Inksplott Interview: Diamond Street Motors

What with autumn here and winter on its way, it pays to know a local mechanic.  This week Inksplott chats to Mark Pell, owner of Diamond Street Motors, about taking care of cars and his garage in Adamsdown (but a part of Adamsdown that’s really, really close to Splott!).

Inksplott: Hi Mark, thank you for being interviewed for Inksplott.  Can you tell us a little about yourself and your business?

Mark: I’ve been the owner of Diamond Street Motors for seven years.  Graham Evans had it before me for 42 years.  I was working in a smaller garage around the corner (the Autocentre) for 12 years and when this place came up as Graham unfortunately passed away, friends of Graham came round to tell me and encouraged me to take this place over.

Inksplott: Why should people come to you?

Mark: I’m honest.  I’m not here to rip people off; I always tell the truth.

Inksplott: What’s your speciality?

Mark: We do everything here – MOTs, tyres, breaks, services etc., but clutches and air conditioning are our speciality.

Inksplott: Oh, really?  My aircon has gone and I think it’s just the gas.  How much do you charge for gas?

Mark: We do an aircon service for £35.

Inksplott: You’ll be seeing me soon!  Typically though it’s the wrong time of year now with summer ending.  I should have sorted it three months ago!

Mark: You should switch your aircon on all through the year; it stops the bacteria building up in the system.

Inksplott: (says bad word).  Hmmm, I really need to bring my car up here.  What’s the best way to book in?  Website or phone?

Mark: I haven’t got a website – it’s all over the phone.  I’m so busy all the time I don’t really need a website!  We open 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday.

Inksplott: Any advice for motorists now that autumn’s here and winter’s on the horizon?

Mark: Everyone should service their vehicle once a year.  Towards the winter time it’s more important, especially checking antifreeze levels as a lack of it could cause your engine to freeze, and tyres are very important.  In a service we will go through the whole vehicle and check it all.  It’s basically like an MOT check but in a bit more depth.  We’ll check suspension, change the oil filter and oil, the air filter.  Whereas an MOT station won’t take off the wheels to check brakes, we take them off.  A service starts at £80 and we all do the same thing for a basic service.  Any additional cost will depend on the price of the parts needed.  That’s when it starts going up.  You’re looking at anywhere between £80 and £140 for a service, depending on what the car needs.

Inksplott: How did you get into this?

Mark: I’ve been working on cars from the time I was 12 years old, with my dad.  Then I went to college.  I was a Splott boy; I lived in Aberdovey Street.  I lived there many moons ago and I’ve worked in the local area for years.

Inksplott: Tell us a secret or something about Splott that we won’t know.

Mark: No secrets but there have been lots of changes.  I remember when there was no fencing around Moorland Park and the community centre being there.  It was behind the factories.  It’s gone now – knocked down.  I think I can remember a petrol station down the end of Moorland Road by the railway arches.  Around thirty years ago I think I can remember that.

Inksplott: Railway arches?

Mark: At the end of Splott Road, instead of following the road around to the left and going under the bridge (South Park Rd), turn off and head south down that street there.  I’m sure there was a petrol station down there!

Inksplott: Time for a spot of googling I think!  That’s great – thank you so much for the interview, Mark.


You can find Diamond Street Motors on (you guessed it) Diamond Street in Adamsdown.  The garage is open 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday and Mark is contactable on 029 20 482613 or 07896465170.