It’s all about the process

We understand that authenticity can be critical to many automobile enthusiasts. Richard Mullin Coachbuilding is unique in that all body repairs and fabrication are done in house utilizing equipment and techniques that were original to that vintage vehicle.

By correcting problems utilizing the original methodology we maintain a cost efficient and proper repair or fabrication that will only be beneficial to the preservation and conservation of the vehicle. Our company has a wide selection of vintage machinery that allows us to re-create parts by various techniques established over the last 100 years of coachbuilding.

We remain committed to the integrity of the vehicle and specialize in accuracy and exactness in panel fabrication. No plastic fillers are used to compensate for indiscretions in the panels. Richard Mullin has a reputation for attention to detail and exactness. In our continued effort to educate we have summarized the machinery and the techniques used to create complete and partial automobile bodies.

Metal Shaping Seminar – March 2019

Check out our Metal Shaping Seminar – March 2019

On March 23rd 2019 we had the privilege of hosting a group from the Rolls-Royce Owners Club of America. Members gathered from across the country to learn the fundamentals of shaping metal using traditional techniques and equipment of the coachbuilding trade. Much noise and fun was experienced by all. 

English Wheel

English Wheel

English Wheel:
Richard Mullin and his father re-engineered an Oliver (ca. 1940s) English Wheel many years ago. Its purpose, as with all wheeling machines, is to create curves from flat pieces of metal (aluminum or steel). The process allows shape to be created by stretching the metal in a uniformed considered fashion. This is a fundamental tool used to create 3-dimensional shape of any panel being constructed. Effective and proper use of the English Wheel requires great skill, patience and expertise, and Richard Mullin has used this wheel to create innumerable bodies over the years.

Edwards English Wheel

Edwards English Wheel

Edwards English Wheel:
The shop also utilizes an Edwards English Wheel once owned by the renowned Cunningham Factory. This wheeling machine has the same function as the Oliver, although the Edwards has the added benefit of being much larger and stronger. This allows panels of any alloy of material to be made more expediently and cost effectively. It is a perfect machine for working on large complex steel panels such as a Rolls Royce wing.  The more difficult and challenging materials and shapes are fundamental to the use of this equipment. The English Wheel is a hallmark of Richard Mullin’s talent as a master craftsman.

Pullmax

Pullmax

Pullmax:
This equipment is a modern variation of the Pexto Bead Roller. It has many of the same capabilities, but with reciprocation dies that can create beads, sculpture lines, and louvers. This is a highly versatile piece of equipment with unlimited capabilities, but its greatest asset is the ease with which to make inexpensive complex dies in our machine shop.

ERCO

ERCO

ERCO: An American built version of the shrinking machine, developed primarily for the airplane industry, this equipment is ca. WWII. although rare and expensive to maintain, this relic allows us to quickly shape panels in a manner that has been commonly used on European automobiles, such as Ferrari and Lamborghini since the 1970s. These machines are still found today in proto-type shops of automobile manufacturers.

Eckold

ECKOLD

Eckold: This is a European version of the ERCO shrinking machine. Its roots date back to pre-WWII. This equipment has a greater variety of tooling giving us more versatility in making many different complex shapes.

Chicago Pneumatic Planisher

CHICAGO PNEUMATIC PLANISHER

Chicago Pneumatic Planisher: A pneumatic hammering device perfected for the creation of aeronautic panels during WWII. This machine has found a home in the automotive coachbuilding field. Although it can be used to create three dimensional panels, as those of the Power Hammer and English Wheel, its finest quality is that of smoothing damaged or newly created panels to a finer finish. An advantage is its ability to stress relieve any strains accumulated in the panel so that it will maintain its shape over years to come.

Pettingell Power Hammer

Pettingell Power Hammer

Pettingell Power Hammer: This equipment is the tool most commonly found in America for manufacturing early automobiles and aeronautics. It is still used today in custom shops to shape metal in three dimensional planes. Outwardly appearing to be a violent hammering machine, it has subtle capability. With proper finesse by the operator, it has the benefit of both stretching and shrinking sheet metal. In doing so larger panels can be created than that by an English Wheel. This reduces the amount of welding necessary to any fabrication.

Pexto Bead Roller

Pexto Bead Roller

Pexto Bead Roller: These machines are traditional coachbuilding tools used for creating sculpture lines on the formal panels, strengthening and adding style. They go back to the conception of coachbuilding.

Riveter

Riveter

Riveter: This machine is designed to manually insert rivets into panels. With our machining capabilities we are able to fabricate specialty dies that allow us to replicate authentic rivets for a variety of projects, such as Rolls-Royce hood fabrications.