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Posted in Automotive
27th January 2023
Based in Oxfordshire, the historic heart of the British motor industry and home to Formula 1, it is no wonder that we have longstanding links and extensive experience with the automotive industry.
At Minoli’s headquarters in Cowley, we are neighbours to the impressive BMW / Mini plant, and motorcars have been in production on that site since 1913 when the great designer, entrepreneur and philanthropist William Morris (later Lord Nuffield), first produced the “Bullnose” Morris. Other brands to be manufactured there include Austin-Healey, MG and Rover and with over 110 years of vehicle production heritage, it is thought be the longest running mass-production plant in the UK.
This week we focus on our relationships with some of the most world-renowned experts in rare and collectable cars, and supercar brands that have specified tiles from Minoli’s specialist porcelain ranges as the desirable and durable flooring of choice for their showrooms and workshop facilities.
One such relationship is with DK Engineering, experts in sourcing the rarest road and competition cars ever to turn a wheel. They specialise in the restoration and race preparation of Ferraris, but also deal in other exotic, high-performance automobile brands including Maserati, Jaguar, Aston Martin, Porsche and Mercedes-Benz.
Founded in 1977 by David and Kate Cottingham (hence the name DK), and with sons James and Justin now taking leadership roles, in 2007 DK Engineering undertook their biggest restoration yet, that of Little Green Street Farm, their state-of-the-art premises set in beautiful Victorian farm buildings. The most recent development project was undertaken in 2022, again at the main Chorleywood facility, and involved the complete refurbishment of the reception area and administration department together with a showroom extension and a total renovation of a barn on the support site close by.
With Minoli ranges specified through much of the premises, in the client and administration areas the Minoli Heartwood series in the Moka colourway and 20/120 format creates a welcoming and warming wood-look finish. The newly constructed showrooms and barn refurbishment were tiled with the Minoli Marvel series in Grey Stone colour, in a perfectly polished finish and 120/120 format, which radiantly reflects the beautiful motorcars on display. Lastly, Minoli Workshop series Serizzo 200/200, in Matt and Anti-slip finishes, were used throughout the vehicle restoration and preparation facilities.
In September of 2022, we were privileged to hold an evening reception with DK Engineering at Minoli’s London showrooms in Marylebone, to see close-up some of the most exquisite supercars and to hear about the history of the DK Engineering business. James Cottingham, Lead Acquisition Consultant for the firm, shared some fascinating insights about their company and the beautiful Ferrari’s, and other carefully selected collectable cars, that they restore and race. For the 100+ admiring guests (and petrol-heads) in attendance, a Ferrari F40, a Porsche Carrera GT and two Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Lusso models, were on display outside our George Street premises.
Another specialist dealer in classic collectable cars with which Minoli has close association is Max Girardo and the team at Girardo & Co, experts in discreetly sourcing and powerfully marketing the greatest classic cars in the world.
Completed recently in December 2022, the extensive redevelopment of their hangar-like display rooms is located close to Stadhampton in Oxfordshire. For this project Max selected the wonderfully weathered wood-look of the Minoli Twelvenoon series, in the Daylight design that has driftwood tones. Within that expansive space, a stunning, standout display area was created with some 7,600 individual Luminous Lume majolica-style tiles. In a 6/24 metro-brick format, expertly laid in a herringbone pattern, these deep Green, high-gloss porcelain decors have an almost liquid lustre. In the workshop, Minoli Advance Grigio has been used, as a technically advanced tile befitting the high-tech vehicle preparation areas.
Girardo & Co also partnered with Minoli in 2017 for our Classic Cars On George Street event. This was a truly unique opportunity for invited guests to hear Max speak about the classic car market and the remarkable motors that are traded within. Afterwards, the Minoli guests were able to view the cars brought along by Girardo & Co including a Ferrari F50, Lancia Delta Integrale and a Ferrari 365 Daytona, all parked in a row outside Minoli’s London showroom.
One of Europe’s leading Porsche specialists, RPM Technik, also turned to Minoli when expanding their customer facilities in Hertfordshire. The Bravestone series in a 60/60 format in the Gypsum colourway was specified as a hardwearing but light coloured, premium porcelain product. Not only does it provide a striking stage on which to display the high value Porsches they trade in, but it also creates the perfect environment in which to shoot their popular ‘Technik Torque’ You Tube videos.
Looking back in our project archives, it’s nearly ten years since our association with Aston Martin brand began, when we held initial discussions with the design team at Aston Martin Works for the supply of tiles for the showrooms and workshops at the brand’s Heritage Centre in Newport Pagnell. The Minoli Workshop Series of 20/20 silver-grey porcelain tiles were subsequently installed in 2013 for the refurbishment of what was the original Aston Martin production plant.
Since then, we have also supplied the wood-look Etic Series in the 22.5/90 format for their extended showroom and conference facility. Minoli Etic provides all the visual aesthetics of a natural wooden floor, but with the durability and low maintenance qualities of high-performance porcelain.
In addition to these specialist and supercar companies, and our work with over 15 established car manufacturer brands, Minoli also supplies many leading housebuilders and property developers, architects and designers, who are seeing increased demand for more extensive and individual garaging solutions for private individuals.
Creating special places to store and safeguard these luxury and collectable cars is nothing particularly new, but we’re excited to see more specialist firms getting into the design and fit-out of ever-more ambitious bespoke garages. This increasingly active and innovative area of architecture and interior design spans from simple or specialist garage conversions, through to the creation of impressive ‘domestic car showrooms’ and subterranean ‘supercar caves’.
To help complete these immaculately and imaginatively designed display and storage studios, Minoli have a close association with integrated workshop experts Dura, who are Europe’s leading designers and manufacturers of high-quality workshop furniture. Having held the prestigious Red Dot International Design Award for their bespoke and core modular range, they needed a flooring that coordinated beautifully with the technically advanced look and feel of their cabinets for their Northamptonshire facilities. Minoli’s Serizzo range fitted with this requirement perfectly and we continue to supply Dura’s diverse range of customers and dealerships with high-performance porcelain tiles.
Please contact either our Oxford or London showrooms to discuss suitable ranges for your vehicle display, maintenance or storage requirements, or for corporate clients, please contact Jonathon Minoli directly.