The Mazda MX-5 Club of Qld. is fortunate to have three Corporate Sponsors.
Please support them whenever you have the opportunity.
Our current Corporate Sponsors are:
Grand Prix Mazda in Aspley & Caboolture
Automotive Plus (Formerly MX-5 Plus) in Aspley
Bridgestone Select (multiple locations)
Here are some testimonials by Club members who have utilized their services.
Testimonials for Grand Prix Mazda:
“This is an unsolicited testimonial about my experience with the Mazda Car Company. I just purchased my 48th car. Some of you may think I’d be mad, and you may well be right, but I’ve had cars ‘in the blood’ for my whole life.
Whilst not primarily involved in any form of car racing or family automotive heritage, vehicles just seemed to be part of my DNA. You might say, I’ve had ‘cars on the brain’ forever. I grew up in Sydney, and at the tender age of 13 drove my first car. I was hooked. I’d owned two cars before I’d even gotten my license at the tender age of 17. Throughout my youth, there was a constant stream of vehicles, including five (5) motorcycles. I had a few accidents and wrote the odd car off here and there, as young blokes do. By the age of 21, I’d had a fair assortment of vehicles including Ford, Holden, Leyland, Triumph, Morris, Datsun, Vanguard, Hillman, and a few more to boot. As I grew up, one make of vehicle escaped my clutches but did not escape my attention. A few of my friends owned and drove Mazdas. They were superb vehicles with great resale and a heap of creature comforts built in to each model, but unfortunately, the higher cost of owning one remained the sole reason for their non-inclusion to the evergrowing list of motor vehicles I’d owned. I followed V8 Supercar racing from an early age and had become a Ford stalwart. In later life, I purchased a late model AU Falcon. It was one of the nicest vehicles I’d purchased to date. When the new Model BA arrived in 2002, I traded my AU in on a brand new ‘Red’ SR Falcon, worth about 40,000 bucks. Whilst it still remains one of the best driving cars I’ve ever owned, the cost of running it was high, and I looked toward a smaller 4-cylinder car that could offer the same degree of comfort, yet run on the smell of an oily rag. I did my homework and discovered that the Mazda 3 SP23 fit the bill perfectly. Finally, at the age of 50, I would own a Mazda.
I visited Grand Prix Mazda in Caboolture and was offered the highest trade-in deal on my two-year-old ‘Red’ Falcon, and I drove away in my SP23. I had lost a lot of money on my Ford and for that reason, cannot ever see myself owning another Ford in my lifetime. The SP23 turned out to be a super buy. It was responsive, very comfortable, cheap to run, and above all, reliable. I had heard it before, and now I knew that when people say that Mazdas are over-engineered, they are quite correct.
Two years of exquisite motoring later, my kids had all grown up and had cars of their own (two of the three kids bought Mazdas from Grand Prix), so my wife, Liz, and I were free to pursue our dreams. I’m not sure about the wife, but to me, that meant buying a 2-door sports car, like the MX-5. I trotted down to Grand Prix Mazda again and told them I needed a ‘Red’ MX-5 Roadster. They obliged, and my new car arrived in March of 2008. I traded my SP23 after the two years and got a top trade for it, as well.
My ‘Red’ MX-5 was the beginning of a whole new ‘social life’, after we joined the Mazda MX-5 Club of Queensland. We’ve had the great privilege of sharing a year of great times with some of the nicest people on the planet and travelled some of the most scenic roads in Queensland, New South Wales, and Melbourne (travelled the Great Ocean Road last year). 2009 is the Anniversary year of the MX-5, and the new model will remain current for three years, so bearing that in mind, I headed back down to Grand Prix Mazda at Caboolture and ordered my 8th Mazda from them in the past three years. I have to say that I’ve been completely happy with the sales, service, and level of professional service that I’ve received from them, and Jake Camilleri has looked after my needs with my current purchase. It’s nice to find a company who looks after their customers, when so many are just happy to get your chequebook and show you the door. When I’m looking for a replacement for ‘Number 48’, I’ll be going back there, that’s for sure!! ”
Testimonials for MX-5 Plus:
“I have used MX-5 Plus recently, as I was chasing a power window switch assembly for an ’89 NA. Although only open Saturdays, I found a quick response to email, and Richard Larsen has an extensive knowledge of the MX-5 model range. I would recommend them to anyone looking for MX-5 parts.”
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“Since my old mechanic retired and closed his business 4 or 5 years ago, I’ve never been happy taking my car to anyone else, and so have maintained all my cars in that time, myself. I have known Danny Irvine for a couple of years through the MX-5 Club, and when I heard that he was starting up the vehicle servicing arm of MX-5 Plus, I decided to give them a try. I’m a very fussy car owner, and I know that Danny is, too, and so I considered that something he would put his name to would be of a high standard. Having now done so on two occasions, I am very happy with the work that they have done and the friendly and professional service I have received. I expected that Danny’s guys would work to a high standard, take good care of the car, and attend to all the little things which most mechanics don’t care about, and they do. Unlike some workshops, they don’t book many cars to be in the workshop at once, so the mechanics aren’t pressured to complete a job within a strict timeframe – they can take their time and give your car the attention it should receive. I would recommend MX-5 Plus to anyone. They also service other makes and models, so if, like me, your sister’s Honda Civic needs a service, send her their way too!.”
