As we know from Richard Hammond’s collection of classic Jaguars, his Opel Kadett, affectionately named Oliver, and motorbikes, The Grand Tour presenter loves a classic vehicle with some mileage. So to celebrate his love for these classic cars, he’s unveiling his latest business venture at the London Classic Car Show.
In a bid to support the skilled workers who are able to bring these loved cars back to life, he’s starting a new classic car restoration business, and will be revealing all when the London Classic Car Show opens on the 25th to the 27th of June.
“It’s in my bones,” he told the LCCS. “My grandfather was a coachbuilder; he worked at Mulliners in Birmingham and thereafter at Jensen in West Bromwich. I’ve always wanted to prove to him that there’s more to me than driving around the world, talking about other people’s supercars, crashing them and then pretending to weld them up in a desert.
“It’s also about a passion of mine to preserve crafts – my grandfather could work with wood, metal and just about anything. I wanted to do something real in the car industry rather than just being a commentator on the outside of it. This business is the perfect opportunity for me to do that.”
The business will be called The Smallest Cog, emphasising the level of detail it will be working at. It isn’t, as I expected, a joke about Hammond’s height…
“Jeremy [Clarkson] and James [May] might suggest otherwise, but it’s to highlight the fact that our attention to detail will be right down to the smallest cog… and the smallest cog is often the most significant whether it’s in a gearbox, engine or differential,” he explained.
As an example of the company’s work, The Smallest Cog will be showing off three different vehicles, each representing a different stage of restoration: before, during, and after. The first will be a Ford Escort RS200 that Hammond has recently purchased, the second will be a British sports car, and the final finished example is Hammond’s own Jaguar XK150, which he has previously featured on the DriveTribe YouTube channel. The LCCS also teases a fourth car, which we’re guessing may be a restored Oliver, after several rumours of it getting some restomod work.
Hammond himself will be at the show on the 26th alongside ex-Top Gear and Fifth Gear presenter Tiff Needell where he will be interviewed.
“After what’s been happening in the world, it’s going to be really great to get out there and share my love for classic cars with others who are equally dotty about old Lamborghinis and Jaguars. It will be even better if we can drum up some new business, too. I can’t wait!”
Mark Woolley, the director of the show, is also enthusiastic about helping launch The Smallest Cog:
“It will be an honour for us to have Richard at our event and I know all those coming to Syon Park will relish meeting him and hearing about his ambitious plans… as well as, I’m sure, a few hilarious stories from the past! We wish him the very best of luck on his latest adventure.”
This year’s show focuses on ‘The Evolution of Design’, with displays promising to guide viewers down a memory lane of iconic vehicle design.
An adult ticket costs just £25 when purchased in advance, and these include access to the 500+ car display, but also Talks Theatre and the Lime Avenue outside Syon House where cars will be on live display. Tickets will be £30 at the gate.