Nestled away on one of the industrial parks of Northamptonshire is a gem of a workshop, using traditional coachbuilding techniques and tools to build and restore classic and reproduction cars. The projects in the workshop ranging from a reproduction Bentley that will have around 500 hours of work on it before leaving the shop, a Porsche Carrera RS that is one of the owners own projects to a Whitfill special, a one of a kind race car that needed a quick repair before heading off to Goodwood for the revival.
The guys working here pass down the skills to the next generation, in the same way they learnt their craft. seeing great pride in knowing that these skills wont fade out and be replaces by modern “bolt a new one on” mindsets.
Around the workshop we see guys working on English wheels to bend the metal to fit the shape of the bodywork, mapped out on a wooden jig. Hammering smoothing the lines and creating custom panels to fit the bodywork, remembering that none of these cars are identical when they leave the factory, all the repairs must be custom made, no bolt on parts are found here. Its testament to the skill of the craftsmen seeing pictures of their finished projects being displayed at pebble beach, and invited to the likes of Goodwood.
There are some similarities here that you will find at your local garage, bad singing and just as bad jokes ring out amongst the guys, its certainly an entertaining place to spend the day shooting.
Thanks to Mark Kidsley for assisting me on the day, and for the BTS video below and the guys at Shapecraft for inviting me into your workshop.