Wayne is a co-founder of Thornley Kelham and is deeply passionate about cars, having been around them since a very early age. Having restored some of the finest examples of vintage and classic cars over the last 25+ years Wayne has been been able to develop the skills he gained at an early age.
‘In my view, the two most critical are: an obsessive attention to detail through experience and further research, and the ability to problem solve, particularly useful when clients require some ‘outside of the box thinking’, such as designing a concealed air conditioning system, fitting modern but period-looking lamps, or completely redesigning and reengineering a car’s transmission. I enjoy these challenges, and our team will do their best to deliver the correct result’.
Simon is a co-founder of Thornley Kelham and was brought up around cars from an early age by his enthusiast father who restored his own cars. Having spent many years in the international corporate sector, he turned his business experience into developing a state-of-the-art restoration business with an emphasis on personal customer service.
‘Building Thornley Kelham will always be a work in progress. I learn every day, and above all enjoy contact with our customers. And then there are the cars – most days walking into our workshops gives me the same feeling I used to get as a child walking into my nan’s sweet shop…wisely the guys don’t let me too near them!’
Pim joined Thornley Kelham in 2021 as a director and shareholder. A strategist and visionary entrepreneur, Pim has a track record of building successful European businesses. Above all though, he has a great passion for and understanding of cars. His first classic car was a Porsche 356, and the passion for the Porsche brand has only grown since.
‘Although Porsches are my first love, being part of the Thornley Kelham team has given me an incredible exposure to an amazing array of other classics, from the Lancia Aurelias to the Zagatos, and many other brands and models. The ability of the team to deliver outstanding restorations and restomods regardless of make or model keeps impressing me every day. Being able to share all this enthusiasm with customers, enthusiasts, colleagues and business partners is a constant motivator’.
Vittoria has worked at Thornley Kelham since just after its inception and has been involved in all aspects of the business (except on the cars!) as it has grown over the years. Now mainly focused on marketing, she has developed the new website, manages our extensive archive of photography and is a general sounding board for future development ideas.
“It is a real inspiration to work with such a passionate, skilled and dedicated team of staff here and I’ve gained a huge appreciation for the stunning cars we are so privileged to restore – works of art on wheels’.
Finance & HR Manager
Dawn joined us in early 2014 originally as Book Keeper and very successfully fulfilled the role and was rapidly promoted. With a background in project management as well as finance, she is now our Finance Manager and fulfills a number of important roles within the company.
Darren completed an apprenticeship at Bamptons then honed his skills as a panel beater for 27 years, working alongside some very talented people before joining our metalworking team. Several years later, he was promoted to Workshop Manager and oversees our workshop technicians.
“My interest in restoration started very early as my Dad had a passion for Austin Healeys. I spent many hours as a youngster following him around the garage while he pulled apart an old Healey. It seemed amazing that what appeared to be a complete wreck to me (and the neighbours!) could be transformed into a beautiful looking car again”.
Rich started his working career in Corporate and Government accounts for British Telecom, before moving on to Credit Management. Having worked for various global and national organisations, he’s been involved in many different projects including system implementation, training and team management.
“I started working for Thornley Kelham in the Accounts Department and was amazed by the work the guys here could do. The final product is stunning! I’ve recently taken on the role of Project Planner which is challenging, but it’s a great privilege to play a part in the restoration of these rolling works of art”.
Stores & Parts
Danii has always had a fascination with cars, motorbikes and aircraft. At 19, she was working on the assembly line at Honda in Swindon followed by training at McLaren Automotive based at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, Surrey, where she learnt to assemble engines, sub-frames, radiator coolers and brake-bedding.
“At my first interview at Thornley Kelham, I fell in love with the workshop, the cars and the people. This was the place I needed to be. I was offered the job and to this day, I’m grateful to Thornley Kelham for their help and support since I joined here. They welcome everyone with open arms and this is truly a wonderful company to work for. To see a vintage car arrive in a bad state, to then see it looking brand new, is magic! Safe to say, I never want to leave!”
Purchasing Ledger Controller
Jane’s role as Purchase Ledger Controller is to oversee the supply of parts, materials and services from wherever they can be sourced in the world, covering purchasing, transport, Customs regulations through to the purchase accounting and stock control. This is all helped by her background in global logistics in the automotive manufacturing sector and wholesale retail before that.
‘I find it so interesting working at Thornley Kelham with such a variety of vehicles coming to us and to see some of them transformed from an old rusty shell to a beautiful looking and sounding machine amazes me every time!’
