Sunday, December 19, 2010

Darlinghurst: Retailers: Flash Auto Repairs

I've written before about how I used to live on lovely little Hardie Street, next door to Flash Auto Repairs. Well, while living there, I couldn't help but befriend the owner, Peter, who I would see practically every day as I went to and from my home. 
Flash, as I liked to secretly call him, has been operating out of this workshop for the past 14 years, but the building has been a motor garage since 1903.

This is a 1926 photograph, which Flash has framed and hung on one of the walls of his workshop, and shows the Savoy Motor Garage with a gleaming convoy of cars out front. The wall on the right is painted with the words Swans Savoy Garage Cars For Hire. I suspect the man in the picture is the mechanic Swan or Savoy.

The man's son was walking down Hardie Street one day and popped in to say hello to Flash and then later sent him the picture of his father's workshop. 
As you can see, the exterior of the building hasn't changed, except for the signage, but the neighbouring apartment block I used to live in, has yet to be built. I imagine the 1920s interior was much the same as it is today:

Only the models of the cars would be quite different. Flash is quite the specialised mechanic and has a large following of Australian and American Chrysler owners who turn to him for repairs, services and other work. But walk by his workshop any day of the week and you are bound to see many rare and valuable vintage cars waiting in line for his close attention. 

Peter is on the right and his French workshop manager, Michel, is on the left.

When I went by on Friday, this sexy aqua Corvette was in the workshop. It was a left-hand drive, so perhaps Flash is going to move the steering wheel across to meet Australian standards. Although apparently, if the car is of a certain vintage, you can apply for a permit to keep the left-hand drive in place.
But Flash isn't a car snob and is always willing to give my little Japanese vehicle its regular service and registration check. And he is so accommodating and happy to squeeze my car in, even when he is obviously busy. Just from living next door, I know that he works long hours and is dedicated to his job.

I spotted an espresso coffee machine in the corner of the workshop, so maybe he has lots of caffeine hits to keep going, but I really suspect it's because he is still passionate about cars.

His workshop is also a photographer's delight with all the kind of curios and adornments you would expect from a mechanic. 

The customary girly calendar is on the right.

But he also has this cute Dunlop tyre ashtray:

And these lovely vintage, pin-up girl auto repair pictures:

Flash Auto
42 Hardie Street
Darlinghurst NSW 2010
02 9331 3633


Anonymous said...

Flash is a Dear Boy~

John said...

I used to live in Hardie St, and used to take my car for servicing there. Peter is a great guy, but used to shake his head at my crap Corolla. Unfortunately I used to see a lot of Peter, as the car kept on breaking down.