See how an auto body mechanic fix a Ferrari

There are many billionaires in the UK; most of them belong to London. They all could have purchased the 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO that was presented at an auction in August 2018.  On another thought, there are only a few people in the UK who can repair a Ferrari, even if a simple repair is required.

The 22-year old Grace Roaf is one of those few people in the UK that can repair a Ferrari. She is a drag racing enthusiast and is getting training at G&A Fabrications, a small business with minimum space, but, really useful.

I will be working with Roaf to turn an aluminum sheet into a front wing. We will be working under the supervision of Lawrence Kett, who took training at British Aerospace and made spares for Concorde and 747 engine howls.

According to Roaf, it takes around 10 years to fully learn this work, so I would have to bear with him, he told me. The first thing to be done was to make an appropriate pattern, so we can get a rough shape from the metal sheet. The tools used were tape, pencil, and masking paper. When we got the pattern, we used tin snips and plasma cutter to burn the clean line through the sheet. Then, we were ready for the wheel.

One of the simplest devices, the English Wheel, is quite difficult to master. There are three of these at G&A Fabrications; each has a pair of rollers, with different profiles. One pair is almost flat, the other has a curve, whereas the one we used was midway between the other pairs. We began by pulling and pushing the metal back and forth. She was applying pressure carefully to develop the shape. The pressure has to be balanced, not too much, and not too little, whereas I was applying just a little pressure and after several minutes the sheet has not changed at all.