If you have a life-long interest in cars, especially Nissans, it must be very exciting to land a role working for a Nissan dealership. This is the case for Thomas Bebb from Melverley, who has just started as the business, innovation and fleet specialist for Greenhous Nissan.
Thomas explains how his interest started: “As a kid I used to work on my Grandfather’s farm with my Dad. We used to do all the usual jobs feeding, silaging, fencing and a lot of repair work on the machinery. At the time I never used to like it as I didn’t really know what I was doing. It was more fetching the right tools for my Dad, and running around the workshop finding oil and parts.
“As time went on I started to do more work on the farm and went out drainage contracting with my Dad, which meant a new lot of skills I had to learn, but I managed to get by, mainly through hard graft in all weathers. Then before I knew it I was 17 and had my first car, which happened to be a Nissan Sunny and from this point I caught the petrol bug, I started doing my own maintenance and servicing on the car, washing and valeting and eventually spending time and money on modifications.”
Thomas was soon to upgrade to a Nissan Sunny/Pulsar GTIR which gave him a more exciting driving experience and the opportunity to develop an interest in car mechanics. He spent many evenings and weekends fixing and restoring parts of the car. He still has the car today as part of his Nissan collection. His next Pulsar GTIR became a major 3 year restoration project.
He spent time stripping the car right back to the bare shell, cutting out the rust, welding in new panels and getting it painted in Nissan Motorsport Europe rally colours. With an engine and gearbox rebuild, a new clutch and turbo along with lots of ‘goodies’ added, the final result is a 330bhp pocket rocket, which Thomas says flies off the mark and he finds any excuse to drive it!
Last year he bought a 300ZX, got it through its MOT and went on a two week trip around France and Belgium with GTIR owners club. Thomas recalls: “We ended up at Le Mans and watched the 24 hour race which I would recommend to anyone. A couple of days later we ended up in Belgium at the Circuit de Spa which is used as the official F1 track and here I was bombing around in a 25 year old car racing the likes of Ferrari, Lotus, Corvette, Porsche and other GTR’s. That was one of the best days ever and I can’t wait to go back sometime in the near future.”
This year Thomas has been invited by the Nissan owners club to attend a Nissan Corporate day at Donnington (not open to the public), this is an invitation only event. It is an all-expenses paid day with free track time. Some of the top Nissan directors and managers will be attending. For Thomas it is a great opportunity to put his refurbished Pulsar GTIR on the show stand as it’s the 25th anniversary of the Pulsar and the top 20 Pulsars in the country will be lined up together. There will be a mix of rally spec, full race spec, completely standard and modified Pulsars, including Thomas’s pride and joy.
The world of Nissan keeps supplying Thomas with opportunities to indulge his love of the Pulsar as there is a second 25th anniversary event at Rockingham raceway this year where again some of the best GTIR examples will be arranged alongside the only new Nissan Pulsar Nismo in Europe. It will also give Thomas an opportunity to take his Pulsar GTIR out on the Rockingham raceway which is Europe’s fastest racing circuit.