Richard Hammond has admitted that you can’t just wing running a business as he continues to plough money into trying to keep his classic car restoration venture afloat

The former Top Gear presenter set up The Smallest Cog in Rotherwas in 2021 and while income streams have reportedly improved, the financial difficulties of running it show no signs of slowing.


“It hasn’t made any money yet” admits Hammond, who lives in Weston-under-Penyard near Ross-on-Wye. “It’s a genuine endeavour. Qnd having sold off most of my cars to buy the kit, I’m still putting money in every month to sustain it because it turns out having a business is really difficult,” Hammond said on the Fuelling Around podcast.

“It’s a difficult one to blag, which is all I’ve ever done – blagged my way into broadcasting, into PR and into everything I’ve ever done. Business doesn’t respond in quite the same way. But I’ll make it work, I’m determined.”

The Smallest Cog was born when Neil, Anthony and Andrew Greenhouse, who had worked on Hammond's cars for years, faced the loss of their workshop and the TV presenter stepped in.


“I said: ‘Well I need you to restore my cars, I can’t just give you £100million, so let’s set up in business,” Hammond added on the award-winning motoring podcast.

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“I do love classics and I’ve sold a few I regret. I got rid of a load when I was setting this workshop up because I needed to buy a paint oven, a prep bay and all the rest of it. It came to a lot of money so I sold an old Bentley that I loved, and a 1969 Porsche 911 T, born the same year as me – I regret that."

On an earlier edition of the same podcast Hammond had revealed how his daughter Izzy destroyed her father and James May in a packed fast-food restaurant after Jeremy Clarkson cost them their Top Gear jobs: "We got to the front of the queue, put our order in, and James typically said: ‘Oh, oh, I’ll pay Hammond’ and I said ‘no, no mate, I’ll pay’ and he said ‘no, no, no I’ll pay’. And there was a pause, just when the whole restaurant had gone quiet, and Izzy said: ‘Well technically lads, I should pay as you haven’t got a job between you.”