Bristol mechanic’s generous donation ensures fitting send-off for popular petrolhead

A Bristol mechanic has donated spare car parts to celebrate a fellow petrolhead’s life. Nick Carley was a mechanic and classic car enthusiast living in Suffolk.

When he died before Christmas after a short fight with cancer his daughter Beth, from Bristol, was keen to help friends and family celebrate her dad’s life by creating decorative pieces from old car parts for his funeral. But with the long distance between the South West and East Anglia, alongside working for the NHS Children’s Services, Beth wasn’t able to travel to her dad’s garage to select the car parts she needed.

Fortunately, Beth had an idea. She had recently had her car serviced at NJ Autos 1, near St George’s Park in Bristol, which she remembered fondly as the owner and her dad were mechanics with the same name. So Beth made a call to see if Nick had any spare car parts available to help with her project.

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Beth said: “As soon as I remembered NJ Autos I knew I had to phone – it felt significant that both my late dad and the owner of my local garage worked as car mechanics were both called Nick. I first spoke to the receptionist who was really kind – we agreed it was an unusual request but would be pleased to speak to the garage team and when they told me they once made a wedding cake stand out of brake discs I knew I had asked the right people!”

Car parts made stunning table decorations at celebration of car fan’s life

Mechanic Nick Allen said: “When I heard Beth’s sad news I immediately wanted to help. I was more than happy to donate car parts for a lovely customer, and for solidarity and support to another mechanic.

“We had to wait a week to get the parts to Beth as our scrap collectors had just been round for their regular run, but I took some time over that week to select some parts I thought would work, and I love how the decorations turned out.”

Beth was able to use the various parts that Nick donated, ranging from a turbo to brake calipers, mounting them on repurposed floorboards and spray painting them gold – to match the gold and black of her Dad’s John Player Special (JPS) Mark 2 Ford Capri car. The car was a one of a kind and one that featured on Stars and Their Cars with Paddy McGuinness.

Nick and his Ford Capri on Stars and Their Cars TV shoot

Like many during the pandemic Beth sadly was not permitted to visit her dad in hospital to say goodbye. But thankfully, due to the easing of restrictions, over 130 friends and family were fortunate enough to be able to attend his funeral service and wake to commemorate

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Nick’s daughter Beth

Beth added: “Nick was a man who helped many people, family, friends and his local community along the way with his DIY and mechanic skills. He was a nice bloke, just like Nick with his act of kindness at NJ Autos in Bristol. We all know how important it is to have a mechanic you can trust.”

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