Car-centered TV shows aren’t uncommon these days, but very few feature skillful customizations while combining them with the art of restoring classic autos such as “Gobling Works Garage” does. By bringing modernity and vintage together, the garage’s staff has defied the concepts known so far in the automotive industry, in an innovative way.
To make all this possible, “Goblin Works Garage” has some of the best people in their field, including builder and designer Helen Stanley. Nonetheless, as much as we enjoy her work on screen and her creative-oriented mind, it’s no secret that a huge part of the audience is curious about Helen’s life when the cameras are off, including details about her personal endeavors, other professional outlets, and current whereabouts.
So who is Helen Stanley, and what happened to her? Stay here to know all about this memorable “Goblin Works Garage” star!
Where Is Helen Now?
Although it’s been a while since “Goblin Works Garage” premiered new episodes, that doesn’t mean Helen Stanley has stopped doing her own thing.
Nowadays, she’s quite busy with several projects, including her artistic endeavors, a paranormal-themed podcast, and her Hel’s Car Cult, which features automotive projects by petrol-heads in an inclusive way, paying special attention to women in the industry. That being said, Helen’s presence online is quite extensive, as besides her popular website and online shop Helen Stanley Official, she’s gained a huge following both on Instagram and Facebook, accumulating almost 100,000 followers to date.
Other than that, Helen and her “Goblin Works Garage” co-stars often attend car-related shows, such as the yearly Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) exhibitions, and are featured by automotive culture-centered platforms such as Meguiars UK and Fast Cars on YouTube. All in all, projects never cease coming Helen’s way, whether on TV or not.
Current Automotive Projects
When Helen Stanley isn’t building amazing cars on TV, she’s busy creating her own automotive-related platforms. One of those projects is Hel’s Car Cult, which started in 2022 with the purpose of entertaining petrol-heads alike and promoting interesting automotive projects.
Although Hel’s Car Cult’s official YouTube channel shared a couple of videos, the project’s primary audience took off in the form of a podcast and an Instagram account. In the latter, Helen promotes her taste in automotive projects with an inclusive focus, while in the former, she and “Goblin Works Garage” co-star Anthony Partridge talk about everything automotive, including petrol-head culture, and the impact of car-related events in pop culture and history.
This isn’t Helen’s first time starting an independent project in the automotive industry, though. In 2014, she launched the customizing shop Skull and Pistons Garage, which specialized in bringing classic cars back to life by putting special emphasis into details and quality.
Excited to see the incredibly cool Helen Stanley wearing a Delicious California Sweatshirt. 100% recycled, Straight to Hell in a fast Car”. Watch Helen’s brilliant show Goblin Works Garage on Quest & Quest OD.
Thankyou @helen_s_stanley for your loving what we do! #ecofashion pic.twitter.com/AvEFOLQsVj
— Delicious California (@DCalifornia1) September 6, 2019
The business was started back in the US, but moved its headquarters to the UK in 2018. Though Helen is no longer affiliated with it, the project served her well in making a name for herself in the British automotive industry back in the day.
Helen Stanley’s creative skills extend well beyond cars. While on her website she lists costume design and pattern creation as some of her talents, it’s evident that painting and drawing are her main activities when she isn’t working on cars.
As seen on her website Helen Stanley Official, a vast repertoire of original illustrations is for sale. Her art can be described as a mix of pop art with postmodern elements, often portraying her interests such as cars, animals, and fashion, in colored and vibrant ways.
Although it’s unclear how long Helen has been creating and selling her artwork, in a 2018 interview with Moss Europe she admitted that she’s always been interested in design, art, and architecture, putting all those influences together in an aesthetic way in all her varied works.
While the first things which come to our minds with Helen Stanley are her love for design and the automotive industry, she’s a huge fan of paranormal themes and everything mystery-related. That’s why it doesn’t come as a surprise to see her hosting her podcast “Cars of the Macabre”, which focuses on events considered out-of-the-normal and unexplainable, as well as on visiting abandoned places, investigating urban legends, true crime events, and even revisiting some of the most memorable car-related facts in popular culture.
Helen’s love for mystery doesn’t come out of nowhere though, as it’s something she’s been interested in for a long time: ‘I like the paranormal, I like ghost stories, and like abandoned buildings and things like that’, she told the website Detour and Roadtrips, during an interview in which she admitted to combining her hobby of investigating abandoned places with her friends with her love for the road: ‘that’s what I think about when I think about road trips. It’s not just the car, not just the road. It’s everything that makes the road trip’, she said.
Nonetheless, Helen not only takes her enjoyment of paranormal themes seriously to the point of creating a podcast around it, but also to studying Parapsychology in recent times.
While Helen Stanley’s professional accomplishments are quite vast, she’s been going through some difficult personal times recently. In late 2022, Helen’s 10-year-old dog named Molly felt sick due to poisoning, which added to the fact she was previously diagnosed with a controllable heart tumor, put Molly’s life at severe risk.
Although the initial treatment was paid entirely by Helen, the worsening state of Molly’s health resulted in a huge bill, which unfortunately the car builder couldn’t afford on her own.
The urgent need for money led Helen to start an online funding campaign, which was meant to buy Molly’s treatment and save the life of who she described as her ‘best friend’: ‘I suffer with severe depression and anxiety, Molly is my constant emotional support and has saved my life over and over again. She is a very special little dog’, she wrote on Instagram.
