Since you’re reading a blog called Car Chase, I assume you know that I’m not asking about a place in California. Some of you may know that a Berkeley is an esoteric British sports car made in small numbers about fifty years ago. These cute, little three and four wheel convertibles were “powered” by two and three cylinder motorcycle engines. Due to their diminutive size and very light weight, they were very popular and reasonably successful in the early sports car racing scene. They still have a good following to this day, although collector values are still relatively low.
The reason I bring all this up is that, as a former Berkeley owner, I occasionally do a Google search to see what’s happening with them. The other day, I found a blog which chronicled a complete, professional restoration of a lucky example. As I mentioned before, Berkeley values aren’t exactly at the top of the collector market so very few, if any, are professionally restored. What’s even more interesting is the shop which did this wonderful work is right here in Northeast Ohio. I checked out the website for Pete’s Custom Coachbuilding ( www.petescustomcoachbuilding.com ) and was amazed to see everything from micro cars to Indy racers to pre-war Packards in their portfolio.
After checking out some of the videos on their website, (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=HWfsHNernAA) I was heartened to see that Pete and his crew are a group of young guys practicing an old craft. Their approach to their work and passion for doing things right seem to bear fruit in excellent results. It’s great to have another excellent resource in our area for anyone considering a project with any type of collectable vehicle. I can’t wait to check out Pete’s operation personally. If you have experience with any other shops, feel free to comment below.