For all classic trade professionals
ISSUE 02 / 2022
FrontCover_template_CCB_May22.qxp_Layout 1 23/06/2022 18:11 Page 1
The future of your business is finally in safe hands.
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Editor_CCB_June22.qxp 23/06/2022 18:27 Page 1
EDITOR ISSUE 02 / 2022
It’s fair to say the classic car community is back out in force after the privations of the past couple of years. From blue riband events like the Goodwood Members Meeting to local shows and coffee meets, everyone wants to be out there and enjoying their cars, and that’s good news for everyone in the classic vehicle industry. Talking to many of you over the last few months, we know that business is brisk even in the face of recent challenges such as the huge hike in fuel prices, supply difficulties, and the rising cost of materials. All of these issues are a concern, though the adapt and evolve nature of the classic sector is proving up the task. None of us can rest on our laurels, however. There has been an ongoing debate in recent years about how we, as an industry, can bring in younger people as enthusiasts and to work with older vehicles. Projects such as StarterMotor are working wonders to address this need, but we also need to heed the words of this charity’s chief executive. When Dave Withers says we have 15 years to save the classic car sector, everyone must pay heed. Younger enthusiasts and more modern classics are not the be all and end all of the classic world, but they ably underline the ever-shifting nature of our sector. Another indicator of how the classic car industry is changing in ways we might not have predicted a few years ago is the large increase in the number of restoration programmes from car makers themselves. This has moved from simply being about preserving their heritage for a bit of feel-good marketing to a much more serious and profitable business. We look at how this part of the industry is evolving and how it can help support independent specialists. On a different note, I’d like to thank all of you for the kind comments about the first issue of Classic Car Business. It’s truly humbling to know we’re serving up the right kind of stories and talking about what matters to you. Please keep your calls, emails and comments coming, as we are here to give you a voice. Thanks and enjoy the issue. Don’t forget also to get more regular updates at www.classiccarbusiness.com where you will find daily news and much more in-depth analysis of the classic vehicle industry.
For all classic trade professionals
The future of your business is finally in safe hands.
To find out more about bespoke apprenticeships for the vehicle restoration trade, scan the QR code above.
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COMMENT_HCVA_CCB_June22.qxp 23/06/2022 18:08 Page 2
For all classic trade professionals
GARRY WILSON OF THE HCVA DISCUSSES HOW THE CLASSIC SECTOR CAN ADDRESS ENVIRONMENTAL AND GENERATIONAL CHALLENGES WITHIN THE CLASSIC SECTOR. www.hcva.co.uk
t is always superb to see spring arrive when we can remove the covers from our classic vehicles and get out and enjoy this magnificent hobby. It can also be a busy time for the Trade and Industry HCVA members and Classic Car Business (CCB) readers as owners seek to have their vehicles prepared and checked for the summer ahead. A great time of year! As the HCVA, approaches its first year of support for the historic and classic vehicles sector and aiming to ‘Protect the Future of our Past’, we reflect on the positive steps made. The HCVA was requested to input to the Transport Select Committee on the Future of Fuels. The statement was edited by Guy Lachlan, an HCVA Director, Founding Partner and Director of Classic Oils and Car SoS. This was submitted as evidence. It talked about the need to retain fuels to ensure that historic and classic vehicles, part of our national and cultural heritage,
remain useable by future generations. Given the limited annual mileage of classic vehicles, access to fuel for existing propulsion systems rather than converting them is the sensible way forward. The Department for Transport strategy is zero tailpipe emissions, which predicates an electric solution to reducing CO2. This may be viable for new cars, but not for classics. The government’s stated ambition is Net Zero CO2 emissions by 2050. Focussing on Net Zero means other solutions are available such as sustainable and synthetic fuels. However, as the oil industry is producing Kerosene for the aviation sector further into the future, then as a biproduct of this production gasoline is generated. We cannot simply burn or dump it, so why not make it accessible to users such as the classic vehicle sector? We also need to be conscious of misconceptions. Some classic cars do emit smoke occasionally. This is seen as impacting the
Younger people are coming in to the classic sector as owners and workers, helped by more engagement at events and the charity StarterMotor.
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COMMENT_HCVA_CCB_June22.qxp 23/06/2022 18:09 Page 4
For all classic trade professionals
CONVERTING CLASSIC VEHICLES FROM PETROL TO EV IS DIFFICULT TO JUSTIFY ON ENVIRONMENTAL GROUNDS.
environment negatively. In the main, this is unburnt hydrocarbons and often disappears when the vehicle is warm. The concern in cities is nitrous oxides, and for the wider environment it’s CO2. Many classics are relatively good on these latter two emissions. Not quite to the standards of modern fuel injected and catalytic converter-equipped cars, but given their lighter weight and lower inertia levels compared with their modern counterparts, their emissions figures are relatively low. In principle, the use excess gasoline in our sector would make sense. However, we must aim for Net Zero, so sustainable fuels are the way forward. Having submitted the paper to the Transport Select Committee, it was gratifying to be invited to present on the topic to the cross-party group chaired by Huw Merriman MP (right). Guy Lachlan represented the HCVA. During the debate there were questions regarding electrification in the automotive sector. Guy was asked what classic vehicles could be converted to electric powertrains? His answer was: ‘All of them. The real question is should they be converted? Generally, they don’t do sufficient mileage to warrant conversion, and it certainly can’t be justified based on an environmental argument.’ This was well received by the committee. Guy went further to explain the vehicles are part of our national heritage. It was agreed, including by Guy’s fellow panellist and an electrification leader, that classic vehicles contribute so little to the overall environment challenge that the continued provision of fuels for combustion engines made sense. The parliamentarians on the committee were very
supportive of our sector. This was reaffirmed when I visited the Lords and Commons the following week to meet various MPs and Lords, most of whom are part of key committees and groups. The second item of note relates to the Department for Transport (DfT) consultation on the ‘Future of transport regulatory review: modernising vehicle standards’ which I introduced in the last edition. It is gratifying the consultation output follows the direction of the 4 November statement by the Transport Minister Trudy Harrison, who said: ‘Officials have been instructed to ensure that proposals do not prevent activities such as restoration, repairs or legitimate improvements to classic cars, or do any damage to the motor sports businesses involved in these activities.’ The parliamentary debate took place on 25 April. The HCVA provided a briefing paper to MPs that outlined the implications of the bill on the sector if the guarantees above are not included. Naturally, the HCVA will monitor the progress of the bill and, if required, will request supportive MPs to place questions with the relevant officials and Ministers. In the last edition of CCB, I said I would comment on the HCVA Environmental policy and youth engagement. Our Sustainability and Environmental policy of ‘Repair, Reuse, Recycle’ is at the heart of the historic vehicle movement. Historic vehicles are not primarily a means of transport, they are mobile historic artefacts of our industrial and social heritage. These vehicles have a small CO2 footprint due to their minimal usage and fully amortised manufacturing CO2 emissions. The HCVA will assist members’ businesses towards carbon neutrality ahead
of 2050 and provide access to carbon offsetting programmes for members’ vehicles. We recognise that some historic vehicles will be converted to zero-emissions. The environmental costs of BEV (battery electric vehicle) conversions frequently outweigh any savings of emissions. It’s our belief that most historic vehicles should be preserved in their original state, running on liquid fuels. We have campaigns for the ongoing availability of liquid fuels from natural, bio or synthetic sources. The HCVA will commission research and work with partners, affiliates and members to identify solutions to environmental and sustainability requirements. We will communicate the best-practice on how to overcome any technical issues, such as the use of future novel liquid or alternative future fuels. With youth engagement, we are pleased to see the growth in numbers of young people in the sector both as vehicle users and working in the trade. We have affiliated with StarterMotor, the charity working to introduce the next generation by enabling them to drive the vehicles from historic to classics of a newer age of around 20 years old. We have links with or members that are bloggers, vloggers, podcasters, video producers, car sales, auctioneers, and a wide array of other members and partners who are all young enthusiasts involved in the sector and demonstrating their passion. It was superb to see the level of youth at the January Bicester Scramble enabled by the team at Bicester Motion providing free access to the under 16’s. Finally, we are pleased to have a Family membership category and also free membership for the under 21s. C
ADVTL_FusionCoatings_CCB_Feb22_v2.qxp 25/02/2022 15:43 Page 1
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OEM Restoration_CCB_June22.qxp 23/06/2022 18:34 Page 2
FACTORY A growing number of car manufacturers are offering their own restoration programmes. Are they a threat to existing restorers, or do they offer a complementary service?
Restoration programmes from car manufacturers are increasingly common. Lamborghini’s Polo Storico has been running since 2015.
