Operating from the picturesque Victorian farm buildings set
in Hertfordhire countryside, but just 20 miles from the centre of
London and 10 miles from Heathrow airport, DK Engineering are
largely accepted as the world’s leading Ferrari specialists.
Concours winning restorations have been carried out by DK for
some of the finest and most famous collections in the world
including those of Sir Anthony Bamford, Ralph Lauren, Chris
Evans, Eric Clapton, Paul Vestey, Peter Glaesel and many more.
DK Engineering was founded in 1977 and takes its name from the
initials of the Christian names of David and Kate Cottingham, the
husband and wife team who formed the company and continue to
run it today. The business initially developed from David’s love of
XK Jaguars. David first bought a lightweight XK 120 model in 1963
that he restored and raced. To help finance his racing hobby, he
prepared and repaired other people’s examples in his spare time.
He built up a reputation within the Jaguar fraternity for his
knowledge, standard of work, and meticulous attention to detail.
The demands on his time became so great that in 1977 he and
Kate decided to take the plunge and go into business full time
with the formation of DK, with Kate taking on the administrative
Being of a mechanically inquisitive nature, and with all period
Jaguars having basically the same straight six engine
configuration, David looked towards Ferraris as a further challenge
to his skills, with their much broader range of engine designs, and
started restoring and rebuilding earlier examples of the marque.
This opened up new avenues of business. DK Engineering are
thought to be the oldest surviving Ferrari independent
specialist in the UK (the first was David Clarke at Graypaul who
are now of course a main dealer).
As his company’s workmanship came to the attention of Ferrari
enthusiasts, building up an international clientele, the growth in
the business necessitated a move from their original premises in
Northwood to their second premises in Watford in 1984. Since
then the world has witnessed the meteoric rise in Ferrari prices of
the late eighties, and the subsequent crash at the beginning of
the nineties. Where many businesses threw caution to the wind
during the height of the boom and expanded into larger more
affluent premises, DK kept their feet firmly on the ground, working
the increased business into their existing space and thus survived
where many others failed, due to their reputation for consistent
high quality. Restoration to perfection has been the company
motto. 2008 saw the move to their current premises in
Chorleywood, a beautiful farm ideally situated close to the M25
and local airports – a larger emphasis being on the now larger
sales side of the business at the new facility with a dedicated on
They now employ ten mechanics regularly with juniors being
trained in house, so that they understand the working practises
and standards required. Apart from restoration, rebuilding and
general maintenance work, they are also involved in historic
competition, undertaking preparation and providing support crews
for clients at club and international event level.
The business is set to continue into the next generation, with
David and Kate’s sons Justin, Jeremy and James now taking
an active involvement in the business, with both Jeremy and
James also following in their father’s footsteps behind the wheel in
competition. Since the founding of the current sales department in
1996 by Jeremy Cottingham, DK has carried out over 3000
transactions. James Cottingham who co-runs the department
joined in 2002 part time, studied Mechanical Engineering at
Bristol and joined full time in 2007 (taking a sabbatical in 2008 to
project manage the restoration of our award winning premises).
DK Engineering have traditionally had a speciality for mainly 50’s
sports Ferraris. David Cottingham is largely acknowledged as a
world leading expert on these models, and of course the classic
60’s GT models. Today with young blood in the business Jeremy
and James have managed to find their own niche specialising in
the new breed of classic Ferrari, the supercars. The pair have
managed to sell over 100 F40’s alone, whilst still maintaining
their world leading expertise in the original models.
DK Engineering are proud of the fact that they are probably the
only company in the world who specialise in every aspect of
Ferrari. DK can service, restore, source or sell your Ferrari, be it a
1951 340 America or a 2010 599 GTB.
Images Peter Singhof www.ClassicCarPhotography.de
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