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GTB Is A Father And Son Thing

Ferrari Trade Talk Published: 3rd Nov 2017 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

GTB Is A Father And Son Thing
GTB Is A Father And Son Thing
GTB Is A Father And Son Thing
GTB Is A Father And Son Thing
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How Mike and Chris Withers turned their hobby into a thriving business and why big isn’t always beautiful when it comes to having a feel for Ferraris

From B&Q to Maranello: Ferrari fanatic Mike Withers, always had a desire to turn his hobby into a full time business of preparing Prancing Horses to perfection. Having had the privilege of working on the family’s stable, as well as other classics, the former retail manger for that DIY outlet had already gained vital years of experience before setting up this venture with his father, Chris, who he lured out of retirement – quite easily we bet!

Largely on the back of restoration project to provide the impetus and start up finance, GTB Restorations was formed less than a decade ago and always located in Suffolk, moving to its smart secluded premises in Cotton, Stowmarket, just over a year ago. It’s where all bar re-trimming is carried out in a pristine workshop that also has a small spray booth and fabrication shop. Services include full restoration, paint preparation as well as paint spraying, panel fabrication, media blasting, engine building and general servicing and repairs at £60 per hour labour rates.

When we visited this quaint farmhouse location (which is woven in some wonderful driving roads – although you really need a sat nav to find it), the final throes of a full restoration on an ultra rare, half a million quids worth of 250PF was being carried out – a satisfying job for Mike, Chris and apprentice Jack as it was bought by the customer unseen from America – with remedial work being started on a modern 456 that was purchased for just £30,000 at an auction; so you see GTB caters for most budgets and cars although the pair regard 1990’s Ferraris as the newest that they would want to touch.

That said, “Being owners and enthusiasts of classic Ferraris and other Italian cars, we apply the same level of quality to a customer car as if it were our own pride and joy.

“It’s a wonderful privilege to maintain these cars and we are proud to say we have worked on some of the most important cars displaying the prancing horse. Carrying out full restorations and rebuilds we’ve seen more of these cars than most, we know these cars inside out,” enthuses Mike.

For instance, the PF had received some poor repairs earlier in its life. “The engine needed dismantling and rebuilding; and we spent many hours researching and sourcing small components needed to breathe new life back into it,” says Mike.

Other services include pre-sale inspections at around £500 and it’s perhaps to the credit of the Ferrari fraternity that Mike says he’s never been turned away by a vendor. Also GTB has of late been involved with car preparation for events such as the Tour Auto.

Future plans include perhaps expanding to a larger workshop to accommodate the ever increasing work load and the possibility of buying and selling Italian classics.

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