JTM 50 Re-Trim - 2005

The beautiful new trim of JMT50 lovingly restored by Bob Rankin

I’ve had JTM for 8 years now, I’ve taken it to France twice, I will again this year and I’ve driven it all over the UK. In fact I’ve done so many miles that I shall shortly have to replace the radial ply tyres.

Norman Geeson has become a dear friend and he’s helped me get the car to work and ride better than I ever thought it could, his 3.4 to 1 rear axle was a revelation too. It, together with new rear wheel bearings, has transformed the car. It is much much smoother and quieter now for reasons that are comprehensively described in his article on the technical pages of this site.

Maintaining old cars is an ongoing process, each year I do more than service mine, I select things that don’t work as well as they might and I fix them too. This year I decided the leatherwork could not last longer, the back seats had begun to crack and the front ones that I’d had to do when I bought the car looked awful. The trimmer did a rotten job and the Connollys Autolux leather was full of flaws and looked like it had been borrowed from a DFS sofa. Had I known that my son Richard was going to leave Alpine Eagle and set up on his own, it would have been his job, but I didn’t and instead I contacted Rob Rankin who’d done some work for Giles Usher. Rob had amongst other things, worked for Connollys for twenty years and in that time had re-trimmed cars for some very famous customers. In other word he is a true craftsman and not like the ones in “pimp my ride”, who are just stitching covers and stretching them over the frame. Trimming old cars is different, it is difficult and time consuming and very few people are left now who can do it properly.

Rob is based in South East London and will collect work from anywhere if you pay his travelling expenses, or you can leave the car with him. What is certain is that his prices are significantly lower than the leading specialists but his work is equal too or better than any of them. What’s more important is that he loves the work with a passion, he feels there is no greater reward for a true craftsmen than the opportunity to restore the wonderful insides of our old cars. Much of his bread and butter work is a drudge by comparison.


If you need carpets, a headlining, leatherwork or a complete re-trim then why not ring him on 07956513085 and have a chat.