Senior Mechanical Technician
Paul has over 30 years’ experience of working on some of the world’s most beautiful and iconic cars. A highly experienced mechanic, his skills are an integral part of the wonderful cars we restore today.
“Leaving school at 16, I was offered a job by a family friend restoring vintage motorcycles and cars. 30 years later I’m still doing the job I love. Over the years I’ve worked on a huge variety of cars; from a Bugatti Royale and the Bucciali TAV12 to Rolls Royce, Bentley, Hispano Suiza, Lagonda, Ferrari, Lancia and Alfa Romeo to Amilcar and Austin 7”.
head of Paintshop
With over 30 years’ experience painting many different marques, Jason has a true passion for paintwork and always strives for excellence.
At the age of 18 he worked as a commercial vehicle builder – building milk tankers, fabricating bracketry, fitting hydraulic systems and huge stainless steel tanks to 40 foot trailers AND painting, which came naturally to him. Painting large commercials gave him vast hours of ‘gun time’ which led to a job with a well-respected bodyshop working on high end cars to exacting standards, and has never looked back.
“In those years I worked on Ferrari 250 GTOs, 288 GTOs, F40s, F50s, Testarossas, 246 GTs and a host of modern Prancing Horses. Also Maserati Ghiblis, 250Fs and a T61 Birdcage, Alfa TZs, GTAs and Montreals, Jaguar C Types and E Types, various Porsches and Astons and a Bugatti Type 35s.
It is very important for me to feel part of something, and here at Thornley Kelham I feel a very valued member in a team of dedicated and talented individuals driven by a true passion for cars and a commitment to the highest standards”.
With over 30 years’ experience as a highly skilled painter, Jason has been with us since almost the start. He has always been interested in cars and as a youth, loved to take things apart, repaint them and detail them up, including taking his push bikes apart and spraying them different colours each month! At 15, he joined a local paint shop where he worked Saturday mornings and school holidays after which he was offered a 3-year “City and Guilds 365″ in vehicle refinishing and body repair.
“I am very passionate about my job. I have over 30 years’ experience in paint refinishing, working in VW, Audi, and Mercedes–approved paint shops over the years. But modern work, even on quality cars, increasingly became about time and meeting insurance company deadlines. I wanted to take my skills and talent to another level so I joined Thornley Kelham. Cars I’ve prepared and painted include Lancia Aurelias, Bristol 400 & 401 cabriolets, Mercedes 220 SE ponton cabrio, Mercedes 280SL pagodas, BMW 327 & 328s, vintage Bentley 3 litre and 4.5 litre, Pegaso, Porsche 911s and even a Pagani Zonda. To transform a car that was tired, back to its full glory is very rewarding to me as well as for our customers. It’s worth all those hours of hard work. Thanks for reading this and I look forward to perhaps working on your car in the future.”
With a name like Graham Hill it is hardly surprising that Graham has ended up with a career in the motoring world. Rather like his world champion namesake, it was motorcycles that first sparked his interest. His father had a business producing and spray-painting the fairings for his uncle and other racers.
“Over the years I’ve enjoyed working on some fantastic cars including a 1929 Ford Model A Roadster, a 1930 Model A pick-up and several Alfa Romeo Guillietta’s. I also did some work on a 1936 Fleetwood Cadillac that belonged to a certain Mr. Jagger. This is perhaps the favourite of all cars I worked on prior to joining Thornley Kelham.
The enthusiasm of the TK team is refreshing and has renewed my passion for more interesting cars. I have really enjoyed my time here working on several interesting marques. I now look forward to every “new” old car that comes through the door”.
At 18, Paul completed an apprenticeship in Mechanical Engineering, and put his skills to good use repairing and maintaining his very first car, a Ford Capri. This sparked a greater interest in how to improve cars in both performance and looks, which he went on to do very successfully, including winning concours.
After 16 years in the motor industry building new cars, he joined the Thornley Kelham team to work on some really special vintage and classic cars.
“Since working with Simon and Wayne I’ve carried out full wiring and assembly on a Lancia Aurelia B20GT, including fitting a modern radio which was hidden from sight along with component speakers. I have re-engineered a Mercedes 220SE cabriolet with a 6 speed gearbox conversion and hydraulic clutch, and have really enjoyed working on a very cool Bentley 4 1/2 litre. It is great to learn how these past masters of engineering thought and worked, and to have the opportunity to maintain or restore their work so the history on these vehicles can be kept alive”.
Jesse started work in the motor trade at 17 while restoring his own MK1 Ford Escort 1300. Now with over 20 years’ experience in panel work, he has great passion for metal work and it shows in the quality of his work.
