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Porsche Centre Oakville

Nhu Nguyen is living the dream, one classic Porsche at a time

As a member of the Policaro Group, Porsche Centre Oakville operates from a place of family and community values. It’s our pleasure and honour, then, when members of our staff fulfill their dreams under our roof.

Nhu Nguyen is a Silver Certified Porsche Technician at Porsche Centre Oakville. After an early career that lead her from office job to teaching position and back again, she finally landed at Porsche Centre Oakville where she’s been steadily working her way up, expanding her knowledge and fueling her passion for classic Porsches.

We sat down with the Porsche specialist to chat about the challenges and perks of the job (including working at Camp4), what it took to get here, and what it’s like to work on some of the most unique Porsches in the country with RWB.

 

So what exactly do you do at Porsche Centre Oakville?

I’m a Silver Certified Porsche Technician working towards my Classic Certification.

 

What does that mean, you’re working toward Classic Certification?

It means that my focus is on classic Porsches and that am taking the courses required to achieve that specific certification.

 

What do you like about classics? 

I like the mechanical aspect of the work. I really like fixing things. I like that I get to dig into the engine with most classics, which you don’t get to do quite the same way for a lot of the new cars. I feel more connected to my work.

Also, I’m a nerd. I love the knowledge, the history and the experience. Many of the guys have been working on these classic cars are retiring, so I really want to retain all that information and maintain the tradition.

 

So you have some good people to learn from?

I have some great people that I’ve learned from, and I try to learn from everybody. I’m also learning from some of my social media contacts.

 

You’ve done some work at Porsche Camp4, right?

Three winters ago, Porsche Canada put out a call for people who would be interested in working the event. I don’t know how many of the other dealers put their names in, but we were picked, and I think we did fairly well because they had invited me back the following two years. Honestly, it’s an amazing experience. The people are fantastic. The teamwork—it’s hard to describe because on the outside, as a participant, you just get to drive and it’s a lot of fun, but when you work it the days are extremely long and cold, but it’s really rewarding.

 

What’s an awesome day at Camp4 like?

An awesome day is taillights at 6 or 6:15 AM, which means you’re in the car driving at 6:15. You get to the track and we start setting up the track and running over the exercises for the day. If there had been incidents the previous day, then I’d be spending that time to look over the cars and documenting anything that needs to be documented and repairing anything that needs to be repaired. We greet all of the participants when they arrive, then go back to our duties, which include fueling, track maintenance, and, of course, track-side support.

I also got to drive this past year, which was so much fun.

 

And your also involved with RWB, right? How did that start?

I was at the last Rennsport reunion and I introduced myself to a few of the members. They had a booth. From there, Tate Askew, who built the Martini car, started following me on Instagram and then invited me out to his build. That’s when I first met them all and spent some time working with them. It was incredible. The car that picked me up from the airport was Tate’s green one. It was the best Uber ever! (laughs).

They’re just an amazing group of people. All different types of people, but a real community. Because we share the same interests, they’ve kind of taken me in as one of them, even though I don’t own one. There’s a chat group I’m a part of and I chat with them more than I chat with my family.

 

Do you get out to all the builds?

No, not all. I’ve been to four, because it’s all out of pocket.

 

How did you get into the profession? Have you always done this?

My very first jobs were in the kitchen. And then I had office jobs. I taught autistic children for a few years, and then I went back to the office job and then I came here. When I was leaving high school, this is what I wanted to do, but I didn’t see how I could do it. My parents didn’t really encourage me, nobody did. Even when I finally decided to do this, when leaving my office job people were like “are you insane? Why would you do this?” Honestly, I haven’t looked back. It’s been amazing. No regrets.

 

And where did the confidence to execute on your dream come from?

I don’t know if it was coincidence or just stubbornness. Once I made the decision, it just stuck.

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I used to deliver car parts just before leaving high school, so I was familiar with car stuff. I hadn’t even done an oil change before, but I was confident that I could. I sought out to find a shop that would take me and ended up going to work with my friend Phil whose family owns a shop. His brother was hesitant, but they were willing to take me in and teach me. Within the first week I was doing alignments by myself. I’m a fairly fast learner. Within the first month I had my first engine out. And because it was a small shop with only three guys, I was left to do a lot of stuff by myself. And I don’t do something unless I’m sure of it, and if I’m not sure of it, I stop and ask questions. And it just went from there.

 

For an even more inside look at the lifestyle of a Silver Certified Porsche Technician, follow Nhu on Instagram at @dear_nhu.

Date Posted: April 20, 2018