Anyone who has traveled along Yonge Street – Hwy. 11 north out of Newmarket to go to Bradford will have noticed a unique looking building with a windmill on its roof. The building is located on the left hand side of the road as you enter Bradford.
This building is home to the Guild of Automotive Restorers.
The Guild was formed over 15 years ago by David Grainger and Janice Stone. Back then David and Janice started restoring vehicles as a hobby, one such vehicle was a 1970’s Corvette. This was the start of what would become “The Guild of Automotive Restorers”.
The first home for the Guild was in Sharon in the 1990’s. Needing more space the Guild moved to the Bradford building in the late 1990’s.
The Guild is one of the largest and most experienced antique and classic car restoration companies in North America. They have over 1,500 restorations to their credit – ranging from early Brass Era Cars, Grand Classics to the Fifties showboats and muscle cars of the Sixties, the Guild’s expertise is unquestioned.
Paul Taylor joined the guild in 2008 as the project manager. The Guild had 8 employees at that time, now the Guild has 17 employees.
Currently, during the winter of 2012, the Guild has five full restorations under way. There is never a slow period, automobiles and their related restoration projects arrive at the Guild on a continual basis.
The customer base has had an interesting history. Prior to 2007/8 90% of the customers came from the United States, but now 90% are Canadian. The remaining 10% come from the United Kingdom, France, Australia, Brazil, etc.
Restoration work can be completed in stages and dependent on the funds available from the client for the work the restoration can take two forms:
- [a] the project can be a complete restoration over several months, or
- [b] it can be a restoration in stages, starting with dismantling to see what is required; then, reassembly done in stages as funds for the work become available
All restoration work at the Guild is performed by professionals that specialize in a particular field, for example, Barry Dalton has an Air Brush Painting skill and Larry Hughes is the Lead Mechanic, both with several years of experience working on a variety of projects.
The Guild Restoration Services include:
- True Coach Building
- Ash Framing
- Panel Beating
- Engine Rebuilding
- Parts Fabrication
- Trim Fabrication
The Guild provides complete servicing for collector cars, from light tune-ups to tracking down persistent and troublesome problems.
If you have a classic automobile that you want to restore yourself, then the Guild has a new program called the Wingman Group. Some of the services offered under this program are:
Custom Paint and Airbrushing
- Specialty Sandblasting – Individual Parts or Lots Fuel, Oil, Water, etc. pump rebuilding Electric Motor rewinding
- Remanufacture/repouring of Babbitt Bearings
- Hard to find parts locating
- Aluminum and Magnesium Welding
- Custom Chroming
- Custom Polishing
- Custom Fabrication
- Specialty Machining
Written by Perry Mason