Once upon a time there were three mechanics, each with their own business: Peter Bainbridge and Vince Ishvarlal in Blockhouse Bay, and Dave Connelly in Lynfield. For decades these three guys dominated the car servicing market in the area with the usual friendly rivalry, and each had built up their own loyal client base.
When Peter Bainbridge packed up his tools for good, he chose to pass on the legacy of the business he had bought from his father Harry, to two ‘new boys’: Tyrone Van Graan and Ryan Shaw. Tyrone had previously bought the Lynfield business off Dave, and then teamed with his former apprentice Ryan to buy Bainbridge Automotive when Peter decided he’d rather be fishing. Ryan became the face of Bay Auto Service Centre as it became known.
Now the new boys Tyrone and Ryan are going for the trifecta, with Vince Ishvarlal handing over the keys to his workshop next to Caltex at the Blockhouse Bay roundabout to the pair. Vince had built up the business over several decades and sold in 2014, retaining ownership of the land and buildings. Recently finding himself without a tenant in the workshop, Vince offered Ryan and Tyrone first dibs.
For the boys this meant starting from scratch to rebuild the business, but with a good reputation already, they were up for the challenge. They decided to open Bay Auto Service Centre, an express service centre, for quick jobs like wheel alignments, tyres, brakes, annual services, and WOFs, offering a fast in and out service for busy people. They also operate a Marshall Batteries franchise, one of only a handful in Auckland.
“Most folks will drop their car off and have a wander around the village or have a coffee”, says Ryan, who will be running the new business. “But we also offer a pick-up/drop-off service because not everyone has time to wait while their car is serviced, and of course we have courtesy cars as well”. Customers can also drop off at the Bay Auto Repairs site (behind the Block café) which has ample parking and is easier to access.
After several decades, the three formerly rival businesses are now united under one team. Ryan will be heading up the new express business, with Tyrone moving to Bay Automotive to look after things there, and Lynfield Automotive will be in the capable hands of Jody Dyers.
You can’t rush these things, but it looks like the ‘new boys’ are set to become the new ‘old boys’. Let’s give it a few years, though.