Bridgnorth apprentices win top award for car restoration

A Lancia Aurelia rebuilt by apprentice engineers in Bridgnorth has won a top award.

David Barzilay and Harry Ruffell Hazel at the Concours held at the Belfry Hotel near Oxford
David Barzilay and Harry Ruffell Hazel at the Concours held at the Belfry Hotel near Oxford

The 4th series Lancia B20, built in 1954, not only won its class in the Concours at the Lancia Club's annual rally – held near Oxford at the weekend – but also won the event outright.

The Neville Buckle Cup was awarded to owner David Barzilay, who shared the honour with Classic Motor Cars (CMC) apprentice Harry Ruffell Hazel, who has worked on the car for the last few years.

David, a director at CMC who had asked apprentices to carry out the restoration, said: “The car received an award from Magneto magazine and a special mention at the RAC awards, but for it to win the Concours at the Lancia Club's annual meeting is especially important because the car was being judged by the absolute experts in their field – it’s a great accolade.”

He added: "This is a fantastic tribute to CMC, which has twice won restoration of the year in the Octane awards and which in the past has been recognised for its restorations of classic Jaguars. For the B20 to be Concours winners says an awful lot about the company and a huge amount about the apprentices who worked on the car – especially Harry Ruffell Hazel who has brought the car to fruition."

The Lancia Aurelia B20. Photo: Tom Clutterbuck

Harry, who lives near Bridgnorth, said: “I am absolutely delighted that the car won the Concours and I know that all the apprentices that worked on the car over the recent years will feel the same way."

Justin McCardle, chairman of the Lancia Club, said: "We have followed the restoration of the Lancia Aurelia by apprentices at CMC with great interest and anticipation.

“We were not disappointed. The Aurelia has been restored to the highest standards and is a worthy recipient of our Annual Weekend awards. It is remarkable that this restoration has been accomplished by apprentices and stands as a testament to the skills, aptitude, and enthusiasm of these young men.

"The skills employed in restoring classic vehicles are increasingly the preserve of more mature specialists, so we congratulate CMC on entrusting the restoration to Harry Ruffell Hazel and his colleagues, thereby introducing these skills to a new, younger generation.”

Nigel Woodward, managing director at CMC, said: “The restoration of David’s beautiful Lancia has been a long-term project here at CMC, a project which thanks to David’s generosity we were able to allow our apprentices to fully engage with. The results I believe, speak volumes for their enthusiasm and passion and of course the learning that they have achieved on the road to careers in this very special industry."

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