There was never too much doubt that Ryan Vidal would carve out a career in mechanics. His love of engines and cars had been sparked at an early age, and then firmly took hold in high school following a spell of work experience at Sinclair Ford. As Ryan notes, it had at that stage become crystal clear that working with cars was “all I wanted to do”. Each step he has since taken has been motivated by a passion for his work and an underlying ambition to run his own business. It is a career path that has its origins in western Sydney, with Ryan initially completing his apprenticeship after stints at small workshops in Kingswood and St Marys, before taking up a position at a performance workshop in Wetherill Park. Performance cars have been a long-held passion, and as Ryan told ACM, he was there for a couple of years before taking the plunge and deciding to do his own thing. Ryan has since put in the hard yards, building a name for himself in the industry, and now operates RMV Mechanical Repairs and RMV Racing. “It was always a long-term plan to have my own business,” he explained. “That’s why I put all of my money into buying tools and equipment as a young fellow. I put everything on the line, and thought I’d give it a go. I started out of my dad’s shed – I was there for around 12-14 months, and it grew from there.”
In 2012, Ryan bought a workshop in Mt Druitt, and he has since built a diverse client base, from fleet servicing to performance vehicles. In addition to luxury cars from manufacturers including Aston Martin, Ferrari, Audi and Mercedes-Benz, he said that Japanese cars, including Nissan Datsuns, Skylines and Silvias, have all made their way through his workshop. Complementing a versatile service offering, Ryan specialises in turbo-charging vehicles, along with fabrication and custom jobs, including making turbo manifolds, exhaust systems and intercooler piping, along with other one-off enhancements. “I like playing with turbo-charged vehicles, or anything high performance,” he told ACM. “Lately I’ve been doing a lot of FG Falcons, the Barra engines, and I still dive into a lot of the Japanese vehicles, the Mitsubishi Evos, or the Skylines, and I do a variety of cars. “I think the fabrication side of it is probably my strength. I recently got into fabricating CNC parts for cars. For example, I make these strut top covers for Commodores and Datsuns. I dress up the engine bay, and I get them machined out, and I sell them.”
Indulging his creative side is an important component of Ryan’s work, and a prime example of this is his work-in-progress 1989 Mazda E2000 racing van project that stretches back to his apprenticeship days. As he admits, it has gotten “a little bit out of control”, however the end results speak for themselves, and Ryan revels in his van’s capacity to turn heads. “When I was an apprentice, I actually had engine troubles with that van – that was my everyday car to get to work,” he explained. “So I put a Commodore engine in it. I took a week off work when I was a second-year apprentice and did an engine conversion. “And then, a couple of years later, I decided I wanted it to go faster, so I turbo-charged it. I did it just for a laugh at the start, and then it turned into a pretty serious car. It’s an eye-catcher, and has surprised a lot of people. That was the main reason, I just thought ‘why not?’”
Ryan highlighted the communal aspect of working on cars as a major attraction of his day-to-day operations, pointing to the shared interests he has with his clients, and the appreciation he receives once the job is done. He noted that another positive aspect of his work is that “no two days are the same”, telling ACM, “I’m just a oneman band, and I’m happy to help people as much as I can”.
As for the racing van, there’s a reason why it’s a “work-in-progress”, with Ryan again tapping into his creative side and undertaking further modifications. “I’m actually in the process of doing another engine conversion, putting a Barra engine in it,” he said. “Doing something a little bit different this time, and hopefully we can turn a few more heads than the last time.”
For more information call Ryan on (02) 9625 0009. ACM