CLASSIC AUTO FABRICATIONS OPEN DAY, Darnum – Sunday 20th August

Beneath the shine and lustrous paint of most classic cars lies simple pressed and welded sheet metal which in many cases forms both the structure of the vehicle as well as the skin. Unfortunately, sheet metal is susceptible to the ravages of time and the resultant rust damage can ruin the prospects of any affected vehicle’s restoration.
Removing rust-affected panels, shaping replacement sections and welding them into place is not for the feint-hearted and it is often the most time-consuming aspect of a vehicle restoration. If beyond the expertise of the backyard restorer, finding somebody to undertake the work can be almost as difficult, but now that Locky Fowler has established his Classic Auto Fabrications in a bigger factory at Darnum, help isn’t all that far away.
The Sporting Register and Austin-Healey Sprite Drivers’ Club were invited to attend an Open Garage at CAF on Sunday 20th August. About fifty visitors accepted the invitation and enjoyed a close-up inspection of Locky’s handiwork on several of his clients’ vehicles, both as works-in-progress and also as finished products. Several Sprites in various stages of disassembly and Datsun Z cars dominated the workshop, but it wasn’t a surprise to see a 1970’s Lancia on the hoist either, pretty well all the Italian manufacturers used poor quality Russian steel in their products during the ‘70s and rust is now a common problem.
The workshop is much more spacious than Locky’s garage in Yarragon. It is also well equipped with a newish 2-poster hoist, a pan brake folder & guillotine, a large wheeling machine, a spot welder as well as MIG, TIG, Arc and Oxy welding gear and a heap of metal-working tools. If it can be formed from sheet metal, this looks like the place to have it made. As well as fabricating body work, Locky will tackle anything from a full restoration to routine maintenance or mechanical repairs.
A very nice spread of homemade cakes and slices courtesy of the Fowlers and friends made members of both clubs feel welcome; tea and coffee was also available and people were happy to mingle and chat with Locky about his work and the cars on display. This was a very interesting opportunity to examine the various stages involved in removing and replacing rusted metal in a classic car – thank you for the invitation.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *