Master Vehicle Technician, Matt Smith
Years in industry: 22
What did you want to be when you grew up: Believe it or not, a mechanic!
Day in the Life of… Master Vehicle Technician, Matt Smith
The current situation hasn’t helped with getting home on time, but customer safety is priority. We’ve tried to support local businesses with our Covid compliancy – including Exeter Gin’s great alcohol hand sanitiser – and offer contactless handover for more vulnerable customers or, in extreme cases, even holding vehicles for 72 hours before handing back.
The type of work has changed from our usual proactive approach to a more reactive setting, due to increased demand, MOT extensions coming to an end and our customers placing greater importance and dependence on their vehicles.
Keeping our customers wheels turning has been the most rewarding outcome. We’ve squeezed so many little fixes in amongst our already bulging diary to keep people moving, and each and every one of them thank us with their return custom – some even sticking with VW group vehicles as they like our service that much. That’s what makes it all worthwhile.
Away from the garage I compete in the British Drift Championship – the art of driving sideways – held all over the country from Driftland in Fife, to Three sisters in Wigan. Buxton is the next event on the calendar and approx. 1500ft above sea level, so I’ll be packing my thermals!
I also compete in the Retro Drift Championship which we support where we can with sponsorship. Most of the RDC crew are Welsh and have suffered with many more stringent Covid restrictions so unfortunately there has only been one round this year. I wish them all the best and hope to get out with them more next year.
Some people ask me – ‘why don’t you compete in a VW being a VW specialist?!’ VW were the early pioneers of the front-wheel-drive performance car. A very efficient use of space and economical to build, but rear-wheel-drive is required to drift.
It’s a very fine balance between work, family time and drifting. Volkscraft has been such a large part of my life for the last 12+ years that even Siri thought it was my home address for a while! Without a hobby like drifting I think I’d probably have gone mad by now. As much as I love my work, sometimes it just takes a weekend on the track to reignite my enthusiasm.
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