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by Nick Drew  |  Fri 11 Sep 2020

Epic Restoration of JCB 1

This great restoration job has been big news on the various social media channels over the past week and I felt we simply could not miss the chance for such a fine piece of work to be featured here on the Digger Man Blog, the spiritual home for all things digger related.

Epic Restoration of JCB 1

One of JCB’s longest-standing customers has unwrapped a unique present – a vintage backhoe loader restored to its former glory to mark the digger maker’s approaching 75th anniversary. 

Lincolnshire-based Eric Carnaby & Son has been a customer since 1959 and over the following six decades has bought more than 150 JCB machines. Now JCB has said thank you to the firm for its loyalty by restoring the Carnaby family’s cherished 1964 JCB 1 backhoe. 

The project was kept a closely guarded secret until George Bamford - grandson of JCB Founder Joseph Cyril Bamford CBE – sprung the restoration surprise during a visit to the company’s base in Immingham, near Grimsby, to collect the machine. Now six months later the backhoe has been handed back to the company after a team at JCB’s World HQ in Rocester, Staffordshire spent hundreds of hours lovingly restoring it. 

Eric Carnaby & Son Director, Roland Carnaby Junior (pictured below far right next to Roland Carnaby) said, “My family and I are over the moon with the restoration. Our JCB 1 is precious to us and we’ve been meaning to restore it for some time, but you know how it is – a business to run, and all that!” Speaking about the amazing restoration, George Bamford said, “It has been amazing to see an old machine brought back to life by the JCB team. It looks just as it would have done on the day it came off the production line in 1964.” 

Founded by Eric Carnaby in 1946, the plant hire and road haulage firm is now run by father-and-son team Roland Carnaby Senior and Roland Carnaby Junior. The company’s first JCB purchase was a JCB 4 backhoe in 1959 and it was the JCB backhoe loader which formed the backbone of the Eric Carnaby & Son fleet for many years to come – with up to 12 in operation during the 1970s and 1980s. The company’s most recent purchase was the latest X Series excavator. The two-family businesses have been strongly intertwined throughout the 61-year period, with 95% of the Eric Carnaby & Son fleet now made up of JCB equipment.

Checkout this truly inspirational video which shows what and how the work was done. It may be a sign of getting old, but I couldn't help but notice how young the individuals performing the work were, all credit must go to them for doing such a fine job, although, I'm sure they must have had some help from some well-known restoration experts along the way too. 

JCB officially marks its 75th birthday on October 23rd. 

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