It was to meant to be a special day. Chris Dawson was meant to be picking up the keys to his freshly rebuilt Range Rover Classic Autobiography – the one we’ve been covering the rebuild of – for the first drive.
But thieves stealing catalytic converters outside Twenty Ten Engineering’s workshop set fire to a car, which spread to the building, destroying it and the contents. ‘We cannot believe it,’ says Chris. ‘We are just so sad at the loss of this significant heritage, one of only seven or eight left and the only one restored to 100 per cent.’
Twenty Ten owner Phil Holland (above) is also reeling from the fire, which destroyed everything in the building, including 12 other Range Rovers and a 1972 Mini. ‘Everything pre-digital has been lost,’ he laments. ‘Spares, reconditioned engines, brand-new spares, workshop manuals… everything.’
A twisted shell is all that’s left of the building – steel RSJs have buckled in the intense heat and the main structure has collapsed on to the burnt-out vehicles below.
Despite the devastation, Phil is determined to not to give up. ‘We’re going to rebuild the company – we’re sub-letting workshop ramps from friends to tide us over and using some of their storage. The company is back up and running – see twentytenengineering.co.uk.