At 5.7m long, Warwick Hales’ 1961 Cadillac is not something you’d like to parallel park.
Luckily it’s not a about-town vehicle – it’s reserved for car shows and very special occasions.
But it wasn’t always that way – Whangarei Heads resident Mr Hales has spent the past 2 years restoring it with the help of Whangarei company Full Noise Auto Restorations.
“I’ve always wanted a big American car and I saw this one for sale. I could see what it was going to look like,” Mr Hales said.
He bought the vehicle four years ago and enlisted the help of Louie Berkers of Full Noise Auto Restorations 1 years later.
Louie and his team stripped the entire car back to bare metal, made repairs, repainted it, inserted all new running gear, such as engine, transmission and diff, added wheels, brakes, airbag suspension and all-new interior.
Neither Mr Berkers nor Mr Hales wanted to disclose the total cost of the restoration.
“I picked the right man for the job, who I knew had the know-how and experience to make what I wanted – and look how it’s turned out,” Mr Hales said.
“He’s done a marvellous job. Louie is a perfectionist and you can see it in the car.”
Mr Berkers said looking at the finished product now brings a tear to his eye.
“I’ve been very honoured to do this for Warwick – I feel really blessed to be the person who has put it all together for him. It’s been a great journey,” he said.
The car – number plate CADY61 – placed first in peoples’ choice and sponsors’ choice awards at the Whangarei Hot Rod and Customs Show in October last year.
More recently, it won the American Street Machine Modified division at last month’s CRC Speedshow in Auckland.
Mr Hales expects to take it out on the odd special occasion.
– NORTHERN ADVOCATE
By Hannah Norton
To whom it may concern:
It’s a quirky fact that some of us have special cars for which we have a passion, are fussy over customer service, and expect technical expertise and careful workmanship. In short, we want an auto restorer who shares that passion and respects the customer and the car no matter what make or model it is.
This is an unsolicited testimonial to state that all my hopes and aspirations in the restoration of my accident-damaged Hurst Challenger were fulfilled by Louie Berkers and his team at Full Noise Auto Restorations.
Louie’s attention to detail was fantastic, from start to finish. As an example, although the car has a Custom White Pearl paint job, it originally left the factory dressed in Black Metallic paint. We needed a replacement door, so Louie sourced a second-hand one in black, so that there could be no question that the restoration was as near as possible to original. Louie’s subcontracted painters Krystal Klear Carpainters then fastidiously matched the Custom White Pearl paint and clear coats.
Mark me down as a very satisfied customer. Further, take my advice – you can entrust your special car to the Full Noise team.