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In the end, our customers decide. Here are a handful of comments:
“ The Tour Auto is an epic drive on most true petrolheads’ wish list. In a matter of six months, Thornley Kelham took my 1974 Lancia Stratos Group IV from not having run in years to rally ready. We had glitches caused by the 44 year old wiring that I thought would be a rally-ender but my intrepid mechanics, Wayne and Damian, did not give up and had us going in a matter of hours without any support. Having provided more than just mechanical support, the pit stops where we refuelled both car and drivers on the side of the road made me feel like a true rally driver and provided a welcome break from the difficult drives in the Tour. Our success in completing the Tour Auto was only possible thanks to the preparation Thornley Kelham has put in and their ability to keep the car going with limited tools on the side of the road. A truly enjoyable experience with a great Team!
With my best wishes, Philip Kadoorie" - April 2018
'After driving a DB4 when I was 20, I held a 35-year dream to own one. Living in Australia I had not come across an available car or project that inspired me. Then, in 2011, I saw an intriguing ad in Classic & Sportscar for a partly restored Series II, the model I wanted. I made contact by email and so began a memorable journey with Thornley Kelham.
I am a perfectionist, which is always a source of angst, and had no experience of classic car restoration other than having heard acquaintances’ stories of never-ending budget blowouts, time delays and faulty workmanship. Yet here I was, signing up with someone I had not met, to spend hundreds of thousands of pounds on a car I had seen only in photos, to be restored by a two-year old company on the other side of the world. The fact that of my family and friends I was the only one who did not consider this an absurd leap of faith, is testament to how comfortable Simon makes one feel.
Of course only a fool would base such a decision on a feeling, so I spent many hours researching the market, investigating Thornley Kelham and quizzing Simon about the car (he promptly and patiently answered all my endless questions in detail, where with most companies it was like getting blood from a stone) and all seemed well, but one can never be sure until afterwards.
Now it is afterwards, and the dream did not turn into a nightmare. In fact, apart from some minor delays caused by issues beyond Thornley Kelham’s control, the whole process was an absolute pleasure. As is the car. Thanks to discreet handling modifications, the originally nose-heavy handling of the DB4 is now beautifully balanced, the tail subtly pointing the car into corners under power. And the sound of the significantly but invisibly uprated engine is… well, think WW2 Spitfire!
Now that my wife and I spend half our time in Europe, Thornley Kelham will store and maintain DB4/345/R between our trips in it, and we look forward to continuing the friendship we have developed with Simon, Wayne and their staff. As a perfectionist, it is life-affirming to deal with like minds, and for that to be combined with the necessary technical skills, efficient management, first class service and absolute integrity is truly memorable and highly recommended.'
"Very knowledgable, great attention to detail, lots of enthusiasm, terrific people, and a fair price".
"Dear Wayne and Simon, thank you for your card and in return I hope that 2014 will continue to see Thornley Kelham go from strength to strength. The job that was done on the back axle of my R type Bentley was excellently carried out and the atmosphere was helpful and friendly as ever. Good fortune to all of you."
. . .”it is easy to talk quality, but when you know that they actually paint the edges of panel-holes, then you know you have got it. . .”
"I drove home today like a winged arrow. Chris has done a superb job and is a real professional. All of you have been extremely genial, civil and welcoming. These things mean a lot. I am broke of course, but every penny was well spent". Mr. J. (1926 Salmson) Jan. 2015
“Its very hard to find people who know about these older Lancias. When it was necessary to rebuild the sliding pillars, I sent mine to Thornley Kelham. They found the parts it needed, rebuilt them, and even road-tested it. Now the car rides like new. Couldn’t be happier!” - Geoffrey Goldberg, Lancia expert and author - August, 2015.