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FACTORY FRESH... A
s more car manufacturers have come to value their heritage as a marketing tool, their interest in restoring cars from their back catalogue has increased. Initially, this tended to centre around historic cars from their own collections being restored by acknowledged marque experts, but more recently this work has been brought in-house. The knock-on effect of this has been to open up a sideline in offering restoration services to customers with the added lure of the car being worked on by the same company that built it in the first instance. As these manufacturer restoration programmes have grown, some are now comparable in size and output to many independent restoration firms. It raises the question of whether or not these schemes are a rival to existing businesses? Or can they co-exist and add to overall clout of the classic car sector? We spoke to several original equipment manufacturers (OEM) who offer in-house restoration programmes to find out how they operate and where they see themselves fitting in to the classic sector. Many of these OEM programmes have grown out of a demand from owners for their cars to be certified as original. This is what brought Lamborghini to the point of setting up its Polo Storico restoration division in 2015. The company’s Global After
Sales Director who is in charge of the classic side, Alessandro Fermeschi, said: ‘We decided to bring the history of the company to the fore, highlighting all that we’ve done. The department was founded to work on all of the classic models, which we define as every car up to and including the Diablo. We have three pillars at Polo Storico, which are: certification, restoration, and maintaining the history of our cars.’ Fermeschi added that launching Polo Storico has helped Lamborghini in unexpected ways: ‘The way Polo Storico catalogues cars is helping us collect data and information on our new cars in a much more effective way. It means we have this DNA from the start, so every car has its exact specification recorded on paper and digitally for future reference. When these cars become classics, we will be able to see how the car was built and how it left the factory. The biggest challenge in setting up Polo Storico was bringing together all of the information to restore a car to its original specification and to certify it. This data was spread all over the company, so we have spent a lot of time developing and digitalising our archive.’ With that archive in place, it has informed how Lamborghini’s inhouse restorations have progressed. Porsche puts all of its restorations through a cathodic dip paint process to protect the cars from corrosion in the future.
Fermeschi said: ‘For us, the key is to keep the car to the original specification and not deviate from that. If you start to implement new systems on an old car, it doesn’t match, so we reproduce parts with the same process as it was when the car was new.’ Some OEM restoration programmes are more willing to break from tradition, such as Porsche Classic. It is led to a larger degree by the preferences of the client and the company will incorporate new technology such as discreet modern infotainment. The only thing Porsche updates as a matter of course to its restorations is all cars go through the same cathodic dip painting process as its modern vehicles. Porsche Classic’s Director Ulrike Lutz (left) said: ‘Porsche is the only manufacturer in the world to offer this. Cathodic dip coating guarantees complete, highly resilient priming right into the last fold, resulting in a much higher level of corrosion protection than the original primer. When this preparation has taken place, the complete paintwork is built up by hand in the original vehicle colour. Application of each paint layer is followed by an extended drying period lasting three weeks.’ For some owners, this will not fit with their approach of completely original process, but Lutz points out >>
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The primary task of Maserati Classiche includes the manufacture of spare parts no longer available on the market.
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>> that Porsche Classic caters for models
all the way up to the first-generation Cayenne and Carrera GT. As a result, this also means Porsche Classic has a potential customer pool of 870,000 cars and it is growing as each successive model comes under the aegis of this department. As a result, Porsche has invested in 76 Porsche Classic Partners around the world, which are dedicated facilities at existing dealers. They are generally the first point of contact for a client looking to have their car restored at the factory. These Partners are also able to carry out work such as servicing, repairs and less comprehensive restoration work for any owner not ready to commit to the full factory programme. This is also dictated by Porsche only taking on around 10 full factory restorations per year, which is the same as Lamborghini, and each company employs a small, dedicated team. At Porsche Classic, there are 15 in the department and a similar number at its US operation in Atlanta that it opened in 2018, while Polo Storico has 10 in its workshops. A key difference, however, is Lamborghini is happy to use independent specialists where necessary. Alessandro Fermeschi explained: ‘All cars are painted in-house, along with mechanics and electronics. We use outside experts for some body panels as there are still a lot of suppliers around the factory who worked on these cars when they were new. There are also past employees who work as
Mazda carefully selects which cars it will restore.
consultants to support us.’ At a different end of the market, Mazda is applying the same approach to its classic MX-5 model with a dedicated factory restoration programme. As the original NA model of MX-5 has become increasingly collectible, the company relented to demand for cars to be restored by them. It’s only currently available in Japan, but Mazda believes there is more than enough potential for the programme to be expanded. The only hurdle is Mazda wants to restore all of these cars at the factory, so the cost of shipping a car to Japan and returning it to the owner is prohibitive beyond Japan’s shores. Mazda is also very strict about what cars it will restore and how the work is carried out. A spokesman for Mazda told us: ‘It should be an NA type equipped with 1.6-litre engine and five-speed manual transmission. The car has to be a specific grade and have had no accidents or modifications. The advantage for the owner is the restoration is based on Mazda’s quality standards, that of an OEM. It is not only simply replacing and maintain-
ing parts, but applying Mazda’s unique Roadster ride feeling by test driving the restored car at final confirmation stage. At the time of delivery, we provide every owner with a photo book and certificate that summarises records of restoration work. In addition, in order to ensure the quality of restoration, the company has obtained classic car garage certification from TÜV Rheinland Japan, a third-party organisation.’ At present, there is a one year waiting list for anyone wanting their MX5 restored by Mazda and the process takes around four months from start to finish. At Lamborghini, Porsche and many other OEM classic programmes, the timescale is longer due to the complexity of the cars, so an owner can expect a factory restoration to take anything up 18 months assuming there are no hidden problems, which is on a par with an independent specialist. While these programmes do operate as rivals in many ways to independent specialists, their selective approach to which cars they restore means many cars will not be suitable. However, these OEM schemes still offer assistance as many have helped reintroduce previously unobtainable parts and service items. Fermeschi reckons Lamborghini can now offer 60% of parts for its classic models, while Porsche now stocks more than 60,000 items for its classic models and adds around 300 new parts to the list every year. This is dictated by
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Aston Martin Works budgets 4,500 man hours to restore a car, which is reassembled to better than new condition.
customer demand and Porsche Lutz added: ‘As different models come into favour with owners, there’s a need for spare parts and that leads us to supplying them. Examples of this are the turn signal and tail light cluster for the short wheelbase 911 and 912 models, where we now offer perfect factory replicas.’ Increased parts supply is good news for owners and independent classic car specialists. This is where Cristiano Bolzoni, Maserati Classiche’s Manager, sees this type of OEM programme fitting into the wider classic car sector. He said: ‘The primary task of Maserati Classiche includes the manufacture of spare parts no longer available on the market, following indications taken from the original designs. The process uses the best technology there is to improve the reliability and functionality of the components, with no changes to their aesthetic appearance. Alongside collectors and customers, the programme provides a service to support the preservation of the cars and the restoration of every detail to match the original.’ Far from being in competition with other restoration firms, the OEM programmes see themselves as assisting other restorers with part supply, and making original information and data more readily available. Also, as Alessandro Fermeschi points out: ‘Not everyone wants a 100% authentic restoration or is able to pay, so there is room for all of us.’ C
IN FOCUS ASTON MARTIN WORKS Aston Martin’s Works programme has developed out of the company’s ongoing approach to looking after the cars it has made. It helps that Aston Martin was a very small-scale manufacturer for much of its history where new and used customers had very direct access to the factory. As a result, many cars returned to the Newport Pagnell site for remedial work and this grew into the Works programme that now services, repairs and restores all of the firm’s classic models. Where Aston Martin Works differs from many, though not all OEM classic services, is it doesn’t just carry out repair and restoration. It also sells classic Astons, which come with the company’s Assured Provenance and owners can ask for an Assured Provenance Certified inspection where the car is inspected, authenticated and digitally scanned to ensure any future work retains the car’s originality. Aston Martin Works also offers fixed price restorations, which is unusual given the unpredictable nature of this type of work. However, the company budgets 4,500 man hours to restore a car at the Works, and each car subject to this process is stripped, documented and the car reassembled to better than new condition.
ADVTL_Motul_DPS_CCB_June22_BLK.qxp 28/06/2022 15:47 Page 1
MOTUL: HISTORY, QUALITY, PASSION... OPPORTUNITIES If you exist in the world of Motorsport, or ride a Motorcycle, you will know Motul.
otul has been lubricating machines since long before the invention of the motor car. It dates back to America in 1853 and is going stronger than ever. In the 1950s, Motul’s French distributor acquired the brand from Swan & Finch and Motul has remained the family’s business ever since. The invention of the car was seen as Motul’s chance not only to create the right lubricant for a job, but also to find new solutions and new opportunities, focussing on innovation and excellence. Little has changed since. Motul continues to invent and produce quality products across the whole spectrum of processes – from the manufacture of vehicle components, through the production process, to running vehicles that its lubricants have helped create. This “Casted, Drilled, Filled” mantra is still a central pillar of Motul’s business model.
tion of British Historic Vehicle Clubs and its French counterpart. Partnerships are key to Motul’s success and span both the modern and historic vehicle world. Motul is OEM partner to marques like Suzuki, Caterham, Subaru, Brabus, Glickenhaus, Ariel, RUF, MV Agusta and Nismo. It also has OEM approval for its lubricant ranges from almost every major vehicle manufacturer.
Some notable Motul firsts Motul’s history of innovation – particularly with synthetic lubricants, is unmatched. In 1966 Motul brought the first Semi-Synthetic oil – Motul Century 2100 – to the automotive industry, and five years later launched, 300V – the world’s first Fully Synthetic motor oil. These products have defined the shape of the lubricant market ever since. Motul is extremely proud of being the global partner of FIVA, and the official lubricant of both the Federa-
Motul is the official oil of the Le Mans 24 Hours (Car, Moto and Classic), the World Endurance Championship, MotoGP, the World Superbike Championship, Isle of Man TT & Classic TT, the Carrera Panamericana, Tour Auto and Dakar Rally.
ADVTL_Motul_DPS_CCB_June22_BLK.qxp 28/06/2022 15:48 Page 2
So what does Motul have in its locker for the Classic Car business?
In the UK, as everwhere, Motul is fully immersed in the markets it serves and, in the Classic sector, Motul is actively seeking meaningful partnerships to engage with end-user consumers, and the trade serving them. The brand is the proud lubricant partner for The Classic at Silverstone and is in its third year as a Goodwood Revival partner, which includes lubricating the Goodwood estate’s work vehicles. Motul has also signed us as partner with The National Motor Museum at Beaulieu, The Classic Motor Company, Project Shop, RE Performance, The Classic Motor Show, Race Retro, Jordan Racing, Castle Combe Race Circuit, AceSpeed, The Classic Car and Restoration Show, the UK Top Technician and Top Garage initiatives and The Classic Motor Hub, to name but a few! The latest Motul partnership is Shelsley Walsh, the World’s Oldest continuous-use Motorsport Venue, and it looks forward to their Classic Nostalgia meeting, where it is also presenting partner of BRM’s 60th anniversary celebration of their F1 World Championship. Here BRM will demonstrate their V16 powered P15 F1 car continuation model, which Motul has been involved with since the project’s earliest days.
The next generation of Classic Car owners and restorers is also in Motul’s sights. Motul is lubricant partner to the UK Classic Car Loan Scheme – which loans classic cars for a year, free of charge, to give young people classic car ownership experience – and to Paddock Speedshop, a new TV series, currently in production, starring two 23year old classic car restorers who are restoring a workshop full of classics.
Motul offers lubricating solutions for engines of all sorts. In addition, it offers transmission oils, brake fluids, greases, workshop spray products, cooling fluids, antifreeze and hydraulic fluids. Passion is etched into every Motul product, and it shares the passion that owners have for their historic vehicles. Motul recognised, decades ago, the need to produce lubricants that cater for the specialist requirements of vehicles of differing ages. The Motul Classic lubricant range for passenger cars, and a similarly wide range for Motorcycles, are developed and formulated with a deep understanding of what it takes to keep vehicles of all eras running at their optimum.
“Motul’s lubricant ranges therefore, cover everything from Pre-War vehicles to ‘Youngtimers’.” The constant growth of the Classic Car sector and its absorption of the increasingly popular “Youngtimer” period – ‘80s, ‘90s and Noughties cars – means that more and more historic vehicles are on the roads, presenting real and growing opportunities for garage workshops. Motul’s lubricant ranges therefore, cover everything from Pre-War vehicles to ‘Youngtimers’ and the key characteristics of each oil are designed to tie in with the specific requirements of engines of their period.
EXTENDING THE OPPORTUNITY FURTHER... Engine oils provide the central requirement for historic vehicle lubrication, but there are many other lubricant and fluid requirements and, of course, caring for a vehicle is as important on the outside as it is under the hood. Motul has therefore extended its Classic range to include coolants, cleaners and vehicle care products, which, like its engine oils, are designed specifically for classic car maintenance and care, offering further opportunities to deliver the optimum product to owners and extend the upsell as related work. Motul’s range has long encompassed workshop sprays, greases and fluids, but it is also moving into complementary workshop equipment to make the lives of workshop technicians easier, cleaner and also create business opportunities. Motul’s additive dispensing system, for example, is simply connected and started up, running supervision-free so workshops can get on with other business. Motul has also taken a fresh look at parts cleaning with BioClean – a new, solvent-free parts washing system, that, with its warm biological cleaning agent is safe, effective, cost-efficient and pleasant to use.
Take a look at Motul. Better still, talk to us at a show, race track, club event near you, or just pick up the phone… General Enquiries: 01905 676819 Trade Enquiries: 0203 961 3656
HILTON_CCB_June22.qxp 23/06/2022 18:31 Page 1
GOING LARGE Hilton & Moss has just moved into a purpose-built 75,000 sq.ft building and the company is now focused on world-class restorations.
The idea of restorers being at the end of a farm track in rambling buildings is romantic, but it’s not the most practical,’ says Hilton & Moss’ Head of Business Martin Russell. This is why the well-known Mercedes restorer has just moved into a dedicated 75,000 sq.ft building in Bishop’s Stortford. Not only does it give the company a purpose-built base to expand its restoration business, it also aims to offer an experience for customers that matches the quality of the firm’s work. Martin Russell says a curated approach to subcontracting ensures quality.
Company founder Peter Hilton adds: ‘This new facility is the future of our business, perfectly encapsulating everything we do here at the Group. The new state-of-the-art showrooms are the ideal showcase for our perfect restoration work at Hilton & Moss, as well as TVR and Lotus models as part of Car Sales – our two-storey 30-bay workshop further extends our reputation as the largest manufacturer-approved repair facility in the UK, and Hilton Car Storage showcases our absolute passion and attention to detail. More than that, though, we wanted to create a real destination for car enthusiasts in the South East and beyond.’ The company has grown from that approved repairer business thanks to Peter Hilton’s own passion for classic cars. In 2010, he set up Hilton & Moss and the company quickly gained a reputation for the quality of its work on Mercedes-Benz cars. Many have gone on to win concours events and the company has had its fair share of celebrity clients. In 2020, Martin Russell’s firm Bespoke Performance became part of the
Hilton & Moss group, with Martin’s experience working on TVR and Lotus cars being invaluable. The company continues to work on these makes, with much of this focus on newer models, but it’s the classic side that benefits the most from the recent expansion into the new threestory building. Head of marketing Jack Nicholls explains: ‘The new facility means we can now offer a full concierge service for owners of these cars, which has all grown out of Peter’s passion for classic cars. Our location helps a lot as we’re between Stansted airport and London, so we can offer to pick up customers from the airport or the train station. Our aim is to make sure we can offer a service that exceeds customers’ expectations and reignite their passion for a car that might have been sitting in the garage unused for a long time. ‘We also have the existing building that we grew out of, so we have around 125,000 sq ft in total across the four buildings. We have a dedicated paint and preparation shop that’s 30,000sq ft, plus a valeting bay. The
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long-term plan is to dedicate the Hilton & Moss building purely to restoration with separate service bays. We’re by no means filling the space, so we have room to expand and push forward. It’s all to provide customers with an experience that’s more than just about having their car fixed or restored. It’s the experience of the building, looking at the cars, seeing the facility, and learning more about what’s happening to their car. Our aim is to give a hotel quality of the finish of the building. We want to redefine the idea of car restorers as being “under the arches”.’ A two-storey showroom sits at the front of the new facility, displaying models from the in-house classic car restoration and sales business, as well as modern sports cars. Behind each of the showrooms are workshops provid-
Jack Nicholls believes premium luxury and value work together at Hilton & Moss.
ing 30 bays across two floors, allowing all types of repairs. A custom-built car ramp provides access to the first floor where more complex repair jobs are undertaken. The whole of the third floor is dedicated to secure car storage, while a roof terrace opens up a space for visitors to enjoy a coffee and to make the building a destination for classic car enthusiasts. The company is aware this sort of operation can send out a mixed message to clients and potential customers that it will be expensive to have work undertaken in order to fund this sort of building. However, Jack Nicholls says: ‘We want to position ourselves as premium in a luxury sector but by no means be expensive. We want to show we are giving even better value for the service we are providing. This goes from everything >>
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We’re always on the lookout for people with a passion for cars and anyone who can bring a valuable skillset to the company.
>> from the fit and finish of the buildings to offering a great coffee. It should be something that can be a day out for the owners when they come to see their vehicle. That’s vital when many customers are having the work carried out for sentimental reasons rather than financial decision.’ Hilton & Moss also looks to deliver value for money for its customers by not always attempting to complete every job in-house. Martin Russell says: ‘We can do most work in-house, though we have a trimmer and wood finisher that we
use, as well as things like windings for motors. Sometimes it’s better to use a specialist who has the tools to hand rather than us spending more time on a job. An example is automatic gearboxes that are easier to have rebuilt by a specialist where we have a good relationship with them. This carefully curated approach to outsourcing means the customer gets the best finish as well as a better price on the finished vehicle.’ The company currently employs 90 people across the group and is looking to recruit on the restoration side. Jack
Nicholls says: ‘We’re looking to extend and we’re always on the lookout for people with a passion for cars and anyone who can bring a valuable skillset to the company. Our location again helps as there are so many talented people within this area. Now we have the space, we want to be the number one restorer for these types of car. We’re trying to be very ambitious and feel we can compete in the UK and globally with the finish we offer, the team that works together, and the philosophy we have.’ C
SHOCKING THE CLASSIC MARKET! UK Koni Importer, Performance Parts RFT looks at the brand’s place in the burgeoning classic car sector...
oni dates back to 1857 and has produced performance shock absorbers since the 1930s. Performance Parts RFT (PPRFT) was set up in 2016 to handle Koni distribution in the UK. However, the team behind PPRFT has been working with Koni for more than 30 years as Managing Director, David Russell and his family owned Camberley Auto Factors, who became Koni distributors in 1986. PPRFT also now distributes Apex high performance springs and Koni DS brake pads. The Koni name and reputation were made in rallying before they came to supply OE product for the likes of Ferrari – on both road and track. Koni today encompasses many different product categories within the shock absorber arena, with more than a dozen different sector-specific types of products. The ranges start with the STR.T “Street” Dampers and run, via Koni’s specialist 4x4 ranges of Heavy Track and Raid, through to its highperformance Sport and Special Active ranges, the benchmark in adaptive suspension. The Koni Classic range comes about off the back of their OE pedigree. Long the Original Equipment choice of many high-end car manufacturers, there is, consequently, a wide choice of
replacement damper units for established classics. Over the years this has been added to, as owners of popular classics such as Mini, MG, Japanese models and American Muscle cars have looked to improve the ride and handling of their cherished machines.
The expanding number of what has been traditionally regarded as classic cars has also been augmented by a new generation of car and this has, in turn, ushered in a new generation of enthusiast. The growth in “Youngtimers” and Modern Classics is across the board but the focus is often directed towards sportier models and owners often look to put their own stamp on the cars and upgrade them.
Suspension is usually one of the first areas that owners contemplate. “We have witnessed the growth of demand for Koni Classic products and a real surge of interest in cars from the 1980s, ‘90s and even early 2000s”, explains David Russell. “They are usually owned by enthusiasts who liked the cars growing up and who now can afford them to run them. Often owners want to improve the cars. Cost is not the driving factor in the buying decision – quality is, and people rightly associate the Koni name with this.” “Alfa Romeo GTVs, Toyota Supras, early model Golf GTis, 3 Series BMWs and Peugeot 205GTI all come to mind as being good examples of these,” adds PPRFT’s General Manager, Trevor Leigh. “Many of these cars are actually used daily, so owners want the best possible driving experience. Therefore, there is a ready market for upgrades for these classics of tomorrow, with the potential of an upsell for new sets of dampers and often the springs to go with them. Trade also continues to grow in the main classic car sector as well, so garages who are looking for new work and additional revenue streams definitely have growing opportunities emerging in this sector.”
PERFORMANCE PARTS RFT: w koniuk.co.uk t 01252 494017
ADVTL_FootmanJames_CCB_June22.qxp 23/06/2022 18:07 Page 1
New report from Footman James indicates classic industry must prevent decline by understanding changing trends and consumer diversity
s one of the UK’s leading insurers of classic vehicles and classic vehicle businesses, Footman James have a pretty good idea of what the future holds for enthusiasts and their vehicles. Encouraging the next generation of classic owners is one of our top priorities – and it’s also vital we listen to the interests, opinions, and concerns of the people who make our scene as great as it is. We’re delighted to introduce the Footman James Indicator Report – a brand new deep dive into the current classic scene, which captures the state of the nation. Across three sections – Owners, Vehicles and Business & Environment – we’ve explored the changes experienced in recent history, as well as what the future may hold. In our Business & Environment section, we talk to classic vehicle business on how they have adapted to the changing nature of the industry. Plus, we explore how youngsters are not just getting into the classic vehicle scene, but
the classic vehicle business scene too. We take a close look at the challenges our classic vehicle museums face and how vehicle clubs and organisations are tackling the issues they face now, and ones they may face in the future. The report does highlight that the sector is more than just a moneymaking industry too, but that it also breeds communities. The review highlights the lockdown-induced REVS community and the long-standing PistonHeads forums, and how they have grown and reacted to times and trends. However, Footman James urges community and club managers to look further than traditional classic vehicle fans and open clubs to more people to attract new audiences and breed new classic vehicle fans and owners. Managing Director of Footman James, David Bond said: “Change is good for our community. In many ways, as this report highlights, we have changed and evolved as a classic vehicle sector, using technology and communities in times of need. But, if
we look around, it’s clear to see that our industry isn’t doing enough to change quickly enough, especially around the gender and age of enthusiasts. “Speaking to our clients and indeed the public about classic and collector vehicles, as a community, we’re deemed as old school as our vehicles, and we must listen to this criticism and become more attractive, inclusive and welcoming to the new era of the classic vehicle community. After all, without change, we wouldn’t have grown the classic and enthusiast vehicle sector this far.” Download the full report via the sign-up form here: www.footmanjames.co.uk/the-indicator-report. C
FOR THE FULL REPORT SCAN HERE
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YOUNG_Drivers_CCB_June22.qxp 23/06/2022 18:39 Page 1
START ‘EM YOUNG The classic car industry needs to attract in young enthusiasts as customers and to work in the sector. We look at how this problem is being addressed.
The classic car world is facing an emergency,’ says Dave Withers, Chief Executive of charity StarterMotor. ‘We need to bring in new people to our industry or it could be gone in 15 years.’ It may sound dramatic, but Withers is a realist at the forefront of attracting young people into the classic car world. StarterMotor was set up in 2017 as a charity specifically to give young drivers access to older cars to teach them in the maintenance and use of these vehicles. Since then, the
charity has engaged with tens of thousands of younger drivers and potential classic car enthusiasts, and many have been given their first opportunity to drive a classic. Withers continues: ‘The average age of a classic car owner in the UK is 66-years old, so where is the industry going to find buyers? Young people are not disinclined towards classics, they are just not exposed to them, so we could face a huge plummet in car values within the next 15 to 20 years. Vintage cars, especially, are facing a
YOUNG_Drivers_CCB_June22.qxp 23/06/2022 18:39 Page 2
difficult time as they are not as visible on the roads. They are also seen as expensive and tricky to maintain.’ To counter these impressions, StarterMotor provides the chance to drive a variety of older cars. A young driver can start with something familiar, such as the charity’s Porsche 924 or Audi TT, which are insured by Hagerty so there are no issues with cover. Every driver is assessed for their suitability and they are typically given four hours of tuition on the test track at Bicester Heritage, where the charity is based, before being allowed on the public road. Withers says: ‘Being able to offer drives in classic cars is a great hook and we can use that to ignite the passion for older cars. The classic industry is very hungry for young applicants and we help them to see that it’s a good industry to be part of and work in. We also make them aware that there’s more to the industry than restoring cars, so there’s something to suit everyone’s interests and abilities.’
Once a young driver is ready to drive a classic on the road, they then have use of the car for two weeks to enjoy in a wide variety of ways. After starting with newer classics, many choose to improve their driving skills by going back further in StarterMotor’s catalogue and try pre-war vehicles such as an Austin Seven or an Alvis that the charity has access to. Some of these cars are on loan or have been donated, and the Alvis Owner Club was the first single marque club to support the charity as it recognised the need to draw in younger members. Concerns about young drivers operating vintage cars are quickly allayed by Dave Withers: ‘They are much easier to train to use these cars than older, more experienced drivers because young people don’t have the ingrained muscle memory. It means they are much less concerned about a central throttle or reverse gearchange pattern. Pre-war cars are so visceral and can be used in so many events,
from the Vintage Sports-Car Club to HERO rallies. It helps the new drivers feel they belong to a community and that’s what really keeps them coming back. Belonging is vital, whether it’s driving or marshalling or just being around the cars and people.’ Dealer Tom Hardman agrees and says: ‘The key is getting people up close to pre-war cars, so they can use it and enjoy it. Getting young people hands-on with these cars is essential so they appreciate the mechanical workings. When you can pass on the knowledge and enjoyment, people of all ages become enthusiastic about pre-war machinery.’ Mark Elder, from The Motor Shed, is another who believes younger drivers are important to the longerterm stability of the classic car industry. He says: ‘We see a lot of buyers come from post-war cars to pre-war, but we are also seeing younger drivers choose a pre-war car as their first classic. Many of these buyers do not have a vintage car background, >>
YOUNG_Drivers_CCB_June22.qxp 23/06/2022 18:40 Page 3
>> which is very encouraging, and once
they get their heads around driving the car, they realise it opens up some bloody good fun. We need more young people keen to drive these cars as they then become the next generation of customers.’ Some car clubs are actively engaging with younger drivers, such as the Vintage Sports-Car Club and the Morris Minor Owners Club. The VSCC offers half-price membership and race entry fees to those under the age of 30. It has also run Under 30s races that have been very popular. The Morris Minor Owners Club Young Members Register is for anyone up to the age of 30. It has been successful are pulling in new members and also broadening the appeal of classic cars to young women.
Another initiative has come from the mainstream Young Driver experiences that offer driving lessons for anyone aged from 4 to 17. The business works with the British Motor Museum, Bicester Heritage, and Stoneleigh Park Estate to offer young drivers a lesson with a qualified driving instructor in an Austin Seven,
Morris Minor, or Vauxhall VX4/90. Many classic car companies support young drivers getting behind the wheel of classic cars, and StarterMotor has strong support from specialists such as Classic Performance Engineering, Blue Diamond Riley, and NP Veteran Engineering among others. This has helped the charity field a 1902 Oldsmobile Curved Dash in the London to Brighton Run with young drivers taking part. Dave Withers sees this as a natural progression in ability for young drivers and says: ‘We have to encourage young people into this industry as owners and to work, whether that’s in engineering, film-making, property, sales, finance, or any of the many other areas. Without them, we won’t have an industry or the hobby that is our passion.’ C
Without young people, we won’t have an industry or the hobby that is our passion.
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I do love someone who has quality taste in tyres
Fuel_Synthetic_CCB_June22.qxp 23/06/2022 18:28 Page 1
Is replacing fossil fuels with synthetic e-fuel the gold standard for the continued use of classic cars? Here’s what you need to know...
he biggest shift in the composition of vehicle fuel since the removal of lead is the introduction of E10 petrol. It became the standard 95 RON unleaded fuel on most suppliers’ forecourts from 1 September 2021. As the name suggests, it contains up to 10% ethanol rather than the previous E5’s 5% maximum content. This switch has been driven by government to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 750,000-tonnes per annum in the UK. However, concerns among classic car owners have been rife. Aside from the small 1% reduction in fuel economy that comes with switching to regular use of E10 in place of E5 fuel, there are more fundamental issues. One in five new cars now sold in the UK is powered by battery electric propulsion. This is putting the internal combustion engine (ICE) more and more in the dock for its tailpipe emissions and, by association, classic cars are also under scrutiny. One potential solution for cars with ICE engines is to replace their fuel with synthetically produced e-fuel. We already have biofuels, but these are not the same as e-fuels. Biofuel is produced from biomass, which requires large-scale use of land to either grow a dedicated crop or it uses the waste product from another commercially grown crop. While
biofuel draw carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as those crops grow, it also uses ethanol in its mix to run in petrol engines, which is not ideal for classic vehicles. Synthetic fuels, on the other hand, are generated by capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and separating the two component parts. Like fossil fuels, synthetic fuel is a hydrocarbon, but it’s where these elements come from that is different as nothing is taken out of the ground for the e-fuel. The carbon is then blended with hydrogen that is extracted from water by electrolysis to make a liquid fuel that is both easy to transport and energy dense. In other words, it behaves in the same way as traditional fossil fuel-derived petrol. It sounds like the ideal solution to the conundrum of how to make classic cars more environmentally friendly without compromising their mechanical integrity or originality. The downside is that synthetic fuel is likely to be considerably more expensive than current petrol. Even now, sustainable biofuel such as that from Coryton is about double the cost of super unleaded fuel. For many classic car owners who cover an average of 1200 miles per year in their cars, this rise in fuel price will be accepted. However, for the much bigger new car market, it will be a harder sell and that looks set
Fuel_Synthetic_CCB_June22.qxp 23/06/2022 18:29 Page 2
Porsche has invested £59 million in an e-fuel production facility in Chile.
to delay the commercial availability of this type of fuel for some time. Even so, Bosch’s CEO Volkmar Denner believes the price will reduce to a rate comparable or lower than current petrol prices by 2030 as demand increases in the face of environmental targets set for that date. All is not lost, though, as many companies are developing synthetic fuel technology, including Bosch, Siemens, and Porsche. The German sports car maker has a vested interest in the ongoing supply of liquid fuel as many of its customers demand this. Also, motorsport is proving a hotbed of development for synthetic fuels, which again Porsche has a strong interest in. To secure a future supply of synthetic fuel, Porsche has invested £59 million in acquiring a long-term stake in HIF Global, which has an e-fuel production facility in Chile. The location is important as it has the ability to generate large volumes of renewable electricity
through wind turbines, and the electricity is needed to separate the carbon dioxide and water into its component elements. When the carbon and hydrogen are made into a liquid fuel and used to power an engine, the only carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere is what was already removed during the fuel’s production. No CO2 is removed from where it’s locked into the ground, which is the primary problem with fossil fuels. Barbara Frenkel, Member of the Executive Board at Porsche for Procurement, said: ‘E-fuels make an important contribution to climate
protection. It is conceivable it will be used in the company’s vehicles during fuelling at the factory and at our Porsche Experience Centres.’ The argument against e-fuel is that it’s not zero emissions and that it still generates tail-pipe emissions. For classic cars that cover small annual mileages, this is not so much of a concern, but for the viability of e-fuel in the future, it’s an issue that needs further explanation. As e-fuel can only emit as much CO2 as has been removed from the atmosphere, it cannot add any extra CO2 back when it’s burnt and its overall production can be carbon neutral if renewable energy is used in its production. Another advantage for e-fuels is they can use the same infrastructure already in place either for transportation or final delivery to a customer’s vehicle. If there is a largescale switch to e-fuel, Bosch claims it could save 2.8 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions by 2050. C
“E-FUELS MAKE AN IMPORTANT CONTRIBUTION TO CLIMATE PROTECTION.” BARBARA FRENKEL, PORSCHE AG
Gpaint_CCB_June22.qxp 23/06/2022 18:30 Page 1
TOUCH OF GENIUS British firm Gpaint has come up with an ingenious range of touch-in paints for classic cars.
usiness is going with a swing for Gpaint, which started out customising golf club paint schemes and providing golfers worldwide with graphics touch-up paint. This led to the company branching out to include the cycling sector and it is now offering its clever colour-matching system to the classic car sector. Gpaint’s Managing Director Andy Griffiths explains: ‘After working with golf clubs to begin with and the cycle industry, we looked around to see what other hobbies and sports use metal apparatus. It became obvious the classic car sector was ideal because anyone selling a classic car wants it to look its best, as well as those who own them. As classic cars can have paint that’s decades old and gently changed over time, matching it with a factory shade can be difficult.
Gpaint allows you to adjust the shade for a perfect match and we are currently bespoke matching specific colours direct to the cycle industry’s leading brands.’ Gpaint has formulated its touch-in paints so they can be applied by brush and use an additive so they dry with no brush marks. The paint is also made so that it works with all types of materials, from steel and aluminium to glass fibre and even carbon fibre. As it works with all substrates with no need for primer, it’s quick and easy to use to protect bodywork that might otherwise develop corrosion before a more expensive respray can be applied. The paints come in four- or eight bottle packs that are ready to mix, and there are guides included on how to achieve the correct colour match. In an eight bottle pack, the colours
provided are white, black, red, cyan, yellow, orange, lime, and magenta. Griffiths says: ‘We’re looking to add a silver and British Racing Green soon to cater specifically to the classic car and motorcycle sectors.’ The four bottle pack retails for £12.99 and the eight bottle pack costs £19.99. A matt range is also offered that costs £14.99, and Gpaint can also supply 50ml tins of paint. All of the paint is produced in the UK and it has an eightyear shelf life when stored at room temperature and away from direct sunlight. It can also be thinned for use with a spray gun for larger areas. Griffiths adds: ‘We’re looking for distributors and retailers across the classic car sector, and we want to build strong relationships with our client base to work alongside them with marketing.’ C
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For all classic trade trade professionals professionals For all classic
Classic Car Business magazine is the only dedicated title for the
classic car industry. It focuses on the news, skills and issues of this expanding sector to provide those inside the classic car trade with the information needed to make the right decisions. Created by an experienced team in the sector to engage with industry experts and specialist trades...
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GARRY WILSON OF THE THE CHA HCVA OUT LLENGES LINES CAR SECT FACING THE CLA OR AND SSIC HOW THIS BODY IS CAMPAIG NING FOR NEW TRADE ITS FUTURE .
Credit: London Classic Car Show
car crash is an unusual starting point for the UK’s Aerial view of the can talk to each other and largest be part of a Bicester site in 1935. classic car hub, but community. There is also that’s a lot of soluwhat inspired Daniel Geoghegan tion finding and mutual to help. It found Bicester Heritage, GIVE ADVANCED WARNING seemed to me the historic which now car world sits under the broader was crying out for a place Bicester OF POTENTIAL PROBLEMS where you Motion umbrella. could get a group of like minds ‘I was navigating in a LONG BEFORE THEY together to make their Riley in the businesses Flying Scotsman when we crashed,’ more valuable, think about CAUSE A FAILURE.” apprenticesays Dan. ‘While I was recovering in ships, and consider growth. It gives 2012, customers what they want GUY LACHLAN, MD, CLASSIC OILS I wondered about the process of as nowadays rebuilding the car itself. they want a good experience Parts were because being sent all over the country, so it they see classic cars as leisure.’ made sense if there was by somewhere life.’ Since founding Bicester rities. Synthetic oil is produced engine Heritage in you could gives a and tion”all The find ofprolongs the necessaryin classic chemical synthesis, which2013 using experience from car because customers alchemy, a quick bit of history. oil specialists Dan’s the oil they get structure A higher a better tobackground (SAE) in one place.viscosity I took inspimore uniform oil in property investment, experience, Society of Automotive Engineers and good for ration for also helps reduce modern from engines efficiency other clusters, is ideal forthe system such as seals, largely Grade 2 listed molecules that andyou don’t because came up with a numbering motorsport, consumption, protects site has spend a dayin many emerging Silicon Valley, and in a week found expanded now to house engines on pressure. the oil motor oils according to viscosity road almost picking things up and Cambridge the correct maintainsPark. oils were Science tenants running 100 businesses. 50 There’s classic cars. oil pres-them dropping 1926. At this point, all motorclearly a value off. They too hung up on the selecting Don’tingetgetting as the Equally as important asrange lots as from firms offering restoration of it is ‘Anyone only an running monogrades, which thinned people suit a car a business sure gauge, can toservices and viscosity the SAEtogether. It’s though, good for the right oil such as trimming, engineerstory of become engine warmed up, and lonely, so people at vehicle Guy indicator. If you want the full Bicestercorrectly. over a ing, and metalwork, to sales is storing the used oil number describes its behaviour of classic inside form the engine’s health, have the can says: ‘Condensation warnrange of temperatures. car in a analysed as it can give advanced oil was the engine, so parking the before Now for the tech. Multigrade leaving it ing of potential problems long more garage is a big step up from developed as engines became climate they cause a failure. in a 20Woutside. If you can control the oils sophisticated. For example, A final Guy recommends multigrade us it’s in the garage, even better.’ for 50 oil, the first number tells is that nofor all classics wherever possible second piece of advice from Guy stick with viscosity when cold and the engine by maximum protection. If you is fully one ever damaged their to follow number when the engine a monograde oil, you need Winter. changing the oil. C and warmed up. The W stands for the original service intervals and is A 5W-40 has a thinner viscosity
Bicester Heritage has rapidly become a leading centre for classic car business. Chief Executive Daniel Geoghegan explains the thinking behind the site and its future plans.
different potentially change to a summer viscosity of oil for winter and cars don’t use. As many older classic to use have a filter, it’s also important settle in an oil that lets contaminants in the oil the sump rather than be held to where they can cause damage engine components. is Another concern for classics of mineral using synthetic oil in place oil, where oil. Both come from a base impumineral oil is refined to remove
“IF YOU WANT THE FULL STORY OF THE ENGINE’S HEALTH, HAVE THE USED OIL ANALYSED AS IT CAN
re a as d g r. o-
traders. Andy Entwistle, Chief Executive of the British Motor Show (left) that mixed new cars with classics and trade stands, said: ‘Covid has caused a lot of uncertainty for organisers and exhibitors, but I think it’s also helped bring in a more diverse attendance from smaller traders as some of the larger ones have stayed at home. This also helps bring in a different crowd, which is good for everybody as it means it’s not just the die-hards who would come to the show regardless. Shows need to evolve and offer more entertainment to draw in crowds, and traders are part of that evolution. ‘The rise of online shopping has made visitors far more aware of whether or not they are getting a bargain at a car show. However, I believe there is also an opportunity with classic shows to sell more to foreign visitors who perhaps have fewer chances to see products in the metal, so are more likely to spend money there and then. Foreign visitor numbers are down at present due to Covid worries, but they will come back and many classic owners in Europe love the UK’s events.’ As Andy Entwistle notes, the rise of online shopping is having a marked effect on the viability of traders attending shows and covering their costs to be there. Dougal Cawley added: ‘I’m not sure what organisers can do to help traders, really, or improve the experience for us. As the NEC show proved, there are plenty of people happy to come >>
better suited to colder climates. seem a Using a thinner oil might circulate good idea for a classic as it will is cold. more easily when the engine grade oils However, Guy says: ‘Heavier bearings tend to be “dragged” around when the and surfaces, so it stays there quality engine is switched off. A good running after oil clings to the surfaces thick the engine, so there’s a micron it’s started when metal the on layer lubricaagain. This is called “full film
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dation, the cost of building a stand, and there’s staff to think about when asking them to be there. The total mounts up very quickly.’ The pressure to choose which events, if any, is being felt across the classic sector, as Vittoria AnnosciaThornley, of restoration firm Thornley Kelham, explained: ‘It’s a tough one to decide which events to attend. If we have an interesting car that’s just out of restoration, we talk to the owner about exhibiting. However, it’s very hard to quantify how shows generate leads and work. We’re very selective about events to attract the right customers for our specialisation, though they can offer great exposure for us. London Concours has been fantastic for us. If we win an award at a show, it gives us another opportunity to promote ourselves and gain recognition.’ Vittoria Annoscia-Thornley (left) also takes a wider view of events and their effectiveness at generating new business. She sees events beyond the traditional static car shows as vital to the success of Thornley Kelham: ‘Events are a showcase and chance to network. Word of mouth is important, too, and going on rallies gives us the chance to develop strong links with both existing and potential customers.’ Event organisers are also aware of the need to change and develop the way shows are run for both the public and
up hoosing the correct oil to top be or replace in a classic car can and daunting. Yet it needn’t be at Guy Lachlan, Managing Director important Classic Oils, says: ‘The most into thing is not to be bamboozled doing nothing.’ is right To understand which is oil to learn a for a classic car, we need those who little about viscosity. For panic, dodged double chemistry, don’t the it’s not too technical. Before
concerns One of the biggest is E10 fuel. for classic car drivers to know. need Here’s what you
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ar show with a stand is a big investment for any business. Is it worth the cost?
in a classic car in your stock Changing or topping up the oil with the dark arts. does not have to mean dabbling
The rise of online shopping has made visitors far more aware of whether or not they are getting a bargain at a car show.
cars, and also others providing services. There’s also an on-site brewery and what Dan happily says is the best coffee in Oxford.
