My first love, why it all began.
About Malcolm, my journey so far…
Hello and welcome to 181 Classic Motors. My name is Malcolm Hazard (people call me Malc). I am fortunate enough to not only work with my family and friends but be the Director and owner of this amazing company. Like you, I am an enthusiast when it comes to classic vehicles. I like all makes and models but my real passion lies with the Classic Volkswagen’s; from the very earliest cars and vans right through to the models from the 1990s. ”Pre computer age” as I like to call it. I also have a soft spot for the weird and wonderful. I love to be different and if you visit my workshop or take a look around this site, you will see a few examples of my special collection.
My story began with a 1972 VW “flat screen” Beetle which I purchased for £150 back in 1990. Without any mechanical or bodywork repair knowledge, it was a case of reading manuals and learning as much as possible from friends who worked in the trade.
3 years passed before the bug saw the road but the feeling I got having fixed it up and got it running was something which is still with me today and the reason you’re reading this now.
Being a proud classic VW owner, I was well and truly “bitten by the bug” and felt drawn into the scene. So with my best mate ‘Bones’, we attended many shows and festivals. I didn’t know much but that minimal knowledge I had gained was enough to get me to “Run To The Sun“ in Newquay and back again. What a buzz that was!
The more shows we attended the more my passion grew and dreams of running my own business one day took seed.
Years passed and it took a lot of persuading from friends and family who gave me the confidence my work was good enough before I finally decided to take the step. I gave up a perfectly good job to chase my dreams and ensure that I could spend my working life doing something I loved rather than something monotonous just to pay the bills.
It all began in the double garage to the back of my new house as ‘100% Slow Classic VW Campervan hire’. It took off really well and with five vans on the road, 1 splitty and four bays, we were busy as could be, which was much to the dismay of my Neighbours. In fact this was the main cause to move the workshop to bigger premises where I could bang around body panels and rev engines 24/7. (Which is pretty much the hours I was working)
Initially the workshop was purely to service the hire fleet but word spread and pretty soon I was taking in jobs for friends, family and friends of friends to work on their classics.
With both the hire business and the workshop going from strength to strength and me still operating solo, the decision was made to focus all my efforts on the restoration and repair side of the business and fold 100% Slow. It was a tough decision but one I don’t regret as 181 Classic Motors was born.
Having spent 14 years happily working from farm premises the urge to take the next step was too strong and the business was moved to Newark industrial estate in 2013 with just myself and my new apprentice, Harrison. This allowed us to create dedicated spaces for each stage of a restoration or repair project and enabled us to work far more efficiently.
The business grew along with the workforce which now included my son Jake joining us as an apprentice (on a classic car restoration course). Three years later we opened the second workshop next door and employed more staff to keep up with the increasing workload.
Throughout these years my ethos on running this business has never changed. Whether your vehicle is worth a king’s ransom or a paupers pay packet, they are treated exactly the same, with care and consideration ”like one of the family”, as if it was my own. As the company director It makes me very proud to say that every member of staff carries the same ethos throughout each part of their day here at 181 Classic Motors.
Now, with over 100 full and part restorations and countless services and repairs behind us, I truly believe that we are where we are today, not just through the outstanding quality of the work we do but also our openness and transparency with all our customers at each stage of a repair, service or restoration. This is what gives people the confidence to come back to us time and time again.
Thank you for reading a bit about our business and we look forward to welcoming any classic vehicle enthusiast down to the workshop for a cup of tea and a chat about anything we can help you with.
See you soon.
His and hers…
Where it all began…
Workshop number 2, on the farm.
Workshop number 3, still on the farm.