Paul Spires/Aston Martin via Twitter
- The Aston Martin Heritage Works division in the U.K. has suspended most work due to the COVID-19 crisis.
- However, the company is now offering emergency repairs to keep the country’s medical staff mobile.
- The service is open to all cars, not just Aston Martins.
The top end of the global auto industry has been as deeply affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic as more mainstream manufacturers, with all of Europe’s luxury carmakers having halted production. That doesn’t mean they aren’t still trying to help, of course.
So Lamborghini has begun to produce surgical masks and protective shields in Italy, and in the U.K., both McLaren and the Mercedes Formula 1 team have joined a consortium to produce urgently needed medical ventilators. Now Aston Martin’s Works division has found its own way to help, with boss Paul Spires offering the division’s workshop facilities for emergency car repairs for local health-care workers.
While Aston Martin’s HQ and primary production facility are in Gaydon, on a site shared with Jaguar Land Rover, Aston Martin Works is still based in the company’s former home in Newport Pagnell. As well as selling older and more collectible Astons, this is the division that both services and restores classic Astons, and which has also been producing Continuation models like the DB4 GT Zagato and forthcoming DB5 Goldfinger Edition. Getting any work carried out there normally brings the sort of substantial bill you’d expect from such a top-flight operation.
But with the U.K. in lockdown and almost all business suspended due to the crisis, Works has offered to carry out emergency repairs for locally based health-care workers to keep them mobile during the crisis. Newport Pagnell is five miles away from Milton Keynes, where the British National Health Service (NHS) employs more than 4000 people. With many local garages closed down, Spires is offering support to NHS workers needing to stay on the road. The Works has well-equipped workshops and a small number of technicians on site who will carry out emergency repairs for free, regardless of the brand of the car in question. (We anticipate few will be classic Aston Martins.)
“We’re very aware that a lot of garages have closed down, and that those workers are probably relying on friends and family,” Spires said on Twitter, “which is why we’re offering an emergency repair service.”
We’re told that several health-care workers have already taken Aston up on its offer, with jobs tackled so far including punctures, brake pad replacement, and “worrying rattles.”
One of the U.K.’s even smaller automakers has also hit on a novel solution to help owners of its cars during the lockdown. Alvis, which last made a car in 1967, is offering free technical support to any owners who are working on their own cars at home, with experts available online to help with questions regarding work on any of the brand’s cars. “We hope this scheme might give owners the confidence to tackle new jobs, and sometimes just knowing somebody is there to ask is all that’s needed,” said Alvis director Alan Stote.