It all started when I was only 6 months old.
My father was at the time a surgeon in the main Hospital in South End on Sea. He got a job as a surgeon in Tripoli, Libya (then the Jewel of North Africa). We are Coptic Egyptians so dad grew up in Egypt and so Arabic was his native tongue, the same language used in Libya. Even on a consultant surgeon's salary in the early 80's, it was impossible for us to afford to fly our whole family with our worldly possessions to North Africa. So one day, on a walk down the beach in South End, shortly after i was born, dad found a Volkswagen T2 Bay window for sale! It was literally an answer to his prayers. He bought it for £1000 in 1980. Then dad kitted it out with a custom made full length roof rack and the necessary mechanical repairs to make the voyage to North Africa a reality. Dad then drove mum, my gran, my sister and myself all the way to Tripoli and back to South end several times, with all our worldly possessions strapped to the roof rack, via a car ferry from Genoa in Italy to Tunis. From Tunis, the capital of Tunisia we drove south and then East onto Tripoli the capital of Libya.
This was the beginning of my life long love affair with Volkswagens, specifically my father's Volkswagen, a Type 2 Campervan called "AZIZA", (Aziza in Arabic means dearest one or most beloved). This love eventually lead me to Jacks Garage in 2007. My older sister inherited our parents love of medicine and is now a consultant paediatrician, like our mother.
Jacks Garage was established in the early 90's by a Kiwi gent call Grant. He and his wife decided to move back to New Zealand as their children were growing fast and they both felt New Zealand was by far a better place to be for their children's future. And so in June of 2007 I purchased the business from Grant the Kiwi. I kept on as many staff as possible, one of whom is now the general manager of the entire operation, Vaidas, like "the Maidas touch" Vaidas has his own unique touch with all Volkswagens alike.
Fast forward 10 years, while we were preparing a celebration for our first decade as a team, in June 2017 we had to cancel the festivities, out of the respect for those who sadly perished in the Grenfell Tower Fire tragedy. The Times wrote an article about us, how we as a small business with such proximity to the Tower were affected by the profound and unexpected fallout.
Electric vehicles and the conversion of classic Volkswagens into EVs (electric vehicles) thus future proofing these iconic vehicles has been a passion of mine for sometime. And so in early 2019 we finally managed to convert my first beetle Pugsley into an electric vehicle. This led me to eClassics in Stuttgart Germany who has been commissioned by Volkswagen themselves to build en EV conversion kit, utilising Volkswagens very latest EV components, direct from Volkswagen Group Components. After establishing a relationship with the wonderful people at eClassics Germany, we are now very proud and honoured to be the UK distributors of their EV conversion kits for Classic VW's. Sky news very kindly wrote an article about this newly formed relationship.
Since then there has been several publications and website who have written articles about our electric progress, some our posted on our home page, and here are a few more: Auto car December 19, Auto car February 2020, CAT Automotive Industry magazine.
......to be continued..........