Dane Turnbull is the MTAQ Apprentice of the Month for May. The 28-year-old third-year mechanical technician, working with Pedders Suspension in Slacks Creek, south of Brisbane, is progressing well with the theoretical and practical aspects of his apprenticeship.

“The interest and enthusiasm that Dane shows is very pleasing,” said MTA Institute trainer Andrew Bellars.

“Dane has undertaken a personal project to turbocharge his own V6 3.8-litre Holden Commodore. This project has involved extensive design work and application of his theoretical and practical knowledge, such as remapping of the ECU and engine management system.”

Previously a forklift driver, before enrolling in a Certificate I in Vehicle Mechanical Engineering and then taking on an apprenticeship, Dane is putting his knowledge and skills – and a passion for speed and drag racing – to good use.

“My VT Commodore job is a pet project,” he said. “I have added a 70mm turbocharger, redone the wiring, fabricated the manifolds, pulled the engine apart and completely
re-built it. I’m going to take it out to the drag races at Willowbank and compete in some circuit racing.”

Dane is also working with his boss at Pedders Suspension, Brian Harley, on preparing a dragster for an upcoming ‘nostalgia’ meet while also building a new engine for it.

“It is something we’re working on together,” he said. “And it’s really enjoyable stuff.”

With his studies also running at full speed, Dane’s plan for life after he completes his apprenticeship are simple.

“I want to keep working with cars, continue learning, and never stop,” he said. “Cars are a real passion and I’d like my own workshop one day, or even head up one of the big franchises. That would be fantastic.”