6 April, 2023

Mac’s Auto Service Centre

The “Exhaust King” might be an appropriate title to bestow on Peter King, who has flourished in the automotive industry for over 52 years.

The Kingsmen - Adam, Peter and Clayton King.
The Kingsmen - Adam, Peter and Clayton King.

Peter’s journey started as a 17-year-old when he was introduced to making mufflers and mastered the art of pipe bending for businessmen Bob Crowe and Noel Sinden in Fortitude Valley.

At the age of just 21, an entrepreneurial Peter, saw a clear opening in the market when he realised there were no exhaust fitting centres north of “The Valley”. He seized the opportunity and opened up his very own garage just two doors down from the Edinburgh Castle Hotel in Kedron.

A jocular Peter laughingly remarks, “That may not have been such a good idea being that close!....ha ha, but it worked out very well for me.”

At this stage you may be wondering why a company run by a man with the surname of King, goes by the name of Mac’s?

Well early days Peter and a group of about 15 other businessmen (north side and south) joined together to create a better buying group. Brisbane car mogul, Ron McConnell, was the main instigator behind the consortium. Ron ran Southside Motor Auctions at the time, and played a pivotal role in getting both Allan Border and Kepler Wessels to play cricket for Queensland.

The group needed a name, and as Ron was such a big part of its creation, they decided on Naming the group Mac’s.

Not only did they obtain a far greater buying power, but they were also able to afford television advertising and Broncos legend Alfie Langer appeared as the face as Mac’s in their TV campaigns.

After three years in Kedron, Peter moved the business to Pickering Street Enoggera, a location he would go on to service his many loyal customers at for the next 48 years.

During this period, Peter would also diversify the business from solely providing exhaust fitting and repairs, to introducing automotive servicing. Customers’ vehicles were already on the hoist undertaking muffler repair, so it kind of made sense to service the entire vehicle while it was up there as well.

Peter acknowledges servicing is now a major component of today’s business as most modern day vehicles now have stainless steel exhausts, rendering them less prone to rust and condensation.

A rusted or damaged muffler is a potential health risk, as the gas carbon monoxide can make its way into a cabin or car, exposing passengers to its harmful toxins.

It was also at this Enoggera location that the business ceased from being solely Peter’s and very much transformed into a family business with the introduction of Peter’s two sons, Adam and Clayton.

Adam was just 12 when he began working with his father (whenever he wasn’t at school) and has played a vital hands-on role at Mac’s for some 30 years.

A younger Clayton joined the business after completing school and has been the lynchpin in customer communication for the past 15 years.

In fact it is largely due to the two boy’s living destinations that Mac’s Auto has recently found itself relocating the entire business to North Lakes.

Clayton, now 33, lives in Caboolture and describes himself as a people person.

He values the opportunity to build relationships with the customers and smiles as he says, “Of course we get to know everything about car but I’m always keen to get to know the customer as well.”

However it’s not just getting to know someone that is important to Clayton.

“As a family business we can control everything. We have the power to make changes and improvements immediately if we think it’s required. We can provide instant solutions and assistance, but most importantly our work is our family name. We don’t take short cuts, we don’t mislead customers. Everything we do represents our family values and beliefs.”

Clayton admits the move to North Lakes had reduced the travel time he and his brother endured by at least two-and-a-half hours each day. This means more time with his three daughters and a happier Clayton as a result.

The move, like any, hasn’t come without its difficulties.

Firstly, setbacks with the handover of the new premises, has meant the business has been unable to trade for three months. That’s hardly ideal when you have five staff members who still need to be employed.

Secondly, the move from Enoggera has meant distance is too great for many of their regular loyal clientele to come with them.

On a positive for local customers, it means there is no waiting time for their services and clients can have their vehicle seen to by a highly established and credentialed business almost instantly.

When asked the secret to his longevity and success in business, Peter’s response is quite succinct. “’s doing the right thing and having your customers believe in you!”


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