In a small workshop in Thebarton, customers from all over bring their pride and joy to be upgraded and serviced by Paul Pavlou Motors.
They’ve been prominent in the South Australian high performance and tuning scene for 50 years and have recently reached a 20 year membership milestone with the MTA.
“Gee, 20 years! It’s gone by quick”, said Helen Rentis, daughter of the late Paul Pavlou, founder of the business.
Steve Pavlou said, “Paul, my dad, started the business back in 1971.”
“He was a real General Motors man, knowledgeable and just an easy going guy.”
(Paul Pavlou – Centre)
Helen said, “He knew so many people. We were all surprised at his funeral in 1994 when the church overflowed with attendees.”
“He just loved what he did and everyone knew him.”
Fast forward to 2021, Steve says that Paul Pavlou Motors is still going strong with a loyal client base.
Steve said, “The business moved from Ridleyton to Thebarton about 10 years ago and I’ve been an automotive enthusiast since a kid - I grew up around racing.”
Helen laughed saying, “I just started helping out back in the day and I’m still here! I love it.”
Steve said, “We do everything from early muscle cars up to modern spec vehicles, mainly GM. We’re also a Wilkinshaw agent, so we do HSV and any GM enhanced vehicles.”
2020 and COVID didn’t slow the business down. Steve reflected on the challenges of last year saying, “It wasn’t actually a problem for us.”
Helen added, “We found that people who had muscle cars suddenly had money to spend and it was time to get them out of the garage.”
Steve continued, “Just about every day we get a standout car roll in the workshop. You can’t pick the best one we’ve ever had because each client’s car is unique. Special.”
"I spend most of my time in the dyno area, that's where my passion is."
“I can’t see that people will stop loving the classics and I can’t see huge changes to our business in the next 10 years. While electric vehicles and such may have a bigger influence in the industry in years to come, the classics will always be around to enjoy and they’ll always need servicing.”
The brother and sister duo now lead the Paul Pavlou Motors team, along with Steve's wife Gina, with Helen saying, “We’re pretty harmonious working together.”
(Helen Rentis and Steve Pavlou)
Steve added, “The team consists of Helen, myself, Michael, Sean, Harry and Gina.”
“We all specialise in something, whether it be engines, tuning, fabrication or keeping the business running.”
From the moment you walk into Paul Pavlou Motors to the moment you leave, you can tell that this business is based on a combined passion for the industry and a family legacy being continued.