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A Hobby Turns Serious

Newcastle Herald

Friday February 28, 2003

THE purchase of a panel-beating business turned dreams into reality for self-confessed rev head Peter Ingham.

Seven years ago, he and his wife, Cathy, bought the Wickham-based business, formerly known as Stan Martin Smash Repairs, and re-named it Marty's Smash Repairs.

Since then they have maintained and expanded its reputation for quality work, as well as introducing some revolutionary and award-winning methods of their own.

Peter worked in the building trade and owned another business before deciding to turn a hobby into something more serious by buying the Wickham panel-beating operation when his friend, Stan Martin, retired.

"I always liked cars, and I always liked playing with cars," he said. "I used to buy cheap cars and pull them down to see what made them tick, then put them back together again."

Combining his passion for the workings of cars with their performance, Peter took up drag racing in Sydney while continuing to take his vehicles apart and reassemble them, a procedure he first tried out at the age of 16 on a Hillman Minx in his parents' back yard at Mayfield.

Over the years he became friends with Stan Martin who established his smash repair business more than 30 years ago, first in Mayfield and then at Wickham.

"I used his business when I was doing cars up, and when he told me he was going to retire I was happy to make the switch," he said.

When they bought the business, the Inghams decided to rename it Marty's Smash Repairs.

"We wanted to keep the name simple, easy to remember and similar to its previous name of Stan Martin's Smash Repairs," said Cathy Ingham.

Other changes included the updating of all equipment and the installation of new technology.

As Marty's Smash Repairs they have won national awards for excellence in paintwork at events including the annual Summer Nats car festival in Canberra.

Innovation is also a specialty of the business, with Marty's leading the field in the use of a variety of new products, experimentation with colour and creative panel work, modelling shapes to customers' requirements.

While enjoying the opportunity for innovation and creativity, Marty's Smash Repairs has also continued to function as a high quality smash repair business, working on all sizes of vehicles from trucks to Minis.

It also carries out rust repairs, chassis alignments and restoration and repair work on a diversity of vehicles valued at anything from $15,000 to $100,000.

© 2003 Newcastle Herald

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