Two months ago, I went to visit Noble House Classics in Almere, in the Netherlands. It’s a 35 minute Go Train ride from Amsterdam Central Station. I recommend a visit the next time you’re passing through Amsterdam. I first met Kees Huis in ‘t Veld in 1991 when he came to Toronto to purchase a beautiful collection of restored classic Jaguars for one of his clients. I discovered that Kees has extremely high standards in regards to any vehicle that he is associated with.
The collection that he purchased back then was destined for a young multi-millionaire who built a glass walled garage in his backyard so that he could illuminate them at night and see them from his living room. I have been sourcing vehicles in Canada ever since for Kees to purchase. About 10 years ago, he decided to focus his restoration work on the Aston Martin Marque only. He is currently the Aston Martin factory appointed classic restoration shop in the EU.
To visit his shop is like entering an aircraft factory. He has 29 craftsmen restoring classic Aston Martin cars from the ‘50s through the ‘80s. Each car is assigned a room in which it is mounted on an aircraft style jig to maintain its dimensional integrity. Each body part that requires restoration is created by a local supplier who laser cuts it from new metal. All mechanical components are restored or replaced in their assigned area, which reminded me of the original factory methodology which I had witnessed at the factory at Newport Pagnell in the early ‘90s when I was there. To say the least, the finished project is as close to a work of art that a classic car can become.
There is obviously great pleasure in witnessing each project being built and I’m sure also in the subsequent ownership. The cost of commissioning any one of these projects is considerable but the integrity and value of the vehicle at the end must be very satisfying. Getting to see the Noble House facility is very easy by train or by car, but you must call first. You will not be disappointed.
LIPSTICK ON A PIG
Avoiding Life’s Lemons
Lipstick on a Pig features excerpts from the vast library of Maurice Bramhall’s experiences.