In February this year, Auto Lass Workshops undertook a quality restoration of a Midget 1500, aptly named ‘MG Marshall in support of the charity, Help For Heroes. Behind this build stood a very special team comprising a perfect blend of professionals and enthusiasts, who volunteered their time to complete the restoration which was raffled on armistice day, 11/11/23. We were particularly taken by how through her work, Jody has introduced new blood into the world of classic car restoration. Jody is passionate about helping females and young adults into the industry and is an ambassador of the Association of Heritage Engineers (AoHe) whose aims include helping develop the necessary skills required to support heritage industries into the future through their Sustainable Skills Network.
Now that the dust has settled, we sat down with Jody from @AutoLasstv over a brew to reflect on her epic charity build in aid of Help For Heroes.
Who won? Are they a classic enthusiast? What are their plans for the car?
"The gentleman who won MG Marshall is Andy Sherratt from Pontefract.
I had the pleasure of meeting Andy at last year's Classic Car show at the NEC. He’s a true gentleman & and classic car enthusiast.
Andy, since winning MG Marshall has mentioned that he’s planning to continue to raise funds for Help for Heroes with the car. Which I am absolutely thrilled about."
How much money was raised for Help The Heroes?
How many people were involved (volunteers etc)?
"We have had some people come & go but the main team members,
Myself, my partner Matthew, Brent Barton (my workshop manager), Adam Burns ( my wonderful apprentice) The fabulous Andrew Needham who has donated all his time to this build. (We are funding Andrew getting his level 3 qualification on paper to say thank you & to build his confidence. Andrew has tonnes of experience but nothing on paper)
Brent Burnett, the winner of the first charity car ‘Igor’ the Morris Ital. We have become good friends with Brent since he won Igor. He wanted to pay it forward, by helping with the next charity car & he’s become a valued member of the Auto Lass team, also donating his time.
Paul Wadsworth who has done 80% of the bodywork & prepped & painted MG Marshall. Fabricating Marshall’s lovely shapely bottom.
Craig & Nikki Hughes who have donated their time & been travelling from Colwyn Bay to take care of Marshall’s upholstery & interior."
What does the build mean to you?
"The build has really become a part of me & the team.
It’s all we’ve thought about, all we’ve been doing for so long now.
I have had the design in my mind for almost a year & Marshall has shadowed every other part of our lives.
It means so much to raise vital funds for our veterans but also, I know my late dad & late grandad would be so proud & that means a lot to me."
What got you started with charity restorations?
"I have a love & passion for classic Fords. My dad loved Capri’s & I have some good memories of his cars when I was young.
My friend Sarah Crabtree (known from Bangers & Cash) was trying to persuade me to ‘get myself out there’ as a female in the motor trade.
A unit was offered to us in the industrial estate where we are established & it was my opportunity to do what I’ve always wanted …. Save classic cars.
The thought of doing this whilst raising money for charity & giving people a chance to win a classic car for the price of a raffle ticket seemed a no brainer.
We document it all on my YouTube channel. It helps to encourage people getting into the classics, having a go from home & hopefully provides good content."
How did you get into working on cars?
"I’ve always loved cars.
I had a box full of matchbox cars, trucks & buses when I was younger & would sit for hours playing with them.
After becoming a fully qualified florist from leaving school & a part-time model. At 18 years old, I met my then future husband who had a large workshop.
He asked that I help with the admin.
That lasted two days before I was hands on in the workshop working on HGV’s, plant & machinery. I gained so much knowledge & experience & I took to it like a duck to water. I loved every minute.
My mum was mortified as I went from a well groomed model princess into an overall wearing grease monkey."
What advice would you give to your female audience, inspired by you to work in the industry?
"Give it a go.
If you are interested in cars - start with a classic. They are much more basic than modern day cars.
You can learn the mechanics. The basics of the workings of a car.
Ensure you get the relevant Haynes Manual to that car & the worlds your oyster. If you have the passion & the guidance of a manual, it should come natural."
What did you enjoy most about the project?
"The coming together of like minded people.
The support we received restored my faith in humanity.
I was filled with gratitude every day & that for me is priceless.
To know that you are feeling that way due to being surrounded by amazing people & fabulous businesses who are completely behind you & believe in you wholeheartedly is an amazing feeling & I am truly grateful."
What next for Auto Lass and your dedicated team?
"We have a few projects of our own.
One of which is going to be real fun & I am hoping it will encourage the younger generation to follow & be involved.
I’m hoping MGOC will be a part of this as I know it is a car they love.
As for the next charity car, we haven’t yet decided. But we endeavour to raise money for charity each year."
If you could own any MG what would it be and why?
"100% a midget. Marshall is so much fun.
He’s stunningly beautiful, he’s nippy, he’s fun. Although I am the only one who fits in him.
So maybe not everyone’s choice. But certainly mine."
Final words from Jody
"For this to continue & grow I would love for people to follow our journey & get word out.
It will generate more interest, therefore helping to raise more money for charity.
I would like to thank MGOC Spares.
They have donated over £2000 worth of parts & shown us huge support.
I am honoured to be supported by such an iconic company.
We are incredibly grateful.
You made this charity build possible."
Click here for the Auto Lass Youtube channel and keep up to date on their antics!
Hopefully, Jody’s trail blazing, and enthusiasm has inspired you to tackle your restoration in the new year. If you would like some advice on how to get started then please give us a call or send us an email.
MGOC Spares, Here to Keep You Driving!
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At MGOC Spares, we provide dedicated parts and accessories for classic MG vehicles, including the MGB, Midget, MGC and many more.
With thousands of products in stock, we are your one-stop shop for all your classic car needs. Our wealth of expertise means that you can trust us to find the right part for your classic MG vehicle – whatever it may be.
Need support finding the right parts for your MG? Contact us today, we're happy to help!