Rob Harvey was a 20-year-old wanting to buy a new car with a big, powerful, 8-cylinder engine when he approached his mum for help.
“I wanted a (Falcon) BA XR8 ute when it came out in 2003 but my mum said ‘you’re too young but you can have a Turbo 6’,” he says.
While the car mum preferred had a smaller engine the turbo charge gave it incredible power. It was a light bulb moment for Rob – an understanding of how engineering could get more out of an engine.
“That ended up being what set me off on the road I am on now.”
And where he is now is Monsta Torque which, thanks to mum and Rob’s passion and expertise, has turned high powered Ford turbo engines into his livelihood.
Monsta Torque’s Perth auto workshop is now a national destination for many looking to customise their beloved Ford vehicles.
Turning point for automotive
Rob says COVID-19 and the associated lockdowns across various states has been transformative for Aussie car culture. Auto fanatics spent time researching and ploughing cash into their beloved vehicles. This was money they would otherwise have been used for travel.
“People were at home and bored and not travelling,” he says.
Monsta Torque, based in Malaga in the northern suburbs of Perth, had already garnered a reputation for quality with its customised dyno tuning and performance upgrades on Ford and Ford Performance Vehicles in Perth.
“We look after a few cars for ambulance officers so when the pandemic hit we were classified as an essential service,” he says.
“We had a couple of guys who needed repairs.”
But it was the Ford enthusiasts trapped at home who drove a 50 per cent surge in inquiries.
Rob employed another mechanic during the pandemic to cope with the extra business, adding to the team of him, his wife and another mechanic.