‘Claggy Road, Kimpton’ might not have quite the same mystery as ‘Viale Ciro Menotti, Modena’, but Maserati enthusiasts worldwide will recognise it as the address of one of the marque’s leading service and restoration companies, Bill McGrath Limited.
On Saturday 4 August 2012, MD Andy Heywood and his team welcomed visitors to their premises, situated in a small village not far from London and just a taxi ride from Luton airport.
Regular customers and Maserati Club UK members were treated to some rare and interesting cars, all set in immaculate workshops. The company has specialised in the Maserati marque since 1977, when Bill McGrath first opened his eponymous business.
Now sadly no longer with us, Bill McGrath’s name lives on in a business run by Andy Heywood, who joined the company in the late 1980s. In truth, you can sometimes persuade Heywood to work on cars other than Maseratis – De Tomaso Mangusta, anyone? And did I not see a Citroën SM parked outside? – but it’s with the famous Trident that his loyalty lies.
Cars on display included a 1954 O.S.C.A. MT4 that, prepared by the company, has successfully competed in 10 Mille Miglia retrospectives, a fabulous 1955 (first series) Maserati A6G/54 Zagato in gleaming aubergine paintwork and three Ghiblis.
Heading your Editor’s “Now, I wish I’d bought one of those…” list were the front-engined-V8, ‘Daytona’ competitor Ghiblis that numbered two coupés and an extremely rare, right-hand-drive, SS-specification Spyder returning from a 10-year stay in Australia.
Joining them were a Bora, an original Quattroporte, the famous ex-Joe Walsh 5000GT and many more examples (including modern GranTurismos) of cars that have made the unassuming premises on a small industrial estate in the heart of the Hertfordshire countryside a mecca for the Maserati enthusiast.