Shop Tour Retro Restoration
VW CAMPER & BUS|May 2019

It wasn’t easy, but we finally pinned the ever busy Neil Mabbley down for a chat about what they do and how

Gordie Woollacott

How did you get started with Retro Resto?

I always worked on VWs as a bit of a hobby with my mate, Rich Jones. In 2008 my sister had her Bay restored by quite a reputable company, but when I looked at the work, I realised the finish I was achieving in what I thought as a hobby was actually better than some professional work. Rich and I undid a lot of the welding and actually removed a lot of rust and then decided to go into business.

So you both just quit your jobs and went for it?

Well, I did! Rich worked part-time for the first few years although we really approached it the wrong way early on. By 2014 we were so busy that Rich was able to come on full-time. We also employed Leon Taylor who deals mostly with the prep work and anything else we throw his way.

What did you do that was so wrong?

I guess we were just trying to cram too much in and not turn any kind of work down. We were welding for MoTs, doing mechanical repairs as well as paint jobs and full restorations. That’s when we decided to restore my Grey ‘68 Beetle as a showcase for our work and display it at the 2013 VolksWorld Show.

A grey ’68 Beetle? Don’t remember seeing it…

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