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Eastleigh College Motor Vehicle restore classic car back to its former glory

Eastleigh College Motor Vehicle students have successfully managed to restore a traditional 1999 Mini Cooper, a classic model that finished production in the year 2000, back on the road again.

The owner of the Mini, Tom Lattimer, who had not seen the car for over a year, recently joined students, lecturers, technicians and the representatives from WD40, who sponsored the project, at the big reveal of the car in the commercial Motor Vehicle Workshop, Eastleigh College.

Tom Lattimer, a self-confessed car enthusiast, couldn’t believe the Mini’s transformation as a result of the student’s hard work. He commented:

“I’m amazed! My main aim was to get the Mini working and back on the road, but the students have gone above and beyond. It looks and sounds fantastic, I can’t wait to drive it!”

The project began when James Francis, a Motor Vehicle Technician at Eastleigh College, saw the opportunity for the students to bring the mini back to the roads as an extra curriculum project that would significantly benefit the learners. Tom explains:

“James presented the idea and for me it was a win, win. The students had the chance to work on a classic car, broaden their skills and I got my car back to drive again.”

Over the last year, a number of Motor Vehicle students have given up their evenings and weekends to restore the car, including repairing the fuel delivery system, servicing the engine and replacing and reconditioning the suspension, braking and steering.

Jade Wescott, who is now an apprentice at Immaculate Detailing, was just one of our learners that dedicated their extra time to complete the mini project. When asked about the project, Jade commented:  

“It was a really great project to be a part of. It strengthened my teamwork skills and showed me that with time, effort and dedication you can produce something worthwhile.”

James Francis, Motor Vehicle Technician, has supported the students throughout the project. When asked about the project, James commented:

“To see the student’s passion and dedication throughout the project, and their pride once the Mini was completed was fantastic. Projects like these provide students with fantastic industry experience, inspire them in their ambitions and for us as staff is one of the reasons why our jobs are so exciting!”

To find out more about the range of motor vehicle apprenticeships and full time courses offered at Eastleigh College, please click here.