Jentree Classic Cars
We have recently had the pleasure of speaking with expert car restorer David Jenkins. Who has dedicated his career to restoring all types of classic cars to their former glory. Whether you’re a car enthusiast or simply curious about the restoration and repair of classic cars, We‘re excited to break it down with Mr. Jenkins from Jentree Classic Cars as he takes us through his journey and feelings towards the industry.
How did you come to work in Motor restoration?
I first started out in a small unit behind another garage with a friend of mine who later became a business partner, his name was David Tree. Combined with my name, David Jenkins, we formed JenTree Coachworks in 1981. At the time we were repairing anything that came our way, Cortinas, Minis, Austins, Rovers etc but as time went on we started getting a good reputation for MGB’s, at the time a fairly new car! Sadly, Dave Tree passed away unexpectedly after 18 months in business but I carried on with a couple of new members of staff and we grew from there, in to larger units. We were in Pevensey, East Sussex for 30 years, mainly restoring MGB and MGA’s in the early days but more and more makes and models as time went on. In 2012 my eldest son, Mark, joined me full time and we moved the business to where we are today, East Hoathly, East Sussex. We have a fabulous array of restorations ongoing from Aston Martin, Austin Healey, Jaguars, Triumphs, AC, Ferrari, Porsche, Jensen and of course a few MGs still!
How would you describe your business?
Old School! We are a family run business and like many other similar companies, have been around long enough to remember when customer service and satisfaction were paramount. We pride ourselves on being fair and honest, we treat people how we would wish to be treated and hold ourselves and our staff to the highest standard of work and our customers always know what to expect from us. Our staff are well looked after and we are well aware of the responsibility we have to them and their families, they in turn work hard for us and have been extremely loyal to us over the years, we are like another family.
What do you love most about being in the business your in?
The cars are of course the main focal point and its always a pleasure when a restoration finishes and too see the smile on the customers face on hand over day! Overall though it’s the people we meet and the relationships that have been formed. We are lucky to get to work on some fantastic cars and make new friends along the way.
How do you advise your clients when choosing a company to take on restoration work?
Every car and every client is different, the main thing is to find a level of comfort with the whole process. Costs can be very high when restoring classic cars and the cars are very valuable when restored correctly so a level of trust has to be established. The quality of the final product is vital, so being able to see work in progress and previous restorations still standing the test of time is, for us, crucial. We like to think we provide all this, which is why we’ve been in business continually for 42 years and counting!
Is there any special projects in particular that you have been or are currently working on?
So many special cars come to mind but currently we are restoring a couple of very rare cars. Firstly, an MGA ‘Deluxe’ Roadster, one of only three built in 1962 (last year of production) and an early ‘Flat Floor’ 3.8 E Type Jaguar, first owned by a famous motoring journalists father (who was also famous!)! We’ve also just completed restoring a rare AC Greyhound, one of only 83 ever built!