Historic vehicle apprenticeship launched in Enfield

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Barnet and Southgate College launched a brand-new Historic Vehicle Apprenticeship Scheme at its Enfield campus on 12 March, gathering an impressive selection of classics to mark the occasion. 

Among the highlights of a Mean OldTimers Club convoy from Blackheath was the much-travelled 1953 Jaguar XK120SE belonging to Barry Yarde. “It had been raced in the US and we bought it as a project about 20 years ago,” explained Yarde. “It was British Racing Green with no interior, and the motor was knackered. So we took it down to bare metal and had the engine rebuilt – badly, I found out – and then done properly about three years ago. I drive it all year round, sometimes taking my dogs with me to work or to Sainsbury’s with my daughter.”

The Jaguar was joined by John and Irene Walker’s Middlebridge Scimitar GTE, number 56 of the 78 built. “We’ve spent many hours polishing it,” explained Irene. “We used to do concours with it and got to Masterclass level in 2000, not long after we bought it, but now we keep it nice and just use it.”

Mark Fuller’s 1967 Ford Mustang Fastback added an American flavour to proceedings, one of several at the event. “It has one or two modifications that make it go a bit better, such as a high-lift cam and a four-barrel Holley,” he explained. There was a similar model in one of the college spraybooths and a just-completed Mach 1 351 with Ram Air hood.

College principal David Byrne was delighted with the launch: “It’s a fantastic turnout that we hope will raise awareness of the scheme. Our aim was to set up a high-quality environment that would attract collectors and club members to have their cars restored here.” The turnout also included vehicles from nearby Whitewebbs Museum of Transport and the local branch of the Jaguar Drivers’ Club.

Chairman of the Guild of Specialist Engineers, Michael Scott, said: “I’m really excited about this place. It is the future of classic car restoration and engineering.”

Find out more about the college and its courses here.

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