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Words: Caroline Bingham
Featured in the May 2016 issue

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A retail motor partnership which began in the county more than 10 years ago is now launching a prestigious classic and sports car company.

Thompson and Smith is a familiar name on Louth’s Fairfield Industrial Estate, its showroom offering quality pre-owned Vauxhall cars and vans, as well as many other marques.

Neil Thompson and Ian Smith were colleagues at a local motor dealer when they decided to form their business in 2006. Since then their focus on quality and reliability for vehicles as well as after sales support and servicing, has earned them an excellent name locally.

Neil will admit that his interest in classic cars was triggered only five years ago: “I was in London, on Bond Street, and saw a black Mercedes Gullwing pull up behind a new Ferrari 458. I loved the look of it so much I came home and began to search for one. The prices were beyond my budget but I had caught the classic bug and bought my first Mercedes 280 SL Pagoda soon after. It was the start of a collection of more than thirty vehicles which have been brought together over the past five years to start Woldside Classic and Sports Car.”

The new business is located next door to their existing premises on Tattershall Way in a modern building topped off with a handsome clocktower.

“It was a stroke of luck that this building came on the market and with minimal reconfiguring has given us a large ground floor showroom and workshop plus offices and storeroom on the first floor.”

A new spraypaint oven, big enough to accommodate both cars and vans has been installed. A body specialist has joined the team to undertake restoration commissions.

Neil and Ian have chosen well, with cars in a broad budget range. “I want the enthusiast as well as perhaps someone with any eye for an investment to be equally excited when they come into the showroom.

“Top of our pricelist at the moment is a stunning 1958 Mercedes 190SL Roadster in silver at £179,000 but for under £10,000 there is a gorgeous Fiat 126 BIS in perfect original condition with just 248 miles on the clock from new, or a 1981 Citroen Dyane 6 in red which was bought locally, which will make a lovely show car.”

There are some truly unique finds amongst the stock including a 1988 Bedford Astravan 1.3L which has travelled only the seventy-nine factory delivery miles. It is in museum quality condition. The Mercedes marque features often, as Neil and his team’s appreciation of the build quality and knowledge of the models has deepened.

Buying expeditions have taken Neil to mainland Europe, America and even South Africa where climate conditions are often more favourable to preserving bodywork.

With the showroom complete, Neil, Ian and sales advisor Rob are ready to welcome their first customers. Woldside Classic and Sports Car will be officially launched at an Open Weekend on 21st and 22nd May to which everyone is invited to go along for light refreshments.

Neil added:” I love the styling, quality and character of these cars and I hope my enthusiasm is infectious.”

Woldside Classic and Sports Car
Tattershall Way
Fairfield Industrial Estate
Louth LN11 0YZ
Tel: 01507 606725
www.woldsideclassics.co.uk

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