Loddon father-of-three who spends his days restoring Minis at Attleborough business - and even named his son after the classic car
- Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015
It is as synonymous with the swinging sixties as the skirt of the same name.
With its unmistakable circular headlights and distinctive grill, the iconic Mini is at the heart of British culture and regularly tops polls of the nation's favourite car.
For Leigh Taylor, the classic vehicle has always held a special fascination - and even inspired his two-year-old son Cooper's name.
The 35-year-old works on the cars at his Attleborough business where, surrounded by Mini artwork, he does everything from a quick service to a full 18-month restoration.
'I've always loved them,' he said. 'They are a British icon and when you go to shows and drive in a convoy and everyone waves it's a great feeling. It's a nice community to be in.
'You can see someone in their 80s or someone young and they all have a connection with the car.'
With customers travelling from as far as Doncaster and London, the married father-of-three's specialism keeps him busy - and sees his cars travel around the globe.
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He said: 'I do a lot of work for RAF Mildenhall, so I end up getting sent pictures of the Minis on Long Beach and the Golden Gate Bridge, which is pretty cool.'
Qualified carpenter and mechanic Mr Taylor finishes almost every stage of his restorations in-house, from welding to spraying, and says his customers range from teenagers to those in their 80s.
His love of the classic car is infectious - Mr Taylor, a member of the Norfolk Mini Owners Club, and his eldest son Mitchell spend Saturdays building a Mini, while middle son Chase is behind some of the artwork at the Leys Lane Industrial Estate unit.
But it was only after a redundancy while working in Rackheath that the Loddon father, who is originally from London, decided to turn his hobby into a business.
'I had always worked on Minis so people kept telling me to go for it and set up the business,' he said. 'i just thought 'why not' - and it's gone from there.'
In September 2011 Mr Taylor moved into his current base, but a planning permission wrangle saw him served with three eviction notices.
Much to his relief, last November Breckland Council finally gave him the green light and confirmed he could stay.
Mr Taylor, who works on all classic vehicles but specialises in Minis, can be contacted on 07899 727541.
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