Ashton Keynes Restoration
WHAT’S YOUR HISTORY?
Keith Bowley founded the firm in 1969 on part of the family farm, and has run it ever since. With its associate company South Cerney Engineering on adjacent premises it has expanded to nine full-time craftsmen handling every era from Veteran to Classic.
WHAT’S YOUR RANGE OF SKILLS?
We undertake work on any marque from simple overhaul to complete ground-up restoration, including complete bodies from scratch. From ash framing through panel-beating, engineering, wiring and painting, everything happens in-house, including all engine work. We also store and maintain cars ready to go for overseas owners.
DO YOU HAVE A SPECIALISATION?
We like tackling unusual challenges recreating coachwork that no longer exists, or solving a complex hood mechanism. Apart from the physical restoration work, we also enjoy doing meticulous research into a car’s history to ensure the authenticity of every element. That helps us source the correct parts, or commission accurate replacements.
WHAT’S IN THE SHOP RIGHT NOW?
A Pourkput-bodied Talbot-Lago which survived WWII hidden in Paris; we’re re-engineering the complex boot hinges on its streamlined tail. A Rolls-Royce Phantom II intended as a courtesy car for a hotel chain: the brief is to fit air-con, fridge, satellite phone and upgrades for reliability, but we ensure everything can be removed to return the vehicle to its original form. A Vauxhall Wensum to which we’re fitting a removable hood which can be neatly hidden in pontoon running boards so it doesn’t spoil the elegant shape. We’ve just finished recommissioning a GT40 with amazingly low mileage, and we’ve made a brand-new Amilcar C6 engine while restoring a C6 found in France.
WHICH PROJECTS ARE YOU ESPECIALLY PROUD OF?
We built Tom Wheatcroths Bugaffi Royale recreation, including creating the Coupe Napoleon coachwork from scratch which meant visits to the Schlumpf museum to study the real thing (top). Another client asked us to recreate EX17, the experimental Rolls-Royce, which we built on the correct Phantom I chassis.