are replicated or upgraded with a more reliable and modern mechanical system, the possibilities are endless. Almost everything happens in house in a very organized manner, you could compare it to a production line with around 50 workers. The chrome is of the highest quality, it has a perfect, flawless, mirror like finish. From what I’ve heard, it’s the best chrome work in Asia! With an 8 bath process, it’s superior to anything else around.
Thanks to 6 tinsmiths working at a given time, Allan is able to quickly and precisely repair and reproduce panels for any car. No wonder these paint jobs look flawless! Some cars receive a superior paint job as compared to the daily drivers and off road vehicles.
You’d rarely think that a fulltime carpenter would be needed in a restoration workshop but with the number of vintage cars being restored here, it’s a must. Interior frames that hold the coachwork are often required to be rebuilt, the interior and exterior panels can be repaired or made in house too if required. Allan aims at restoring around 12 cars per year. He initially started with only cars from the collection but he now occasionally accepts client’s cars, not only from around India but also from around the globe.
There’s even a tailor for the upholstery, he can reproduce the seats and fabric panels to replicate the originals. Allan explains that the materials used on the show cars are factory spec and sometimes custom fabric is required. In the case of the Edsel from Indore, 800m of material had to be produced as that was the minimum quantity and the customer wanted a color that matched the exterior.
When all of that is done, it comes together in a clean environment.
Allans daily drivers are either his Skoda combi or his restored w123. He found his youngtimer Benz 2 years ago, it was a low mileage 240D with 12k km on the clock but was stored in dusty conditions with its windows open. Even though it was stored in harsh conditions, most of it was intact as it was away from direct sun light in the basement.
He got it back to the workshop and began completely stripping it apart.
Even the seats were dismantled and refitted with their original covers.
After testing a few paint shades on the car, he finally found the perfect color.
A fresh set of lights really sets a car apart. Sometimes a quick wash and polish of parts is all that’s needed and they’ll look as good as new.
Allan’s choice of wheels were these Gold, 17 inch 8 J BBS wheels in the front and 10 J in the back that perfectly match the custom blue paint job. He also lowered the car, this lets the wheels sit perfectly in the wheel wells though this isn’t for everyone, he does take extra care so that he doesn’t damage the underside of the car. This look perfectly suits the W123, it’s like a fashion statement that we’ll slowly see others following.
After all that work he’s left with a factory fresh car that’s practically new in all aspects, a low mileage engine, mint interiors, exteriors and a set of wheels that bring it into the 21st century. With all that coupled together, it sure does turn heads everywhere it goes.