Though some of her followers feared that her account was taken over by someone else, who had faked Molly’s illness for money, Helen later took to Instagram to assure her followers that the campaign was indeed real. By January 2023, Helen updated her followers about Molly’s health, that it had improved, and thanked everyone for their donations.
How Did Helen Get In The Show?
Sometimes opportunities come when we aren’t looking for them, and that’s exactly the case for Helen Stanley and the story of how she got into “Goblin Works Garage”. In 2018, the show’s producers wanted to create a reality show from zero, but with a concept so original that it wouldn’t look similar to any other automotive-centered series already created.
In their search for people who would fit that concept, they found Helen, who at the time had recently moved her business Skull and Pistons Garage from the US to the UK. After finding her shop online and evaluating what it was all about, producers thought Helen was perfect for what was to come: ‘that was the car they would do, that was the kind of customization they wanted to do, that was where they were headed’, she told Moss Europe 2018.
Before being cast in the show, Helen was already acquainted with Jimmy DeVille for his work in automotive, and met Anthony Partridge during her meetings with “Goblin Works Garage” producers. In the end, she and the rest of the cast fitted very well together, and that’s how she found her way into the show.
How Did “Goblin Works Garage” Come To Be?
It isn’t rare to find car-centered TV shows these days, but “Goblin Works Garage” producers wanted their show to be unique and something that people hadn’t seen before. That’s how the initial idea for the show came to be in 2018, but there were still lots of things which needed to be put together to take the project to the starting line.
According to the show’s director Benjamin Hirsch, their goal with the project was to create something which could encompass creativeness and technical excellence to an impressive level: ‘Our aim from the outset was to make something unique, a mantra that ran right through the production, from the vehicles to the production techniques’. he told Broadcast Now in 2018.
The Goblins are BACK! 🏍Brand new Goblin Works Garage starts tonight at 9pm on Quest.Helen Stanley Jimmy de Ville
Posted by Quest on Thursday, January 2, 2020
The first step was finding a location which allowed the cast to work in a spacious environment, then it was the time to find people who would fit right into the show’s concept. The first one cast was Jimmy de Ville, famous for appearing in other car-centric TV shows. He was followed by Ant Partridge, who was found by the producers by chance, as he was looking for new professional adventures after selling his previous automotive business.
The last one cast was Helen Stanley, who had already made a name for herself with her work at Skull and Pistons Garage. All of them joined together to form what we nowadays know as “Goblin Works Garage”.
Other TV Projects
Although “Goblin Works Garage” is the show which launched Helen Stanley to fame, she has appeared in other TV projects just as impressive. Besides appearing in the spin-off “Goblin Works Mod Shop”, Helen has hosted several automotive shows, such as “World’s Greatest Cars” and “I’m Not Driving That: With Ali-A”.
Nonetheless, her most prominent side-show to date is definitely “Motor Pickers”, which premiered in 2020, and has Helen giving people a hand in their search for their dream car. Along with co-star Paul Cowland, Helen introduces buyers to several cars and helps them experience what it’s like to be behind the wheel, before finally choosing the right car for them.
While the final choice is always a battle between the brain and the heart of the buyers, it’s also an exciting experience for Helen, who admittedly found a thrill in using her extensive knowledge about cars to help others, and push them to discover their inner petrol-head: ‘we hope that by the time they leave us that we’ve helped them, and that the car they end up with gives them a bit more passion’, she told Take To The Road in 2020.
Although “Motor Pickers” hasn’t been renewed since its second season wrapped up in 2021, it gave its audience lots of good automotive moments for as long as it lasted.
What Happened To Her BMW?
Those following Helen Stanley in “Goblin Works Garage” surely know what her BMW E30 looks like, as the customization of this car took place during the show’s first season. Although Helen’s co-hosts weren’t as ecstatic about restoring this car, she was quite enamored with it, despite it not being in great condition.
Although it might seem that Helen’s attachment to this car was a thing of the moment, the truth is that she had a long-lasting love of BMWs which came from her teens, when her father bought an E36 and let her drive it as a practice for her driving license, not realizing his daughter would never forget how fast and amazing the car was upon her first try: ‘I fell in love there and then, and from that day on I’ve always said I would love to have a BMW one day’, she told Hagerty in 2022.
In 2019, Helen saw an E30 on an online auction and brought it to “Goblin Works Garage”. While her co-stars couldn’t see its potential at first, the long hours it took in restoring, modifying, and redesigning it made it all worth it in the end. Late in 2022, Helen switched the E30’s color from gray to a colorful pop-styled aquamarine, and it looks as amazing as ever.
Helen’s Lost Car
There’s always a car which marks people in some way or another and it’s no different for Helen Stanley. While the first cars she ever drove were a Ford Fiesta and her father’s BMW E36, there is another car that Helen still regrets saying goodbye to.
That is what happened to her Ford Sierra XR4i, or as she nicknamed it “Sid the Sierra”, for having ‘much personality’, according to Helen. She bought Sid in 2015, and despite envisioning its sale for her then-business Skull and Pistons Garage, she quickly became attached to it: ‘it made me feel special when I drove it. I am such a boy racer and it was a boy racer car without having to do anything to it’, she told Hagerty in December 2022.
After restoring and bringing out the best of it, Helen sold Sid the Sierra for almost double the money she had bought it for. However, not even the profit made it easier for her to say goodbye.
So far, another Ford Sierra XR4i hasn’t found its way to Helen, but she’s always on the look-out for one. It’s these kinds of stories which make Helen’s journey as a petrol-head more relatable, and explains very well why she’s so well-liked by her audience and fans.