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Monday, 22 December 2014

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Barrow classic car restorer in running for national award

A BARROW classic car enthusiast has been shortlisted for a prestigious motoring award after restoring a 1975 Reliant Scimitar GTE over four years.

Neill Dutton
Neill Dutton with his restored car.

Neill Dutton, 51, is one of ten finalists in the running for the coveted national title of Restorer of the Year.

The winner of the award will be announced at the Practical Classics Restoration Show at the NEC in Birmingham on Sunday April 13 in front of thousands of classic car fans.

The ten finalists’ cars will be on display at the show where visitors can vote for their overall winner.

The restorer that receives the most votes will be crowned winner and receive a prize of Sealey Tools worth £2,200.

Mr Dutton’s success so far in the competition has taken him by surprise as he initially did not intend to buy a car that needed a full restoration or a Scimitar at all.

He said: “My friend Terry has a kit car and it’s great fun so I decided I wanted one too.

“I was after an AC Cobra replica but after reading the ever changing rules that surround self built vehicles I became disillusioned.”

After reading that the Reliant Scimitar was a good project car, Mr Dutton headed to Kettering and £700 later the 1975 GTE was his.

Once Mr Dutton had the car at home he soon realised the repair job was about to turn into a “full-blown restoration”.

The project took four years to complete and in July 2012 the Scimitar was finished and on show at a Classic Car event in Curborough where it won Best Restoration and Best in Show.

Mr Dutton added: “It was a complete and absolute honour, especially as I hadn’t intended to restore a Scimitar originally.”

Neill’s Reliant Scimitar will be on exhibition throughout the Practical Classics Restoration Show at the NEC frrom Saturday April 12 to Sunday April 13.

For more information about the show, visit www.necrestorationshow.com or call 0844 858 6758.

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