Paul Russell and Company offers restoration, preservation, maintenance, and sales and brokerage services on pre-war through 1960s Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari, Porsche, Bugatti, Alfa Romeo, and other fine European collectibles.
A Study in Contrasts at Pebble Beach
Fresh from our workshop, following a cosmetic body and upholstery restoration, we brought Ferrari’s first production long wheelbase (LWB) 250 GT California Spyder, chassis number 0919GT. This Scaglietti body was fitted with covered headlights, and a number of features unique to the first Californias. After the Tour d’Elegance, followed by Friday’s day of coastal cruising, and then looking quite elegant on the show field, the owners and crew were well pleased with its 2nd place result amongst a very strong class (M-1: Ferrari Grand Touring).
The other Ferrari we brought to Monterey was an unrestored “barn-find”, the 1961 short wheelbase (SWB) California Spyder from the Baillion Collection. This car was one of a hundred or so classic European cars tucked away for decades on a farm in France. Some of the cars from this collection will require significant resources to bring them back to life. This car is no exception.
Before the event we performed a mechanical recommissioning, offering the new owners the option to drive it on the Tour. There was a lot of talk on the day as to whether an old, unrestored, dusty car has any right to be on the Pebble Beach show field. The public clearly enjoyed this study in contrasts.
A meaningful award from Villa d’Este
The historic Villa d’Este Concorso d’Eleganza has been held since 1929 at one of Italy’s most elegant locations on Lake Como. It is comprised of a very select field of 50 classic and 10 current concept cars. This year the weather was as gorgeous as the cars on display over the Saturday and Sunday events.
The owners of a 1952 Ferrari 212 Europa Vignale Coupe, debuted last fall following our authentic restoration, were very pleased to be invited to participate in the 2015 Concorso. Two generations were in attendance as the car received a stream of well-deserved compliments and applause from the viewing public.
The Jury was also very impressed with the car, deeming it worthy of the Trofeo BMW Group Classic award for the “most sensitive restoration”. Sensitive Restoration is a way of recognizing the attention paid to authentic detail while utilizing the methods and materials of the original builders. Our congratulations to the father and son team who supported our efforts all through this challenging project.
Join Our Team
Do you have fundamental skills to build on, and a passion for classic European cars? Qualified candidates are encouraged to apply today. Please go to Our Workshop for the complete job listings and job benefits, and our required on-line application form (sorry, walk-in candidates cannot be accommodated).
Current full-time positions available are:
- Mechanical Restoration Technician
Best of Shows
23 of our clients' cars have won 43 Best of Show honors since we first started attending Concours d'Elegance events in 1987. For more on these and other award winning projects, visit Our Portfolio.
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To restore, or not to restore
At the Revs Institute Connoisseurship and the Collectible Car symposium in Naples (FL), Paul Russell was invited to speak to the concept of informed research when considering the philosophy of a restoration. Specifically, regarding the extremely rare 1942 Mercedes-Benz 540K Spezial Aktion Panzer-Limousinen recently added to the host's collection. Joining Paul for this discussion was Michael Shanks, an archaeologist at Stanford University (CA). Michael offers his summation of their conversation on his all things archeological blog. Wide-reaching and thought provoking, history's ruin - the case of an automobile covers many of the issues that anyone who is dedicated to preserving fine automobiles struggles with every day.