Worth to earth, crashes to ashes, lust to dust… With apologies to the Order for the Burial of the Dead, I ponder the skeletal remains of a Lamborghini Jalpa perched on top of a large metal container at car breaker Eurospares in Essex.
It’s a moving sight awaiting anyone who wanders around the back of the firm’s nerve centre, located in a bustling industrial estate just outside Halstead, near Colchester. However, there’s worse – much worse – inside one of Eurospares’ seven vast storage buildings.
On racks, and looking just like a child’s toy car collection, are the shells of six gorgeous Italian sports cars – three Ferrari 308 GT4s, a 348, a 458 and one Lamborghini. On the floor below, and to the side, is a Ferrari 599 GTB minus its wheels, windows, interior and most of its bodywork. A few mountings are all that remain of its V12.
I need a stiff drink. James Pumo, owner of Eurospares, offers me an espresso, before telling me his story.
“My dad was a hairdresser,” he says. I scan the room for bits of Mazda MX-5. “He had a couple of salons in Manchester and used to go back to Italy to buy his hairdryers. One day a Ferrari dealer asked him if he’d pick up some spares from the factory on his next trip. Dad quickly realised that, with his Italian contacts, he could make a business supplying parts for Ferrari and Lamborghinis, which is how we started.”
Although Eurospares salvages lots of parts from the sports cars that it breaks (in the past 10 years, hundreds of Ferraris but only 15 Lamborghinis), many are new items bought from bankrupt dealers and garages – following the 2008 economic crash, the Middle East was a rich source – as well as remanufactured components from a web of global suppliers.
“If a part is no longer available, and there is sufficient demand, we’ll have it made,” says Pumo. “For example, I’m stuck for Ferrari F40 steering wheels at the moment, so I said to Momo: ‘Let’s make 100 of them’.”