Will Holman


Currently working on:

1986 Merc 500SEC

2002 BMW 530d

‘Does your bonnet normally shut okay?’ said the bloke from the garage. I’d asked him to see if he could work out why the car was so sluggish – this was before Andy at Fast Road Conversions found the blanking plate on the air intake that was strangling the engine. ‘It flew up at about 50mph,’ he said.

I’d never had any problem getting the bonnet to latch. Quite the opposite in fact – it was prone to not wanting to open at times, and I’d recently bought new latches and cables, with a view to fitting them when I could be bothered, a situation that had yet to happen. However, after a couple of months of not being able to keep the bonnet open without the aid of a broomstick, the time I could be bothered to fit a new bonnet was approaching fast. Apart from anything else, I was sick of not being able to top up the screen wash fluid. Find out here


Kev Leaper

Currently working on:

Nova Kit Car

1971 Ford Escort

Years ago I pulled an Essex V6 apart with the intention of rebuilding it. It was for a Marcos I owned and when I sold the car a year later I thought I’d just rebuild the engine with new shells and gaskets as the bores were great. The car needed very little apart from some time spent on it. I cleaned the block up and painted it Hammerite blue (very close to the blue Ford used on their engines) and began the hunt for the pistons. I looked high and low for them, but couldn’t find them anywhere. I priced up a new set of pistons and back then a set of six and a rebore made it uneconomic to rebuild the engine and expect to sell it without losing money. Reluctantly I weighed the engine bits in. Two months later I found the bloody pistons. Find out here


James Winstanley

Currently working on:

1997 Lotus Elise

2000 BMW 318ti Sport

It was back in the Easter egg era of the year when I made a passing comment about my bargain, quick-fix project Lotus Elise not being finished in time for summer ‘at this rate.’ Kev told me to stop being ridiculous, as having bought it in December 2014, it should have been a month’s work max once I had all the parts to hand.

Those parts have been to hand for a while now, and as I write this, it’s pretty much the time of year when you need to pre-heat a hat on the office radiator before going to make a brew in the workshop. In other words, winter has rolled back round, almost an entire year has elapsed and my summer sports car is still not quite finished. Find out here



Mankee Cheng 

Currently working on:

Skoda VRS

Caterham Seven

I graduated from university 15 years ago with a degree in maths, back in the days when the friendly government gave students money to drink away instead of spending it studiously on books. However, I really should have specialised in man maths, as I seem to have perfected the art of throwing a ridiculous sum of money on the Caterham; yet, the exercise of selling off tonnes of parts I’ve collected over the years seems to have made it an incredibly cost-effective move. The short of it is that I’ve bought another engine, fully working this time, ready to drop straight in. That’s the theory of course. Before the swap, I wanted to do one last trackday with the old 200bhp engine, with the aim of not blowing it up or crashing the car, then hauling it out and pulling it apart to sell the bits off separately. Having not actually driven Donington on a trackday before, I was really looking forward to a day there on the last summer Bank Holiday of the year. However, Find out here