Autotune is a small family run business specialising in all types of Sporting and Historic Cars. Established in 1969 by Anthony and Carolyn Taylor, and joined in 1999 by son Richard, the firm specialises in both the production of high quality replica sports cars, and the maintenance and preparation of Historic Racing cars. Individual marques whose cars Autotune specialise in include Jaguar and McLaren.
After many years of race car preparation and high performance road car tuning, in 1983 the company decided to become a car manufacturer in its own right and produced the Aristocat, a replica of the wonderful Jaguar XK series. This was followed in 1987 by the Gemini a small and fun two seater based on the body shape of the 1950's Elva, another model was added in 1991 with the introduction of the Can-Am M1 a replica of the 1966 McLaren M1.
Autotune has now established itself as one of the most well known and trusted Kit-Car manufacturers in the UK and examples of our cars have been exported as far a field as Kenya, Russia, New Zealand, etc.
Alongside the replica production, Autotune continue to maintain and prepare all sorts of Classic Cars and Historic Racing Cars for clients who come from all over the world. Any visit to the workshop will always find some sort of exotic being prepared for various events. The McLaren theme has led to various spares being made available to the Historic or Vintage McLaren racer, these include such items as bodywork, suspension, etc
On the 7th February, the firm was hoping to export a part of England's driving history to Russia. Rishton-based Autotune struck a deal with a group of businessman from the former Soviet Union who were hoping to tap a demand for classic British motors. The company, which specialised in helping DIY mechanics build replica Jaguars, was exporting two of its models to Moscow. The deal was set up after five businessmen walked into the company offices at Riverside Trading Estate in Hermitage Street.
Carolyn Taylor, a partner in the Company, said: "We had a fax from this company in Moscow asking for more information about what we do. "I sent them the information they were asking for and the next thing, these five Russians turned up on our doorstep." The Rishton company was turning out the do-it-yourself cars for more than 25 years but this was the first time it had traded with a former Eastern Bloc country.
Carolyn said: "These people obviously feel that there is a demand for classic cars in Russia. "While most people over there don't have a lot of money, there is obviously a small group with money to send who are interested in this sort of classic car."
Autotune made fibre glass bodies and steel chassis based on the famous Jaguar XJK.
Carolyn said: "There are so many Jaguars out there where the bodywork has rusted away but the mechanics of the cars are still in good working order. "I think the Russians hope to have a showroom of classic cars of various makes in Moscow. They have the factory space to make them up, the workforce, and they have contacted several companies like ours in England."
Lancashire Evening Telegraph, Wednesday 07 February 1996.