There’s nothing quite as satisfying as reaping the rewards of a long project, so cruising around in an old Mercedes you’ve restored yourself is a feeling that can’t be beaten. If you think this might be a hobby for you, here’s some kit that you’ll want before you get started in earnest.
1. Air Compressor
This multipurpose device is ideal for any garage set-up. It converts engine power into pressurised air by drawing more and more air into its tank before it automatically switches off when it reaches maximum pressure, and serves as a support element to a number of other tools that need compressed air to run, like paint spray guns and air ratchets. There is a wide array of air compressors, and larger kits with the tools depending on them, available from SGS Engineering.
2. Air Ratchet
An air ratchet is a power wrench that uses compressed air to shift the most stubborn of bolts. It’s a great general-purpose tool, but it’s especially useful for those needing to disassemble and reassemble parts of older cars, which have had time to settle into place. Having a quick solution to stiff bolts will be particularly useful for any work that needs doing on the wheels, like replacing the bearings.
3. Engine Crane
If the engine needs replacing, or just extra-meticulous inspection and repairs, it’ll need to come out and there’s no doing that by hand. A specialised hoist will allow you to safely get the engine out or in with no fuss.
4. Jacks and Stands
The odds are you’ll need to get into the car’s guts at some point—even a car as reliable as a Mercedes will feel the toll of a long lifetime of use—and when that time comes you’re not going to be able to just have a friend hold it up for you.
A good jack to lift the car and a set of sturdy stands so you can work from underneath it is a real must if you’re serious about getting your Benz back into fighting form.
5. Paint Spray Gun
Classic cars come in all conditions, but the odds of one having a perfectly intact paintjob before it’s restored are slim. Even finding a good colour match for older paints can be hard at times.
Whether you want to give the whole vehicle a new paint job or blend from one tone to another so it’s less obvious where damaged paint was before, a spray gun will let you get the kind of coverage you need fast. You might also want to get some white tape with this to keep the paint from getting on any of the trim or windows.