Friday, December 23, 2017
University Motors Ltd has now transformed into University Motors Online. Although I will no longer work on your MG in my shop, I will be available for consultation, technical advice, and technical shows and seminars.
I became aware of MGs in England on a trip with the Boy Scouts in 1962 when I was 13. By 1965 I resolved to own an MG and purchased my first MG in 1968. I was first paid to work on another’s MG in May,1971; resolved to devote my life to MG in Nov 71; spent a year in England 1972/1973 at the original University Motors; and in January 1975 opened my own University Motors. I was joined in the business by my future wife, Caroline, in early 1977. We operated UML at two locations for 34 years. In the summer of 2009 I shut down the business (the economy was terrible and Caroline was dying of cancer), only to reopen in the spring of 2010 after Caroline’s death. We soon moved to our present location and operated from our Patterson Avenue address from April 2011 until the first of this month when Forrest Johnson of Rusty Moose Garage assumed the operations.
It has been an incredible run! In my 46 years in the trade and operating as University Motors for 42 years, we’ve enjoyed many successes and met so many great and wonderful owners! We sponsored 30+ Summer Parties; 30+ years of on-site Technical Seminars; formed up the North American MGB Register, the British Motor Trade Association, and the West Michigan “Old Speckled Hen” MG Car Club. In addition, we serviced thousands of MGs. Now it’s come full circle. I travelled to England in October of this year to present tune-up seminars at the MG Owners’ Club near Cambridge. Further, I have been named as a charter inductee at the Moss Motors British Sports Car Hall of Fame. But, I’m not really re-tiring – it’s more like re-treading.
I had seriously considered another auction for equipment and memorabilia but that is now unnecessary. The heavy shop equipment was sold to the firm moving into this building (Corvette and muscle car restoration). Forrest has the used parts. The new parts were sold as a package. The specialty tools I’m selling within the trade. Some of the memorabilia will appear on eBay.
Instead of an auction, we are celebrating University Motors’ 42nd Birthday and John Twist’s Retreading on Saturday, January 21st. It will be a PARTY, not a wake!
Freed from the daily business operations, I shall have more time to dedicate to MG technical publications and presentations. My website www.universitymotorsltd.com will remain active. I will continue to make YouTube videos and attend the various MG events throughout the country. I am available to present technical seminars for your club, organization, or business. A brochure describing lectures and seminars will soon be posted on the website. You will always be able to contact me via the website or email. I shan’t be far away!
University Motors 42nd Birthday and John Twist’s Retreading Party – Saturday, Jan 21st, 2017, at our Patterson address in Grand Rapids, Michigan, from Noon to 4pm
Gearbox Workshop (MGB 4 synchro) – Monday/Tuesday, February 20/21, 2017
Gearbox Seminar (MGA/MGB 3 Synchro) – Monday/Tuesday, February 27/28
Gearbox Seminar (TD/TF) – Monday/Tuesday, March 13/14
Carburetter Workshop – Monday/Tuesday, March 20/21
All workshops are limited to five participants. Cost for the two days is $400. Email me for the registration / hotel information. I can schedule an additional date if more than five people wish to attend.
University Motors Online
616 301 2888
John asked me to post this – And no, he did not buy a tow truck, Or another MGA. The MGA is here to be restored by Rusty Moose.
As of December 1, 2016 University Motors no longer services vehicles.
John Twist is going to continue in the community, and will continue to offer technical advice and put on seminars.
Forrest Johnson (University Motors Mechanic) has absorbed the customers and the work, and is moving the business to Grand Haven, MI. You can get in touch with him at this link: Rusty Moose Garage Also note that Mike Blackport(University Motors Manager) and Curt Saunier(University Motors Mechanic) are going with Forrest, so the quality of the work will still be exemplary.
Call John for technical questions and seminars, 616-307-6737
Call Mike or Forrest for service work, 616-301-2888
Keep an eye on this site, we’ll update with new events soon!
Dear Fellow Enthusiast!
All good things must come to an end.
After nearly 42 years in full time business at three locations, I am ceasing repair and restoration operations as University Motors in Grand Rapids, Michigan, at the end of this month, November, 2016. The remaining workload will be transferred to Forrest Johnson’s “Rusty Moose Garage” which will continue out of the Patterson Avenue location for now but will move to Grand Haven, Michigan, in the next several months.
I am not so much “re-tiring” as “re-treading.” I will retain the name of University Motors but no longer operate as a brick-and -mortar automotive repair facility. My plan is to continue to write technical articles, offer technical seminars and workshops, produce technical videos, and enter the lecture circuit.
Forrest, who has worked for University Motors for about five years, will keep Curt Saunier in his employ. Curt has worked for UML for about 23 years. Mike Blackport will continue throughout the transition.
The University Motors website will remain active. You will always be able to contact me there. I will keep you apprised of changes in locations and telephone numbers.
UNIVERSITY MOTORS LTD
4571 Patterson Avenue SE
Grand Rapids MI 49512
616 301 2888
I include this on our website for two reasons:
1: This is John’s MGB-GT that he built for his late wife Caroline.
2: John has hired GR Auto Gallery to handle the sale, and will not discuss selling the car – the deal is to be made with GR Auto Gallery not him. (He doesn’t like selling cars)
We of course have the full history of the car and it’s restoration, that will be provided with the car when it sells.
Also of note is that GR Auto Gallery is a great company, many of our customers have bought and sold cars there. John’s car wouldn’t be there if we didn’t believe that they were a fine company.