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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 duties.

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 site showroom.

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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