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A passion for classics and customs

17 May, 2024

Our passionate and skilled craftsmen meticulously breathe life back into your vehicle, seamlessly repairing and restoring it to its former glory. Trust us to revitalise your prized possession.” – D A Classics & Customs

2023 North Canterbury Business Awards runners up and People’s Choice, Dave and Aisha
The DA panel team gathers for its Christmas function

In the highly competitive field of New Zealand classic and custom restorations, reputations are won or lost on the ability to maintain consistently high standards of workmanship. A company managing to achieve this is D A Panel beating Ltd, of Rangiora near Christchurch. Is your classic or custom car restoration stalled, or in need of a refresh, or perhaps you are looking for experts to rebuild that recent import project out of Europe or the ‘States?

Chevrolet Impala (Before)
Chevrolet Impala (after)

The company to see for your restoration
Owners, Dave and Aisha Addison head a team of specialists with a wide range of experience in all forms of fabrication, body preparation and finishing. You will meet a friendly team of ten people who bring their unique expertise and passion to every project, ensuring that each restoration and customisation has the best result. Having spent years honing his skills in collision repair, Dave’s journey began like many others in the automotive industry- fixing dents, replacing bumpers and repairing vehicles after accidents. It was during these years he discovered his love and passion for older vehicles. He found himself captivated by the intricate details and rich histories that lie within classics. Each restoration project became more than just a job> It was a labour of love and a chance to breathe new life into a piece of automotive history. Dave’s dream and goal was to one day own a restoration business, and now approximately 90 percent of D A Panel Beating’s work is restoration based. Dave and Aisha have acknowledged this growing aspect of their work with the creation of ‘D A Classics and Customs’, theirs is a relatively new name for a branch of their panel beating business but the company already has a formidable local reputation for top quality work backed up by repeat work on satisfied customer’s cars. There is also a steady flow of repair and restoration work from nearby Waimak Classic Cars’, owners Jesmond and Gloria Micallef, who are very appreciative of the quality of D A Classics and Customs’ work.

Catering for all marques
D A Panel Beating Ltd continues to cater for local private and insurance work, but with the welcome expansion of classic and custom work it acknowledges their passion and involvement in a rapidly expanding industry. Dave and Aisha attribute a lot of their success to not just their quality workmanship and skills in all aspects of metalwork, body preparation and painting under the one roof, but also their passion for working with their customers to achieve a great result.
“We pride ourselves on the communication and involvement we have with our customers, with an open door policy, we encourage our customers to stop in and see progress anytime they wish. Many photos are taken along the way so each customer can see the processes undertaken.”
National recognition has already come with their client’s restored ’55 Chevrolet featured in NZV8 and NZ Hot Rod magazines. This car took out Best Potential at Muscle Car Madness 2024. “We are very grateful to all our customers who allowed us to have an array of vehicles on display at Muscle Car Madness this year. We had 8 cars in total, showcasing the wide range of work we do.”
Another business highlight has been the North Canterbury Business Awards where they were recognised for People’s Choice.
“We don’t discriminate against any make of car. It’s been quite good having a collision repair background because there have been a couple of times when people have asked us to go and look at their car and everyone says it’s toast. For example we did a ’67 Galaxie with bad frontal damage and because we have a chassis plant and 3D measuring system we were able to repair the chassis. Everyone that saw it couldn’t believe I’d managed to repair it,” he said.
“Basically, any restoration gets a full 3D measure before we start, so we know we are building up off a square. It’s nice to be recognised by people as somewhere they feel like their vehicle is looked after.
Later American muscle cars were catered for too.
“We had two newer Dodge Challengers in here rather than them using your run-of-the-mill insurance shop which was great. We had previously restored one of the Challenger owner’s ’67 and ’66 Mustangs. Another customer’s long-term project, a Ford Zephyr Zodiac Mark 3, was successfully completed in a timely fashion for its owner. There had been attempts to get it right before coming to D A Classics and Customs.
“That Mark 3 Zodiac. He was really rapt with us and the work that we did on it. We got it done in a few months for him and he was very happy.”

Working together
D A Classics and Customs is not just a vehicle restoration business. Its involvement in local initiatives and charitable events speaks volumes about their commitment to giving back. But it’s not just about charity; it’s about building lasting connections. With glowing testimonials from satisfied customers, it’s evident that their craftsmanship and personalised service goes unmatched. Moreover, their strong relationships with local businesses ensure seamless collaborations, making each restoration project a pleasant endeavour. But perhaps what truly sets D A Classics and Customs apart is their family orientated approach. They’re more than just co-workers, they’re a tight knit family, working together to bring dreams to life, one restoration at a time.
You will find D A Classics and Customs at 66 Todd Road, Rangiora 027 935 9304, or email them at: or email at: [email protected]

The Jowett Jupiter turns 70

John Ball has always enjoyed tinkering with old boats and cars. He’s old enough to think having gearbox parts on newspaper on the floor of his bedroom, while the relevant car sat waiting on nail boxes, was a normal part of growing up. His passion has always tended towards old British bangers. He reckons he’s fortunate not to have got caught up in the American muscle scene.
John’s love affair with this Jupiter started in December 2015 when, with some time on his hands during a Christchurch trip, he searched online for ‘cars, before 1970 and in Christchurch’.

Aspen Siris — A roadster for the wrong time

When I visited George Spratt’s workshop in Auckland, I was impressed with the number of vehicles he had tucked away, mostly hybrid or fully electric. Many of them had started life being petrol powered but George has been tinkering with converting conventionally powered cars to electrical propulsion since the mid ’70s.
The Horizon was George’s first attempt at building a car; it was an evolution of ideas about what was considered to be ideal for a car at that time. The shape and style were governed by the choice of running gear and power plant. The size of the garage restricted walk-around viewing, and it was not until it was almost finished that George was able to push the car out of the garage to get the full picture.