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Classic Car Restoration

About us


Leeds City College has a highly respected international reputation for delivering Classic Car Restoration and attract students from all over the UK and abroad.

Our courses have gained industry recognition by being short listed for an international award. The inaugural International Historic Motoring Awards promoted by Octane magazine and EFG International were held before an audience of racing legends, celebrities, collectors and industry heads. For more information on the awards click this link (http://www.historicmotoringawards.com/index.php )

We are able to offer specialist training in all aspects of Vehicle Restoration, Wheeling, Body Panel Fabrication, Welding, Paint Refinishing, Trimming, Ash Framing, Fiberglass Laminating and Repairs, Plastic Repairs, Mechanical and Electrical Repairs.

Traditional range of courses for the local industry as well as a full range of the specialised courses which are of regional and national importance are on offer.

The College’s Classic Car Restoration provision is held in such esteem that a team from the College runs the Restoration Theatre each year at the Classic Motor Show at Birmingham NEC, the UK’s biggest event of its kind with around 85,000 visitors.

The department was also described as “..probably the foremost classic car restoration centre in the UK” by Practical Classics, Britain’s best-selling classic car magazine.

Have a look at motor vehicle courses in Leeds & Keighley.

Our Classic Car Restoration department is focussed on hands-on learning, working with vehicles in the College’s extensive workshops and on high quality restoration projects in conjunction with some of the industries leading suppliers and services including Moss Europe Ltd www.moss-europe.co.uk , Millar Soda Blasting www.millarsodablasting.com , Technology packaging corrosion protection www.technologypackaging.com and Rustbuster www.rust.co.uk.

Interested in learning more about classic car restoration in the Yorkshire area?

The Yorkshire Thoroughbred Car Club will be pleased to help.
visit us on www.ytcc.co.uk

Fultime Courses

Restoration Course 3 days per week for 30 weeks in term time. £1500

Leeds College of Technology has been running restoration courses for over 20 years and is pleased to offer our flagship course covering the three main aspects of classic vehicle restoration. The course is mainly practical, with some theory and students receive a college certificate of achievement at the end listing their achievements and grades. Classes run between 09.00 and 15.00 each day. The units we cover are;


In this unit you will gain an understanding of the following; engines, fuel, ignition, cooling and lubrication systems, gearbox and transmissions, brakes, steering, suspension, starting, charging and ancillary electrical systems.

Body repair

In which we cover removal, replacement and manufacture of damaged and/or corroded body panels, using handtools, sheetmetal working machinery and wheeling machines, oxy-acetylene welding, MIG welding and TIG welding techniques. This will use all our workshop machinery but also focus on ways to achieve similar results with tools you may already have at home or that are easily available.

Paint refinishing

We cover all aspects of the refinishing process from the surface preparation of bare metals and original finishes through to application of spray-painting materials and rectification of faults. You will learn about the technology of paint and the processes you use as well on this part of the course.

Classic Car Restoration

Short Courses

We offer several 5 day courses including;

Introduction to body panel fabrication and Wheeling

Covers H&S in the workshop, techniques for making repair panels for small to medium repairs, use of folding machines and other workshop equipment, home made tools to help with simple tasks. It would be of benefit to have done our basic welding course or to be a competent welder (MIG and oxy) before coming on this course.

Paint refinishing

This 5 day course covers the process of refinishing a vehicle from preparation of bare metal to applying various paint coatings and then repairing or rectifying faults.

  • Preparation of Substrates
  • Paint Film Removal
  • Types of Foundation Materials
  • Identify Application equipment and their Uses. Identifying Faults & Rectification
  • Spray Gun Techniques
  • Foundation Application & Guide Coat
  • Types of Top Coat Materials
  • Abrade & Prepare for Top Coat
  • Top Coat Application
  • Identify Top Coat Faults, their causes and rectification
  • Flat & Recoat
  • Abrasive Compounds & Liquid Restorers
  • Polishing Processes (Machine & Manual)

Basic Welding techniques

Covers H&S associated with the different types of welding. Basic welds using MIG and Oxy-acetylene welding, Tig can be covered on the course should anyone wish to have a go. You will perform lap welds, butt welds, outside corner joints,‘t’ fillet welds and Plug welds (Mig only). These skills will enable you to perform welding on your chosen vehicle and also give you the skills needed to progress on to our body panel fabrication course should you choose to.

