I don’t know everything about cars, but I know enough to know when my blinker fluid is low. In a world where everyone is trying to get an easy buck, its hard to find a good mechanic.
There are literally 1.7 billion mechanic shops in the world. Of that 1.7 billion 9.7 trillion are “race car” shops.
It has almost become a cliche to open a shop, rip people off, close up shop, and go to work in an office never to be heard from again.
Personally I have had HORRIBLE experiences with shops that deal with modified cars, in some cases coming to fisticuffs.
After retiring Jack Johnson and Tom O’Leary, I soon learned what shops to use for specific services to limit my stress. The few shops I frequent have become more friends than business relationships and I had no need to find anyone else.
Until recently. One of the shops I use for alignments was unavailable so I searched for help.
This brings me to Collins Boeteng, owner of Vanku Motorsports.
Right away I could see that this place was different, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Then it hit me. Collins is black!
With roots in Ghana, I think it’s safe to say he is the only black owner of a shop of this nature in the area. Educated in Maryland at Howard University he relocated to Philadelphia to start his own business.
With a handful of relatively young but knowledgeable employees Vanku and Collins have lasted past the benchmark for average failure, over two years, propelled by ambition and enthusiasm (as well as a few street sessions).
The extremely friendly/non-pretentious staff and a wide range of cars impressed me and I felt at home. For me it is not the most knowledgeable staff, the most state of the art facility, or the popularity of a place that puts me at ease.
It is eye contact and a smile. A firm handshake. Respect and honesty. I had extensive conversations with each employee as well as a few customers that happened to be there simultaneously. Subsequently I did not feel as though my car was in danger of being set on fire, painted with truck bed-liner, or scavaged for parts (which are just a few of real situations I have dealt with in the past).
This may not be the mecca for modified cars, but it is a breath of fresh air in an already over saturated industry.
Collins expressed an interest in updating his logo, so I offered my services. The result modeled here on Collins sweet E28 that he promised to sell me for the low.
Good luck to Vanku in the future, and thanks for the service!