For the first time ever in the UK, a nut and bolt restoration of a classic car is to be undertaken by apprentices who are serving their time at a Shropshire company.
All employed by Classic Motor Cars Ltd (CMC), one of the world’s premier restoration companies based in Bridgnorth, the eight apprentices will be given the chance to re-build a 1955 Series 4 Lancia Aurelia and learn the complete restoration process.
With just 14 months to complete the restoration, the team will strip the Lancia Aurelia and then assess what needs to be replaced, restored or remade.
The car was unveiled by MP for Ludlow and Minister of State for Defence Procurement, Philip Dunne.
Dunne commented: “It is great news that Shropshire apprentices will become the first in the UK to undertake a complete restoration of a classic car.
“I am pleased Bridgnorth’s Classic Motor Cars is committed to training apprentices, giving local school-leavers the chance to build knowledge, acquire practical skills and improve their job prospects for the future.
The eight apprentices are:
- Team leader, Dan Conway (23, Bridgnorth) – who is learning his trade in the body shop
- Sam Gould (23, Bridgnorth) and Luke Adams (22, Wolverhampton), both in the trim department
- Jack Brettle (19, Kingswinford) and Marcus Nemeth (20, Wolverhampton), both mechanical technicians
- Charlie Jessop (23, Dudley), in the paint shop;
- Tom Smallman (24, Bridgnorth), an electrical apprentice
- Ben Taylor (22, Bridgnorth), an engine builder
“Employers also benefit from apprenticeship programmes, as they can bring on the skills needed to expand their business by training young people, and can oversee training from start to finish.”
He added: “More than 3,000 apprenticeships have been started in the Ludlow Constituency since 2010, and I hope we will see this figure continue to rise as more young people and employers gain mutual benefits.
“This vehicle restoration will be a really exciting project for all eight apprentices, so I look forward to seeing them again with the completed Lancia Aurelia next year.”
After unveiling the car, Dunne talked to the group about the work that they will undertake on the car – which is owned by CMC’s non-executive director, David Barzilay – from re-making body panels; rebuilding the engine; re-wiring; re-painting, and re-trimming.
Team leader, Dan Conway said: “It is an exciting and unique opportunity to be able to learn as we work on the Lancia; we are really looking forward to it.
“It’s a completely apprenticeship-based project, but we have a lot of experience on our side and the support from skilled senior managers who will mentor us through the restoration process.”
Chairman of CMC, Peter Neumark added: “We carry out restorations for customers around the world, but as far as we know this is the first time that apprentices in the UK have been given the opportunity of restoring a classic car from scratch themselves.
“Apprentices are extremely important in the world of classic cars, which is worth several billions to the UK economy every year. It is essential that they learn the skills to keep classic vehicles on the road. We are proud of the fact that currently we have more than one apprentice for every ten members of our workforce.