“Today I work on some of the most luxurious and desired cars in the world and over the last few years have restored a Ferrari Daytona, Lancia Aurelia, Lancia Flaminia Zagato, Lancia Spider B24, Lancia Appia Zagato, Bentley Continental, amongst others. My goal is to be one of the best panel workers in the world producing what most people would say is a work of art. So far I would say I am on the right track, feeling very welcome and highly valued at Thornley Kelham”.
Steve has accumulated over 40 years’ experience in the mechanical field, working in maintenance, project work and specialist engineering at Honda for 21 years before joining Thornley Kelham. This involved working on engine block, cylinder head and engine assembly, making both mechanical and electrical quality improvements and adjustments to critical tolerances. The work often involved modifying or manufacturing specialist jigs and fixtures, some of which won prizes at technical festivals and was rewarded with several trips to Japan.
“Nothing gives me greater pleasure and satisfaction than delivering a high quality product for our customers and knowing/seeing that the product is still in good condition and working well years later”.
Colin has been fascinated by all things mechanical from an early age and, as a child would dismantle bikes and go-karts to modify and rebuild them, including taking apart presents given to him on Christmas day so he could see how they worked! His parents bought him an old Vauxhall Chevette for my 15th birthday. Within 2 years, it had been stripped down, customised and rebuilt more than once.
Colin started work as an apprentice in 1988 at a Citroen Dealership, followed by working at Bob Houghton Ferrari where he restored and race-prepared some of the world’s rarest and desirable Sports-Racing and Grand Prix Ferraris.
“In 2006 I moved to Dick Lovett Sporting where I was employed as head technician for the Ferrari, Maserati and Lotus franchise. In this role I was the only technician permitted to work on F40, F50 and Enzo models. In 2011 I moved to Australia with my family for a short period where I worked for Barbagallo Sport in Perth race-preparing Ferrari, Maseratis, Lotuses and Lamborghinis. In 2012 we had to move back to England and I spent a brief period with Williams Sports Cars servicing Lotus and Morgan and at few months at Lovett’s again before the opportunity to join the team here at Thornley Kelham became available”.
During his 30+ years of engineering, Jim started as an engineering apprentice at Redlers where he learnt a wide range of skills such as milling, turning, grinding and welding. A few years later, he joined a family-run business, Precision Engineering where he worked for 18 years. During his time there, he created one-off pieces, CNC programming and setting machines using cad design, training apprentices, trouble shooting and increasing efficiency and accuracy of programmes and worked within tight tolerances. He has a keen eye for detail and an all-round mechanical understanding.
Transport & Facilities
Jamie has always been obsessed with cars, specifically classic cars and everything associated with them. His first job was at Graham Warner’s ‘Chequered Flag’ in Chiswick, working on the restoration and preparation of classic sports for the showroom. It was also where he acquired his first classic car; a 1959 Austin Healey Frogeye Sprite, the first of 28 classic cars he has owned to date.
A career change into advertising as an Art Director for Saatchi & Saatchi where everything was about attention to the minutest details indirectly spurred on his passion for high end classic car restoration and Concours d’Elegance. Travelling the world with the company saw a full bare chassis restoration of a 1948 Jaguar MK5 in Australia; a concours restoration of an Alfa Romeo 1750 Coupe in Malaysia which won the national Concours d’Elegance in Singapore; an Austin Seven Ruby in Cairo and concours restoration of a Mercedes Benz 280 SL in Dubai.
“Returning to the UK, I became responsible for Lancaster’s classic car events in particular Lancaster Classic Car Show at the NEC Birmingham recognised as one of the biggest and best shows in the world, prior to being responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the supercar collection of John Hunt, which included an original Lamborghini Jota, one of several Lamborghinis, sharing space with 12 Ferraris, a trio of Bugatti, XJ220 to name a few.
However, when the opportunity came to work with Thornley Kelham, and live and work in the Cotswolds with like-minded people who share the same passion for beautiful classic cars and an uncompromising dedication for perfection, I leapt at the opportunity”.
Tom started an apprenticeship at Morgan Motor Company at 16 as a Panel Beater, where he spent the next 6 years working with some extremely talented people who were willing to show him the tricks of the trade, pass on their knowledge and most of all, attain their own high standards. After Morgan, he spent 3 years on fabrication which is where his knowledge and expertise of metal work grew.
“I then went back into vintage and classic car restoration. This is where I could combine all the skills I had gained and use them on something I truly love. I’ve worked on some amazing cars – some of which have graced the lawns of Pebble Beach and even driven up the local and historic Prescott Hill Climb”.
