Auto engineering couple in pole position with new workshop

Classic Engine Workshop

A passion for classic cars has driven a Worcestershire couple to set up their own auto engineering business in Redditch.

Roger St Vincent-Pickard is an experienced engineer, including a 15-year career with Jaguar Land Rover, and last year he and wife Rachel launched their Classic Engine Workshop at their home.

But a growing reputation and demand for their services meant their venture needed more space, so the couple went on the hunt for business premises.

Despite the challenges brought by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, Roger and Rachel are now based in 1,187 sq ft of workshop and offices space at 10 Dunlop Road, on the Hunt End Industrial Estate in Redditch, thanks to help from commercial property agents John Truslove.

Roger is a specialist in stripping and rebuilding classic engines, with Rachel providing additional labour alongside running the office and looking after their two children, aged eight and ten years.

Rachel said: “I’ve also been picking up more and more skills from Roger – he’s a real perfectionist so I have to make sure I meet his demanding standards.

“But we both love classic cars – our passion is our 1964 Alfa Romeo Giulia coupe but that’s taking a back seat at the moment because we are so busy. Things were quiet for a couple of months during lockdown but now we are having to catch up as well as deal with new work.

“We have a passion for the Italian marques but handle a wide range of work, mainly from the ‘50s and ‘60s but currently spanning from a 1920s Rolls Royce to a 2000 Porsche 911.”

“Our customers are coming from all over, from Cheshire to Bristol, because our use of social media effectively gives us a national profile.

“We had been looking for premises that looked a bit ‘classic’ but within five minutes of walking into the unit at Dunlop Road we knew it was absolutely right for us. We had spotted it online and got in touch with Ian Parker at John Truslove.

Ian Parker, joint managing director at John Truslove, secured a five-year tenancy on behalf of South Street Capital.

He said: “Roger and Rachel were a pleasure to deal with – they knew what they needed and made a quick decision so we could get the whole process rolling. I look forward to seeing their business going from strength to strength.”

Richard Henley, from landlords South Street Capital, said: “We are delighted to welcome Roger and Rachel to the estate and look forward to watching their business continue to succeed in the new unit. Hunt End Industrial Estate continues to be a popular estate with John Truslove securing this letting within weeks of it becoming available.”

Clifford Goldhill, from Lawyers Online in Cheltenham, acted for Classic Engine Workshop.