Team Project Shop
Even the young ones have been ‘around the block’ when it comes to classic cars. The workshop team have a massive amount of experience, with a dash of youth on hand for some of the more ‘physical’ issues we come across. Wether it is extracting an engine, perfecting a door shut, or sorting out the wiring one of these chaps can work their magic on your classic!
Simeon Cattle ~ Director
With a lifelong passion for classics, Simeon has bought some fantastic examples over the years. He regrets selling most of them, until he remembers the huge bills!
Straight out of school he worked for Chevron Cars as an apprentice before making his way into sales. In 2000 he moved to BMW Park Lane and spent 8 years in the network. During that time he worked his way through the sales department as a salesman, used car buyer and sales manager.
In 2008 he decided to get back to his first love of classic cars and strike out on his own. BMW’s continue to be his first love and he drives an E30 325i Sport which he reckons ‘makes life worth living’.
John Jardine ~ Senior Engineer
John ‘JJ’ Jardine has had a lifetime on the spanners. Straight from school and into an apprenticeship he learnt the trade when men were men and a mistake was rewarded with physical pain.
He has a colossal wealth of knowledge having spent a huge chunk of his career working for TWR as a development engineer.
During the late 90’s he went stateside to work for General Motors on the Hummer H2 project. One of the most entertaining engineering problems was how to make the H2 enter 18 inches of water at 40 MPH!
He is vocal in helping the team work out the many problems projects throw up. He keeps the lads on their toes making sure they focus on building amazing classic cars.
Zane Newall – Engineer
Zane is the quietest and most gentle mechanic any of us have ever met. He simply gets on with the job in a methodical and careful way. It can be really easy to forget he is in the workshop until the moment that his head pops up and he asks for ‘some more work Boss’.
Corrupted into the world of motorcars from a young age by his father there is nothing he prefers more than to be elbow deep in a classic car. We are delighted to have him working with us.
Billy Earwicker ~ Auto Electric Engineer
Despite his tender years, Billy has been busy balancing further education and work since 2010. We have seen him through his apprenticeship and learning to drive, so he has really grown up in the time he has been part of the team.
Interested in anything mechanical, electrical, hydraulic and steampunk he has experience on machinery as diverse as a sit-on lawn mower to a grandfather clock, but he really loves old cars.
When it comes to breathing life back into old electrical systems he has no peers. He continually staggers us repairing circuit boards, clocks, gauges and wiring looms.
Gareth Davies – Fabrication
Gareth works at Project Shop because every week he would stop at our family coffee shop, buy a brew and bend my father in laws ear about getting a job in our workshop. When we moved to our premises in Bicester in May 2017 we found that we had a corner of the workshop that made a perfect fabrication bay.
After years of out-sourcing our metal work, Gareth’s arrival has made the world of difference to Project Shop bringing a whole new set of skills to the business. Whether it is reconstructing a complete body shell or sympathetically repairing small sections, he approaches structural welding with a considered and can-do mentality. We are lucky to have him as part of the team.
Matt Dowell ~ 3rd Year Apprentice Engineer
Matt joined us 2 years ago already able to mop a floor AND make tea, which put him way ahead of most of the applicants. He is also diligent, knows when to ask for help and when to battle it out on his own. Since he started with us he has soaked up plenty of knowledge from his elders and flown through his college work.
He and Gareth are almost inseparable and for his 3rd year he is focusing on fabrication, something there is never a shortage of here at Project Shop.
John Mennie ~ Workshop Glue
John joined the team nearly 6 years ago largely because he moved into a house opposite the workshop and popped across to have a nose around. We were flat out getting a car ready for a customer so he was dispatched to the MOT station to pick up a Series III Land Rover. The next day he turned up again, washed a few cars, helped Martin sort out a running issue on an early 911 and made the tea. Try as we might we simply can’t get rid of the stubborn old Scott.
He plays down his own skill and knowledge, but the reality is he can turn his hand to almost anything. Days without ‘Scottish John’ just aren’t the same. He is always elbow deep, helping one of the guys. He keeps the moral high and the work flowing through the workshop. Not one of us would be without him.
Harry Fitchett ~ 1st Year Apprentice Engineer
Given his lofty height it is easy to forget that Harry is just 17 years old. Fresh out of school we are not only putting him through his college course, but also teaching him to drive. He will be the first of our apprentices to undertake the new Classic Restoration Course at Bicester Heritage. In between modules he is paired with John Jardine learning how to catch flying spanners or duck.
Simon Downs ~ Workshop Controller
Simon joined us early in 2018 having been a friend of the business for some years. He has a strange addiction to old Opels having owned many and restored one of the very best Commodore GTE’s in the world. He has one of the most difficult jobs in the company, sourcing the parts and keeping the boys motivated and in good humour.