Ten Tenths racing is a household name in classic motorsports. From Goodwood Revival to Le Mans Classic and anything in between, you’ll probably find one or more of their cars on the starting grid. Ten Tenths racing is a lot more than just a racing team; it’s a team that is set up to exclusively take care of the car collection of Nick Mason – Pink Floyd’s former drummer – which includes the infamous Ferrari 250 GTO. We sat down with Ben Dechair, the man who keeps all the cars running.
Ben, what is the history of Ten Tenths racing? It must be quite an interesting story.
Back in the seventies, when Nick was still in Pink Floyd, he set up a company that was basically a network of about 3.000 vehicles and their owners. The company would act as an intermediary for renting out those vehicles for commercials, events or movies. After a while, he quit this business and focussed solely on his own cars and now, Ten Tenths maintains and restores Nick’s cars.
Some are very famous cars, but how many cars are we taking about?
They’re not all here, but at the moment we have about 30 vehicles in the shop from different time periods, ranging from early 1900 to 2017.
That’s a lot of cars; do you and your team maintain all these cars by yourselves?
Oh, there’s just two of us at the moment (laughs). Yes, we do most of it ourselves, aside from some of the modern cars. We have two new Ferraris and for warranty reasons they’re maintained by Ferrari itself. Especially the LaFerrari, as it’s a hybrid and it didn’t seem worth getting all that training for just one car that isn’t even a race car.
All these cars must have challenges of their own. What’s the hardest part of your work?
Mechanically there’s really nothing that is too challenging. There’s really nothing that can’t be fixed. The hardest parts, I find, are the logistics of shipping the cars to events, tracking the right parts and especially everything related to insurance. It’s not particularly difficult; it just takes up a lot of time.
Speaking of parts; are parts for these rare cars, like a 250 GTO, easy to find?
Actually, for the GTO all parts are readily available; they are just incredibly expensive. Sometimes it takes a little longer to find them because you can only find them in little shops that are hidden away somewhere in Italy; they have these parts readily available on their shelves, but in order to contact them you have to make 15 phone calls. We’ve even had some parts 3D-printed.
By maintaining these cars, teaming up with Motul, you have a lot of experience with the product. What is the benefit of having all these classic cars running on Motul oil?
For us, it’s a stable base product. It’s a base we can rely on and that is really important. We know exactly how it is going to behave so that’s one less thing to think about. Reliability is the key to enjoying classic cars, so that is what really matters to us.
From all these cars, do you have a personal favourite?
I do and I am sort of ‘obligated’ to his car; I am talking about the Ferrari 250 MM. I would even push it out of a burning building (laughs). Another personal favourite of mine is the Lola T297.