Coventry Woodworks restores vintage cars with wood

A 1947 Chevrolet Fleetmaster Woody Wagon rebuilt by Karen Trickett. Karen noted that it was an extensive year-long project with a huge learning curve to boot.
 By Allison Preston
Tuesday, November 14, 2017 — Cobble Hill, British Columbia — Coventry Woodworks, a woodworking studio in Cobblehill, Victoria, is no stranger to the wonderful world of cars. Owners Cam Russell and Karen Trickett have decades of experience working with wood, and have found a surprising way to incorporate their love of cars into the business through restoring vintage cars using wooden materials.
Trickett was first introduced to woodworking at the age of six, when she was allowed to “help” her grandfather work on a number of wooden items in his basement workshop.
Trickett also spent her childhood working on a farm where, when things stopped working, she had to fix them herself. “I’ve always had old vehicles, so over time you learn how to maintain them,” said Trickett. These experiences gave her the knowledge and expertise that have led to her success working on cars today.
Trickett first started working on cars professionally when she was just out of woodworking school. For her first job, she was contracted to repair two electric streetcars in for BC transit. The cars are now functional and are operating in Nelson, BC.

The woodworking studio restores vintage cars with a special focus on old English vehicles, but their portfolio expands into other styles as well. Coventry Woodworks has restored vehicles of all sorts, from an English 1976 Morris Traveler to an American 1947 Chevrolet Fleetmaster.

The couple sometimes works on the body of cars, but more often they refinish, repair or restore vintage car parts sent to them by high-end bodyshops, as well as customers who filter in from all over the world. They have completed projects for people as far away as London, Ontario, California and Oregon. The shop has even had requests from as far away as Malaysia for car parts of the MG Magnette, though the project didn’t work out because the proper parts weren’t able to be located.
Trickett remembers one repair in particular: the body of a ’55 Jag Mark 5, a vehicle with doors primarily made with wood. “When the car is in position, you don’t know they’re wooden doors,” she explains.
This coming winter, the duo is planning on restoring a car of their own, a ‘57 Morris Traveller. Currently, their Morris Traveler is in parts and unrecognizable. They are completely redoing all the wooden parts of the car, from the flooring to the doors. “Once you disturb the wood in them, you are usually doing an extensive repair to get it back on,” said Trickett. The couple plans to take their Morris Traveller to old English car shows once it’s finished.
Trickett and Russell’s passion for cars has led them to integrate their passion for vintage cars into their carpentry business, and their knowledge of wood and experience with cars has distinguished them within the car community. Coventry Woodworks proves that with a little imagination, you can integrate the things you love to come up with something truly unique.
Anyone interested in talking with Trickett are encouraged to call (204) 748-2354 or visit their website at coventrywoodworks.ca.
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