Andy has worked in the metalshop at Thornley Kelham since January 2016. Prior to this, he was an engineer/fabricator/manager at the family business and before that he apprenticed at a small engineering concern under highly skilled toolmakers, as well as a gunsmith as a machinist, learning many skills including technical drawing, welding, fabrication and paint spraying, and was soon heading up their fabrication workshop.
“When not at work and full of the joys of spring, I am a multi-instrumentalist, writing, playing and producing music. I also make scale models… when I have the time. I also co-present a successful YouTube channel, focusing on metalwork tips and tricks to help DIY enthusiasts improve their skills in car restoration at home”.
Corey has recently completed an apprenticeship in Classic Car Restoration and Mechanics here at Thornley Kelham and is now a very valued and full time member of the team.
“At first I felt I was out of my comfort zone but with great support and encouragement I feel that I will accomplish my dream of becoming a mechanical engineer. I have learnt so much already and hope one day I can become as good as the people that are teaching me. I have also started to feel very proud of the fact that I have become part of a team that is keeping history alive for future generations to enjoy”.
Michael’s interest in cars started from a very early age with matchbox and hot wheels toy cars and watching 80s car based T.V. shows such as Knight Rider and Dukes of Hazard, which he absolutely loved. His parents took him to alot of drag racing events which progressed into wanting to know how things worked. He was always taking toys apart, removing the electric motors and using them for other “projects” much to the annoyance of his parents. Within weeks of purchasing his first motorcycle at 16, he worked out how to make it go faster, handle and stop better by reading lots of books, magazines as well as a lot of trial and error.
“After riding for a few years and progressing to a full bike licence I decided to move on to a car choosing to get a MK1 VW Golf GTI. This is where my interest in mechanics really took off.
After a few years working in a bike shop, I worked for Barry Curtis, a renowned and respected Porsche 356 engine builder and restorer. I spent seven years there, learning all the specialist knowledge he had gained over the years, including engine building, preparing race cars and supporting customers at race events. I then moved onto working on Classic Porsche 911s as well as Porsche 356s, which widened my knowledge of early Porsches including bodywork, trim and paint. After several years I was offered the chance to take over the business where I ran all aspects of the company.
I relocated to Wiltshire when I joined Thorney Kelham as a Porsche specialist. Since being here I have really enjoyed my time getting to work on all sorts of different makes and models of cars as well as some very exciting Porsche projects”.
As a child, Tim was always taking things apart to see how they worked and as a teenager began tinkering with motorbikes and supported his dad and uncle as they travelled around the UK and Europe racing motorbikes. Following a motor vehicle mechanic apprenticeship, he took on restorations and repairs on a huge range of cars of all ages.
He then went on to advance his knowledge further and worked at a main dealership for 16 years. As technology became more and more advanced in the motor industry, modern cars began to lose their appeal – he was less mechanic and more computer programmer.
“Working at Thornley Kelham has allowed me to get back to what I love, repairing and restoring fine examples of traditional motor vehicles”.
Head of Engine Building & Engineering
Andy’s interest in cars and motorcycles stems from, and remains, inextricably linked to motorsport and comes from his father’s interest in the same. His father stopped competing when Andy was born but continued to be an avid fan taking him to many events. Andy subsequently took up motorcycle racing and F2 sidecars as the driver, competing in the British Championships for several years and some international road races.
His keen interest led him to open his own motorcycle shop and rolling road centre. He continued to compete as and when time and business commitments allowed, and after some years decided to go into partnership with his engine builder; closing the motorcycle sales and service side of the business and merging the rolling road centre into the new engine business, which they called Race Techniques. During the next 20 years, Race Techniques gained many achievements in a variety of motorsport disciplines including running the Yamaha SuperSport Team for Yamaha UK with direct support from Yamaha Japan.
“In 2020 Race Techniques merged into Thornley Kelham and I came to join the team here. This has been the beginning of a new adventure in both high end restoration and the exciting restomod sector – with all the challenges this brings for us in the engine and engineering department, as well as the opportunity to work on many fabulous cars that we as a company work on”.
Head of Research & Development
Mike has always had a passion for cars and motorcycles. In fact, the only way his parents could get him to sleep was to put him on the back seat of their VW Beetle and start the engine!
From the age 0f 7, when Mike’s Dad built him a scramble bike, (and came 2nd in the British Schoolboy Scramble Championship), his life has revolved around engines, power, performance and speed. After leaving school, Mike joined The Dowty Group as an apprentice engineer, emerging as a qualified Production Engineer. He then pursued a career in engine tuning at Mountune Race Engines in Essex, followed by spells working in Southern California with legendary engine tuner, David Vizard.
