by Ben Selby
We all love cars, right? It doesn’t matter whether we are the proud owner of a million-horsepower carbon fibre supercar, or a stripped-out supermini, what unites us all is the passion we have for all things automotive.
We want nothing more than to work hard all week in order to partake in that most essential and enjoyable aspect of being a petrolhead, the drive. We also want to meet like-minded people who share that same passion and celebrate it like we do.
Imagine a place, or hub if you will, where these aforementioned groups could meet and also have their pride and joy detailed and preserved to the highest possible standard. Well, if you live in Christchurch, there is such a place, and there is such a hub, thanks to Avid Group.
Founded by automotive detailer Devon Gilchrist, Avid Group have provided more than a detailing business to give your wheels the protection and shine it deserves, but also a hub for car enthusiasts, not just for Christchurch, but New Zealand as a whole.
“The Avid Group vision is to provide the best
quality care detailing and create a hub for New Zealand motoring community,” says Devon.
Starting out as a self-employed automotive detailer, Devon met entrepreneur Bryn Thompson two and a half years ago. It was a meeting that would change his life forever. “I was a self-employed automotive detailer working till 3am on most jobs. I met Bryn when he brought his Aston Martin Vantage in for a detail, we got talking and we realised we had a lot in common. We also both shared a big passion for cars and a vision for the New Zealand car scene,” he says.
“Bryn took me under his wing and our business relationship grew. Through Bryn, I was able to get a clear vision on how to make Avid Group to what it is today. There wasn’t a day that would go by where he and I wouldn’t be chatting on the phone. His experience in business has proved the biggest help for me. I can’t believe just how much this dream has grown since he came along, and I can’t think how to truly thank him for his guidance and friendship,” says Devon.
After years of toil and sweat by both Devon and Bryn, Avid Group have opened their new premises on 59 Harman Street in the Christchurch suburb of Addington. This new base is the first of its kind in New Zealand and provides and epicentre for petrolheads in the community.
“We wanted to provide the car community not just a place for their car to be cared for, but a hub where likeminded enthusiasts can come along, catch up, chill out and just enjoy the company of fellow enthusiasts,” Devon says.
Their opening night was a cause for much celebration for Devon, Bryn, their families, friends and loyal customers. Setting foot through the main door and you are greeted by what can only be described as the ultimate motoring enthusiasts man cave. Lining the walls are framed photos of motorsport posters of Le Mans, Monza, the Nürburgring and countless others.
To the left is an exquisite leather lounge suite, big TV, drinks display case, an assortment of books and a Yamaha YZF125 for good measure.
Devon and Bryn are more than happy for owners and enthusiasts to hang out in the lounge while their big toys are getting the full detailing works in the shop. Cars will also be displayed in the showroom area and thanks to a rotating roster of machinery, it’s highly unlikely you will see the same car twice for long periods of time.
Avid Group work closely with leading detailing brands and practices, such as Kamikaze Ceramic Coating, and XPEL Paint Protection Film. “We are fully qualified and professionally trained to give customers the best possible in detailing and grooming, helping them to get the most out of their vehicles,” says Devon.
Avid Group also provide Bigboi Blowers and Accessories to provide a fast post detailing dry. Plus, they are also New Zealand’s sole supplier of leading car care product distributors, Angelwax.
“Customers can come and choose from the many car care detailing products for their own use to maintain that level of quality for their car. We source them directly from Angelwax HQ in Scotland and are more than happy to use these products in addition to the services we provide,” he says.
The toys which lined the detailing bays and washrooms on opening night was mecca of motoring. A Shelby Cobra 289 FIA, Brent Jones’s Porsche 911 RSR with Martini Livery and Aston Martin DB9 GT rubbed shoulders with a Porsche 911 GT3 RS, Ferrari 360, Land Rover Defender, and a very rare Mercedes SL65 AMG Black Series and Lamborghini Aventador SV among others.
The same can be said for the car park, as loyal Avid Group customers and members of the
immensely popular Avid Car Caffe driving group, lined their toys, classic and modern, in rows to a sea of admiring glances. EV’s are welcome too, with charging facilities available.
What is the Avid Car Caffe you may ask? Well the answer is pretty straight forward. The Avid Group, led by Devon and Bryn, wanted to revolutionise the Canterbury car scene by providing a car owners group who was not biased towards one brand or type of car. It started with three owners, and now spans nationwide with over 400 members.
Basically, it doesn’t matter if you own a mint 1986 Toyota Corolla GT lift back, or a Lamborghini Murcielago LP640. If you love your car and love the drive, the Avid Car Caffe is for you. “With Avid, no car is better than another. We all have different tastes, but we love to meet up and talk cars, something which thanks to our new base, we can provide for petrolheads across Canterbury,” says
Finally, Avid Group have started working with UK motoring accessory supplier Graycar. Graycar specialise in producing a range of classic motoring accessories such as leather keyrings, open backed leather and string backed driving gloves, hats and scarves. As this writer has a collection of the latter, this aspect was pretty darn cool. All can be bought from Avid Group’s base in a range of sizes and
After a few hours in the company of Devon, Bryn, the Avid team, and their ever-growing loyal customer base, its hard not to become quite excited at just how special this new hub for car nuts in Canterbury really is.
Avid Group seems to transcend the traditional established relationships of a business and customer. Instead, those who take a punt of Devon and the team, become more than just a name on a job sheet. Thanks to this new revolutionary motoring hub in Canterbury, they become initiated into a family of genuine and inclusive car fanatics, where the only core family values, are building up others, and celebrating everything to do with cars.