Classic car enthusiasts are relieved that a popular car garage is staying open after its previous owner passed away.
Specialising in classic car sales, servicing and restorations, Roman Garages on Bridge End Road, just off the A52, had been in the hands of well-known businessman Roy Gibson for 47 years, until his recent passing away this year.
After being made redundant from his job in marketing last year, director Rowland Wood decided to buy the garage along with two friends.
He said: “I love and admire classic and vintage cars and planned on selling them as a business within a year or two, but after being made redundant last year, it accelerated my plans. Its been great being able to turn my hobby into a business. It means that I really enjoy going to work everyday.”
Customers have welcomed Rowland’s arrival.
Rowland said: “After taking over from someone as widely known and respected as Roy, I was wondering how the customers would react, but they’ve been great and really supportive of my plans. After hearing the garage was to be sold, they were worried that it would be turned into a farmshop or be knocked down.”
The garage is continuing to major in UK sourced classic cars from the site but is looking to source additional classic car related products to sell from the site. Rowland added: “It helps that the other two directors live in Canada as they are able to search out high quality American classics and ship them over.”
Rowland’s plans don’t stop there.
He added: “We are entering into a new phase and will be venturing into vehicle storage. We plan to create a heated and dehumidified area behind the showroom to store the cars. There’s something about the character and charisma that an old car has that we need to look after.”
Although Rowland is excited about the future of the garage, he wanted a way to commemorate its history and is organising an open day in August, with a section of the showroom dedicated to previous owner Roy, and unveiled by his wife.