Based in Nottingham, David Marks Garages was established as a Jaguar restoration specialist in September 1991. A year later, the business worked in association with the Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club on the mechanical refurbishment of a 1968 Series 1 Jaguar XJ6, which was originally owned and driven by the founder of Jaguar, Sir William Lyons. The publicity from this project, and the garages’ growing reputation for full repairs and restorations led to a steady increase in the number, and variety of models, which used David Marks Garages.
Since its inception, the business has built up a reputation for competent and attentive servicing, with expertise in complex diagnostic procedures of the main electrical systems found within cars.
In 2003, the business expanded into repairs of the Aston Martin Lagonda. Only 645 Lagonda’s were built between 1978-1990, of which, over 600 still exist. Over the last 12 years, David Marks Garages has worked on more than 30 Lagonda’s – around 5 per cent of the total production run.
As Lagonda’s were electronically advanced when they launched in 1978, the electrical systems, such as their multi-tactile switches, can need a lot of attention. It was therefore important that David Marks found a specialist manufacturer who was prepared for the challenge of replicating electrical dashboard panels and switches that could be up to 40 years old.
David Marks Garages and Fascia
David Marks Garages first started working with Fascia Graphics 10 years ago, and they have since worked on eight different projects, which have all been electrical system related.
The more general challenges Fascia has met on product developments include:
– Replication of panel functionality and visual appearance
– Exact match of texture, colour and translucency of the original panel, and at the same time, ensuring that other factors such as the heat from the backlighting would not degrade the panel over time.
– Ability to work with components that are no longer widely available. For instance, Fascia needed to source special connections so that the original Aston Martin ribbon cables could plug-in to the new panels.
Delivering a complex solution
The most recent and complex project was for an Aston Martin Virage. Manufactured during the 1980’s and 90’s, a piece of the Virage instrumentation required a new multi-button touch panel – which was multi-layered and also needed a very specialised raised embossed finish. In order to achieve a perfect match, Fascia Graphics identified, and worked with a US firm, which produced bespoke tooling so that the embossed finish was identical to the original.
David Marks said: “Fascia Graphics had to get this multi-layered panel right and ensure it was as true to the original as possible. They also had to reverse engineer the complex electrical matrix that appeared underneath the touch button panel. But, no challenge has seemed too big for Fascia Graphics.
In the ten years that we have worked with them, I have found them unbelievably accommodating and flexible. They quickly understand what needs to be done, and they have consistently demonstrated an ability to always meet timeframes, ensuring each product is of the highest quality through their close attention to detail, and they’ve regularly met our agreed aim of the cost per part.”
“You know that you’ve picked the right supplier when you can share the trials and tribulations thrown at you during a new product development, but at the same time, always know that they will be up for the very next challenge.”