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Communal Car Restoration Could Be Just What Embattled British Communities Need

Posted: Tuesday, 30 January 2024 @ 09:11

Written by Briana Hilton

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Communal Car Restoration Could Be Just What Embattled British Communities Need

The modern day and its flurry of digital technology has brought with it a splintering of communities and a general disconnect within British towns and villages. Today, up to 24 percent of people feel disconnected from their community, according to Psychology Today. What communities often lack is something to bring them together; an activity, shared identity, or community task that everyone can get involved in and create a sense of shared pride. One fantastic way to pursue this is through car restoration - an increasingly widely enjoyed pursuit in the UK, and something that every generation can get involved in.

Considering the end goal

As a community, you need to have an end goal for the restoration project. For many communities, the car can be a shared tool for businesses, events, and so on, something to be the pride of the village or town. Others might decide to use it as a centrepiece; imagine the vehicle on the village green, outside the hall, or perhaps even as a star piece of the local pub. It can be a central figure.

The vehicle can also be a showpiece for the village or town for use at car shows around the world. The Shropshire Star recently featured one ambitious restoration project that will see a small local supplier present its projects across Europe - putting the town, Bridgnorth, on the map. It’s worth thinking about these issues early; shipping a vehicle to an international show comes with various taxes and fares that need to be considered. Finding a competitive deal, whether for shipping or for simply putting the piece of display, is the key. Putting this planning in way ahead of time will help you to ensure that the project makes good financial sense.

Getting everybody involved

A look at current schemes can be a helpful pointer at how to get everyone involved in the restoration process. Coventry has a scheme directed at young people (18-25) in Bardsley. Not requiring technical skills, it instead focuses on the other skills that restoring cars requires; confidence, social skills, and a desire for a sense of achievement.

Through this the entire community can get involved. Helping out in any little way, whether it be bringing in new parts for mechanics to work on, or researching where certain orders and spare parts can come from, will be a positive contribution. This gives the entire community a sense of communal effort, belonging, and confidence in the final product - and something for everyone to enjoy through the years.

Building a reputation

Schemes like those in Coventry and Bridgnorth also point towards a future for communities that perhaps have fallen on harder times. The shared history of many towns and villages comes through industry, and the products they have made through the years. There’s a reason that Liverpool is so proud of its docks, Stoke their potteries, Leicester its shoemaking and the towns and villages of Yorkshire in their cotton.

The British Motor Museum regularly looks for volunteers to help classic car restoration and management schemes get up and running. Further, it looks to towns, villages, and other communities that have coalesced around a love of motor vehicles. There is absolutely room for new cottage industries to spring up with the classic car sector, and it could be the economic kickstart for many towns and villages looking to recapture local employment and have something to enjoy and create a shared heritage around. There’s nothing quite like a sense of shared identity in the age when digital engagement tends to wash away any sense of individuality.

For communities that want to take the dive, planning is key. The difficult part of classic car restoration comes in accurately replicating the techniques used in those days gone by, and ensuring that the right parts are used to create a product as faithful to the original as possible. Having a good research team, having inside knowledge of the industry, and keeping thorough records to make sure every purchase is timely and necessary is where you’ll earn your real plaudits on the project. It’s a hard road but a very rewarding one, with the promise of a sparkling restored car at the end.

Start your restoration and rebuild with high-quality parts from A H Spares. Find your Big Healey and Sprite parts or contact our sales team who will help you find the parts you need for your project!

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