Beckenham business treats customers to a little 007 heaven
PUBLISHED: 12:24 17 September 2012 | UPDATED: 16:23 17 September 2012
Scenes of James Bond cruising along Monte Carlo's spiralled streets in a gleaming Aston Martin have been the inspiration for many high end car owners.
The job for Beckenham garage Pugsley and Lewis is to restore these elegant Bond-mobiles to their former glory as smitten motorists buy neglected and beaten up models at auction.
Focusing mainly on Aston Martins from the 1950s to 1990s, owner Tim Lewis had been restoring these rich toys as a teenager in Brixton, having turned down the chance to go to university.
His decision was a wise one as, when in 1989 his former workplace was shut down, he decided to take the plunge and set up his own garage.
He said: “One day the owner of the business I had worked for since school was asked to close his garage and run a race team for Williams, which meant moving up north.
“I didn’t fancy the move, so me and a friend decided to set up our own garage and that’s where we are today.”
Price tags are high for the classic British-built luxury cars, with those still in need of restoration reaching hundreds of thousands of pounds at auction.
The condition of cars that enter the workshop vary from those cruelly neglected for decades to those used too much by the rich and famous.
Tim said: “At the moment, for a DB5 needing to be restored, you are looking at about £200,000 and at the end of the restoration it would be worth something like £400,000.
“We do feel the pressure of the expensive jobs and we want to protect the reputation we have grown since we opened in the late ’80s.
“People have different standards, but we are pretty good – even if that’s something you’re not supposed to say about yourself.”
The clientele can vary at the garage in Kings Hall Road, though brushes with celebrities and fanatic film buffs stick in the mind of Tim, who has seen countless engines roar through his doors.
He said: “We do get some James Bond wannabes and we recently had a guy with a classic Aston Martin in all the right colours with a number plate saying Bond.
“A few celebrities have also been in. We had Joanna Lumley in a while ago because her husband has an Aston Martin.”
Customers travel far and wide to secure the services of Pugsley and Lewis, jetting in to see the glint restored to their car. For many, owning their first Aston Martin can start a love affair which means they just want more. Certain customers arrive regularly with different cars.
Tim said: “It is very much like a bug, a customer recently said that to me and it’s true. After the first you can want more and more.
“I drive all sorts, but I have a few old Aston Martins and a new one too. In total, I have about 13 cars that I keep at the garage or at home.”
Despite spending their days surrounded by obscenely priced cars, Tim and his team rarely experience the luxury of the tuxedo-clad spy that made the Aston Martin name so famous.
Instead, the team members make it their business to provide their clients with a little taste of being 007.