The Smallest Cog Q&A – How has life been since Hammond's new show came out?
Business is thriving at The Smallest Cog workshop
If you've gone anywhere near DriveTribe/car social media in the last couple of months, you've almost certainly come across Richard Hammond's new discovery+ show, 'Richard Hammond's Workshop'.
Midway through the series, Hammond and his restoration partners in crime – Neil, Anthony and Andrew Greenhouse – move from a small, traditional family garage into a brand new premises, and in doing so founding the classic car restoration firm, The Smallest Cog.
I grabbed Neil for a chat to see how things have been since The Smallest Cog hit the big screen.
How has it been adapting to the new, much bigger workshop?
It’s been like when you move house and you can't find things and you have further to walk. But it is a lovely garage and the floor is great, it's so smooth compared to our last workshop.
The workshop dog, Ellie, is loving it too. She's roaming around, making sure that we're not slacking!
What’s happening with the old workshop?
My old home at The Tram Inn is closed, and I know the landlord wants to redevelop the whole site including the pub so time will tell on that one.
It has been such a great place to work for the last 26 years, so it will be sad to see it gone, but life moves on and we're only getting bigger and better.
How has business been since the show went live?
Since the show went live we have been inundated with requests to do some very interesting cars and we have met lots of new customers.
The workshop is absolutely packed now, with the prep and painting booths, welding area and lifts constantly full of cars being worked on.
What has been your favourite episode?
We like all the episodes but my personal favourite is episode 6, with that stunning Bentley, our trip to Goodwood and my amazing flight in the Spitfire. Ant and Andrew’s is episode 5, with the fixing of the Escort RS2000 for Hampton Court.
What has been the most fun car to restore in the new workshop so far?
So far the most fun car has been the RS2000, that car really took us back to a time when Ford were building some truly cracking cars, and it was an incredibly satisfying build to bring the Escort back to its best.
Is there a car out there that you’d love to feature in future content?
I could think of a thousand cars personally. I would love to work on a Mk1 3.0-litre Capri, or any Mk1 Capri, or an Iso Rivolta, an Austin Atlantic... See you have started me off now, my mind is going into overdrive!
With the expansion now complete, will The Smallest Cog be hiring to up the pace of the restorations?
At the moment we are still getting to grips with things but in the future we would love to recruit some more people to help us grow and become a bigger car family.
We have 6 or 7 physical spaces in the workshop for different stages of car restoration, so I guess it makes sense to have a person per stage... Stay tuned!
After his performance on the Mini, will Hammond get another restoration project of his own soon?
After Richard's work on the Mini he will definitely be doing more work. It's all part of the learning process and he will be restoring one of his own cars hopefully, there are quite a few to pick from.
It may even be Oliver next, we shall see.