McLaren Car Canopies


People always ask (usually when they drive down and see we have more McLarens here than the UK dealers combined!) what it is we do that gives us our success and my reply is very simple – every car that comes down our driveway we treat as if it is our own car. There really is nothing more than that, we genuinely look at every car as if we owned it, what would we do with it, how would we repair it, would we replace an item or just keep an eye on it as if it were our own personal car. If I were taking my car to a shop how would I want to be treated, how would I want the work undertaken, how would I want the car to be cared for. So last year we decided that despite our adoption of this mantra we were failing in one aspect – how the cars were stored.

Now we are not a car storage company, however due to the nature of working on McLarens where parts availability can best be described as eclectic it does mean that we have a lot of cars here that are simply waiting for parts to arrive before the work can be completed and whilst we did have two showrooms and large workshops we were unable to store customers cars under cover whilst they were here and frankly that bugged us. For the most part customers McLarens are garaged or stored inside, some dont even go out in the rain, and yet they brought them here to be cared for and the first thing we do is leave them outside and it didnt sit well with us.

So last year we decided that if we were to stand by our own principles we had to create under cover storage space for customers McLarens whilst they were here – exactly what we would want for our own car if it were us. The concept was simple, we wanted a high tech Goodwood, open sided, dry cover, no doors but with electrics for each car to have its own charger, McLarens like to be kept on charge if they arent driven for a few weeks. We didnt want doors as the cars are always moving in and out for work and frankly being able to see them all in the yard makes it easier for us to schedule work, out of sight out of mind can be a hindrance to workshop calendars. We already have massive security here due to the shooting range we also run where UK armed police take training so we have police linked alarms, ANPR CCTV camera system and mutant sea bass on patrol so the open sides were not a security issue for us, ease of access was.

We put out a social media request and got quotes back from a variety of companies but the unique idea and custom nature of the design meant that most either over bid it or didnt want to offer anything other than a cookie cutter design save for one – Mode Garden Rooms. Now having spent 20 years in the motorsport industry its fair to say that the concept of sponsorship is not lost on us, nor do we look at it blindly, generally sponsorship takes the form of “say nice things about my average product and I’ll give it you for free” and we are well beyond that so we agreed a price for the work and that was it.

However, having seen Mode at work and the resulting outcome it would not be fair to give them a shout out for their work – credit where credit is due. I like to think we are good suppliers but by the same token we can be demanding customers and whilst we arent quite up there with Ron Dennis in terms of OCD we did want the work perfect, we even dictated the exact size of the gravel around the bases for example – how nerdy is that.

The net result is exactly what we wanted, a solidly built structure that would provide maximum protection to the cars but ease of access and power, which as its fed from our solar panels and turned off during the night to allow the cars BMS systems to cycle means customers cars are being charged for free.

Mode allowed for 4 weeks work and it took over 9 weeks, partly due to the poor weather we had but also their attention to detail and wanting to get it right and we came away impressed enough with their work ethic and their work itself to want to share our experience, so we are.

All this investment means that we can store nearly 50 cars under cover when they are here, compare that to any McLaren dealer and we feel we continue to show that a good independent operation can offer enhanced levels of McLaren care to owners as an alternative to franchised operations. Also means your cars wont get wet, thats got to be a good thing.