A SPRINGHEAD car garage is giving an ‘old boy’ a new lease of life and helping servicemen’s charity Help For Heroes by raffling it off.
And not only is Jody ‘Auto Lass’ Bevan’s ‘Marshall’ plan much bigger than she first thought, it has turned into a national effort.
For people are travelling from Nottingham to help out, while firms in Cambridgeshire are lending their support to make sure it is ready to be raffled off on November 11.
People can buy a ticket for £10 to have a chance of winning the finished product, a 1975 1,500cc MG Midget called Marshall, with all proceeds going to the charity.
And Jody, who runs the ‘Auto Lass’ YouTube channel from her base at Woodend Mills, is putting in the hours – waking up at 4.45am and getting home as late as 9pm – to make sure it is ready.
She said: “He’s an old boy!
“The idea came about during a Covid-19 lockdown. Some of my YouTube followers got in touch to say they had to sell their classic cars.
“They were devastated and I wanted to help, so I thought of a way I could do that and the idea came that if we were to save a classic car, we could restore it then raffle it for charity.
“We’ve named it Marshall as the man who donated it, David Gage, named the car after his son Marshall. It’s our way of saying thanks.
“And it’s having a very delicate military theme and a nod to the late Queen. People will know instantly this is the Help for Heroes Auto Lass car.”
Jody took the car, which on fist look was nit in too bad a condition. Investigations, however, told a different story.
But as she documented what had been discovered, calls of help came in, meaning long journeys to Springhead.
“Initially, the car looked great,” Jody added. “Then when we started to strip it, we found it needed quite a lot of work.
“We’ve actually been donated a new shell, it’s had a brand new floor pan – everything really has been replaced or overhauled. It wasn’t the best condition. It was definitely not as good as it looked.
“Corrosion had set in – on one side, the chassis wasn’t even connected, which you wouldn’t see until you started stripping it.
“We documented its condition on the channel and people started to email us saying they had certain skills and they were willing to donate their time.
“Andy Needham, who’s doing a lot of the fabricating, Paul Wadsworth got in touch to say, ‘If you need anything doing with the bodywork, I’d help.’ His place of work has allowed us to use their facilities to paint the car.
“Craig Hughes, of Savage Hunters, is doing all the interior and carpeting, plus my staff.
“British Motor Heritage has supplied all the panels and MGOC Spares about 80 per cent of the parts needed. AC tyres donated five tyres.
“People have travelled across the country to help us. Now there’s that many willing to help and donating time or parts, it’s really helped.
“Brent Burnett, who won last year’s charity car, comes from the other side of Huddersfield, he says this is his way of paying it forward. Dave Rowbottom comes from the other side of Nottingham and MGOC Spares are from Cambridgeshire.”
To say it is a thorough job is an understatement. When Saddleworth Independent visited, the Urano Grey body was being completely rewired using a rebuilt wiring loom, with a diagram showing what should go where being examined and followed.
On November 11, the raffle draw will take place on Help For Heroes’ website but thousands of pounds worth of tickets have already been sold.
And as Jody says: “It’s bigger than just doing a car, at first I didn’t think it would be this big.
“It’s like we’ve linked three communities together – the classic car, the auto trade and the forces.
“One of my followers is a veteran who does bits of restoration and he says, ‘What you’re doing is fantastic and it’s helping me.’
“For us, that’s the main thing – raising money but also helping people, that’s why we’re doing it.”
*TICKETS for the chance to win the Auto Lass Help For Heroes classic car can be bought by clicking www.payPal.me/autolass. You must also provide your name, location, email address and phone number.
Anyone requesting further information can email Jody at Autolass.firstname.lastname@example.org.