Bird Sam

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Type of person Individual

Sam Bird - Willaston Auto Body Repairs

Born and raised in Gawler, Sam attended Trinity College South Australia all the way through his schooling years. Basketball and inline hockey were big parts of his school years, but music was also a massive part.

"We changed our name every weekend..." Sunday Never Ends was the main title of the band him and his friends formed. Blink 182 and other late 90's punk bands, and even a bit of screamo were big influences. After doing a few things around Gawler with council and blue light disco's the usual story of, school has finished, everyone has jobs, and everyone has partners meant that band practice was too hard to commit to and the dream of a band fell to the wayside.

"I'm just hoping I can pick it up (bass guitar) again one day, and my lad can see me and be inspired to do something similar himself..." After school hours Sam would spend a lot of time at the family mechanics. He'd do his homework in the front office or spend some time tinkering around during his school holidays. Willaston Auto Body Repairs was always there. Hanging out with dad, chatting to colleagues, helping out with work and keeping a keen eye on how things operated.

"We're really trying to focus on the technology side of things" Sam apprenticeship at Willaston Auto body Repairs saw him through the big change in motor cars to EV's and computers. Gone were points and distributors and in came laptops and EV's. With all that, he doesn't even have a preference on what kind of car he works on. Be it built yesterday or in the 60's. The satisfaction is figuring out whats wrong with the car. After a stint at Jarvis in the Barossa, he has been back at Willaston since 2011 and is now the general manager.

"It's a bit of a running joke with my wife and mates...." Sam has, and has had many different hobbys over the years. Lately he's been concentrating on low and slow BBQ's. Lots of smokey briskets and ribs, he even brews his own beer, but the mechanics is where the passion lies. He's more than happy to keep hobbys as hobbys. He might get back to his bass at some stage 🙂

"Being into cars and loving cars, racing was always on the to-do list...." Sam competes in racing with his 2002 - WRX. A friend of his had an accident in their WRX one day. The offer to Sam was to just take it off of his hands. Sam accepted the offer and along with his dad has built the car up to rally spec since then. The car itself has gone from dirt to tarmac as Sam is now interested in competing in the State Motor Racing Championships through the Sporting Car Club of SA which will see him race at places like The Bend and Mallala. He's even gotten sponsorship from Willaston Auto Body Repairs, Willaston Auto Customs, Car Gods, Care Distributors Pty Ltd, and Gawler Art & Signs

"We understand that it's not only your car, but it is an investment" Work will continue on over at Willaston Auto Body Repairs and they'll always try to keep up with the latest technology in a rapidly evolving field. So much pride is taken in the work there and there is such a great deal of satisfaction with diagnosing and finishing the job. His dream car to work on would be a Bayside Blue R34 GTR

First shared on Gawler in Photographs ‘Humans of Gawler’ series 22 November 2023.

Photographs by Daniel James Down. Please click here to visit the Gawler in Photographs Facebook page.

Gawler History Team Inc thanks Daniel James Down (Gawler in Photographs) and the subjects of ‘Humans of Gawler’ for allowing us to preserve their profiles and photographs for future generations of Gawlerites to enjoy.

Please click here to view photos of Sam Bird

Sam Bird by Daniel James Down 1
Sam Bird by Daniel James Down 1

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