Reviving the classics

Car restorers are buffing up their beloved beauties as the Goodwood Revival gets underway this weekend, writes Liane Oldham.

Every year hundreds drive their cherished classic cars into a time capsule at the Goodwood Revival.

Each one of these wonderful vehicles has been polished to gleaming perfection, and the time, effort and love needed to keep them in such mint condition is considerable.

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These three enthusiasts, who are experts in maintaining these rare machines, either as a business, past-time or simply for the sheer pleasure of restoring a little bit of history, tell of their passion for keeping these amazing motors of yesterday on the road.

Chickenshed challenge

Peter Jury has restored numerous cars since the 1970s. All out of his workshop, an old chicken shed, inherited from his parents.

The first car he worked on was an old E-type Jaguar.

"I was fortunate in that my parents had an engineering background so I learnt a lot about cars from an early age. I have always been involved in either buying or maintaining classic cars both for myself and my friends.

"I find the whole thing very therapeutic. Taking a heap of rubble and making it into something beautiful is the ultimate challenge."

As well as owning and restoring five old cars himself including a 1964 Gordon Keeble, an old Daimler and a 1961 Ford Anglia, which needed 500 hours of body work, there will be up to six cars at this year's Revival which he looks after.

"I love the whole Revival thing. I also attend all the Breakfast Club meetings at the motor circuit. I love all the retro stuff, the dressing up, the racing. I am taking three cars this year - an MGA 55, which I have done masses of work on, my old Ford Anglia, and another 1964 Gordon Keeble."

Peter is currently working on an old Morris 1000 convertible for a friend who is taking it to the Revival, but the most challenging car he has had to tackle has been his Gordon Keeble.

"I have been restoring it on and off for the last seven years. It's a labour of love. There were only 100 of these cars ever made and it's really hard to find things that fit.

"I got it literally in a box with no steering or anything, so I have restored everything from scratch."

Mustang magic

Roger Masters runs an accident repair business, restoring and maintaining classic cars whenever he can fit it into his busy schedule.

The business is renowned for its expert paintwork and currently has a Formula 1 team on its books.

While it can be time consuming, Roger, of Rustington, finds the end result of breathing new life into an old car more than rewarding.

"It's a strange sort of market, really, working on old cars," he says. "Not many youngsters like to work on them as it can be very time-consuming and there are so many little parts that have rotted away that you either have to remake in the workshop or try to replace.

"But it's a challenge in the way working on modern cars isn't which is about hanging new parts on a car. This process is just so much more involved. And just to see the smile on an owner's face when they come to pick up the finished article makes it all worthwhile."

Roger, whose business is at Littlehampton, is currently working on a 1965 Mustang and has also restored an early 1950s Bristol. He maintains, too, a 1960 Armstrong Siddeley Star Sapphire for a client in Nyetimber.

One of the most challenging cars he has worked on was a 1934 Alvis - he restored all the bodywork which took almost eight months.

He also revived the paintwork of an old Austin A55 pick-up before last year's Revival and thoroughly enjoyed the event.

"I love to see the old cars racing. They were all current when I started working in 1960! The mini only came out in 1959 and now I can't believe we will be celebrating its 50th anniversary."

Taste of Vanilla

David Patten launched his successful business of hiring out lovingly-restored old campervans, Vanilla Splits, 18 months ago and is now gearing up for his new venture.

Vanilla Classics will allow vintage car lovers to hire anything from a beautiful 1948 Riley to a Plus 8 Morgan complete with PLU58 number plate. How better to arrive at the Revival in style?

David has an obvious love of objects and artefacts from a by-gone era with his workshop not only boasting a fleet of perfectly-maintained classic cars but also Wurlitzer juke boxes from the 40s and 50s, a Coca Cola vending machine, old bicycles and even a brightly-coloured bubble gum dispenser.

"I have been in the motor trade for 37 years now and my life has been about buying and selling. So when I come across something beautiful I like to hang onto it," he says.

Over the years he has managed to restore, maintain and hang on to nine classic cars which will soon be available for hire.

"I love the thrill of finding an old car, restoring it and bringing a piece of history back to life. The beauty of being in the trade is that if you can't find a part you can machine it up. Bumpers can be tricky, but there's very little you can't make up.

"It's a bit like being a personal trainer really - starting work on an out-of-condition body and then being able to show it off as you drive through the gates at the Revival!"

Being ideally placed in Barnham, on a direct route to Goodwood, David is hoping Vanilla Classics will have the same success Vanilla Splits has enjoyed.

"I love the Revival, the smell, the noise, the ambiance, the excitement, and now I can offer the enjoyment of being able to drive a wonderful classic car to the event to others."

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