A SELF-CONFESSED petrolhead with a passion for Ford’s iconic Mustang is looking to raise up to £300,000 as he attempts to build Scotland’s only sports car company.
Edinburgh-based businessman Allan Fearnley has spent the past year restoring and upgrading a 1965 Fastback edition of the classic American muscle car, which was delivered to its owner last week.
He now plans to take his Wild Horses venture to the next level and raise investment to upgrade his Canonmills workshop and equipment and hire more staff.
The Mustang, the four-wheeled star of the Steve McQueen movie Bullitt, has a classic-car following. The company sources, customises and rebuilds Mustangs, giving them a mechanical makeover with modern suspension, brakes and electrical systems. Project costs range from £30,000 to £100,000.
Fearnley – a former helicopter pilot in his 20s – also aims to develop a “new car prototype”, leading to the construction of the firm’s own production vehicle. That could see the company compete for business with marques such as Ferrari, Lotus and Porsche as a niche manufacturer.
“My big picture and part of our investment plan is to build Scotland’s only sports car company,” said Fearnley, who last year acquired the online retailer Enthumo.com, which sells car care products. “Off the back of the past year’s hard work, developing and proving the sales for our model, we aim to raise investment to improve our facility, staff and resources.
“This allows us to produce world-class Mustangs and then start the development of our own car prototype with a stable, revenue-generating workshop business behind it.
“This would allow us to push forward on the second phase of investment – to build our own production car.”
Fearnley said he had started approaching potential investors with a view to raising between £250,000 and £300,000.
He has just returned from a “fact-finding” visit to British racing and sports car manufacturer Ginetta and will look at ways of “down-skilling” some of its processes into Wild Horses’ workshops.
Fearnley added: “We are probably too small at the moment for venture capitalists. It’s not unheard of that business people that retire want to get involved in their hobby or passion.”
He said he had talks with a “possible business partner” who has a background in restoring and building cars and who would bring “great credibility to the company”.