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Important Announcement About WIM


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I only found out about this yesterday and I have been debating whether to post about it. But I have decided I will as I don't want Tony's good name to be tarnished.

It seems the owners of Blackboots sold the company to Protyre at the end of January. At the moment they are including the name Blackboots but I suspect this will change in time. They are covering everything from tyres to geometry.

So if you go to the centre or book your car in for a geometry please be aware that you will no longer be dealing with WIM and Tony's excellent reputation.

I don't know if any of the staff have been kept but I would hate for anyone to go there expecting the WIM treatment and be disappointed.

So it's looking like it is the end of an era sadly. As for the forum, it will be staying for the meantime but I can't say for how long 😔

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This is a real shame. I have known Tony since his days at STS in Watford and he always took so much pride in his work - he was the one that originally calculated the correct geometry settings for my Lexus IS300 back in 2003 when I took my car to him with worn out tyres after only 4,000 miles. #

One thing that amazed me about Tony was how good he was with the geometry numbers and how he could calculate things that most people would need a spreadsheet to do. From then on Tony had always done the geometry on my lexus (which  I still own) and he did it again for me a couple of years back (seemingly for the last time). 

Always had a lot of time for Tony and was happy to take my car to WIM because I would get treated well and we would also have a laugh. 

Here's a photo of where it all started, with the Lexus Owners Club at STS in Watford back in 2005.

car20141217_3185.jpg

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I was in kwikfit the other day and was watching the guy doing a geometry on what looked like a hunter machine, it was kwikfit branded. He was just following the prompts on the screen and making everything green, which is what the majority of these places do. 

It's going to be difficult finding somewhere that is as good as WIM and Tony. I miss the old days of car meets at WIM, they were always a good turnout.

wimeetgroup.jpg

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22 minutes ago, eddie said:

They were really good - they did one for supercars a few years back, ferraris and lambos - that was a good day!

It was, I loved it! I went to quite a few meets. The MX5 one before the centre had even opened was rammed with cars.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi, everyone. I’m new to the forum. Very sad news about Tony, I never met him but he called me over a  year ago after I emailed him.  He replied to my email straight away and called me on my phone, I could hear the enthusiasm in his voice and he was so willing to help me. I had purchased a Lexus is200 and Tony’s name was popping up all over the forums regarding the Lexus is200 geometry, his skills were highly praised. 

I called up Black boots last week and asked if Tony would be doing my Geo if I book the Lexus in and they said no, but they never mentioned he was sick or he had passed away. 

I only realised there must be an issue when I clicked on the W.i.m website today and it gave a warning that the business has changed hands. 

I was going to book the car in tomorrow but I think I will now give it a miss. 

I will try to locate the legendary geo numbers that Tony calculated for the is200and get those implemented on my car. 

 

If anyone has the correct geometry numbers for the Lexus is200 or if you can recommend anyone that Tony trained to complete the job on the Lexus is200 please let me know. 

 

Kind regards 

 

Adi 

 

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Hi Adi, welcome to the forum.

That was Tony all over, he would always help if he could. He didn't have a selfish bone in his body. I'm glad you experienced that even if it was over the phone and not in person.

He had worked hard for years building up his reputation as a geometry god and as you saw he is well known on many car forums. 

I don't know the magic IS200 numbers but I am sure they're somewhere or someone has them. Have you tried LOC? Tony didn't keep them a secret as he wanted everyone who owned the car to make sure they got the best handling and tyre wear they could, whether that be via WIM or another garage using his data.

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Hi Rich, 

many many thanks for your help, I appreciate all your efforts. 

Hopefully I can find an honest garage to implement these numbers for me.

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Rich is joe still there do you know? He was very much a protege of Tony and he is superb as you might expect. Wherever Joe is now i would follow and take my skyline to him hes a good bloke! 

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On 18/03/2022 at 20:48, Rich said:

No problem, align my car is a good place to start.

https://alignmycar.co.uk/

AMD Tuning aren't far from you. I've no idea what they're like for geometry but they've competed in the BTCC so should know their stuff!

I ended up going to the following garage in south east London, the owner Mark has owned the place for 25 years. He followed the geo numbers you provided and all seems well.  I appreciate everyone’s help. 

https://www.wheelpoweralignment.co.uk

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16 hours ago, Steve-O said:

Rich is joe still there do you know? He was very much a protege of Tony and he is superb as you might expect. Wherever Joe is now i would follow and take my skyline to him hes a good bloke! 

Yes Joe is still doing the geo's there under Protyre.

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Hi All,

So sad to hear about Tony.

I’ve been wondering about whether the quality of workmanship would be the same, but I have booked a date in April (when Joe is working) to have him look at my C43.  Apparently they’re using a new computer so my previous settings (done by Tony) have been erased!

Am I being rash? I was going back for 3 reasons - Tony was fantastic, they had my car ‘on file’, and I don’t know any other centres that have a similarly good reputation.

Is there anywhere else in the Reading area that compares to WIM?

 

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Tony is WIM, no one comes close to him IMO.

Joe is a top guy and I think the only one left that was trained by Tony. I have nothing against him and unfortunately he's probably caught in the middle. It's the treatment Tony received from the company that I have a problem with.

The WIM signage had already been changed before the company swapped hands, an attempt I feel to push Tony out.

20220306_145701_copy_567x878.jpg.d96a6dc5c42c7e4650f6014f934eb41e.jpg

Then when it was sold Tony wasn't moved over to Protyre, so he effectively got the sack. Yet Protyre are still trading under the WIM branding (no new signage has gone up) and Tony's reputation. Even reviews for Protyre say that they've been using them for years, it's the best place to go etc, even though they've only owned it for 2 months!

This just doesn't sit right with me and was appualing treatment towards Tony in the final weeks of his life. He was hoping WIM would continue once he had gone but others decided to wipe out 15 years of his hard work 😠

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Well done for posting this Rich. I couldn't agree more.

I have limited knowledge of it but with the things he has put in writing on here and his notes I'm hoping something is followed up.

Awful treatment and they should be ashamed.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Another update...

Protyre have decided not to carry on using the WIM name and it's branding. They have now taken over the Black boots website, although there are a couple of mentions of WIM this is a mistake as the content was copied over from the other website!

So the centre will be known as Blackboots - Team Protyre. When the new signage goes up it will be in the Protyre branding.

Joe, who is the last link to Tony and was trained by him is running the geometry side of things and has been given free reign. He has told me he will be running things how Tony wanted them done for as long as he can and is available to give any advice. I have his personal email address if anyone should want it but I won't post it on here so he doesn't get spammed!

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