Car Dealer Live

Car Dealer Live: Cobras, Mustangs and classic cars with Pilgrim Motorsports

Time 2:30 pm, December 3, 2020

Pilgrim Motorsports can count itself as one of the smallest car manufacturers in the country, but its products, services and cars it sells is big business.

The firm’s history dates back to the sixties and under the name of Pilgrim cars it created a fine reputation hand-building Cobra and Speedster replicas. Since then, the business has undergone a name change and now headed up by Ford Mustang fan Paul Bennett and classic car restorer Adrian Hewetson. It’s a family business with around 25 staff members.

Along with the Cobra and Speedster builds, Pilgrim Motorsports has become a ‘one-stop-shop’ classic car specialist with its restoration and maintenance services. It also sources, imports and sells Mustangs through its division – so successfully it’s become Europe’s largest classic Mustang dealer.

The firm also specialises in upgrading and souping up new Mustangs, it has an eight-bay workshop, paint shops, and manufactures parts for restoration projects and its Cobra builds.

‘When I got involved in the company, it wasn’t just classic cars we wanted to do but also American classics’ says Bennett in the interview which you can watch at the top of this story.

‘The kit car business had gone from its heady days of selling five to 10 kits a week to decreasing in popularity. I’ve always had a passion for Mustangs and my business partner – whose background is restoring cars and who’s also a Mustang fan – and I decided to go to America, buy a load of Mustangs, Thunderbirds and Galaxies and bring them back here. Adrian now works in America to find the best possible cars.’

Along with all of this, Pilgrim Motorsports also has a research and development operation that’s currently readying the ‘KarGo’ – an electric, fully autonomous ‘pod’ built in partnership with Aberystwyth University.

In the interview, Bennett talks with host James Batchelor about the kit car and replica market, how his business sources classic Mustangs among other topics. You can watch it at the top of this story.

James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer. In October 2021 he became Car Dealer's associate editor.

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