THE image above was the first slide in Rod Sims’ Autocare keynote presentation and depicts his father’s workshop in Lorne, Victoria, which was in front of the family home for the first 10 years of his life.
His family then moved to Geelong, where they opened another workshop, and Mr Sims would work in the parts department during school holidays, with regular trips to Repco among his duties.
Speaking exclusively with SightGlass News, Mr Sims admitted to having “no ability to fix cars” despite his upbringing and joked that even now, it falls to his wife to fix things around the house.
“I was always in the garage but I guess that I wasn’t – and I’m still not – very mechanical. I inherited a lot of things from Dad but not that,” he said.
Having done well at school, the young Mr Sims won a scholarship and went away to university. After his father died, his mother wanted him to take over the family business, but this was not a career path he wanted to follow.
“We had a heart-to-heart at a certain time and I said, ‘Thank you anyway, I appreciate that is a lovely thing to try and do but it’s not what I need’,” recalled Mr Sims.
“Dad was a motor mechanic to his bootstraps, that’s what he was. He loved cars, he used to be a rally driver and I’ve still got cups that he won driving in various rallies.”
Although Mr Sims still enjoys cars, the main legacy of his early exposure to mechanics is the fact he barracks for the Hawthorn AFL team.
“One of the mechanics in Dad’s garage was a Hawthorn supporter, so I’ve been following Hawthorn ever since,” he said.