Who We Are
Thornley Kelham began life in 2008 as The Vintage & Classic Paintshop. Simon Thornley and Wayne Kelham set out to do exactly what that name suggested – prepare and paint cars to the highest quality. Aston Martins, ‘Steady’ Barker, mid-life crises, motorway cafes and growing children all played their part.
At the start of 2012 we renamed our company Thornley Kelham Ltd, and in 2014, we took our first car to Pebble Beach, which lead to the development of our Outlaw programme – the Lancia Aurelia B20GT ‘Fuorilegge’ that has become a media sensation. Looking forward to 2022, as we enter our 14th year, we are now a team around 30 and have added engine building, rewiring, and full coachbuilding to our list of restoration services. We have a fully equipped machine shop, engine building room and Dyno facility, extensive paint preparation and polishing areas and paint booths and an expanded metal shop facility. We have a full time race/rally mechanic and prepare and support cars on classic road events. We also offer a discreet sales & car sourcing/acquisition service. We have over 32,000 square feet of space and have designed our workshops to accommodate all aspects of the restoration process, including separate enclosed areas for metalwork, panel beating and paintwork preparation, cutting down on noise and dust.
We now have fully solar-panelled roofs on our premises, and so we are doing our best to help the environment (which is separate from the discussion on using classic cars rather than purchasing a newly-manufactured one!).
We are based in the beautiful Cotswolds, just outside Cirencester. We welcome visitors at pretty much any time, with a bit of notice, and we are also happy to hold open evenings/Saturday mornings for classic car clubs and groups of vintage enthusiasts to share a beer and quiz us on our work.
Ultimately we wanted to build a company that would embody our beliefs, talents, and experience, that our employees could build their lives around, and that our customers would be happy they chose.
To achieve that means working constantly towards ever higher standards, delivering on our promises, being transparent and open in our dealings with you, and just doing things right.
And we must be doing something right. In January 2009 there were just three of us, two cars to work on, and a paint booth. We were fortunate that a handful of customers gave us a chance to prove ourselves. We owe them a lot, and we took the opportunity they offered to prove that our approach could work. Wayne had over twenty five years working on wonderful cars to the highest standards – for someone else. Simon had worked in various countries building businesses and teams – again mainly for others, but always with a passion for classic cars. We shared a common work ethic and mutual trust, and wanted to put our beliefs and experience to the test.
We now have a large portfolio of quality-driven restoration projects across the wide spectrum of iconic car marques including a number of concours-winning projects. We are proud of what we have achieved so far and aim consistently to provide the attention to detail and highest standards our discerning customers around the world have come to expect. Simply put:
The Design, The Details, The Drive.
We pride ourselves in looking after our customers from the moment they make contact with us, whether it be to ask a simple question or entrust us with a major project. Good communication is essential in all aspects of daily life and working on your cherished classic is no exception. We provide regular updates of all works including monthly photographs showing progress. Visits to our workshops are actively encouraged to ensure that you are happy with our work and feel actively involved in the process. And you’ll be offered a very good cup of coffee!
Our team are skilled craftsmen who love what they do and are dedicated to keeping heritage skills alive. During the course of a project, (some of which may last a couple of years), they become very attached to the cars which we often have the privilege of looking after once the restoration is complete. Whether maintaining your car(s) for regular use; general servicing and MOT; rally support and preparation or storage; as well as transport and shipping, whatever our customers need in terms of after-care, we can provide it.