Get tinkering with the Base Auto Hobby Club

 The auto work bay has what hobbyists need to repair and tune up their vehicles.

The auto work bay has what hobbyists need to repair and tune up their vehicles.

Rachel Lallouz, Staff Writer  ~

Military personnel and civilian DND employees who have a budding interest in automotive mechanics, or even fully fledged expertise in car restoration, are encouraged to become a member of the Auto Hobby Club.

Located in Work Point, building 1117, the 20-year-old club provides full automotive services for members of the DND community to work on their own cars using the tools and resources provided by the club.

“It’s the best kept secret on base, but my mission has been to change that,” says Club President Lieutenant  (Navy) Brady Gaudet, who has seen the membership triple since the new and motivated executive team became involved one year ago, and as he sought to breathe new life into what he believes is one of the most valuable resources on the base.

With the guidance and oversight of the two Personnel Support Personnel custodian staff, Bruce Stewart and Dave Windle, working for the club, a member can work on their daily driving car, family car, or personal repair project. While no mechanics are employed at the club they certainly have a wealth of mechanical expertise and resources available for most DIY projects. Many members complete restoration work, rebuild or swap car engines, or modernize older cars to bring them up to present-day safety standards.

To successfully complete these tasks, the full-service club offers automotive diagnostic equipment, a large range of car manuals, three fully equipped bays with car hoists, and tire and oil recycling. Storage for 12 vehicles on the property ensures that members can leave their insured vehicles at the club for extended projects for a modest storage fee.

“We accept members with every level of automotive experience, from all trades, as long as they are part of the DND community,” says Lt(N) Gaudet.

There are three levels of membership: a regular member is part of the regular force, reserve force, or is retired, and pays $40 a year. An ordinary member is a civilian or government employee, who pays $51 a year. An asssociate member can be a civilian in the Greater Victoria community, but must be sponsored by a regular member and pays $68 annually.

In addition to the yearly membership, a member must pay an hourly fee to make use of specific tools or machines. For instance, a member would pay $13 an hour to make use of a hoist.

“It’s still a great bargain compared to what you would pay at a regular repair shop,” says Lt(N) Gaudet. “Members appreciate the savings they can see and the fruition of their work. I see it as they drive away with their vehicles happy, so it’s a service that I feel proud to be a part of and that I feel proud to help deliver to the Forces.”

The club is open Thursday, Friday, and Monday evenings from 6 to 10 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. To register for the club or book shop time, please call 250-480-0191.

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  1. Adriano says:

    I would like to became a member could you please contact me . Thanks!!!

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