Bespoke fabrication is rarely an efficient method of manufacture, as most items will be created as one-off pieces which doesn’t encourage any labour-saving elements. Batch assembly helps to create more efficiency, as the fabricator will have all the parts readily to hand and can work through the batch in a methodical sequence. However, many of our customers are building or restoring something rare, and there isn’t another way to create the component other than to make it by hand.
Because most period vehicles need to be aesthetically correct, we invest heavily in tooling and fabrication techniques which are necessary to create the part in the correct manner. This means that in many cases the freshly made component blends seamlessly into the engine bay of a car, even if the car is approaching veteran age. Cars of this period need to be correct, and the efforts we make ensure that the new item performs every bit as good as it looks. Cheaply made components spoil an otherwise immaculate restoration, the examples shown here explain the differences:
Here we can see a typical example of a mass-produced alloy radiator, this one is for a Ford Mustang. The image above shows a cheaply made unit with no additional detailing, simple box style water sections and no real effort having been made to finish it to a decent standard. With an item like this you can expect poor quality welding, basic fittings with sharp edges and questionable reliability. It also looks nothing like the original part, so why spoil a tidy engine bay with an object like this?
Here we can see our version of a Mustang radiator, with immaculately hand-made water sections, following the profiles of the original part. It takes many hours of patient work and care to create pieces like this, nevertheless a fine example of bespoke craftsmanship.
And below we can see a similar approach to one of our Jaguar XK140 radiators:
It takes many years to perfect the art of welding aluminium to a fine standard, and we take pride in the final appearance of all our welded assemblies. There are no CNC processes here, everything is welded by hand at Pro Alloy.
Example above showing neat, consistent weld formation.
Huge amounts of experience are essential to achieve the perfect weld. The correct combination of power, shielding gas, torch angle and filler application are all key elements. The welding process is made far simpler if all the fabrication details are correct, as ill-fitting components are very difficult to weld neatly. Accurately made parts are also less likely to distort during welding, so the early stages of the build are equally as important as the final finishing touches.