History. Cars. Racing. When passion and opportunity collide, there is a unique moment when not smiling is impossible. This is the case with Neil Doshi, the Verona resident who is the new owner of Montclair’s Daviet Motorworks, as he recalls not only his history with the business, but his passion for cars, acumen as a mechanic, and love of racing.
Tom Daviet was the owner and lead mechanic of Daviet Motorworks for 35 years. With a deep understanding of cars and how they work, a passion for drag racing, and building lifelong relationships with customers, he became a staple of the community. Doshi, a Montclair native who has lived in Verona for the past 10 years, got to know Daviet at a
young age when he lived in the neighborhood and would shadow the seasoned mechanic and foreign car specialist. His parents were regular customers of Daviet Motorworks.
Over time, Doshi developed a love of cars, eventually building and racing cars of his own. He stayed in touch with Daviet and when he founded a landscaping business, he parked his trucks in Daviet’s lot. The two became more like long-time family friends than customer and business owner.
All of which made for a comfortable conversation about the future of Daviet Motorworks. Although it has a new owner, the business model will remain the same: Build relationships, educate customers, and understand what’s happening with their cars. The business intends to remain the right size to be able to focus on its customers, perform quality work in a timely fashion, and continue to build relationships.
“Cars today are different from the Mustangs I worked on in the late ’80s,” says Doshi. “Computers are at the center of what makes them run and sometimes it takes a willingness to experiment coupled with patience to truly understand the nature of a mechanical issue.” This is where Doshi’s business partner and custom car specialist, Reginald Benoit, plays a very important role as lead mechanic. Benoit, a trained mechanic who spent time working for Mercedes Benz, “has no fear which makes him a tremendous asset,” adds Daviet. As the most knowledgeable mechanic relative to the newer cars, Benoit has earned a nickname among the team, “the magician,” due to his alacrity with diagnostic work on them.
“Between skills and business acumen, we complement each other,” says Doshi.