Following his ‘real’ apprenticeship, Mike founded Race Techniques, a small engine tuning business in Cheltenham, soon racking up wins at meetings such as the first Goodwood Revival, where Richard Dodkins won the St Mary’s Saloon Car race outright in a Mini Cooper S, lapping of all people Tiff Needell who was driving a 4.2 litre Mk 2 Jaguar. Wins also followed at the Isle of Man TT, with Michael Dunlop having his first ever TT win using a Race Techniques tuned and built R6 Yamaha. Race Techniques went on to build engines for three of the four famous Dunlop family members, preparing engines for Robert, William and Michael from 2007-2010.
As well as Mini and Yamaha, Race Techniques also worked on engines from Cosworth, Ford, Volvo, Chevrolet, Lagonda, Meadows, Amilcar, AC, Honda, Kawasaki, Laverda, Triumph, BSA and Suzuki. In fact, too many to mention over 33 years.
“Having been introduced to Thornley Kelham in 2019, I was immediately struck by the quality of work they produced – it was simply mind-blowing. Over a period of a few months, it became apparent that we would be a good team, each benefiting from the skills of the other and as a result, Thornley Kelham acquired Race Techniques.
This amalgamation has worked well, with some exciting projects being worked on in the last three years and going forward, many more are in the pipeline. Long may this continue”.
Chris has had a life-long passion for cars and engines, starting with Scalextric and then moving onto classic computer arcade games.
After school, Chris gained Mechanical and Electrical qualifications and joined Honda at 19 as a General Associate working in the weld department, building Civic & Accord doors, bonnets and tailgates using Mig and Spot Welding equipment. This then led onto Lead Associate, Team Leader, Quality and Engineering Staff roles all within the Weld dept (Body in White). The latter New Model introduction project leader roles allowed him to spend large amounts of time working in Japan, Germany and in the UK on flagship models such as Type R.
“After more than 25 years of Honda employment, I joined Thornley Kelham as a Project Developer and am very humbled to work alongside an extremely talented workforce who, as a team, build some very beautiful, artisan classic cars to the highest quality with many restomod modern touches engineered in. Proud to be part of the team currently working on multiple very exciting TK bespoke projects”.
Project Assistant/CAD Technician
There were always two things Mateusz was passionate about from a very young age – cars and engineering. As a youngster, he would go to local car meets, play racing games and take apart RC toy cars to see how they worked & to find ways to make them faster.
Shortly after finishing an automotive-based engineering degree at a university in 2021, he joined Thornley Kelham to bring his dream, to pursue a career driven by his interests, to reality – a place where he could use his skills and take pride in his work.
“As a Project Assistant, I help our team with various jobs. My line of work primarily involves creating engineering solutions in CAD (Computer-Aided Design). At Thornley Kelham, not a single day goes by without its own unique challenge. I ensure that my work is of the highest standards with an eye for detail. And the part that I love the most? The reward of seeing a customer’s pride and joy come together as the result of hours, weeks or even months of teamwork”.
Ashley has loved cars from a very early age. When he was 16, he bought his first car to tinker with on the drive while waiting to pass his driving test. He then renovated a 1969 VW Beetle while at college qualifying as a Technician. He subsequently bought a 1968 VW Beetle and fully rebuilt and modernised the engine in his garage in-between working and having a son.
“My love for cars has never wavered and only steered me through working on various prestige brands through my career. However, years of working on the more modern vehicles, has led me back to my enjoyment and appreciation for vintage cars, Porsche in particular. My last role before joining Thornley Kelham, I was able to reignite my passion for restoration and gave me great opportunities on restoring customer’s precious vehicles. Being a part of the projects with the customers, listening to their ideas and helping their visions become reality was very gratifying. It was very rewarding being trusted with working on their beloved and enjoyed vehicles. Seeing their appreciation and re-found love for driving these vehicles rather than being sat in a garage 12 months of the year made me realise I wanted to move back to restoring vintage cars, helping get them back on the road”.
Engine Builder / Engineer
At sixteen, Steve went to work for his father’s company, Chosen Engineering, working on many competition Mini and Ford engines over the years, achieving championship wins along the way.
In 2012 he moved on to Nissan GTR engines, gaining a wealth of knowledge and experience along the way beofre joining Thornley Kelham, to work on perhaps the father of the GTRs, the Lancia Aurelia and Flaminia.
“I am truly amazed by how much Lancia achieved during their heyday and their level of engineering innovation. It also proves the old adage that nothing is new, it has all been done before. Modern manufacturers have simply copied great ideas from the past and are using more modern materials and techniques to embellish the production of the internal combustion engine”.