Read our ongoing series on Restoring Classic Cars
As published in Motoring Tampa Bay monthly...
By Pistorius Collectible Autos
Copyright © 2011 - 2017 Odessa 2, LLC, d/b/a Pistorius Collectible Autos.
All Rights Reserved.
My name is Mary Ann Schwitters and I own a 1931 Ford Model A.
It was completely restored about 10 years ago. The car needed some work done to get it ready for the AACA Grand National car show later this summer.
Because of past experience with poor quality workmanship, I was reluctant to let someone again work on my car. I needed someone with expert knowledge of detailed judging requirements correct to my car's year of manufacture. I needed someone who could identify and then with precision make corrections. I made inquiries at the car clubs I belong to. I also observed cars at shows that stood out because of workmanship and detail. The name Brando Pistorius began to surface multiple times.
After several meetings and phone calls I agreed to let Brando work on my car. With Brando's research, knowledge, and work, my car was made show ready. Brando's work was complete and exactly as promised. I am happy to trust him. His work and word are good.
We work within your budget, and do only as much (or as little) as you want us to do (or want to spend!) We can turn the old dusty gal into a stunning woman of class, ready to enjoy on tour, or show off with pride at the car show.
Expert restoration and repairs by Brando Pistorius, with over 40 years experience in pre- and post-war vintage cars. Brando and Joanne Pistorius have successfully owned award winning classic cars that they have personally restored, toured with, traded and sold. The Pistorius’ Collectible Autos include the most unique, rare and historically interesting cars.
References you may contact (Please call us for phone & email information)
Bill & Cindy Moline - 1965 Mustang
Ed & Pam Prince
Here are just a few of our personally owned restorations:
From the client who sent a proper "Thank you" note with his payment, we are eternally grateful for your business and your referrals!
"My granddad brought his 1936 Studebaker, 1972 BMW and 1913 Studebaker to the Pistorius' for restoration. That was fine, because it gave me a chance to visit the chickens. I really love chickens! But when our Mercedes started acting up, that was when things got serious. Now that Brando has fixed my ride, I can comfortably enjoy the wind in my face." Harvey Prince, French Bulldog extraordinaire
This video is a short look at the quality work we do. Special thanks to our super talented son-in-law, Griffin Partilla, who created this fantastic video. And to the star of the show, our grand-daughter Lorelei, cheers to the next generation who love great historic cars!
YouTube Video (less than 2 minutes)
Brando & Joanne Pistorius are “Living the Dream". Hidden on a rural 5 acre farm in Odessa, Florida, just between Tampa and Tarpon Springs, and surrounded by a huge watershed state park, Brando and Joanne Pistorius have often been told that they are “living the dream”. Brando walks from the house, down the orchard path, past the fishing pond, to the big red barn, where he and his skilled crew start their workday just before sunrise every morning.
“Today we are working on a full restoration of a 1933 Rolls Royce; fixing fuel problems on a 1929 Duran; preparing to paint a 1953 Studebaker Commander; getting a 1926 Oldsmobile Coupe running for the first time in 50 years; continuing the restoration process on a 1929 Peerless Victoria; starting a service and brake job on a 1939 Plymouth Coupe; and beginning work on the running gear of a 1966 Ford Pickup.” No, they won’t have it all done today, but those are a few of the active projects for now. Unlike many other restoration shops, Brando doesn’t take in a client’s car until he’s ready to start the work immediately, and he wants them completed to the owner’s satisfaction, as quickly as possible. “We have to make room for the next fellow, so there is no dragging our feet with completing any projects.” There is a waiting list of cars that need their day in the sun too, and Brando wants to see these cars driven and enjoyed. “We will make the car a show winner, but we also want to help to get these great cars to be a real joy to drive and tour with”.
Brando was not always in the restoration business, but it has been his hobby for the past 40 years. Brando moved to Tampa Florida from Pretoria South Africa in 1998, and has been a US Citizen since 2003. Brando and wife Joanne have worked together as a team, in their previous real estate business, and now in their restoration business, Pistorius Collectible Autos. They turned Brando’s hobby into a full time business 6 years ago, just after the real estate market crashed. “When we decided to close the real estate company, we thought we should just make the hobby a full-time effort for ourselves.” So for the first couple of years they only worked on their own collectible cars- buying, restoring and selling. They travelled over 20,000 miles a year with the RV, trailer, dog & cat.
“Folks often ask us how we could part with our beautiful classic cars.” Joanne laughingly added “if it isn’t family, it’s for sale!” The more work they did on their own collection, the more friends and club members would ask if Brando would work on their car as well. “That’s when we decided that we would start taking on clients for restorations.”
Brando has been restoring classic cars all of his adult life. His first restoration was in his home town of Pretoria South Africa with a 1960 Austin Healy 3000, back in 1978. Brando was the Founder and Club President of the Lowveld Old Wheels Club in Nelspruit South Africa. In Pretoria, Brando was the chairman of the largest car show in South Africa known as “Cars in the Park” presented by the Pretoria Old Motor Car Club, with over a thousand vehicles in attendance.
Now Brando is president of the Hillsborough Region AACA club, and he and Joanne recently hosted the Peerless National Meet on their property. “We had a goal to get the 3 P’s (Peerless, Packard, Pierce-Arrow) together, and despite a near rain-out on Saturday, we were thrilled to get that accomplished. We couldn’t have done it without the support of great friends and fellow car enthusiasts.” Then Sunday they organized a 90 mile tour from Tarpon Springs, to the beaches, a fabulous private collection museum, then to a few more historic areas, ending up in Oldsmar, a small town founded by R.E. Olds, on its 100 year celebration,.
Many of Pistorius’ restorations are on cars he has collected that are especially rare, with only one or two in existence; Brando and Joanne consider this the company’s specialty. Just some examples include a 1929 Gardner, 1913 Metz, 1921-1923 Cadillacs and a 1933 Buick limo.
Brando Pistorius is an expert for all mechanical, electrical, body work, painting, stripping, assembling, and fabrication. “There are times when I have to repair or fabricate the rare parts you may not be able to find. “
You may have heard of the Pistorius’ 2,000 mile drive from Tampa to Montreal and back with their 1930 Packard. Or maybe you heard of their rare collection and restoration of 7 Peerless cars (5 barn finds in Valparaiso Indiana, one in Sturgis NY and one in their backyard of Dunedin Fl.). But what you may not have heard is that they feel completely blessed to have the privilege of restoring great old cars… in a country setting, coming home for hot lunches, feeding the chickens, giving clients fresh organic eggs and papaya, enjoying the wildlife that visits daily (Sandhill cranes, peacocks, wild turkeys, bunnies, possums, deer, and the occasional alligator) travelling the country to car shows or picking up the next project car, meeting interesting people, and really living the dream.