Top Gear man asks if backyard mechanics are a dying breed

Will the DIY mechanic become a thing of the past?

Top Gear man asks if backyard mechanics are a dying breed
Photo: Tekton/Unsplash

Does the dawn of the electric era spell the end for the driveway tinkerer? That’s the question asked by Sam Philip, Top Gear’s creative director and script editor.

In his opinion piece, posted on the Top Gear website, Sam recalls a childhood spent watching his dad “hidden beneath a Ford Sierra or Orion, or a beige Volvo estate”.

He points out that it wasn’t his day job; Sam’s father loathed “paying someone else to do something he could do himself”. He’d get the job done, but only after “a series of increasingly violent electrocutions“ and “a couple of days of banging and swearing”.

It’s a great article, tinged with nostalgia and humour, but it points to what could be the end of the DIY mechanic, with electric cars creating what Sam calls “a closed, sealed shop to even the most gung-ho home mechanic”.

Of course, the home mechanic’s loss is the independent garage’s gain, with the complexities of the modern car – not to mention changing attitudes towards DIY mechanics – likely to result in more business for switched-on garage owners.

The counter argument is that a section of the market pushes against the EV agenda, staying loyal to the internal combustion engine, be it for cost reasons, a desire to keep things as they are or an unwillingness to buy into the green movement.

But the fact remains: anecdotal evidence would suggest that Sam’s question is a rhetorical one; backyard mechanics are a dying breed.

Source: Top Gear

Photo by Tekton on Unsplash


  1. Gone are the days of plugs and points modern vehicles are a different matter and are getting more difficult to repair in a workshop let alone on a driveway

  2. I can remember the days of going to the scrapyard, climbing up on cars 3 high to get that elusive part and then coming home and fitting it – and I loved it. These days, garages need tens of thousands of pounds worth of equipment to programme modules and connect to manufacturer portals. I’ll keep my old banger for as long as I c


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