JC Denne (the current owner’s father) an experienced Rolls Royce trained engineer decided to set up his own independent workshop in Sidcup, in 1929. During the war, JC Denne worked for the Ministry of Defence in the development and production of the pathfinder valve which was used in the Spitfires whilst his wife Lena ran the business.
After the war, the business continued to grow. In 1967 the family made the decision to move premises away from London. JC Denne and his son Jim found the site at West Hoathly. The business relocated to Sussex and West Hoathly Garage was born.
Jim took over the day to day running of the business from his father in the mid-1970s. The workshop has been altered and adapted to meet the needs of both vintage and modern vehicles.
Jim`s sons, James and Rupert joined the business after completing their qualifications. The office is run by Jim’s wife Ann and Lynne.
On a daily basis West Hoathly Garage looks after cars vintage and modern and the staff has extensive knowledge of pre and post war classic cars and all modern vehicles. The workshop has a large collection of pre and post war work shop service tools and has Rolls Royce and Bentley diagnostic equipment.
West Hoathly Garage has its own on site body shop, paint shop, spray booth and paint mixing facilities. A number of insurance companies refer accident and repair work to the garage – especially for Rolls Royce, Bentley and other classic vehicles.
West Hoathly Garage specialises in restoration projects, from engine rebuilds to servicing and maintenance.
The garage is a MOT testing station.
Over the years cars have been prepared for long distance endurance rallies. Cars have been exhibited at both the Goodwood Festival of Speed and Zion Park and have won numerous awards including concours awards at the RREC National Rally. Recent restorations have included a 1921 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost Tourer by Labourdette, Rolls Royce Phantom II and a 1934 Packard Eight Phaeton. Current restorations include a Rolls Royce Phantom III, Silver Ghost, Packard V12 Limousine, Bentley S2 and other classic cars.
In the last few years the garage has refurbished its showrooms. Vehicle sales are a very special part of the services offered by them. The garage has been a member of the Rolls Royce Bentley Specialist Association since 1993, the Rolls Royce Bentley Enthusiast Club since the 1960s and is also a member of The Institute of the Motor Industry.