Sheik Bacchus: British Fixation
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
DUBLIN — Sheik Bacchus got an early start in automotive work thanks to the influence of his older brother, but it wasn’t until college that he caught the bug for British cars. “My dad died when I was pretty young, so my older brother became my mentor and taught me a lot of stuff,” he recounts. “I was about 14 when he got me into working on cars. I would help him with his brakes, oil changes and other maintenance, and that became very influential for me. Following high school, I went to college to get my formal automotive training, after which I started an apprenticeship at a Jaguar-Land Rover dealership in Miami. Later, I came to San Francisco and took a job with a British car specialist before opening my own shop in 2006.”
Today, as owner of Bacchus British Services, Sheik explains why he has continued to specialize in vehicles from across the pond (and beyond). “From the beginning, I loved working on British and European cars—the sophistication with which they’re engineered is just mind-blowing. When I first opened my shop, we serviced Jaguar and Land Rover exclusively, but we eventually started incorporating a greater variety of European makes. Now, you can come into the shop on any given day and find a Jaguar, Land Rover, BMW, Mercedes-Benz or Porsche.”
Originally from Guyana, Sheik received his automotive education in Toronto before coming to the United States in 1994. Today, he resides in Dublin with his wife, Patricia, and their son, Tariq. Outside of work, Sheik spends a lot of his time involved with his son’s sports activities. “Tariq plays basketball and soccer, so I like attending his games and helping him practice,” he says. “I also like to work on cars, even when I’m not at the shop. I always have a couple of projects going—that’s how I relax.” Sheik also enjoys taking weekend trips with his family, whether to visit Santa Cruz beaches in summer or hit the Tahoe slopes in winter.
In regard to his professional career, Sheik says customer satisfaction is easy when you’re passionate about what you do. “Working on cars is what I love, so naturally I want to do the best job possible. I enjoy getting positive feedback from my customers, and at the end of the day, it feels good to know I’ve made a positive impact. There’s something extra rewarding about getting to do what you love and being able to help people in the process.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Sheik says he’d take a break. “My day starts at 5am, so first I’d probably want to sleep in. I’m a bit of a workaholic, so it would be good for me to relax and take a vacation—maybe I’d do a European getaway or something. Of course, even if I retired, I’d keep working on cars in my spare time, just for fun.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What was your first car?
A: A Toyota Cressida. My brother and I bought it for about $600 and fixed it up.
Q: What’s your dream car?
A: A Jaguar roadster—either the XK120 or XK140.
Q: Coffee or tea?
Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: On the Border Mexican Grill & Cantina in Dublin.
Q: Music or talk radio?
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A: I like a little bit of both. When I get tired of one, I switch to the other.