With my fathers and grandfathers influences being such a big part of my life at a young age, cars were soon my biggest interest. I would ask my dad question after question about cars and how fast they could go. I would say by the age of five I probably knew more about cars than most adults.
I remember every Saturday my great nan and granddad would take me shopping and I would come with a new toy car to build and play with. It soon became apparent that I liked to build and fix things as I would take all of my cars apart and try to change parts. I can remember my granddad buying me my first Lego Technics suitable for age fifteen when I was only eight years old, I followed the instructions and built the whole thing from start to finish, I wouldn’t leave the table until it was done.
It then moved on to petrol RC cars, I think he was just trying to challenge me after making light work of the Lego. As I got older, spending my weekends mostly at the race tracks watching my granddad tinkering with anything with a motor, my love for real cars grew. I then wanted to drive and be around cars more and more. By the age of ten I was driving my granddads old Ford Sierra up and down his driveway learning how to steer and manoeuvre.
By the time I was fourteen I had bought my first car, an older kid in the village I lived in was selling it. It as a bright green Mk1 Ford Fiesta. I had to beg and beg my mum to let me buy it. Even though I couldn’t drive I wanted it as a project. I then spent every bit of my savings and pocket money at the local motor store putting parts on it.
Once I turned sixteen and getting close to driving for real, my dad bought me my first proper car, a very respectable Volkswagen Golf Mk3 GL. Within a week of having it we had it in my granddad’s paint shop Silver Lady coachworks, colour coding all of the parts, dropping it and adding some 16-inch alloys, I was hooked. By the time I turned seventeen I had a fully customised car ready to pass my test and enjoy.
The Volkswagen scene soon became a huge part of my life and over the next five years I think I owned every Golf there was to own, all with their own custom tweaks. I would buy them, take them into the paint shop to fix up and sell them after having a bit of fun. This soon became a profitable hobby for me and I found myself having more and more work from friends and car enthusiasts around me. I would spend every weekend at the paint shop building cars, along with my skills as a painter. When I finished my A Levels I decided to secure a full time job at my granddads shop, still doing my custom jobs alongside.
Along the way I worked on some great cars, some making the biggest car shows in the country. It was at the shop I met Alex, the co-founder of Bespoke Autostyling. He joined the paint shop as an apprentice and I clicked with him straight away, we both had a love for cars and attention to detail that was wasted in a crash repair shop. He was always keen to help me with my custom car projects and we sometimes worked all weekend. After a year of Alex being there, my granddad retired and I went on to work at another paint shop. It was some years later, in 2009 I decided I wanted to do a bit of racing. I could see Alex and his dad, Carl, were racing in the stock hatch series so I thought that would be great to race with them. Alex soon found me a car and we went to buy it. From then on we spent every spare minute of every day building, fixing and racing cars, our friendship grew and we soon became best friends.
He was still working at the paint shop and had been there for eight years without a change. He had become the best painter I know and a very committed worker. After many conversations and thoughts we decided to start our own paint shop with a twist. We didn’t want to repair smashed up cars any more, we wanted to create dream cars. Fully custom cars like when we were younger but for the prestige and supercar market.
I spent the early part of my childhood at race tracks all over the country, watching my father race in the Renault 5ts championship. There is something about the noises and smells of being around race cars that is strangely addictive. With cars and racing in my blood it was only a matter of time before I ended up on the track. By the age of seven, I was put into a 60cc 2-stroke Cadet kart that I began racing at the age of eight years. This was the new toy I had to play about with, take apart, clean and rebuild.
Learning to work on the kart meant that even at that age I already had a good knowledge of a lot of different tools in the workshop. At the age of sixteen, I bought my first car and of course it had to be the Renault 5 that I had so many childhood memories about. The next few months leading up to my seventeenth Birthday, were spent in the garage taking it apart, spraying it deep pearl blue and changing just about every part on it from the seats to the engine. Dad had always spent his spare time in the garage at home either building race cars or restoring old classics, telling me about the wide arch MK1 Capri he started building as his first car but never finished. I can probably look back even further to his Granddad and the passion for his first car, the 8HP Ford Model Y.
He was regarded as one of the best panel beaters in the country. Amongst other things he was commissioned to make parts for the Spitfire during WW2 and his apprentice Colin Chapman later went on to set up Lotus sports cars. At this point in my life all my friends were filling in forms and applications for university but I had already decided it wasn’t for me, I wanted to be in the garage working on and modifying cars. Always keen to learn, work and earn some extra money I spent most school holidays at work with Dad picking up some useful skills like MIG and TIG welding.
My first full time job started when I was eighteen at Rolls Royce, Jaguar and BMW specialists Silver Lady Coachworks, It was here that I met Jason. I was lucky enough to be placed in the approved BMW repair shop and was put on their apprenticeship scheme doing a 3 year paint and refinishing course at The Thatcham Academy.
Jason always had an interesting project in the workshop (usually a Golf), with the same passion for cars we fast became friends, enjoying staying behind after work to help him with anything that was a bit different to the run of the mill crash repair jobs we did all day.
We lost touch for a few years, only bumping into each other at the odd car show or Southend cruise. It wasn’t until I built my first race car and started racing that we ended up talking again, this time about building him a race car to come and join the fun.
I think we ended up spending so much time together building the race cars that we both ended up single, haha. I was getting bored of still working in the same place spraying crash repaired cars with no job satisfaction, I needed a new challenge.
At the Autosport show in Janurary 2010 we joked about setting up our own business doing prestige custom work, by April we had registered a company, Bespoke Autostyling Ltd was born.
We put in some long hours getting everything set up, it wasn’t until the end of the year that we had the workshop usable enough that we were able to leave our full time jobs and try and earn ourselves some money. 3 years of hard work building the business and it was time to move to a better location with more space and start again.
Creating our own brand and line of products had been in the back of our minds for a while, now we had more space and a better set up it seemed like the time to start making it happen. We had already come up with the name Deranged a year or so previous after weeks of discussion about what we would call our brand when we did eventually have everything in place to create one.
2014 we joined with sales and marketing expert Sam Shepherd in bid to start what is set to be one of the most talked about and respected vehicle enhancement brands in the country. We want a Deranged vehicle to be regarded as one of the most prestigious vehicles on the road, our top quality craftsmanship will take attention to detail to the next level.
Styling will not stop with the exterior, we believe a tailor made interior is just as important if not more so, after all this is what the owner will be enjoying every time they use the vehicle.
Every aspect of Deranged will reflect perfection from our stylish customer lounge at our HQ, right down to the finest strands of cotton sewn into our interiors, there will be no compromise when it comes to quality.