published: March 14, 2018 By Phil Harnett

Three garages win big with BoxClever

Three lucky UK independent garages are celebrating winning 100,000 points each in ignition specialist NGK’s BoxClever loyalty scheme.

They were selected in a prize draw following a three-month promotion running until the end of December 2017.
The draw was open to all BoxClever members in which, following the purchase of NGK spark plugs, glow plugs, NTK sensors and ignition coils, they were encouraged to collect the single boxes that the products come supplied in which are then returned in exchange for prize points.

Every time a member banked boxes during the promotion they received an entry into the prize draw, with a free bonus entry for every NTK Lambda box banked.

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Hertford-based Andy Carter was delighted to win the points bonanza, the second time he has received a prize from NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd having previously won a Tag Heuer watch in a prize draw on the NGK stand at a regional trade show.

The 34-year-old is Workshop Manager of the long-standing family business Roy Carter Garage in the town’s Ware Road which was established 62 years ago by his grandfather Roy (84). He is joined in the business by father Brian (58) and his brother Steven (30).

He said: “It’s a real family business, the three of us are all trained mechanics and my grandad still comes in to the workshop. We do service and repair work on all-makes of cars, covering everything from tyres, to diagnostics and air-conditioning work. We get a lot of word of mouth and repeat business and even have a 94-year-old who moved out of the area to Plymouth but still brings his car back to our garage.”

Andy is a long-standing BoxClever member and fits all NGK original equipment (OE) spark plugs, glow plugs and NTK Lambda sensors, plus ignition coils, most of which are supplied by Lloyds Motor Spares which are located nearby.

He said: “We use all the OE products and we’ve never ever had an issue with them. We’ve also found that the ignition coils are really good, particularly for Vauxhalls and VW Golfs.”

Andy has appeared in two TV series in the past couple of years, being featured turning a Golf GTi into a rally car on Channel 4’s For the Love of Cars and also on BBC One’s Without Limits where he was the main vehicle mechanic when six people with different physical disabilities the length of Vietnam.

He said: “I got into it through my friend, the presenter Ant Anstead, and I really enjoyed it. The Vietnam trip was probably the best experience of my life. I spent five weeks with the group as they travelled from the north to the south in a Toyota Hilux and Land Cruiser. Outside of the main roads, it was just tracks, but the most hazardous part was trying to cross the road as a pedestrian and avoiding the motorcyclists.”

Outside the business, Andy, who is married to Gemma (34) and has two children, Ava (9) and Finley (6), is a keen pilot and also enjoys cycling.

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Hastings-based BoxClever points winner Derek Burt is a long-standing advocate of NGK, sourcing the majority of the company’s components from local motor factors Jayar CarParts.

The 63-year-old workshop owner said: “I first got to know NGK when I was just 15 years old working for Weslake. They wouldn’t use anything other than NGK spark plugs for racing. They used to say they were the best plugs you could buy and that’s stuck with me ever since. Now in my business I still always use NGK spark plugs as well as their glow plugs and Lambda sensors because it’s bred into me.”

Derek – who runs DJ Burt Motor Engineers in Victoria Avenue, Hastings – is a long-standing member of BoxClever.
He said: “I’ve been a member of the scheme since when it first started. I usually use my points to get such things as mugs and teabags, but now I will be having a long overdue holiday with the extra points as haven’t had a proper holiday for years.”

Derek has been in business for the past 40 years, starting off from working out of the back of a van, and has been at his present premises for approximately 30 years where his three-strong team of technicians work on all-makes of vehicle, covering servicing, repairs and MoTs.

He said: “A lot of my customers are from the same families. I’ve often worked on the grandparents and grandchildren’s cars. I always try to use original equipment (OE) parts, such as NGK, on the more recent models that come into my workshop because you can trust them. They do the job and you don’t have any comeback.”

Aside from working at Weslake, as a young man Derek was employed by McLaren, working on V8 Cosworth engines.
He also used to race his own Avenger Tiger Mk1, winning three championships, and his love of speed has also taken him into the world of horse racing. He has owned three former racehorses and still rides out on his own retired racehorse today, an 11-year-old named Paddy.

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Fellow winner Warren Franks is the owner of WS Franks Vehicle Repairs in Wotton-under-edge, Gloucestershire, which he says is ‘a typical Cotswold garage’.

He said: “You have to be able to do everything in this part of the World. As well as carrying out Class IV and VII MoT and the usual service and repair work, you must be able to work on a farmer’s tractor air-con, do welding, you have to deal with anything that comes come in to the workshop.

“We cover a big catchment area and people travel a long way to use us. There are three of us in the business, all fully qualified, and we work on all-makes of cars and a lot of vans.”

The 56-year-old has run the business since 2001 and has always used NGK components where applicable, supplied by JE Clarke’s and MGM Motor Components at Stroud and GSF Car Parts.

He said: “You can’t go wrong when you use OE genuine parts and NGK fit first time. I’ve got not time for the Micky Mouse parts.”

Warren has been interested in working on cars since the age of 12 when he helped in his friend’s father’s garage and entered the automotive business when he left school.

Outside of work, he is a keen motorcyclist and has a collection of approximately 20 motorbikes, specialising in Japanese two-stroke models.