Annual Shutdown Period

We are closed for our annual summer shutdown from Monday 14th September 2020, re-opening Monday 21st September. During this period our phones will be switched off and all enquiries (emails/contact forms) will be dealt with in full upon our return to the office. After an extremely busy and stressful 5 months (we remained open the entire time working 7-day shift patterns), the whole John Skinner team is looking forward to a well-deserved break. Please respect this, and thank you for your patience.

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Do our kits fit?

We are often asked this question and the simple answer is… Yes, they do.

With our meticulous pattern making – helped in part by feedback from customers and professional trimmers over the years – we are confident that our trim kits are some of the best fitting in the industry.

Of course, as with all cars built in this era – we cannot guarantee a perfect fit (we never will) – and we like to be as transparent as possible with this.

Why can’t we guarantee a perfect fit?

It’s well documented that there were many manufacturing inconsistencies with British classic cars – they were hand-built after all – so it is very doubtful that two cars ever left the production line 100% exactly the same.

Combined with the possibility that these cars may have undergone undocumented bodywork changes, modifications and repairs over time, there are many potential factors which could contribute to panels, carpets and seats not appearing to fit correctly.

 

The handbuilt nature of the cars means that there are many manufacturing inconsistencies and variations between models. With classic car restoration, it’s simply not a ‘one size fits all’ approach.

It’s very rare that our kits don’t fit.

Over our 40 year history, we have rarely experienced issues with kits that simply ‘don’t fit.’ After working constructively with our customers who contact us for after-sales support, we often find that any fitment issues are usually resolved through trimming and rarely through pattern re-working.

Supplying restoration trim kits to cars that are well known to be inconsistent and variable does throw up some challenges. But our expert knowledge and company history has seen us supply trim kits to thousands of successful restoration projects. Here, we take a closer look at our attention to detail and quality service that gives us the confidence to know that we supply kits that fit.

Original Specification Trim

With a background in pattern making from a previous career, John Skinner applied this skill to create the catalogue of patterns that have helped shape our reputation for fit. By reverse engineering patterns from original trim, our parts are made to original specification manufacture, and not after-market replica. For this reason, we are regarded as supplying the best fitting kits in the industry.

 

John Skinner collects original trim from a Jaguar XK150 OTS for pattern making and trim development

Precision Cut Technology

In recent years, we have invested heavily in technology that cuts our materials with a level of precision that could never be achieved by hand. 

Unlike the production lines from which these cars originally came, our workshop production line is digitally-led, eliminating the risk of error and giving us the confidence to know that we supply kits that fit. With every notch or drill hole placed and cut with millimetre accuracy, we know our production is off to a dependable start that enables us to supply our customers with the best products we can.

You can read more about how we have developed our panels to give as much flexibility in fitting as possible in our Handbook post – In Detail: Our Panel Kits.

 

Digital cutting technology gives us millimetre accuracy on our production line with consistent cutting across all of our materials

Quality Pre and Post Sales Service

Our pre and post sales advice is second to none.

That’s why we take as much information from our customers about the details of their car at the time of their initial enquiry with us. By informing us of any known modification work (for instance LHD to RHD conversion), we can ensure we use the correct patterns for the job. We work closely with our customers to get to know their car and provide them with products that are suitable for end use – that’s the benefit of our made-to-order workshop. 

We are respected throughout the industry for our knowledgeable and dependable advice, and our reputation is built on excellent customer service which continues long after the goods have been shipped. We are here to assist in any post-sales fitment guidance and have a huge library of reference photographs to help you in trimming our parts to your car.

 

We have assisted many of our customers in the fitting of their trim, and we are proud of the quality of our after-sales service.

Expert Trimming Advice

If you are having a fitment issue and either yourself or your trimmer feel that it can be resolved by cutting into or re-sewing our products please contact us first to discuss the changes you are planning to make. Any irreversible changes made to our products will invalidate the 12 month manufacturer’s warranty that comes with all items made in our workshop.

Whether you’re a professional trimmer or a novice restorer – we’re here to help. The knowledge we have of our parts and the cars we manufacture trim for really is remarkable and we have helped many customers over the years, at all levels of expertise in trimming. If you think something isn’t quite right with your kit, please contact us first – we often resolve any fitting issues with a simple explanation of where the part is positioned in the car. Pattern re-working and major panel modifications are exceptionally rare with our kits and such changes are often suggested with limited understanding of the car and its history. Always contact us first, we really do know our stuff.

 

Whatever your level of trimming skill, we’re here to help you with our expert knowledge and advice