The present success of Bicester has taken a long time to nurture, and new space offered is routinely any oversubscribed with companies wanting to fill it. Dan says: ‘We’ve had around 500 enquiries over the past eight years for the space available, so it’s a ratio of around 10 to one for what we accommodate. Any successful can enterprise has to be beneficial for concerned. We want specialists all here who want to be at Bicester, but who also bring something to the party. Our pact with them is to create a jigsaw puzzle where we won’t cause unnecessary competition. “Values” is an underused word in commercial prop-
elcome to sic Vehic the Historic and les Allian Clascolumn ces’ (HCV We are for Class Congratula ic Car Busin A) membersh pleased to tions to at CCB have attra Alisdair ess. on both large ip from many magazine. the launch of this and the team organisatiocted ance and and small. Thes exciting ns, and CCB It is only fittin new e cover g that work toget marque auction comp insuranies, speci classic car repai her as boththe HCVA businesses r and resto trade and alist have the among rers, industry our ende facturers , parts suppliers, transport as princ avours. Thank ipal and manu erty and that is to make you that we to name a few. sure we treat grow the It is essen welcoming environment. billion secto to all those our tenants with respect. and the in ‘Trade We’ve r who They are the HCVA ‘Own and Indu tial noticed this at the Scrambles have supp our £18.3 as heroes and we’ve got to ship becau er and Enthu orted the as we build this have a new siast’ memstry’ they’ve grown. Those original tion for se the essential future where we look the have, enthusibermore trade organ at the leisure the been a members and indus isaasts are still there, but we and experiential side of support more that can now have try. It has we 4000 rather busy what we launc the be achie or 5000 people at an event few h in and present a modern proposition.’do When we members. A ved to and there are May 2021, months since virtuous lots of families. This is becausemembersh Marrying the past, present build gratifying talk with the a classic ip and the businessescircle. and car is the perfect conduit ing, tackling associated ing the future is always on the objectives when the HCVA , togettin having a our marketminds of Dan campaign it is great family day out. g to know campaign actio and his team, which is early engag are understoo and why Bicester At its core, the stakeholde ns, and d, ‘Our belief is inclusivity Motion now functions and very ement and joinin leading to Vehicles Club, is the new rs. the HCVA as an overar‘Prote understan tion of British Historic g. exclusivity. If we’re perceived ct acidity, is here E10 is ching name for everything quite sure dably, manyHowever, to be inthe Future has increased to help points are that on the why there of our said: ‘Ethanol an ivory tower in the classic means we The two main and site. This recognises industry Past’. This inorganic chloride car world, are here to is a need are not in the composiit absorbs water, the changing tors, body and, conductivity, and we need to lower the drawbridge governmen work with he biggest shift hygroscopic, so for landscape of classic cars, busin in an are smaller than the compared to convenesses, fuel since the legislat as well as content when let people in. I think ensure and the inves case of smaller tion of vehicle the ethanol molecules ts so it is more the voice and allied agen alliance the wider automotive what we’ve which is essentially is the introduccies to tmen is sector. tional petrol achieved at Bicester has we have a susta of our sector removal of lead petrol’s other componen tions askedsignificant. Some t in the ‘Customer can cause corrois heard been disruprequirements inable by elastomer materials It became the stanhave so of the quesinclude: neutral. The ethanol metal compotive in the best possiblemuch to do, which futur easily absorbed tion of E10 petrol. in fuel changed,’ says Dan. of way as it fuel on most and plastic used ‘Twenty-five is why the e. There is sion and tarnishing offers a model for the industry such as rubber . These that dard 95 RON unleaded years ago, a classic car ‘What’s HCVA is: to see consideration is certain conditions from 1 SeptemWorking was someunder in Another forecourts nents that it clusters are good. It’s with the systems. in the for me?’ you are suppliers’ it thing dads did on the weekend. are controlled been engines run leaner, registration DVLA on helping Fundamen name suggests, Now, characteristics happening in the boat world EuroE10 tends to make to ensur classic ity of the to be ber 2021. As the issues. many customers want for a long blend E5 and E10 e the susta tally vehicle mixture needs an enjoyable ethanol rather than indus ethanol used to time with marinas where so the fuel/air inabilcontains up to 10% day out, so there’s a ‘But gover try and your by the ethanol fuel you have all for running on this Navig much higher E5’s 5% maximum ating pean and UK petrol to of the services in one place adjusted to account fail.’ Well, nment won’t business. the previous emphasis on service and EN15376 in order and solutions to the has been driven let the being in a they won’t specification BS can also get a coffee andareas suchyou Brexit impac type of fuel. the witho secto as parts content. This switch dioxchat.’ way to avoid to reduce carbon >> and vehicle move t on gover ut the HCVA they if they know, butr help limit corrosion.’ the detrimenOf course, one RON by government nment won’t. One ment. Responding is to stick with 97 by 750,000-tonnes Inhibitors to prevent leader problems of E10 the scale recent ide (CO2) emissions to gover petrol. available, and are unleaded E10 of of nment consu of this £18.3 was stunned UK. tal effects or higher grades the size about per annum in the ltations. by the introduc‘Aftermarket ethanol Outlining among classic of the moto billion secto Nigel added: the secto often Diesel is not affected if you cannot However, concerns ‘I’ll just rsport indus r, twice r’s enviro what rife. Aside from inhibitor additives, wait thank but been E10, have of corrosion try. nmental tion We have car owners ity additives, s.’ position. Engaging in fuel econwith E10? had two It may be too called ethanol compatibil youth more avoid filling up threats the small 1% reduction switching to late. e fuels with a metallic skills devel in as many potential widely, both with usually combined Elliott, an automotiv comes are indus Nigel that respo opment mont omy Federatry in terms nded to hs, and and owne adviser to the in place of E5 fuel, of these we have rship. support, specialist and regular use of E10 ?? class we won’t . However, witho fundamental issues. iccarbusine respond ?? classiccarbusiness.com be able there are more ut to all of to ident ss.com ify and them.
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TOP TIPS to deal
and carries a reputable supplier nt fuel hose is from Make sure replaceme the R9 label. a full solution. of E10, but are not reduce the effects Fuel additives help is hygroscopic so its fuel system. E10 with E10 petrol in fuel components. Do not store a car re that can corrode from the atmosphe it absorbs water fuel. E10-free an use When storing a car, and refill as run the car as normal E10 unintentionally, ee fuel. If you fill up with with E5 or ethanol-fr soon as possible fuel remaining E5 Super unleaded on from the nt has agreed to reviewed five years The UK governme , but this will be available on forecourts introduction of E10. September 2021 a minimum of 1 of petrol and supply are exempstock two grades There that grade. stations Super Filling an E5 of Scotland annum must offer , north, and west million litres per in parts of the Highlands and somepetrol. retailers additive for tions unleaded valve recession have to sell 95 RON E5 booster. They that can continues times an octane at: good protection lity can be checked been found to provide in historic and E10 vehicle compatibi corrosion
ING A STAND
THE KNOWLEDGE Apprenticeships For all classic
(THE DARK ART OF)
Credit: Bicester Heritage
usiness.com ?? classiccarb
What we’ ve achieve Bicester d at has in the bes been disruptive t as it offe possible way rs a mod el for the indu stry clusters to see that are good.
against metal systems.’ Lambda The classic ve classic vehicle fuel convertors and news. The bad news with three-way catalytic unleaded petrol. That’s the good Apprenticeships are it can Modern classic cars mixture adjustment to run on E10 make-up means is E10’s chemical key fuel composensor do not require penetrate and weaken are smaller and nents as its molecules entire system the more polar. Unless tible with E10-compa lassic cars are has been replaced m still suffer damage can about vehicle enjoying the a part, As re used or stored. past, but business either when being po vehicle parts such is about the well as the obvious wh and seals, other present and future. as fuel lines, pump, Ve too, to be replaced, This is why apprencomponents need pr against damage tices have become in order to safeguard pre filter includes, fuel a key topic of from E10. This nal carbuplastic filter, discussion the within the sector as the housings and thi or glassfibre fuel need to address a shortage of new rettor floats, plastic gaskets. mo r blood for all types of restoration work tanks, and carburetto E10 unleaded try is more acutely felt. An upside to using its cleansing V is Figures from Heritage Engineering petrol in a vehicle ley, Elliott explained: Apprenticeships show that three quareffects. Nigel (rig solvent and can ters of employers report difficulties ‘Ethanol is a good system deposits in of u recruiting staff with the necessary fuel remove historic they advisknowledge and skills. Coupled and lines. It is to a from fuel tanks com SYNTHETIC FUEL regularly after filters secure 68% decline to fuel in motor vehicle apprenbullet able to check ther fuels as a silver petrol as they may ticeships since 2016/17, it has While it will offer much talk of synthetic led to the switch to E10 edu your There has been or restricted. If combustion engines. way from some businesses finding it impossible blocked internal with become and up for an extended fuel is still a long supply for vehicles to expand as they cannot meet utral fuel growvehicle is to be laid that resto long term, synthetic ing demand or replace existing on its own carbon-ne save 2.8 a solution in the it is recommended period of time, peop Bosch is working could with ethanolemployees who are looking to retire. commercial reality. this type of fuel E10 petrol be replacedavailable from they that switching to is Part of this problem has centred and has calculated 2050. free petrol which invo water and CO2 emissions by Do not leave fuel around mainstream vehicle apprenextracted from billion tonnes of some fuel suppliers. result in corroconc fuel, hydrogen is or carbon ticeships that have become focused this can To produce a syntheticwhich can come from recycling systems dry, as into can and cracking of sion and the shrinking as they dry out.’ combined with carbon, CEO of Bosch, said: ‘Carbon dioxide advangaskets Denner, further crucial elastomers and filters. Volkmar 600,000 classic synthetic fuel. One existing for the estimated that is an material fuels With become a raw to run on E10 n engine using synthetic >> Anoth vehicles unable tage of the combustio can continue to be used.’ without modificaer vital miles per l unleaded petrol componen vision forof 1,200 filling-station network in the UK covering an average to the mechanica t of Dan’s a classi a cminimal have tion, it is a threat years would car hub young peopl older vehicles. With classic vehicles cost of synthetic fuel of accru the was to see ed exper health of many higher e. Given and passe local taxes, availability of a classic the avera year, the expected use. Aside from d on. to tise preserved car ge a However, the continued petrol and addressed running costs and This has electricity 60s, there owner in the renewable impact on overall in sever . UK is in been are many E5 Super unleaded being al ways, be securing low-cost ially quantities be chang from specialist a base viable old cars inclu biggest hurdle will ethanol-free fuel on fuel in large, commerc Skills Academy.for the first Heritding sold or ing hands eithe goin possible to carry passed r by be produce synthetic age Dan expla suppliers, it is C prise value down in years. If unaffected. ins: ‘Enter cars the next and classic we using know were two these cars, want to find of the impo ledge captu homes include. rtant usiness.comre ?? talking to we need to be Appreclassiccarb nticeships elements to out the peopl of Bices e demo fun. There are a ter nstrating ity Starte and we also have big part i programm ’s also a schoo r Motor ls outre e to give to lend classiour charac day students here. This c cars to a career is because many of really interesting the young sters think ?? classi ccarbusines s.com
There’s a shortage of understanding of these skills and they are dying out, so we need people coming into the business.
