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Marton Bespoke was set up in 2017, but founder Mark Beecroft has worked with wooden automotive interiors for 20 years.
He lives just 12 minutes’ walk from the busy industrial estate near Rugby to which his team moved in early 2020.
He is supported by his development engineer, Dave Fletcher, plus a team of shop-floor craftsmen, many from Jaguar’s Browns Lane wood shop.
“Our knowledge of the industry and current manufacturing standards sets us apart,” says Beecroft. “It gives us a possibly unique insight into modern techniques and the ways these can be applied to wood-veneer sets in older vehicles.
“We enjoy working with different woods, seeing how different manufacturers worked, but technology has moved on several generations.
“We now use 3D printers and CNC equipment to machine-in certain features and meet – or even exceed – today’s customer expectations.”
Marton does everything from restorations, repairing moisture and sun damage, to full new interior sets using more resistant, modern adhesives and coatings, plus upgraded substrates in marine ply or composites. It is all re-engineered and digitised so they can be recreated.
Sustainable 0.5/0.6mm walnut is supplied from North America and mainland Europe, with the engineered veneers (from faster-growing species that can be made to look like different varieties) predominantly from Spain and Italy.
Using Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) materials helps to take care of the world’s forests.
The company works with a firm in Turkey that manufactures hundreds of thousands of production vehicle veneer and carbon sets per year, while during the pandemic Marton worked on home offices, boat interiors and furniture restoration.
But low-volume classic work keeps the craftsmanship alive.
Most owners let Marton remove the wood: “Not everyone is comfortable taking a 26-piece set of veneers out of a vintage Rolls-Royce.
“Removing it on site gives us a sense of how things fit and where the dials, the steering column and so on interface with the wood.”
One current project is a batch of Lotus Elan +2 dashboards to be sold through the club.
“The lettering will be more long-lived and resistant to moisture,” Beecroft explains. “We can book-match the veneers better than originals, but with graphics placed underneath the coating.”
On the soon-to-be-expanded shop floor is a Rolls-Royce Phantom V interior being modified to take a modern infotainment system where there were once ashtrays.
“We upgrade interiors with modern lacquer systems, with better UV-resistance, and sympathetically engineer-in hidden features. Many are looking at classics with fresh eyes, post-COVID-19, because they don’t necessarily need a new car for day-to-day use but are used to the features of modern vehicles.”
Much of the work revolves around Jaguar, Rolls-Royce and Bentley, and Beecroft respects the way they did things.
“The craftsmanship was surprisingly similar. They were particularly skilled at mirror-matching the veneers, choosing where repeating patterns appear so you can disguise or enhance the joints as required.”
Brought up on C&SC by his father, Beecroft has an impressive collection of his own including a Lancia Aurelia B20 and two early ’60s Alfa Romeo Spiders (the irony that neither model has a sliver of wood is not lost on him), so his enthusiast credentials are impeccable.
You have to be keen with a global customer base, which means there is always someone who needs to talk to you, often keeping Beecroft and his team busy until the early hours.
“You can only do that when you really care about what you’re doing,” he says.
Images: Olgun Kordal
- Name Marton Bespoke Ltd
- Address Old Station Yard, Oxford Road, Marton CV23 9RU
- Specialism Interior woodwork renovation; bespoke commissions
- Staff 10
- Prices Calculated on a project- by-project basis
- Tel 01926 290399
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org