BRITAIN'S most offbeat car designer has opened the doors to his workshop - where he puts a unique spin on his customisations

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Videographer / Director: Nick Cunard
Producer: Emma Pearson
Editor: Kyle Waters


Andy stands with the Fiat 500 Jolly he restored as respite while his mother was suffering with dementia, and a Ford Thunderbird he bought already modified from the US

Andy Saunders blends automation and innovation, to create quirky vehicles that wouldn't look out of place in an art gallery.

The 52-year-old from Poole in Dorset has created an exhaustive list of customisations in his glittering career - including a flat car that stands at just 21ins high, and a Hyundai which splits apart and opens out in two.

This customisation was based on the Lancia Stratos Zero concept car, and Andy built this using a prop from the Michael Jackson film Moonwalker

Andy has also created 'Picasso's Citroen'- an abstract and aysemtrical 2CV model, which is his tribute to Picasso's Three Musicians.

The gifted customiser has created 52 incredible cars over the years, which have been sold to buyers all over the world and entered the world record books.

Andy is restoring this pre-war Hudson, but his true obsession is with customisations

His petrol-headed passion was ignited at the age of 15, when he worked on a Mark-1 Ford Escort with his father.

The young customiser never looked back, and still has the same love for his work 37 years later

Andy said: “Customisation to me is creativity.

At only 21in high, this car is for those who like to keep a low profile

"It’s a life force, it’s a passion.

“To me, customisation is art. It’s a creative life force.

"Unless you have done anything creative you are not going to understand, but to exhibit this at the big car shows is no different to being at an art gallery, in my opinion.

Pride and Joy: Andy's restored Fiat 500 Jolly

"I just love the creativity. It’s my life.”

Andy's combination of art and automation earned him 76 public nominations for the Turner Prize, after he entered the competition's abstract art category in 2001.

Where the magic happens: Andy spends hours producing incredible cars in his workshop
The customiser works out of this space in Poole, Dorset

He exhibited various car-related works at a local arts centre in Poole, and dubbed his showcase the C-AR-T Exhibition.

Among Andy's diverse list of customisations is the 'Mini Ha Ha'- a Mini which he cut into three pieces and shortened by 2ft 7ins.

This mechanical masterpiece was inspired by Picasso’s Three Musicians, and is Andy's asymmetrical and abstract take on a Citroen 2CV.

The vehicle appeared on the BBC's Top Gear, and motorists could pull off a wheelie in the car when driving in reverse.

Andy’s most recent project is a restored Fiat 500 Jolly, which he built on Saturdays for respite while his mum was dying.

Andy made the 'Mini Ha Ha', which appeared on the BBC's Top Gear, by cutting a Mini into three pieces and shortening it by 2ft 7ins.

He said: "I cared for her a lot.

"I'd go into the garage and just beat out all my pent up frustration on this.

"It’s been finished three years and I have only ever been out on the road about three times in it.

This unhinged customisation was made on order from Hyundai, and was designed to show off the iPod fitted in every vehicle

"This particular car is a restoration but what I started with was the remnants of a very rusty Fiat 500 Jolly.

"So this has been fabricated to be that car.

Andy rarely takes his Fiat for a spin- with the car having a huge amount of sentimental value

"There is something about the 500 Fiat Jolly- it’s kind of beach buggy-ish (sic) but it has not got the hippy sort of connection that the beach buggy had.”

Andy is currently restoring a pre-wartime Hudson, but customisations is where his passion truly lies.

Andy whipped this Hyundai into shape after being commissioned by the manufacturer

He said: "The dedication of my life’s work to this is pleasure.

"I can’t express how exciting it is. Not so much restoration. Restoration doesn’t do it for me the same as when you are creating.

The Aurora was billed as the safest car in the world when it was built in 1957, but received brutal press reviews, however that didn't stop Andy restoring this one over a period of 12 years

"But when you are creating you cut it all up into pieces and you end up with these parts of crap everywhere- piles of rubbish.

"I can spend every single hour of my wake working because it excites me so much.”