GIANT dogs and sports cars do not usually mix – but Andrew Smith’s four rescued Great Danes are providing a boost to his motor restoration business.

His supersize canine friends are a big influence in his life so he has named his company 4 Danes after them.

The business is based in Liverton Mines, near Redcar, and restores forgotten and neglected motoring treasures to showroom condition.

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He said: “I’ve always worked on classic cars – I started with my dad Harald when I was just four years old.

“When I was out of work and decided to turn my hobby into a business, I got some great advice from Redcar and Cleveland Enterprise Team.

“They put me in touch with mentors on marketing, a website and finance – I wouldn’t be in business without them.”

But Duke, Mhia, Soma and Lily have played more than just a role in Mr Smith’s business – as far as he and his partner Sue Street are concerned, they are also the hounds of love.

“When I was single and living on my own, I decided to adopt a dog, and I got in touch with Sue because she rescued Great Danes,”

he said.

Sue came along to carry out an assessment on Andrew as a potential dog owner – and the two fell for each other.

Three of Andrew and Sue’s dogs – Duke, Mhia and Soma – are deaf, while Lily can hear.

The 4 Danes website is currently under construction.