This week’s visit to Altezza Restorations involved students new to the experience and a few who have already participated. We also brought along Mrs. Behn, definitely her first time on the floor of an automotive shop! Everyone enjoyed checking out the “cool cars” on the showroom floor and are great at following the most important rule: Do not touch unless you ask Miles or Gus first. One of them asked if they could sit in one of the classics, and the rest followed their lead!
Bea, our first young lady to visit the shop, recognized right off the bat the time it takes to restore these cars. She compared it to the time it took Leonardo Da Vinci to paint the Mona Lisa. This visit reinforced the idea that it takes many people to complete a project like the ones in process throughout the shop. Each person works hard in their specialty area. They saw a person sanding, another person working on an engine, and another doing metal work on the body of a car. This last work station was most interesting to the group. Here they met Storm, the shops dog, and saw a car on a “rotisserie.” When asked what else sits on a rotisserie, they all chimed in “Chicken!” In this case, the restorer is able to turn the car and gain access to any part needing work.
Lyosha made another keen observation. He noted that the doors on our ’33 TSS HOT ROD have what were called “suicide doors.” I learn something new every visit! It is hard to tell from the picture below, but you can see to the left that the door is hinged to the rear of the opening. Lyosha used this slang term for doors on cars built mainly in the 1930’s that were hinged to the back of the frame. It was soon discovered that this type of door, if opened when the car is in motion, could be torn off by the force of air flow. This became a safety concern, forcing a change in design of automobile doors moving forward. However, this style is still used today by those who like to customize their own cars. One student noted that we are using this type of door because we “are making a replica of the original.” Yes!
In the last few minutes of our visit, Luca discovered the “Assembly Manual.” Earlier, Miles compared the Factory five kit to something everyone could relate to: a Lego kit! This discovery made us all thankful that we have a team of experts surrounding and supporting us through this awesome experience. There were observations made, questions asked, lessons learned, and enjoyment had by all in this week’s visit! Thank you!