Bonnet Painting Competition Finalist Profile – Elliot Campbell
Elliot Campbell, 24 years old
The Figaro Shop, Didcot
How did you get into painting cars?
I have always been interested in the car trade. When I first started I began as an apprentice mechanic and am a Level 2 mechanic. I joined here to do mechanical work but I actually like polishing cars and detailing and my boss said I would probably be quite good at painting. It wasn’t something I had previously considered but decided I would like to do painting and haven’t really looked back.
Who have been the biggest influencers on your career so far?
The work that we do here is quite specialist. I think it has been the business really rather than an actual person. It has a good reputation and I am proud to work there. I like the American hot rods and custom paint work, it intrigues me but also I like the crisp restoration, OEM side. I like things to be right.
What was the idea behind your design?
I knew what I wanted it to look like but I never had a solid drawing. I knew I didn’t want to do a massive bonnet purely because I had to keep it 1m by 1m. I was going to do a hot rod bonnet but it was hard to integrate the design with that so I looked at the classic MINI bonnet, I liked the shape of it and an old school friend of mine he had a MINI that he was building and thankfully he let me have the bonnet which I paid him for. It was a bit tatty and dented just through its age and had defective paint on there as well, so I took it all back to bare metal. On the Farecla competition website it showed basically a yellow stripe on several examples so I knew I wanted to put a stripe in and with having the MINI bonnet as well, being a classic bonnet they have a white stripe on some MINIs so a yellow stripe worked quite well as part of the design in the original realm but with a Farecla twist.
If your bonnet was the overall winner, how would you spend the £1,000 cash prize?
I’ve recently got a little daughter so I would like to put away some money for her and maybe treat myself a little bit too. However, I would be more chuffed about winning the competition than the money.
Sponsor: Danny Smith, owner of The Figaro Shop
Elliot has come a long way. When Elliot started working for us he didn’t have any paint experience whatsoever and he has gone through a three year apprenticeship programme with us and he is still working on the last year now. He does a lot of stuff in his private time to try and hone his skill set which is really really good and he works alongside other painters who are far more experienced as well which I think has helped him a lot. He has become a really good painter.
In terms of the bonnet I think he has done a fantastic job and has definitely put the hours in to achieve exactly what he wanted at the end.