Hugh was born into a long established motoring and engineering family. Prior to the outbreak of war in 1939 his grandfather Arthur had worked in the flourishing motor industry, for the Humber motor company among others, and then in aircraft production. After the armistice, with son Barrie, he established a garage which was to develop into much more. While establishing a good reputation as an independent Rolls Royce and Bentley specialist, in 1963 Barrie acquired the remaining physical assets of Lea-Francis and then concentrated more and more on repair and restoration of the cars we now look upon as exotic and collectable. Hugh, aged 4, can just remember the move from the Lea-Francis factory in Coventry and subsequently grew up surrounded by busy workshops and a rich variety of cars ranging from Lanchesters to Lamborghinis. Weekends were spent attending every kind of event from Silverstone race meetings to Welsh trials, usually in the formidable Bugatti 57S Atlantique which Barrie acquired in the mid '60s and with which he regularly competed.
After school Hugh was accepted as a Student Apprentice with Jaguar Cars and went on to be awarded a Master's degree in engineering. This has enabled him to enjoy a successful career helping to develop many of the vehicles that are in main dealers' showrooms today, as well as contributing to the recreation and preservation of the vintage and classic cars which remain his passion.