Feature of the Week
September 19, 2020
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Brian Harvey’s love for cars

  • 13-month-old Kodah with her father Brian Harvey owner of Precision Motorwerks. Photo by Robert Grant

By: Lanny Lowery
July 26, 2019

“I love cars!” proclaims Precision Motor Werks owner and operator Brian Harvey.  His passion, uncontainable, laces through every thought about his business.  Harvey has been in business in Rohnert Park for the past ten years working every part of an auto maintenance shop, including accounting and cleaning.  He is his only employee.

Harvey has no problems 99 percent of the time.  After a decade of owning his own shop, he feels content.  “No more side work and no more rolling around in the dirt.”  

His business survived the recession and now Harvey looks back and says, “It took a long time to get it right.  For a little over ten years it was painful as hell.  I had a new born daughter when I started but things got better slowly.”

This mechanic’s journey began in high school in the late 1990s.  He seemed to have a mechanical aptitude, and he became aware of this in auto shop classes at San Marin High School in Novato.  His shop teacher assigned the students to take apart an engine and put it back together.  Harvey amazed the teacher when he completed this task in merely a week and a half.

After high school Harvey “messed around” moving furniture until he finally applied to and was accepted at a trade school in Fremont, the Sequoia Institute.  After he graduated from this school, he thought that he was placed to work on BMWs but discovered that he was going to Sonnen in San Rafael to work on Audis and Volkswagens.

Living in Santa Rosa, Harvey commuted to San Rafael and was fine with this as long as his shift was from 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.  When the shift was changed to 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., he quickly became tired of the commute and decided to change employers.  He worked short stints for different shops.  By 2009 he was ready to be his own boss.

A San Francisco native, Harvey lived in Pacifica and Novato while growing up.  He went to a military school in New York from the age of 12 through 14.  He also attended a Catholic school in Hayward.  And then he finished his public schooling at San Marin.

A world traveler, Harvey’s favorite trips took him to Japan and Thailand, Mexico, Italy and France.  He found traveling to be an education: “There’s a lot to learn culturally.”  Since he opened his business over ten years ago, he’s only had one vacation and that was to walk his sister down the aisle at an Arizona wedding.

Harvey continues to learn his craft.  He said, “Learn on the job; always going to be a struggle.”  He uses text support as he “learns on the fly.”  He finds You Tube to be helpful and “Google is great!”  He locates a good deal of information on the Internet.  He has learned about Volkswagens, Audis, BMWs, Mercedes and Porsches.  

Humble and honest, Harvey recalls, “Slowly as the business progressed, so did I.”  His passion is to be of service to his customers.  “I really love helping people that appreciate it.”

Harvey is the mechanic philosopher as he sees a connection between service and truthfulness.  He proudly asserts, “I have integrity with my customers.  Tell the truth.  Honesty and integrity go a long way.”

Another of his beliefs is instinctual:  “Go on feelings rather than rigorous beliefs.”  And just as important is the people factor:  “Always good when you can find people who will help you out.”  Harvey believes in networking naturally and relationships will build with time.  “It’s always good when you can find people who will help you out.”

He has two daughters, Makayla who is twelve, and Kodah who is thirteen months old.  He would like to be able to help coach soccer, but his job takes all of his time.

Harvey, the mechanic philosopher, is content as he said, “Now I am just starting to enjoy the fruits of my work.”  When asked about expanding his business or moving on, he is “up-in-the-air” as he responds, “I don’t care where I work, I’ll get it done.  Home is where the heart is.  I’ll always find new ways to make things happen.”

About change in our cultural, Harvey covers all possibilities as he thinks, “I like to see some things progress and others regress.”

And how does this mechanic philosopher see his role: “Stick to myself, keep it simple and take care of my customers and my business.”

Brian Harvey, mechanic philosopher, practices his beliefs as he works on cars, deals with customers, cleans his shop and does his bookkeeping.