We recently welcomed a young car enthusiast in the shape of Wilf Pickering for a week's work experience. Son of a petrolhead dad, Wilf spent the week looking at the different elements that go into running Classic Retrofit, from design and development to assembly and sale. He even got to come for a spin in each of our cars!
Camera-shy Wilf shared a diary of his week with us. Here's what he had to say.
"It was cool to get a week’s work experience to see what it's like working here at Classic Retrofit. I personally really like my cars and have a growing interest in them as I get closer to being 17 and allowed to drive.
Being behind the scenes has shown the amount of time and effort put into running the business and how advanced the technology is in the industry. Throughout the week I was able to find myself having a go at some of the work in each of the parts of the business.
On my first day, I was doing logistics which involved some restocking of shelves. Then later, I learned how to solder and was involved in the assembly of a head unit for the Singer DLS.
On day 2, I shadowed the design process involved to make an electric pump for the electric air conditioning unit for an Alfa Romeo Giulia Super. This would be added to the heater unit to make it blow hot and cold air into the cabin.
Classic Retrofit has a variety of cars showcasing its products; such as the Porsche 914 EV conversion, which has lots of products installed on the car, creating a good example of what the brand is trying to sell and what cars they should be used on.
Aside from the fact it’s an EV conversion, the Porsche 914 often goes unnoticed since there are under 50 of them in the UK. The 914 usually comes with a flat-four engine producing 80 bhp or, less commonly, a flat-six engine making 100hp. However, the EV converted 914 produces 300hp plus, instantly.
Another car in the fleet is the Porsche 993 Tiptronic Coupe. This car has not been EV converted but does have its fair share of modifications, including retrimmed seats, a refurbished HVAC suitcase heater box, prototype A/C control panel, upgraded audio, refurbed Dansk exhaust, upgraded suspension, and eighteen-inch GT3 split rims making the car look great.
On Wednesday I was treated to a spin in each of the cars, and I have to say my favourite is the Alfa. Although it may not boast the most power, I like the car because of how nice the cabin is, for both looks and comfort. The car was released in 1965 and was fitted with a 1.6-litre engine capable of reaching speeds of above 170km/h which in the 1960s made it quite a sporty car while still being on the lighter side and handling well.
On Thursday, I accompanied the team to one of our local engineering partners to get a bracket made for a compressor to test the air conditioning units and pick up the front panels for the head units. After arriving back at the office, we tested the HVAC suitcase air conditioner to find one of the fans was loose and not working. It was fun to diagnose and repair the problem.
Overall, I think this week was a good representation of how the industry is developing and how we will still be able to enjoy classic cars in the future. I discovered a new interest in engineering. I’d like to thank Jonny and the team at Classic Retrofit for an amazing work experience."