The founder of a ‘rags to riches’ classic car company claims working with his family has been the key to success.

Ray Smith, founder of Vintage Classic and Prestige Limited in Weston on the Green, near Bicester, has hired his fiancee, his son-in-law, and three of his four daughters.

The family-oriented fixer reports that his firm has gone from strength to strength since starting five years ago, and even excelled during the Covid pandemic.

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He said: “My dream was to have a business that supports myself, my passions and my family, even into their adulthood.

“I didn’t think we’d get to this point, and I can only hope we survive the recession too.

“As far as dreams go, I’d say this one came true.”

The company offers all services for classical car restoration, including paint and body work, mechanical and engine detailing and full car restoration.

Mr Smith began building the company by asking his fiancee Emma to help with the administration and accounts. She now sits as operations director.

He then hired his son-in-law and father of his two grandchildren, who, according to Mr Smith, learned the trade after graduating from university.

Mr Smith’s daughter had to take early maternity leave from her physical job last year to allow her to continue to earn.

She was hired by her dad to help with admin functions before giving birth to twins. She still works shifts occasionally.

Mr Smith has also employed his two other adult daughters to work part-time within the business.


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This story was written by Matthew Norman, he joined the team in 2022 as a Facebook community reporter.

Matthew covers Bicester and focuses on finding stories from diverse communities.

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