Saddleworth’s ‘Auto Lass’ raises thousands for servicemen’s charity with car restoration

SPRINGHEAD’S own Auto Lass is celebrating after raising thousands of pounds for servicemen’s charity Help For Heroes by raffling off a classic car.

Jody Bevan and her team gave 1975 MG Midget ‘Marshall’ a new lease of life in what proved to be a national effort.

Now after people from all over the country bought tickets with a chance to win it, raising more than £6,500 for the cause, it has a new home.

And amazingly, someone she knows, Andy Sherratt, was pulled out of the hat in the draw.

“Oh my God, thank you,” he said when told Marshall was heading his way. “That’s fantastic. I can’t believe it.”

A stunned Jody, whose team needed to source an alternator at the last minute after the one they had gave up and has included a commemorative plaque under the bonnet, added: “Oh my God, it’s Andy. I’m thrilled to bits. What a character and a true gent. You deserve this, I’m chuffed to bits.”

As Saddleworth Independent reported previously, Jody, who runs the ‘Auto Lass’ YouTube channel from her base at Woodend Mills, put in the hours – waking up at 4.45am and getting home as late as 9pm – to make sure Marshall was ready.

Jody Bevan aka Auto Lass

“It was ace, we loved every second of it,” Jody continued about the car, which comes complete with a bonnet featuring a union flag design and a serviceman being stretchered by colleagues in a nod to the late Queen Elizabeth II.

“He’s absolutely beautiful. Thank you to everybody who bought ticket and donated, all the companies that donated parts and obviously all my team.

“I was massively overwhelmed by their level of commitment. It was an emotional rollercoaster.

“We put in everything we have – heart, soul, blood, sweat, tears, skin, all you can think of! It was a labour of love.

“This was for our veterans, that’s the most important thing. I hope we’ve done you justice and thank you for your sacrifices.

“It was bigger than just doing a car, at first I didn’t think it would be this big.

“It’s like we 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’ve done it.”

As well as Marshall, an MG 50th anniversary watch, worth £3,000, was won by Lisa Millard of Cumbria while Alan Sheridan and Brian Coleman won goodies bags in the draw on Saturday, November 11.

That £6,502 handed over to Help For Heroes, whose area fundraising manager Rhys Edwards was ‘absolutely amazed’, added to the £3,300 raised for the UK Sepsis Trust by their first charity car – Igor the Morris Ital.

It also saw a new connection, with volunteer Brent Burnett (pictured holding the second cheque) now a member of the Auto Lass team.

And after all the work put in, Jody took the finished product for a little spin to make sure everything worked before being handed over to Andy.

“Initially, the car looked great,” she told Saddleworth Independent before the draw. “Then when we started to strip it, we found it needed quite a lot of work.

“We were donated a new shell, it’s had a brand new floor pan – everything really has been replaced or overhauled. It wasn’t in 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.

“But Marshall drove beautifully and from my team and I, the biggest thanks to everyone who donated.”

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