If you are planning a visit to the superb world of historic motoring that is Bicester Heritage, set aside time to drop in on James Mitchell at Pendine. He specialises in cars dating from the post-war period to the 1970s, but isn’t averse to stocking anything interesting that was built on either side.
Fans of industrial chic will certainly be in for a treat, because Pendine’s home at the remarkably well preserved former RAF bomber base is known as ‘the blast house’ due to a double-layered concrete wall that was designed to withstand even the most enthusiastic of aerial attacks.
The unrelenting exterior is in marked contrast to the brick-pattern, green-glazed tiles decorating the inside space that now serves as Pendine’s decidedly photogenic showroom, which currently stocks a diverse selection of cars ranging from a 1952 Jaguar C-type to a 1990 Nissan Group C car. It has previously been the temporary home of Frazer Nash Le Mans reps, Porsche 911 S/Ts, ex-works Mini Coopers and numerous other British classics.
Mitchell established Pendine in 2014, having previously worked as the business manager at Fiskens, but is also known as a classic car book editor and writer with a meticulous approach to the type of historical research that is now expected from the increasing number of collectors who are interested only in cars that are absolutely ‘right’. As a result, Pendine’s services attract some of the old car world’s best-known figures, who buy vehicles and also place them for sale on consignment.