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Bicester Heritage Centre welcomes Repair Shop star

Bicester Heritage Centre welcomes Repair Shop star - News

For fans of Classic Cars - and we know you're out there - one of the best places to take in the motoring greats of yesteryear has to be at our Bicester Heritage Centre venue in Oxfordshire.

Not least because it's the only such place on our books here at Driving Experience where you can get to take the wheel on some vintage motors at a nostalgic location, with a team of volunteers who not only maintain the venue's original buildings, but who work incredibly hard to restore and keep some iconic wheels from Aston Martin, Jaguar and others ship shape.

So it's quite fitting therefore, that they've recently welcomed someone onto site who knows a thing or two about faithful restoration work. Dominic Chinea is the resident metal worker on The Repair Shop, the hit BAFTA nominated BBC One series hosted by furniture restorer Jay Blades, where he and a team of other experts bring treasured and much loved items back to their former glory.

Dominic filmed his visit to the venue's recent Open Day on 5th June for his latest vlog on his YouTube channel (below), and couldn't contain his excitement at being in what he called "a vintage wonderland, with hangar after hangar after hangar that have all been turned into workshops … I don't know whether I’m more excited by the buildings or the cars!".

Whilst visiting, Dominic also found time to check in with The Heritage Skills Academy, who are based at the centre, and who do substantial work teaching and training up people in what's known as 'heritage craft'; that is to say, maintenance and mechanical work on old cars, as well as coach building and using wheeling machines that visitors young and old alike can even have a go at trying.

A recent survey conducted by The Heritage Craft Association (HCA) found that another 20 traditional crafts - everything from glass blowing to sporran making - have been added to a list of 130 crafts that they've called 'The Red List', meaning that they are endangered and are at risk of being lost forever to be handed down to future generations in the UK.

Of course, coming from a show like The Repair Shop, Dominic is certainly one of the best advocates for encouraging people, and especially young people, into taking up and helping keep heritage vehicles going such as an original 1955 Ferrari that was driven at that year's Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix (and won), and an original Austin Healey Sprite that was one of three used by Shelby Cobra in his High Performance Training School, which went onto inform a lot of the subsequent design and engineering for the AC Cobra.

The Heritage Skills Academy is certainly worth a look when you're next down at the venue, but don't just take our word for it. Why not book your next Classic Car driving day at Bicester Heritage Centre today from available dates on our Events Calendar? Or you can purchase one of our open Gift Vouchers to be redeemed and used at any later date of your choice up to 10 months in advance.

14 June 2021

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