  • Safe use of equipment
  • Gas Welding Techniques and set up
  • Butt joints & Outside corner joints
  • Mig welding equipment
  • Controlling distortion
  • Butt joints
  • Fillet joints
  • Welding faults
  • Plug welding

Fibreglass laminating

  • Fibreglass materials and safety, release agents, resins, catalysts, reinforcement materials, and basic fibreglass laminating techniques
  • Additional reinforcement, stiffening ribs, tapping plates
  • Cutting, sanding and joining fibreglass laminated panels
  • Repair techniques; determine extent of damage and suitable methods of repair
  • Producing moulds for fibreglass laminating, designing one piece moulds and split moulds for complex panels
  • Faults in fibreglass laminates, causes and methods of rectification, cracking, crazing, pin-holing, blisters, dry patches, leaching etc

Timber framing restoration

  • Types of timber and woodworking adhesives, the safe and correct use of tools and equipment used in timber frame restoration
  • Workshop practice, selecting timber, grain direction, faults, twisting, warping, knots etc, sharpening and adjusting hand tools, planes, chisels etc
  • Types of woodworking joint used in timber framed vehicles, mortice and tenon joints, lap joints, bridle joints, splice joints etc
  • Workshop practice, using hand tools to cut, shape, and smooth timber to produce a frame comprising of a range of woodworking joints. Introduction to the safe use of woodworking machines and portable power tools, demonstrate different methods of producing curved timbers
  • Sanding and finishing timber surfaces, workshop practice
  • Timber disease, woodworm, wet rot, dry rot, Prevention and cure, protecting timber surfaces, preservatives, stains, varnishes and paint materials

These are normally run in July at the end of the academic year and attract fee paying student’s form all over the world. Dates will be published on the web site so sign up for our news and get the dates straight to your inbox. There is a possibility that these courses could be run at other times of the year and as stand alone courses for groups of enthusiasts for instance from a car club if you would be interested in getting a group together please get in touch for further Details.

Lead Loading

The course is aimed at anyone wishing to learn the basics of Lead loading/ body soldering. A keen interest and willingness to learn is all you need.
This course covers the process of lead loading or body soldering as traditionally used in car body construction and restoration.

The course will provide practical instruction, demonstration and hands on experience and cover:
– The advantages and disadvantages of lead loading
– Health and Safety issues
– Materials and tools
– Surface preparation
– Application of lead loading on horizontal and vertical surfaces.
– Filing, finishing and protecting lead loaded body panels.

Evening Classes

In addition to the week long courses we have re-introduced car restoration evening classes. These currently concentrate on welding, body panel fabrication and wheeling but could be expanded to include mechanics and paint refinishing should there be a market for them, so if you would be interested in such a class please get in touch and let us know what you would like to do. These courses are for 10 week blocks and will be run 3 times a year dependant on demand, please call for current cost.

Introduction to welding and body panel fabrication

  • Introduction to oxyacetylene welding, safety, setting and adjusting equipment and basic welding techniques.
  • Oxyacetylene welding practice, bead on plate, corner joints, lap joints, butt joints, t-fillet joints.
  • Introduction to MIG welding, safety, setting and adjusting equipment and basic welding techniques
  • MIG welding practice, bead on plate, corner joints, lap joints, butt joints, t-fillet joints.
  • Fabricate a steel sill section, rolling, folding, flanging, spot welding, MIG welding
  • Fabricate a steel rear mudguard, cutting, shaping, flanging, wiring, oxyacetylene welding, planishing, picking, filing.
  • Introduction to hollowing and wheeling, make steel power bulge. Make double curved body panel, hollowing, wheeling, gas welding, spot welding, flanging, stretching, shrinking and louvering.

Restoration Progression course

This course is aimed at students who have completed the beginners welding and body panel fabrication evening classes and would like to further develop their skills.

  • Students will be given the opportunity to improve their oxyacetylene and MIG welding, skills.
  • They will also learn how to remove, replace and repair damaged and corroded body panels, sills, wings, door bottoms, door skins, etc.
  • Students can progress to a range of more advanced panel fabrication projects, including double curved body panels, for example a lower rear quarter panel for an E-type Jaguar.
  • Course content can also be tailored to meet the student’s needs following discussion and approval of the course tutor.

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Westland Road
Leeds, West Yorkshire
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