RICHARD Hammond has revealed what made him want to get "hideously drunk whilst weeping softly" as he tried to fund his new car restoration business in Hereford.

Hammond, who used to present the BBC's Top Gear with Jeremy Clarkson and James May, has already said why wanted to open the restoration and repair business for classic cars.

Speaking when Richard Hammond's Workshop was announced by the Discovery+ channel, the presenter, who lives near Ross-on-Wye, said he always wanted to prove to his grandfather there was more to him than just driving.

Speaking to DRIVETRIBE, he said: "It's in my bones. My grandfather was a coachbuilder; he worked at Mulliners in Birmingham and thereafter at Jensen in West Bromwich.

"I've always wanted to prove to him that there's more to me than driving around the world, talking about other people's supercars, crashing them and then pretending to weld them up in a desert.

"It's also about a passion of mine to preserve crafts – my grandfather could work with wood, metal and just about anything.

"I wanted to do something real in the car industry rather than just being a commentator on the outside of it. This business is the perfect opportunity for me to do that."

But the process of opening The Smallest Cog in Rotherwas has not been straight forward for Hammond, having to auction cars to pay for the business, which opened in August.

He needed to buy specialist equipment for the workshop, a venture he embarked on with father and son Neil and Anthony Greenhouse from Tram Inn, near Allensmore. Together, the Greenhouses have been working on cars for 30 years.

But Hammond revealed in a DriveTribe video that he needed around £100,000 to get The Smallest Cog open in Hereford – and selling some of his treasured cars and bikes made him want to get "hideously drunk while weeping softly".

Sold off at The Classic Sale by Silverstone Auctions on August 1, the line-up of vehicles included a 1969 Porsche 911T, a 1999 Lotus Esprit Sport and a 1927 Sunbeam Model 2.

And when it came to motorcycles, there was a 1932 Velocette KSS MK1 and a 1977 Moto Guzzi Le Mans among others. All of Hammond's vehicles were sold without reserve, with the presenter, of Weston-under-Penyard saying after the auction that he wouldn't have let some go for the price.

"The deed is done, I have betrayed my beloved treasured posessions and cast them aside for money," said Hammond.

"It didn't go badly, none of them really ran away. The Porsche did okay, solid, the Lotus did well.

"Disappointed in the two vintage bikes, the KSS and the Sunbeam. I wouldn't, by choice, have let them go for that, definitely.

"But the overall bundle of vehicles, what they've done – their noble sacrifice – has raised enough for me to go shopping."

He added: "I'm now going to become hideously drunk whilst weeping softly about all the empty bays in my garage – it's horrible.

"I wouldn't be saying this if you've been watching TV show about this, and I've been very stoic and brave, because you know for a broader bunch of people I wouldn't expect them to appreciate what it means.

"I've got lots of cars, so I've sold some and I've got some left.

"But you know where my heart is, you know that each of those was something that I was connected with.

"The Sunbeam was the first ever vintage vehicle I owned. The Z900 was my 40th birthday present, the Norton my 50th.

"They were all really important to me, but I'll live without them.

"And actually, it's not just a line for telly, it's true: I'm indulging my passion for classic cars and bikes, but in a different way.

"In that instance, not by owning the classic cars and bikes themselves, but by owning the means, the wherewithal, the machinery, to restore others to a beautiful state.

"It's just as exciting and I will be every bit as thrilled the first day I open the door to the workshop and there's all that fabulous array of top-flight, top-end kit to do good work with. It will have all been worth it."