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“Having been burnt somewhat by poor advice on dealing with the dying engine of my NA, I sought out Richard Larsen and found that he provided unbiased and accurate options for me to consider without any expectation that I would utilise his services for the work. When the time came to bite the bullet and swap out the motor, I happily committed to Danny Irvine and his team and have not been disappointed with the 1.8 conversion–at last a car that is a joy to drive! Throughout the process, I received great advice and the follow-up attention to the inevitable minor niggles has been first class. I would not hesitate to recommend MX-5 Plus to perform conversions such as mine and any servicing that your MX-5 may require.”
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“I’d like to add my voice to those of other members who have praised Danny Irvine’s MX-5 Plus service. Although I try to do all my own work whenever possible, I took my 1992 NA model to Danny recently because of a rear main seal oil leak.
Even from the first phone conversation, it was clear that this was no ‘assembly line’ operation. On the day, Danny, Rob, and Alan were just fantastic at treating the car as if it was their own. As well as allowing me to watch and ask questions at every turn, they involved me in all the various decisions along the way. It turned out to be less obvious than a simple oil seal leak, so they took the time needed to do plenty of extra checking – and they know these cars so well that they know what to look for. It was just as well we did the job, though, as the clutch was not in good shape . . .
Full marks to MX-5 Plus, and I’ll be going back to them, without question, if anything else needs doing .”
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“I needed to have some Whiteline sway bars and new front brake pads supplied and fitted for our NC MX-5. It was all done under the one roof at MX-5 Plus Service at the most competitive price.
Danny rounded up all the components required in advance. Rhys, the mechanic, did the fitting and was out to road test the finished product in no time at all. Danny and Rhys gave superb personal service and were only too happy to explain things as required as the job went along.
I had also been trying to figure out the best way to mount a fire extinguisher in the car without drilling holes anywhere. Danny to the rescue again. A solid mounting bar was fabricated to use the seat rail mounting points. Danny sourced a suitable CAMS approved extinguisher and bolted it to the bar – no holes needed in the car. A perfect solution, professionally prepared.
The drive home with the new sway bars and brake pads was very rewarding. I managed to find an extra 30 km or so for the route home, grinning from ear to ear and very happy with my decision to take the car to MX-5 Plus Service. Danny called just after I arrived home to ask how it went and to check all was OK – now how’s that?”
Call Damien Meneguzzo 0421 489 923
for the personal touch from a track enthusiast
Bridgestone SELECT Centenary
72 Sumners Rd.
Sumner Park 4074
Bridgestone SELECT Springfield
Unit 4 /10 – 22 Commercial Drive
Bridgestone SELECT Enoggera
109 Pickering St.
Bridgestone Select’s Damien Meneguzzo:
“I don’t pay to go racing anymore.”
Damien grew up in the world of Australian car racing. His father and some friends re-worked the BMW featured at the end of the article and Damien followed them from track to track around the East Coast, learning about maintenance, racing skills and the financial black hole that is part of the racing scene. He was fascinated by the preparation, the tension and the adrenalin rush that each race brought.
Damien himself, like the top names in Supercar Racing, began in Go-Karts on the circuits of South-East Queensland. According to the report in the suburban paper, the “Westside News”, Damien had his first win at 16 and the publicity changed both his, his friends’ and his teachers’ (he was still in Year 10) attitude to his real ability. Because his birthday is in January, Damien was able to qualify for his CAMS licence at the same age – again, like the Supercar specialists, before he was allowed to drive on the State’s roads.
With the racing background, it made sense to Damien to train as a mechanic when he left school but the real turning-point came when he had to make the decision a few years later: a career on the Australian Racing circuits or a career in the motor trade? He opted to blend for as long as possible and entered the world of Aussie Racing as a team member racing a Ford coupé. Those two years, 2004 and 2005 matched his introduction to the business world as he was offered – and immediately accepted – a partnership with his former employer. He took over and re-built Bridgestone Select Centenary in Sumner Park.
All this and he was still only 21.
Damien built the business on a single formula: “Focus on customer service like you’d focus on winning races”. Repeat business, word-of-mouth and any feedback at all are the building-block for Damien’s business success.
And there’s no doubt that he is successful. From one site with a couple of support staff, Damien now manages three, at Centenary, Springfield and Enoggera with a current staff of over 25, a full-time business manager and a record of continuing expansion in his customer base.
Damien moved into the MX-5 racing world through his contacts with GP Cars John Kirk. John was in the process of preparing a race-ready MX-5 built around an NA and Damien took up his offer to drive on the SE Queensland circuits for John. That meant that Damien did not have to get into the world of happy sponsors, of hiring mechanical back-up crew or any of the other problems that a team manager has. He stepped into the car and, as this issue’s front cover shows, made it go very quickly. Damien still refers to this MX-5 experience as his “fun driving” opportunities as the pressures of an expanding business take him away from the circuits he grew up with.
Just in passing, Damien describes the 100% commitment that winning drivers make as: “…one percent talent”. The other 99% is taken up with preparation, persistence and pit support. Talent is what wins you the race but only once you and your car are out on the track.