Hilton and Moss enjoyed a successful weekend at the Olympia Historic Automobile Fair and Auction, new for 2017. The show’s inaugural year provided some challenges, but we took them in our stride and together with the show’s contractors and organisers created a fantastic looking stand. As the company selected to represent Mercedes-Benz, our aim was to show the restoration journey from start to finish. To do this, we began our story with the ideal ‘barn find’ car – a completely original 190SL, originally supplied to Rhodesia. You couldn’t hope to find a better car as a basis for restoration.
The next step was to show the bare metal phase, post fabrication work – we displayed an original UK market, RHD 280SL Pagoda and received numerous compliments from both other restorers and the general public on the quality of the fabrication. Not everyone will show you a car in its raw form after metal fab has been completed, but we’re proud of our craftsmanship and efforts to restore the car using the construction methods that would have been used on the production line, even down to brazing joints as they would’ve been originally, or using the correct number of spot welds to join a panel, to name only a couple.
Next up was a painted, partially re-fitted LHD 280SL Pagoda in DB050 White. Mounted on custom made stands with mirrors and lighting illuminating the underside, the standard and depth of the paintwork was plain to see, both underneath and on top of the car. With the engine and subframes mounted, it provided real insight into the re-fit stage of a Hilton and Moss car.
Finally, our showpiece was a beautiful 300SL Roadster, fully restored by ourselves down to the last nut and bolt. Finished in DB172 Metallic Grey with red leather interior, the colourway, depth of the paint and standard of the workmanship make this a truly exceptional car, with a number of people commenting on it being the best car in the hall. Again, with mirrors and lighting illuminating the underside, the spaceframe chassis was visible for all to see, even down to the nuts and bolts being plated in the correct finish and checked to be the correct DIN spec for their use.