Restoring cars is something I have been into my whole life and even though I worked on all marques my focus was always on (rare) Italians. I am now fortunate enough to have a wide range of clientele who know me as the go to man in the US to help them with Iso Rivolta, Bizzarrini and Monteverdi cars.
I take on a small number of (Pebble Beach quality) restorations, my mantra is to treat these cars like Ferraris are treated all over the world. Focus on correctness and build quality like (or better than) factory. Too long these cars have been treated like kit cars and auto store parts were used to keep them running. No more, the rise in prices of these cars the last couple of years prove we’re dealing with true thoroughbred Italians. If you are ready to take on a project like this, let me know and we will set up a consultation.
(most of my pictures from The Netherlands got lost in the fire, there are a few that survived)
My “motorized” career started in motocross as a young teenager; the hard, mostly dried clay motocross tracks in Europe were very hard on the bikes. So after a season was over, I took them apart and restored them to “new” condition – both frame and engines. In The Netherlands, we were only allowed to drive a car at 18, but that did not hold me back from being involved with them. At 17 I purchased my first car, a 1974 Alfa Romeo Bertone of 3 years old. Someone who knows these cars well, knows they are very rust prone – especially in a wet climate like The Netherlands. So, I repaired the rusty floors and rear fender wells and found I had the feel for it. One year later I bought a 1978 Porsche 911 SC with a blown engine and destroyed paint, it took me close to a year to restore that back to new.
The next “project” was a 1957 Thunderbird, delivered new to Amsterdam so obviously very rusty and a big project. Right after that was a 911 RSR and several Porsche 356 as they were plenty being 5 minutes away from Germany. I learned a lot from restoring those cars – most of all that it was A LOT of work to repair the sheet metal damage. Well, I heard the Southern California does not have those problems. So early 1980-ies I flew over to Los Angeles; bought my first two cars there and shipped them back to my shop. It was very easy to find Porsche Speedsters here at the same price as in Germany, only without rust! Now my shop got full fast and the restoration business took off.
Then I decided to expand into renting out wedding cars and found none fitting for this purpose in my country. This is when more complicated marques like Rolls Royce, Packard and Cadillac were restored, so at the end of the 1990’s pretty much every Make and Model possible went through the hands of me and my employees. Of course, this is when my interest for more exclusive makes came up and I started to dabble with Isos, Bizzarrinis and Monteverdis. (Which are now my main focus). When the fire struck on 9-11-2001 (!) I decided to not rebuild and move to California where I started anew. It was an immediate success because these cars are very unknown here and needed someone to educate Americans of the beauty and specialty of them. Slowly but surely I built this into a haven for owners who had nowhere to go with their Iso/Bizzarrini cars. Humbly I can now say I am the Iso/Bizzarrini restoration center in the US and have always some 10 examples in my shop at any given time. These cars are complicated to work on so a full restoration is a long term commitment that needs a dedicated owner. Fortunately major collectors have now understood how special these cars are and my time is planned forward for several years.