John Gregory late 2002
John Gregory was born and grew up in Lebanon. He and his family immigrated to Australia during the 1950’s. Shortly after arriving in Melbourne he began working as a motor mechanic! By the end of the 1950’s he was working for himself and in partnership with his brother and cousin in a service station. From this came Carrera Motors, and Spyder Automobiles.
Over the years, Spyder Automobiles has seen many locations, and identities! From purely a mechanical workshop specialising Porsches, and being Porsche Germany Authorised to a full Restoration shop with an in house panel shop, During these years Spyder Automobiles also was under the same umbrella as Carrera Motors and Chassis Tech both of these are or were Chassis repair workshops specializing in Chassis straightening and suspension component re-jigging, to original specification using Jigs to make these repairs totally repeatable! This was a process or method pioneered by John Gregory!
John had even semi - retired at one point and was working from his Victorian farm at Bacchus Marsh, situated near Ballarat. During his time at Bacchus Marsh, John had collected as many as 20, 356 Porsches including Speedsters and most of the variations of this model range! He was also driving a variety of 911’s during that time as well. Spyder Automobiles moved from Bacchus Marsh to a South Melbourne Location and was there until 1988, when the move to Moorabbin was made where I joined John and Lisa in the October of 1990. Lisa had worked with John since leaving school, and was with him for her working life, with the exception of other projects she took on! John had many health issues over the years and managed to beat them, until 2002 when he was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma which would prove to be the final straw for him in the March of 2003! He had worked until Christmas Eve of 2002, to complete a number of projects that were under way!
From 2002 Lisa and I had continued with Spyder Automobiles in the same vein with Lisa running her sign business, Affordable Sign Systems alongside Spyder Automobiles and in the same premises for most of that time!
During 2006 the decision was made to move the family to Warragul in the Gippsland area of Victoria 100 km east of Melbourne on the Prices Highway. Jean, Lisa’s mother moved with us, sadly June 22 of that year we said goodbye to Jean! During the Christmas period Spyder was also moved to Warragul. Since that time, a period of rebuilding and shaping Spyder Automobiles has taken place! Lisa never witnessed the progression from the original Warragul location as she passed away in the October of 2011 of breast cancer after a short 5 weeks after diagnoses!
One thing that always been at the heart of Spyder Automobiles has been the classic Porsche cars which never changed! Other marques we now maintain are the German and European, manufactures cars. There are also other cars that I have taken on as projects for friends with success!
With Lisa’s passing all the sign equipment had to be either used or sold to make space, it was at that time Billy wanted to go, Go Karting, so with that in mind it was time for him to earn some money and get some focus in his life! I signed Affordable Signs over to him and that is now his own business, with which he funds his Go Karting!
When Lisa passed away on 26th October 2011,it showed just how far spread her true friends were. We were overwhelmed with messages from the USA particularly, One of these emails included the question from Dave Bouzaglou,the organizer of Targa California, the 2012 event! My initial response was that of total surprise! As a bonus it was to be used as a fundraiser for Breast cancer with the funds being split between Australia and the USA Read more here
April 8th 2012, so off to California I went to participate in the Targa California in memory of Lisa and in support of Dave and the event! I was well looked after by good friend Chuck Miller, he was my driver for the event. This was a wonderful opportunity to meet people and friends Lisa had known on her trips to the USA and also through our involvement with the Early S Registry.
The event went from Thousand Oaks just west of Los Angeles then as far north as Monterey in total we covered 800 or 900 miles in 3 days and it was a great event meeting new friends and those I had already known.
We raised money and Breast Cancer awareness, made friends, had a great time and remembered Lisa