Drive to help brings trip of a lifetime

Service with a smile: Callaghan Motors service manager Rob Lee has won a national award to visit the home of Mercedes Benz in Germany.

Service with a smile: Callaghan Motors service manager Rob Lee has won a national award to visit the home of Mercedes Benz in Germany.

A love of all things cars has landed Rob Lee a VIP trip to the home of Mercedes Benz in Germany complete with a test drive of luxury sports cars.

Mr Lee, who works at Warrnambool’s Callaghan Motors, took out the Rural Service Manager of the Year award at a gala event in Sydney and his prize includes a study trip to Germany mid-year to visit the Mercedes Benz and AMG factories and museum.

Mr Lee was always tinkering with cars on the Terang farm where he grew up and secured a mechanic apprenticeship fixing Holdens in when he was 15.

He later took a mechanic job at Callaghans where he worked on Mercedes Benz and Holdens for 11 years before taking on the role as service manager.

Mr Lee has come close to winning the national award before, but this year was his turn. “I’ve been in the top half dozen most years. There’s a lot of criteria – a lot of hoops to jump through,” he said.

While details of the trip and final dates have yet to be finalised, he is pretty sure he’ll get a chance to drive some luxury AMG sports models. 

“It’s not something that happens every day,” he said of the trip.

During his 33 years at Callaghan’s, Mr Lee has seen huge changes in the car industry. “The big change is technology and safety in cars,” he said.

But for all that modern technology can bring, Mr Lee also has a love for the older cars – he has one of the first Holdens to be manufactured in Australia, a 1948 FX Holden. 

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