Aston Martin Works Service: ‘Exceptional Treatment’
It doesn’t matter how many times you go there, taking the familiar J14 exit off the M1 and driving into Newport Pagnell just five minutes later, a visit to Works Service is always special.
The invitation had come from Works Service Heritage Centre Manager, Nigel Woodward. It was a chance to sample the company’s own restored DB6, the famous dark green ex-Paul McCartney car, as well as finding out what the well-known ‘Works Service’ could offer owners of Aston Martins from the DB era onwards.
Geographically speaking, you’ll see ‘Works Prepared’ stickers on cars from as far away as Australia, Hong Kong and North Africa, as well as in the UK and mainland Europe. The company will collect and deliver anywhere in the world, and a walk through the spotless workshops revealed classic and modern Astons from all corners of the Earth.
“We’re known for our complete restorations, as well as looking after modern cars such as the DB9,” explains Woodward.
What is less well appreciated, however, is that older six-cylinder or V8 Aston Martins can be brought back ‘home’ for regular service attention such as brake overhauls, new clutches and suspension rebuilds, without the need for total, back-to-metal remedial work.
“Few other companies can offer this sort of service for cars which were constructed over 20 years ago, yet will be worked on by many of the craftsmen who built them when new,” Woodward continues.
Most are familiar with the ‘no expense spared’ projects that might have resulted from a purchase at the annual Works Service Bonhams sale. “That is an important part of our business,” adds Woodward, “and we’ll always be available to give an owner the ‘as it left Newport Pagnell’ finish, with bespoke features to each customer’s specification.
“But we also want a loved and cared-for car, be it a DB6, 1970s/80s V8 Vantage or supercharged V8, to visit us for regular maintenance; an engine service, new discs and pads or a pre-holiday check-up, for example.
“Customers can obviously discuss upgrades while the car is in the workshops. On many occasions, more modern parts can be used – all tested and fully compatible – which are, in any case, more reliable, much longer-lasting and will enhance the driving experience.
“We’ve also helped Owners Club members with concours preparation. A client had booked his car in for a small amount of work recently; this was completed and, with a just little more work, the decision was made to enter the car at the forthcoming Chatsworth concours – where it went on to a class win.”
That was late summer. Now that the clocks have gone back and the winter nights are upon us, it’s an opportunity for owners of older Astons to either think about preparing their car for winter storage, or use the time productively for remedial or enhancement work...
Which brings us to the McCartney DB6 Mk I. This famous car, owned by Aston Martin and restored by Works Service, is a handy ‘mobile showroom’ for Director, Works Service and Parts Operations, Kingsley Riding-Felce’s team.
A typical upgrade offered by Works Service, which could be fitted while in for other work or as a standalone job, is electric power-steering for DB six-cylinder cars. Called E-Steer, the discreet installation includes a switch just under the dash that allows the degree of assistance to be varied. You might want ‘maximum’ for parking, say - yet only require the smallest help when on the move.
Woodward and I went for a 10-mile trip in the beautifully maintained car (“Still on triple-SUs, with a regular 4.0-litre engine and ZF 5-speed...”). The E-Steer functions brilliantly and should be on every owner’s shopping list for Christmas.
You can now twirl the wood-rimmed wheel that much more easily, and we decided just one click off ‘max’ was perfect for 90% of the time. The rest of the car was as you’d expect: a wonderful original-condition Aston, a solid-feeling, long-distance mile-eater with no rattles, shakes or vibrations. And this is a DB6 which clocks up many miles a year on 'company business', please remember.
In other words, it was an Aston Martin working as it was designed to, serviced and prepared by the company that built it over 30 years ago.
If you would like that sort of (‘Works’) service on your Aston, give Nigel Woodward a call on +44 (0)1908 619619, email [email protected] or visit www.astonmartin.com/worksservice for more information.
Aston Martin Heritage Centre
Bucks MK16 9AN
Tel: +44 (0)1908 619619
Fax: +44 (0)1908 216249
Email: [email protected]
Text: Steve Wakefield
Photos: Aston Martin Works Service / Classic Driver
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