by Rose Atalante Veenenbos
Time to go back to this year’s adventures, one of which was our visit to the VSCC’s Prescott Hillclimb last July. A couple of articles ago I showed you around in Keith Bowley’s Ashton Keynes Vintage Restorations workshops and garage. A most interesting restoration business with a fascinating time-warp machine shop. Directly after that wonderful visit I rushed with my dad to the next restoration workshop, Thornley Kelham Ltd. This was so cool, as a follow up after Bowley’s, because it is a completely opposite world… Going from old school to hyper modern. Keith was calling this place the ‘palace’ and when we arrived I understood what he meant. A modern industrial estate with huge buildings with ceilings high like the sky and all super modern and clean and organized. A more messy workshop can be very organized as well and offers endless charm, but this was 21st century hi-tech stuff. The beating heart of the company Thornley Kelham is Wayne Kelham, a really cool gentleman who is ever so busy! And he is well connected with Keith, not just because his workshop is almost around the corner, but also because Wayne started his career at Keith’s.
I walked around amazed by all those really special cars and all the different departments they have, from mechanical to metal forming to paint jobs, etc. They were busy preparing cars for the well known prestigious concourses like for instance Chantilly Arts & Elegance. A notable car was the white Amilcar C6, a machine everyone will love and at the upcoming Vintage Revival Montlhéry in May 2017 this C6 will be at full speed on the banking with me as a co-pilot! But let’s stay in this workshop for now… It is a very clever idea to write the to-do-list on the hood of your car, great idea. I will do that with Amillion as well. And after seeing that super sexy 6-cylinder Amilcar racer, all of a sudden you see somewhere in a corner a random engine with 20.000HP!! Ehm, yes that was a rocket engine…
The list of specialities goes on and on, like for instance a great Miura needing a full restoration, a very nice original Peugeot BéBé with fine patina, a serious London Brighton vehicle, etc. You really get to see the cars they work on here at every event you can imagine, from Mille Miglia to London Brighton to Salon Privé and so on.
It is really amazing to travel around and check out so many different workshops and to see the differences in approach to restoration, very interesting! If you have any suggestions of which workshop I should visit next, then please leave a message below in the comments. Next up I will probably start with Prescott, finally…! Besides that there are so many amazing developments, of which the new YouTube channel Mackalante… More about that very soon!