Kearns has had more than 30 years in the quick cars and truck company, first achieving prominence in the HR Owen South Kensington Ferrari dealership (at which, back in the noughties, he turned over Autocar’s fondly remembered F430 long-termer). He consequently rose to boardroom level and assumed obligation for Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini and Rolls-Royce sales throughout the group– up until a new owner brought new faces and fresh concepts. After that, he managed a big-scale dealer launch in Bristol and toyed for a while with opening his own Ferrari car dealership prior to being headhunted to provide Bell S&C a brand-new lease of life.
Bell takes its name from engineer and business owner Peter Bell, who back in the 1960s utilized his ₤ 5000 redundancy cash from a printing job to establish himself in the vehicle parts service. He initially launched the stick-on rear window demister (remember those?), then created a much better design for a steady, leakproof gas can, first in metal and later in the plastic that made his fortune. He did so well that he had the ability to offer the organization to a bigger parts gamer and start Bell Sport & & Classic, which traded first in MGs and Healeys however then moved more upmarket. Nowadays, as the website succinctly puts it, “we sell the cars and trucks we ‘d like to own”.
Kearns is slightly shocked at just how much he’s enjoying running a non-franchise automobile service. Dexterity is one significant advantage over the majors, he states. “The personnel of the huge gin palaces have really little time to improve their environment or invest much time with clients,” he says. “Process is the enemy. Due to the fact that there’s method too much of it, it gets in the way at every turn. We simply don’t have that issue.”
Bell’s compactness doesn’t avoid it from completing complex work to a very high requirement, though. Kearns nowadays presides over a business that can consistently preserve or fix any of the cars and trucks it offers, and it often finishes big-note remediations to requirements he thinks match or surpass those of Ferrari’s Classiche dealerships.
Kearns proudly reveals detailed pictorial records of its finest work (“we’re sticklers for authenticity; when you restore a vehicle, you’re accountable for regaining its original personality”). Its talented however small artisan personnel, led by the skilled Attilio Romano, specifically welcome jobs like the huge Lambo that need “persistence, desire and skill”. A secret 1960s Ferrari task, biggest of the lot so far, will quickly be revealed. The craftspeople themselves are every bit as well understood to customers as the front-office personnel.
Bell takes its name from engineer and entrepreneur Peter Bell, who back in the 1960s used his ₤ 5000 redundancy cash from a printing task to develop himself in the automobile parts service. Kearns is slightly shocked at how much he’s delighting in running a non-franchise cars and truck organization. It gets in the way at every turn due to the fact that there’s way too much of it. Kearns happily reveals comprehensive pictorial records of its finest work (“we’re sticklers for credibility; when you bring back an automobile, you’re accountable for recapturing its initial character”).