Ben de Chair
Stemming from his father’s love of racing and old cars, from an early age, Ben had the car bug!
Having started in restoration at college in Colchester in 1999, Ben then went on to work at Ugly Duckling Restorations, restoring a range of cars from a Voisin to 8c Alfa, MG B, and various others in between. From there Ben moved on to Hardy Hall Restorations where he had the opportunity to get involved in race days as a mechanic with the VSCC and HSCC, alongside further restoration projects including a Mclaren M1c from the ground up, as well as playing a large part in the full resurrection of a Cooper T56 junior, not to mention several chain gang Nash’s and a Kieft Climax.
Three years later, with a passion to go serious racing as part of a team, Ben moved to Martin Stretton Racing (MSR), where he spent 5 years building, engineering, restoring and running a huge range of historic cars, from 250F Maseratis to Lola T 70s.
Ben also had opportunity to get involved with assisting customers on various European Rallies, including the Tour Auto and Modena Cento-ore, something he really enjoyed during his time at MSR.
Ben worked his way up to number two, looking after the team and its mechanics and always enjoyed lots of front row action, especially with the Formula 2′s – both championship winners in 1600 and 2ltr! From here Ben was approached by Charles Knill-Jones, with the job offer of a lifetime – the chance to work with and amongst the most prestigious car collection in Britain. Now two years in at Ten Tenths, Ben has been learning the many quirks that the stable of cars brings with it, and bringing an edge from his past experience to the fold.
Running the holy grail of Ferraris on the Ladies Rally in Tuscany was an amazing initiation.
The first major job that Ben undertook was the ground up restoration of Nick Mason’s Lola T297 Le Mans car, bringing it up to date with modern regulations, and preserving it for future racing.
After studying books and photographs, Ben was able to return Aston Martin LM 18 back in time to 1935 Le Mans guise, for the Pebble beach concours, uncovering a plethora of hidden gems along the way.
Ben’s passion for cars doesn’t end when he leaves work for the day! He has recently imported an Austin Seven Chummy from New Zealand, (which had spent the last 53 years in a barn), and restored it from the ground up, paying particular attention to preserving its barn-find appearance whilst making it a strong usable vintage car in all other respects.
As for the future at Ten Tenths, Ben would like to continue to preserve the cars, and get them out and about racing, slowly putting them back to ‘as they were’ in such a way that they can be raced and rallied, but above all, enjoyed by everyone.