Recently, Charles Swift OBE called into Swift Car Care Services to present the two directors with an award for 30 years of service to the motorist.
2023 marks the company’s 35th year in business and its beginnings owe much to the silent heroes who, behind the scenes, helped and advised the Datoo brothers in their venture, which lead to the Swift Car Care & Express Autocare group of garages.
Express Autocare would like to acknowledge and pay tribute to four very special people who, behind the scenes, made it all happen.
A special tribute to the first of the four silent heroes who made it possible for Express Autocare to be one the most successful garages in Peterborough is the founder and former Chairman of Watford Electronics and present Director of Barnfield Federation, Mr Nazir Jessa.
Mr Jessa’s unsecured loan to the budding company at its most crucial stage was the making of Swift Car Care – the purchase of the first freehold site, which is now the registered head office of the Group.
In our tribute to the Silent Heroes, the second of the four people who had a significant impact on the success of Swift Car Care is Sir Brian Mawhinney (now Lord Mawhinney).
He was then the MP for Peterborough and Junior Minister for Northern Ireland. In his extremely busy ministerial duties, he found time to assist the Datoo brothers. Sir Brian’s contribution was extremely valuable as in those days Peterborough City Council would not lease any units to the garage trade. Sir Brian’s intervention ensured that the Datoos were the exception and the result gave Swift Car Care a location on the map of Peterborough.
The business name initially was B-Swift and on Sir Brian’s advice the “B” was dropped and Swift Car Care Services was conceived.
The picture is a proud moment of Sir Brian’s presenting the highly acclaimed ISO 9002 Accreditation to the Datoo brothers in 1995 along with Pete Hall who is still with Swift Car Care!
In early 1987 along with Sir Brian Mawhinney (Con), was Charles Swift OBE, who assisted anyone who knocked at his door. Charles Swift, on completing his night shift, would take the Datoo brothers to each and every industrial unit that was potentially rentable through Peterborough Development Corporation and finally a suitable unit on 13 Wainman Road was taken.
Charles Swift’s contribution went further by negotiating a rent- and rate-free period to give that vital boost. In February 1987, the Datoo brothers decided to name the business after the councillor – “Swift” Car Care; to this day the Councillor and the Datoos have kept in regular touch through sponsoring various charities.
The reason Swift Car Care continues to prosper as a business is based on its core philosophy. The brothers’ father, Amirali J. Datoo drummed into both boys,
“In business always look for the opportunity in the problem and not the problem in the opportunity.”
The last person behind Swift Car Care’s success was the now late John Wilson, on secondment to Princes Trust from Barclaycard Northampton.
John Wilson met Mo & Raza Datoo at a Princes Trust event held in Cambridge and took on a mentoring role. Under John’s guidance, the company grew from five employees to 26 in a matter of just 3 years!
Swift Car Care opened up 2 more branches and became the first garage in Peterborough to be awarded the ISO9001 Part2 Accreditation. To John, the Datoo brothers were his family and he was Godfather to their children.
Sadly, John was diagnosed with cancer and passed away on October 8th 2012 at just 66 years of age.
Express Autocare would not be where it is today without the help of those above, and their help and excellence inspire us to continue growing and providing the best service we can.