PAUL Vella, of Velmec Automotive Service and Repairs, was thankful yesterday for the votes catapulting his business to the top of The Gympie Times' online poll of the region's favourite mechanics.
The Gympie Times asked its Facebook followers to nominate their favourite mechanic and a tally on Thursday afternoon revealed Velmec Automotive as the clear winners.
Mr Vella said the social media seal of approval meant a lot.
"There are a lot of reputable mechanics in Gympie so the fact people choose us and have faith in us means a lot," Mr Vella said.
A winning formula explained the tick of approval.
"Without giving away too many secrets, we have a good working formula and the workload is struct
ured," Mr Vella said.
Mr Vella runs the family business with his wife, Sue, in between juggling home life with children Dominic, 5, and Chloe, 3.
The couple started the business in 2001, and while Mr Vella cheekily refers to his wife as "The Boss", he credits her with "running a tight ship" in admin
Mr Vella is a ground support engineer by trade, earning his qualification with the Australian Air Force after leaving school.
After leaving the Air Force with an honourable discharge, Mr Vella took the leap of faith to start up his own family-run business.
Discipline from the Air Force factors into daily life at Velmec Automotive.
"The training from the Air Force, as well as the discipline from being in the armed forces, in a healthy combination," he said.
Mechanical servicing is a fact of life and while no one enjoys a car repair or service bill, Mr Vella said transparency was important.
Customers are able to speak with qualified technicians to understand the work carried out on their car, including new vehicle warranty servicing, while all invoices break down the expense.
"We make sure customers understand where and why their money has been spent," Mr Vella said.
When not under the hood of a car, Mr Vella enjoys speedway and playing A-grade snooker with the Gympie RSL Snooker Club.
Speedway has taken a back seat in favour of snooker in recent times due to the expenses involved in racing on Mothar Mountain, but Mr Vella thrives on the social aspect of playing a sport he learnt as a child from his father.
Velmec Automotive is located at 37 Oak St, Gympie.
The business also stays in touch with customers on Facebook and has amassed nearly 500 followers since a November online debut.
Billy Balkin: Velmec Automotive; all 3 mechs are great, as well as office staff.
Maureen Nelson: Love you Paul Vella at Velmec. You always look after me and a real gentleman. Thank you xx.
Eileen Hughes: Gympie Central Service Centre; always great service, highly recommend the boys there.
Kylee Mccabe: Paul Vella at Velmec. And I travel from bay for his awesome team.
Bill Newcombe: Gold City Steering and Suspension. Mark and the boys have excellent customer service skills and provide great advice. They go out of their way to assist and do a top quality job.
Katherine King: Peter and Ben at Gold Star Diesel. Gympie's specialist diesel technicians. Honest prices and top notch work. I wouldn't take my Hilux anywhere else.
Cherry Ryan: Doyles Garage... hubby has a 1973 Kingswood. I have a very recent sedan... looks after us every time.
Carol-Ann Males: Gympie Central whom are not central anymore, but they are awesome. Being a single mum they have never steered me wrong and have helped me and my kids as they have bought their cars.
Vainekeu Terepo Areora: Paul and Sue Vella from Velmec. All the way.
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