What’s your history?
My father Rex Woodgate was with HWM and Aston Martin for many years [as race team and US operations manager], and I worked for Arthur Mallock prior to a two-year stint at Van Diemen on the race team. It was inevitable that we would work together, and we joined forces in 1988. Rex retired in 1991 and I have taken over the helm since then, relocating our workshops to Silverstone.
What’s your range of skills?
We will take on anything from a basic service to ‘ground up’ restoration, and recently total ‘recreations’ as well. Paint, body and trim is subcontracted to specialists but chassis, engine and drivetrain we deal with in-house. We also carry out race and rally preparation and support, and car transportation and storage.
Do you have a specialisation?
I guess it’s in the blood! I would say 90 per cent is Aston Martin cars, and over half of that is ‘Feltham’, in other words pre-DB4. We have been very fortunate to have handled a significant number of DB3Ss – a ‘proper’ sports-racing car.
What’s in the shop right now?
Astons predominantly: DBR1, DB4GT Zagato, DB3, DB3S team car, all race cars. DB3S coupé, one of three built, for total restoration, and a DP214 recreation. DB4 Lightweight, a fully modified race car – what a beast! – accompanied by a ‘one owner from new’ Elva Courier from the USA, being race-prepared.
Which projects are you especially proud of?
The DBR1 is just fabulous. We restored it in 1993 from bare chassis, retaining rather than replacing the majority of it for the previous owner. It is such a pleasure to maintain now – we know every nut and bolt. I feel privileged when a car stays in our care despite change of ownership. Preparing the amazingly original DP214 for the TT at this year’s Goodwood Revival, finishing sixth, one of five cars we entered [top].
GC was talking to Chris Woodgate