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A classic car younger enthusiast story

What got you into Classic Cars from an early age?

Well, it started with my dad who bought a Triumph 2.5PI and I thought it was better than the Ford Focus he had at the time. We went to see the car and collect it on a trailer, and it was exciting. I was 7 at the time. The noise the engine made was good and I liked the styling. The front twin headlights were so different to modern cars.

When did you start your work experience with DMG and what did you do?

I did my work experience with DMG in 2019 when I was 15. I had a week in the parts department and helped the team sort out part numbers and orders for classic car restoration companies. The other staff were really kind to me and encouraged me to develop my own work patterns which gave me lots of valuable work experience. David Manners is a vibrant family company with positive values.

What is the Heritage Skills Academy course?

The heritage skills academy course focus upon classic car mechanics only and we are learning about all the engineering styles of the pre and post war period. We are learning to rebuild and repair, not dispose of, so everything we do is to repair and restore. We are rebuilding engines and gearboxes, as well as dynamos and steering boxes. 

How long was the course and what qualifications did you gain?

The course is 3 years long and I will have a diploma in Classic car restoration 

How did you go about applying for your 1st job?

I applied to AR Griffiths for Saturday work when I was still at school. I used to sweep up and wash cars, but then I applied to work full time and was taken on by Andrew when I finished my exams.

Now working at AR Griffiths – what is your role?

I’m now doing all the MG service work and but I’m also doing full suspension rebuilds and brake overalls. I’m also able to rebuild a set of carbs and I work on other cars, such as minis and Morris minors as we look after 3 Minors for local customers.

Is there ongoing training and what will be your expertise?

I’m still at college and this year is the advanced course, so I’m doing fuel and ignition systems and the design and development of different engine designs. At work I’ve started to help in the paint shop, preparing cars for a full respray. I’m also leaning to weld. I’m currently building a MK5 Escort with a 2ltr Zetec engine and restoring my 1957 Austin A35.

What would you like to be doing in the next 5 years?

Working with classic motor sport and attending historic racing days as a pit member. 

Got to ask this one- what is your favourite Classic Car?

Without a doubt, a fuel injected triumph. The fuel injection system is vastly underrated by people who don’t understand them fully. Please give me a TR5 any day!

Are you a member of a club that welcomes younger members?

I’m on the committee for the A35 Young members club and will be at the NEC in March with my car on the stand. It’s a great club with lots of friendly young members. 

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David Manners Ltd | 991 Wolverhampton Road | Oldbury | West Midlands | B69 4RJ