Any accident in a classic car can be heartbreaking. Footman James works hard to ensure that at times of stress, the expertise built up over its many years of experience in the industry is used to give reassurance to those involved. After a five-star review was posted about our service, we caught up with a satisfied customer to ask more about his car and how we helped to get him back on the road.
The moment of heartbreak for John Darlington came just a mile into his first drive of his freshly restored 1963 MGB. A failed bonnet catch tore the panel from its stay and wrapped it backwards around the windscreen.
John was understandably despondent. He explained “After so much time and effort spent on the restoration of my car, not only was it damaged, but I was also very nervous of sending it to the wrong place to have it rebuilt. The Iris blue paint work of my car had been so perfect that I didn’t want an inferior job to be carried out in the repair process".
John approached several local specialists that had come as highly recommended, but none had either the specific knowledge of early pull-handled MGBs that was needed, or the ability to submit a sensible quote for the work. After weeks of frustration, he called the specialist claims team at Footman James’ trusted insurer, Ageas, and was immediately put onto the right path. As John put it, “Footman James & Ageas were very understanding of my concerns and were a reassuring presence at every point from then on. The claims manager was able to recommend a repair specialist that was an expert in MGs that I had not heard of myself, but which was highly recommended.
“Ageas made all the arrangements and kept me up to date throughout the whole process. By being able to speak to engineers not just assessors, I was reassured that I was in the hands of experts – for instance they understood the importance for me of having the correct aluminum bonnet fitted to the car, rather than a more typical steel replacement part. I was able to speak to a bodywork engineer, who said all the right things about panel alignment and paint matching, so I was able to relax.
“Once it was done, I was invited over to the workshop to see the car and give it a thorough check before it was signed off. As they talked me around it, I couldn’t fault it at all. It was perfect. In the course of the repair, they had discovered that the accident was caused by the bonnet catch having been incorrectly re-fitted, probably over 30 years previously. I was impressed that Ageas had authorised the purchase and fitting of high-quality replacement parts for the mechanism, to ensure that it would not re-occur.”
John concluded “I wish I had gone to Footman James from the very outset, because it was clear they were interested in getting it right. My car is now back on the road, and the Iris blue paintwork and chrome trim is every bit as perfect as it ever was. I’m looking forward to enjoying the car next year.”