Fall Russell Tour


Report (including title ;) by Jim Miga
Photos by Jim, with outside shots by Gene Durso

Saturday morning, October the 30th.  It was a picture-perfect fall day. A perfect day to drive up to Essex on the North Shore and visit Paul Russell and Company for one of their famous tours.

Our tour was hosted by Alex Finigan, who is the sales manager as well as a very knowledgeable automobile enthusiast. In fact, Alex arrived driving his newly-purchased white Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint! And, of course, he has recently joined AONE.

The tour began at around 10am and it looked like we had all of the 70 people who signed up on board! The morning started off casually with coffee and donuts in the main shop area. From there, we meandered into the metal fabrication shop, where a 1950s Cunningham coupe was down to the bare metal. Here, Alex gave us an overview of the restoration process and answered many questions.

Then we moved into the next room, the body and paint area, where we saw a Jaguar D-Type tail section undergoing some structural work and touch-up. Several 300SLs were there in various stages of restoration. As we moved through the shop, Alex paused at many of the projects to explain details of the process and to answer questions.

Next, we moved back through the main shop and into the upholstery shop, where we saw a freshly-painted black 300SL being reupholstered. One thing becomes obvious about this shop: no shortcuts are ever taken. Alex said that many customers are reluctant to drive their cars following a restoration. He essentially tells them, "For the first year, exhibit it in shows and win some trophies. After that, drive it often and enjoy it!"

From there, we went into the exhibit/showroom area, where we were able to get a close-up look at some of the world's greatest automobiles, such as Bugatti, Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, Rolls-Royce and many more marques that were on display. Many were customers’ cars and some were even for sale (viewable at www.paulrussell.com). Alex explained the history of several of these cars and answered a variety of questions.

Then we walked back into the main shop, of course stopping along the way to look at some works in progress. After completing the tour, Tom Lesko presented Alex with a special gift from our club — a camp shirt by Fashion House of Ferugini featuring artwork of a 6C 1750 Gran Sport Zagato, which was generously donated by Tom Letourneau. Finally, Rick Lesniewicz spoke to us about Tony Ranson, a longtime Alfista and close personal friend of his. Tony recently died of pancreatic cancer and Rick is working with the family to raise money for this underfunded cause. He raised $200 at this event from our members. Read more about Tony below.

Even if you attended this event, check out the Paul Russell & Company website — I highly recommend it. There are many photos and great articles about Paul Russell, the cars, and restoration information/philosophy. Important things for us to think about as our vehicles (most of which are antiques now) age.

Special thanks to Alex Finigan, Paul Russell and his staff, Brain Shorey, and Len Cannizzaro for making this event a huge success!Tiny Quadrifoglio

 

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Fall Russell Tour