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Classic Car Restoration:
Colonnade began trading fifty years ago on the Wembley Trading Estate. The main source of business was the chromium plating of bumpers for the car manufacturing industry. Gradually the market for steel bumpers declined and new avenues had to be explored. It was during the mid 1980's when prices in classic cars began to increase dramatically that the market for restored cars really took off. From that day forward we have concentrated our efforts on developing the skills and equipment required for the restoration of metalwork to show standard.
In House polishing: Polishing is an art that isn't taught in schools or colleges. The necessary skills are invariably passed from person to person and developed over many years. All of the polishers at Colonnade were taken on as apprentices and taught in exactly the same way. It is for this reason that we can gaurantee an equal level of excellence on all orders passing through the polishing shop.
''Triple Plating'' You will often hear people talk about or see adverts boasting ''double'' or ''triple'' plating. This is a misleading term often used to confuse people into believing they are getting a high quality finish. Bumper bars and overiders should always be plated to surface condition four. The British Standards Institution set these standards and describe condition four as for items in ''service outdoors in exceptionally severe corrosive conditions'' The only way to achive SC4 is to plate the item with pyrophosphate (heavy) copper or semi bright nickel first, and then follow up with the usual bright nickel and chrome. Extra coatings of bright nickel, or a thin coating of acid copper will only achieve surface condition three, which is not sufficient. Our pyrophosphate copper and semi bright nickel baths are both over six feet long, and can therefore accomodate even the largest American bumpers.
Repair Service: Bumper Bars:Bumpers are the most common items to be found in need of attention. Over the years they corrode, and when involved in a collision can literally fall to pieces. With the help of the heavy copper tank, holes can be filled and dents and twists re-shaped giving an overall finish that should be superior to when they first came off the production line. Occasionally bumpers are too rotten or too badly damaged for repair. If a replacement original cannot be found, the bumper can be passed to our metal workers who are able to reproduce accurate copies.
Mazac and Aluminium: Logos and motifs were sometimes made from brass, but later models tended to be cast with zinc alloy (or ''monkey metal'' as it's sometimes known) This has a tendency to go brittle over a period of time and breakage's frequently occur. Because re-casting is very expensive and often inaccurate it is preferable to try and rescue damaged castings. Although not an easy process, it is possible to repair and replate zinc die castings and return them to their orignal state at a fraction of the cost of re-casting. We are aslo able to process aluminium castings and trim.
If you would like to know more about the restoration services we have to offer pleasecontact usfor more information.