Meet the Team
We’ve been contemplating over what we should write about in our very first blog post. We just have so much history, so many stories to tell and so many exciting things on the horizon. In the end, we thought it would be a great idea to just say a big HELLO and welcome to the wonderful world of Davenport Cars. What better way to kick start our first blog post than introduce the team and tell you a little about the roles they play to keep our business a success.
The Davenport Cars family (literally, in some cases) is made up of a small team of 7, all working within the various workshops around New Farm in Tetworth on the Cambridgeshire/Bedfordshire border.
Company Owner and Director.
A young boy with a keen interest in classic cars and mechanics, living on a farm – that’s where it all began.
If you have visited our ‘History of Davenport Cars‘ page, you will already be familiar with David’s success in the world of Stock Car Racing. Winning a number of prestigious trophies and making a name for himself until 1978/79, David then retired from racing and went back to working on the family farm full time. For arable farmers, the winter months can be slow, David saw this as the perfect opportunity to start a project and restore a Triumph Roadster 2000 after buying 3 of them for £100 – Yes, I did just say three cars for £100, this was the 70’s after all. Oh, how times have changed! David sold the other two unrestored cars for a profit and began his first hobby renovation. This Triumph Roadster 2000 still sits happily in David’s private collection.
After the restoration was complete, David took the Triumph to various shows and won many renowned awards, such as Concours d’Elegance. The word spread that David was a talented man, friends wanted a piece of the action and requests to work on their cars came in thick and fast.
David quickly became a very busy man, the slow winters of arable farming were no more and he found himself needing to employ some help. Jack Norris was the perfect man for the job, a farmer by trade but with a shared love of classic cars – David had met Jack during his Stock Car years and was his mechanic. David and Jack’s first project was to restore a Jaguar MK V convertible, again this car was a huge success and won Concours d’Elegance – the car is still owned by David and is enjoyed every summer.
The third project was a Triumph TR3 A – you guessed it, a winner at Concours D’Elegance. David really had started to make a name for himself and his hobby soon turned into a business, with requests for car restorations taking more of David’s time. David went on to employ Geoff Scott-Coomber and Phil Stainton, both from agricultural backgrounds and both petrol heads. They all worked on the farm in the spring and summer and were talented restorers in winter. The farm was also growing as a business, running New Farm and contracting their services out to others. A few years in, Geoff went on to become a skilled self employed specialist mechanic and still helps Davenport Cars out today. But with Phil by his side, David decided it was time to turn his hobby into a fully fledged business and in 1990, Davenport Cars was officially born. By this time, David and his team of farmers/restorers had breathed life back into a great number of friend’s classic cars, David’s love of SS and Jaguar was never forgotten and by 1990, the team had already restored an SS 100, two MK 4 Saloons and MK4 Coupe. Phil has now moved on from the team but is still happy to help when extra hands are needed. The friendships that have been made along the way are a large part of the Davenport Cars story.
David’s role hasn’t really changed, he is still busy in the workshops, still liaising with customers, new and returning. The company has a large number of loyal clients from all over the world, many becoming great friends with all members of the team.
The team has grown and in true Davenport style, some are both farmers and classic car restorers, including Matthew Davenport, David’s son and new Company Director.
Director of Davenport Cars and Company Partner of W.E Davenport Farms.
Matthew Davenport – born and raised at New Farm and now living in the cottage next door to the farm house with his Wife, Emily and his son, Teddy – has been working on the farm since he was a young boy. Matthew studied Agriculture at college, went on to work for local farms as well as the family farm, before taking on and running it himself with the help of his right hand man, Ryan Northrop; whom he met at college and who he has been best friends with ever since. Of course, Ryan also doubles up as a very talented in-house trimmer on all car restorations. The team here are men of many talents.
As well as running the farm, along with his Father, Matthew is also a Director of Davenport Cars as of May 2018. Running the day to day workings of the company, he also preps the body work and is a talented paint sprayer. You can often find Matthew heading down the long drive at New Farm, travelling around the country finding the next piece of treasure to add to the Davenport portfolio. Learning the trade from his father, we can be rest assured that the future of the two companies are in secure hands.
From a farming background but with a serious interest in all things mechanical, Lee started working for Davenport Cars over 20 years ago. Working alongside David, he has become an expert in SS and early Jaguar restorations. Lee has honed his craft and along the way emerged as an expert in his field, he is truly an invaluable member of the team.
Lee became workshop manager in early 2000’s and has overseen every project from start to finish ever since.
Farm Labourer and Trimmer
Ryan joined the team in 2011 to help out with Harvest after meeting and becoming friends with Matthew at college. Ryan enjoyed working on the farm and didn’t want to leave after Harvest was over, like wise, the Davenport team didn’t want to lose him. David was in need of an in-house trimmer and offered him the chance to train up and fill the role. Ryan snapped up the chance to learn a new skill and create a career for himself whilst still being able to work on the farm in the spring and summer months. The best of both worlds!
As well as farming and classic cars, the team here at Davenport Cars all have one other thing in common; they are all perfectionists. Ryan is no different and is very conscientious of getting everything absolutely correct.
Another long serving member of the Davenport Cars team, John – or ‘Johnny’ as he is known in the workshop – joined the team 15 years ago. One of the best in the industry and takes pride in keeping the Davenport standards up to the highest degree, customers know they are getting the best.
Johnny gets a lot of satisfaction out of every single piece he works on and nothing will leave the workshop until it is absolutely flawless.
General Restoration Technician
The latest recruit! Ash joined the team in June 2018
Settling into the team really well, having previously worked on modern cars, he loves the older cars too, not to mention the working culture here at Davenport Cars.
Happy to get stuck in from the get go, nothing fazes Ash. From helping Ryan in the trimming workshop to giving Lee a hand with the mechanics, even learning to make patterns and panels – not something he’d come across before working with cars of modern manufacture.
Ash is an excellent addition to team, we’re so pleased to have him on board.
Keeping the office running for over 20 years, Lucie plays a vital part in the running of the company. Knowing the business inside out and maintaining great relationships with customers who return time and time again.