INDUSTRY_FootmanJames_CCB_June22.qxp 23/06/2022 18:33 Page 1
Classic car sector
INDICATOR SIGNAL Carbon offset Among classic car owners, 40% have signed up to carbon offset schemes at some point in the past, while 52% says they would consider it if the scheme is fully vetted. The Indicator Report also points out that classic cars are a prime example of recycling and reuse through restoration and ongoing maintenance.
Car clubs Classic car owners’ clubs remain an important element of the industry, but many need to adapt to new ways of communicating with owners. A greater variety of events, many of them less formal or time-consuming, are also important to engage with a wider pool of owners.
The Indicator Report from Footman James signals the direction for the classic car industry. Here are some key points from the report. Electrification
What makes a classic? The definition of what is a classic car is broadening and evolving all the time. Modern classics are now and established part of the fold, and will be overtaken by newer cars coming into the scene as time progresses. The industry needs to cater for these cars for servicing and restoration.
Owner age profile
Online sales The rise of online sales has been accelerated by the Covid pandemic. This has gone hand-in-hand with the increase in online groups for owners where cars for sale are highlighted on social media.
‘Classic cars and the climate change are unlikely bedfellows,’ says the Indicator Report. It states a sensible approach from government policy is required to improve understanding from both sides about their common interests. Average annual classic car use in the UK produces approximately one-fifth of the carbon dioxide emissions of a person’s computer and mobile phone usage, according to the Historic and Classic Vehicle Alliance. Almost half (47%) of classic car owners say they feel the pressure of environmental scrutiny.
Swapping classic cars to battery-electric power is a growth area of the classic industry. Most customers for these cars want zero emissions coupled to greater practicality while retaining the look of the original car. Improved performance from EV classics is another attraction.
In the 18-29 year old age group, 40% would consider owning a classic car, though purchase price and reliability are viewed as key barriers to ownership. However, 57% say they would prefer to buy from an established classic car dealer for peace of mind.
Social media Companies that use a mix of social media outlets enjoy greater reach and success when marketing their services. Facebook appeals to an older audience, while Instagram enjoys more appeal with younger, more aspirational buyers. YouTube is becoming a trusted source for buying and maintenance information, and astute classic car firms are now offering video content to meet this need.
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VIEWPOINT_CCB_June22.qxp 23/06/2022 18:38 Page 1
Dr Mike Flannery > Magnetic Speedometer Repair on the challenges of advertising and promotion faced by small traders.
was very pleased to see that someone has had the forethought, and perhaps bravery, to launch a magazine which is focused on those of us who make our living within the classic car industry. My partner and I run a niche business working on the restoration, repair and conservation of speedometers for classic vehicles. There are a huge number of, if not single-handed businesses, then certainly businesses employing perhaps less than five persons, working in our industry. So, a few thoughts on advertising. We are at the tiny end of the scale, perhaps ‘the small end’, when compared with the larger centres of excellence. Like a car engine, the big end needs us at the small end to function as we all play a part of the whole in the industry. Running a small business within the classic car sector, we face the challenge of where to spend our advertising budget. When we advertise, our fundamental goal is to maintain or increase profit. Some of the very well established traders might feel they do not have to actively advertise as they have a vast back catalogue of customers. For some, advertising is a more covert means of keeping their name in the memory, which is important. For others, perhaps the challenger businesses, advertising is the way they get their name into the collective memory. It is pretty obvious that in 2022 having a good, active and effective website is the primary form by which a potential customer will find a business. I know that for us, a substantial percentage of our enquiries come via the internet. Lots of our conversations with possible customers start with them saying: ‘I found you online.’ Other advertising forms are the specialist press and, to a much lesser extent, the historic forms such as Yellow Pages. Working in a very niche part of the industry, we have to be careful with magazine advertising, for not only does it feel expensive, it can lead to much time spent answering the telephone to people who you cannot help, so you have to be very specific in your
advert. One of the things about advertising is that primarily the advert tells your potential customer what you can do, but sadly there is not enough space to include the things that you do not choose not to do. For this reason, face-to-face advertising supported by the website and a couple of carefully chosen print adverts seems to work. Face-to-face advertising is what we do at shows and events. We are not large enough to sponsor an event, so we normally choose to attend various shows as a standholder. Choosing which shows to attend is a bit of a gamble. We do not actually sell anything at the shows as we are there solely to promote our business, give out our cards and talk with, but more importantly listen to, potential clients.
Advertising in-print, online and promoting face-to-face at shows provides a good balance
This is a very slow burn process and it is not uncommon for a potential customer to phone and say: ‘I saw you at the NEC three years ago and I am now ready to have my speedometer serviced.’ We choose to attend a select number of shows a year and make the choice in what might seem a fairly arbitrary way. We have a stand at the two major NEC events in November and March, the Beulieu International autojumbles in May and September, and the Bicester Scramble events in April and October. Attending a show can be very expensive, with not only the cost of a stand but also
the overnight accommodation costs. Our stand is a 3x3-metre gazebo type and for the NEC the costs are just north of £1000. This is a significant expenditure for our business, but it is balanced by the fact we like all of the shows that we attend This is really important because standing for three days talking with people is interesting, but also very tiring so it has to pay off. There are two bottom lines for us. Firstly, we have to enjoy it, and secondly it has to bring in work. The enjoyment is pretty easy to measure by chatting to friends and colleagues in the trade, and I enjoy browsing the various trade stands seeking that little item that I could really do with, and talking with the stallholders. Of course, the primary reason for attending is talking with potential customers and it is these conversations where you can manage their expectations. No, we do not mend anything made after 1976, but if pushed I might go as far as 1980! I specialise in the repair of British-made instruments, with only a very few and very early exceptions. Not every visitor to the show is happy to have a conversation, some people dart onto the stand to take a card and dart off, while others look at the stand from far off and we have to seek to make contact with them. Being on the stand is work and you have to be active in striking up conversations with people, and sometimes it is not easy. The downsides are the costs and time. If we take the Practical Classics Restoration Show at the NEC as an example, there needs to be cars and so the organisers have to give space to car clubs and a growing number of ‘influencers. Does this mean the poor traders are paying for all this space? The balance between paid space and free space must be a very tricky judgement. I heard many people complaining at the high costs of attending as a visitor. The cost of car parking and attendance is eye-watering, which with only three halls is hard to justify. When advertising is all about getting your name out there, it appears that something so simple has become so tricky. C
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Trend-UK Router_CCB_June22.qxp 23/06/2022 18:38 Page 1
SMART WORKING The Trend Yeti CNC Smartbench could save your business time, money and waste for routing jobs.
aving time, waste and money is the Holy Grail for workshops. When it comes to CNC (computer numerical control) routing, many classic car companies subcontract this work, but a new portable routing machine from Trend-UK offers the opportunity to bring this in-house. The Trend Yeti CNC Smartbench is the world’s first industrial, portable 3D CNC router. It was originally designed to be used by carpenters and fitters who could fit it in a van. As a result, it is lightweight and has a modular construction so it can be assembled or packed away in less than three minutes. However, its size also means it can work with full 8x4ft sheets and has a cutting depth of up to 152mm, with accuracy of 0.5mm. Trend-UK’s Marketing Director Chris Carter sees multiple uses for the Yeti CNC Smartbench in classic car workshops, and the company is already working with the Brightwell Motor Company to prove its capabilities in a vehicle restoration setting. Carter says: ‘The point of the Yeti CNC Smartbench is it’s not for experts. Many routers are very expensive and take a lot of programming to set up and operate. This machine is very affordable, and you can learn the software and start cutting on it in less than hour from unpacking it. It’s very intuitive, so anyone who can measure accurately is already more than qualified to use this machine.’
The Yeti CNC Smartbench is light and portable, and ideal for many classic car jobs.
As well as wood, the Smartbench can also cut aluminium, vinyl, foam, Perspex, plastic, and high-pressure laminate. Separate attachments can be used with the Smartbench to fit a knife for cutting material, which could be used to make graphics from vinyl, while a pen can also be used to draw diagrams. This latter tool could be used to draw a wiring loom diagram in full scale. Carter adds: ‘Using the Yeti CNC Smartbench speeds up the cutting process as you don’t have to wait for an outside company to do the work. It’s accurate, reduces waste, and you also then have any excess material to keep for further jobs rather than paying a contractor every time you need a piece. Also, once you have a shape programmed, it’s saved so you can repeat it as many times as you need it for door cars, dashboards, cappings, wooden body frames, metal or plastic badges. The uses are almost limitless. When you don’t need the router, it can be stored away.’
The software is simple to use with the machine’s touchscreen and it also works with a PC or Apple Mac computer. There’s integrated dust extraction, and the machine will automatically switch off if it’s knocked during operation for safety but restart from exactly where it left off. The Trend Yeti CNC Smartbench costs from £6,234 including VAT. C www.yetismartbench.com
ADVERT_PROMO_Twitter_CCB_Jan22.qxp 28/02/2022 13:49 Page 1
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