NEW BRITAIN -The Paddock, Classic Car Restorations, LLC, is located in a building that had been vacant for more than seven years, and is now the home of some of the rarest and most valuable classic cars in the area.
While the business, at 285 Columbus Blvd., opened in June 2018, there will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony today at 2 p.m. and a grand opening car show on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“We are trying to make this a really special event. We’ve got David Hobbs coming as our guest of honor and David Hobbs is a Formula 1 race car driver,” Michael Donnelly, owner of The Paddock, said.
Hobbs will also be present at the ribbon-cutting on Friday.
Saturday’s event will feature about 200 cars, with awards to be given.
A jazz band from the University of Hartford will be providing the entertainment, with its stage being a 1930 bus from Peter Pan.
Tours of the 18,000-square-foot shop will also be given on Saturday.
“We have large lounge chairs, big-screen televisions, artwork and books, and so it’s really meant to be a destination for car enthusiasts,” Donnelly said. “I encourage anyone that has an interest in classic cars to come by. It’s a free show and there’s going to be a lot to enjoy here.”
Donnelly said he is retired from a corporate job and restoring classic cars has always been his passion.
Donnelly had a car restored by Jason Hoyt and left impressed with the work, which is why the two decided to open a shop. Today, Hoyt serves as the operations manager at The Paddock.
“We focus on restoring classic cars,” Donnelly said. “That’s a multibillion-dollar business worldwide. There’s a huge presence really worldwide for car collectors. People are always looking to have their cars restored or locate special cars, restore them and service their existing cars so what we do is we try and fill that niche and restore the cars for our clients.”
The Paddock not only restores vehicles, but also offers consignment services to its clients, serving as a space in which customers display their cars for sale.
“We’ll actually put the car in our showroom and advertise it on the websites and things like that to try and help the client sell their car,” Donnelly said.
Some cars in the showroom are client collections, some are Donnelly’s personal cars and a couple of vehicles are Klingberg cars, Donnelly said.
Donnelly said he is committed to having only special, high-end cars in the parking lot such as Ferraris and Jaguars.
“I’m going to periodic car shows to bring people into town,” Donnelly said. “It’s a way to network with car enthusiasts.”
Karla Santos can be reached at 860-801-5079 or firstname.lastname@example.org.