After starting, operating, and then selling the largest limousine service in the Bay Area (LaVere’s Limousine) in the 1980’s, Gary went on to start LaVere’s VW Restoration in 1987. After buying one 1957 Karmann Ghia and fully restoring it, Gary sold it to a well-known restorer in southern California. This restorer was selling to a new Japanese market that had begun to buy classic VW’s to sell in Japan. Gary was given an open order to restore as many Vintage VW’s as he could supply. It did not take long for Gary to start selling directly to these overseas buyers. Gary and Jason (see below) alone ended up shipping about 2,000 vintage VW’s directly to Japan before the yen was devalued in the early 1990’s negatively affecting that market. Shortly before the yen dropped, Gary opened up LaVere’s VW Restoration to the public. Restoration and service for even the newest water-cooled VW models was now available.
With Volkswagen and Audi being similar (and owned by the same company), including part numbers and drive trains (for the most part), as well as diagnostics, it was a natural for Gary to include servicing and repairing for Audi when Gary moved LaVere’s to the current location. This addition would include a name change for the service department to LaVere’ VW and Audi Only. While LaVere’s still works on old VWs, the emphasis is now on new VW and Audi Only repair and service.
On the weekends, you will find Gary at the gym, in his vegetable garden, curing olives, making homemade soap or whatever his new hobby is.
Jason graduated from Miramonte High School in 1989.
Jason was initiated to car repair working at a local Porsche shop and then at a VW shop. He first worked for Gary back in the day when Gary was restoring and shipping Volkswagens to Japanese collectors back in the late 80’s and early 90’s.
Jason has been a full time Audi & Volkswagen mechanic/restoration expert for more than 20 years. His specialty is newer water cooled VW’s and Audi.
Jason prides himself in helping people protect what he describes as their second largest investment, their car. He believes customers have the right to make educated decisions when prioritizing general maintenance versus replacement of wear and tear items. Jason is forthcoming in suggesting a schedule of repairs that works with the customer’s budget and safety needs. His goal is to satisfy each and every customer. He never wants to sell a customer something he doesn’t need.
On the weekends you will find Jason riding his sport bike , fishing with his son, or working on his own VW’s. He currently owns and 1963 VW beetle with a roll back sunroof and a 1998 Jetta.
Andrea graduated from Prospect High in San Jose and went to San Jose City College.
Andrea’s background is property management and bookkeeping. Andrea’s job really consists of being a controller (of Gary!) and insuring that all the loose ends are taken care of. Gary says he can’t do it without her.
Andrea has 2 dogs that she brings to work. They are her babies. A Dachshund and a Chihuahua.
Andrea can be found playing Bingo or working around the house on the weekends. She also loves buying and selling at the Flea Market or garage sales.
Scott graduated from Richmond High School in 1988.
Scott’s dad bought him his first bug when he was 15. It was a 1963 bug. After learning how to repair it constantly, Scott decided to restore the little beetle. He met the local VW shop, Hancock’s VW Repair in San Pablo during the restoration. He became friends with the owner, Harry. After a short period of time Scott started working for Harry. After 8 years Scott actually bought the shop from Harry continuing the tradition of excellent service.
Scott prides himself in being attentive to details. He is the “Go To” guy if any of us here need some advice on a repairs.
He knows air-cooled as well as the newer water-cooled VW’s and Audi’s like the back of his hand.
Denny graduated from Richmond High School in 1988.
Denny’s first VW was a 1969 Bug. He traded his 1969 Chevy truck for it in 1986. Denny’s third VW, a 1980 Rabbit was featured in VW Trends magazine.
He has over 27 years restoring many different kinds of vehicles including lowriders, hot rods, customs, and Volkswagens. Denny brought a lot of experience and quality control with him to LaVere’s. Denny is detail oriented and he also knows a lot of jokes.
Pablo has been repairing air-cooled Volkswagens since he emigrated here from Guatemala 25 years ago. Pablo is married with 3 children. Pablo is a rock here at LaVere’s. He almost never misses a day and works very hard. Pablo is very detail oriented and very thorough and rarely misses a thing. He is the longest employed employee here at LaVere’s.
Pablo currently owns a 1979 Volkswagen Westfalia Factory Camper and a 1969 Bug.
Jahnai Pearson is a 2006 graduate of Berkeley High School and holds a degree in Fire Prevention as well a National Certification as an EMT. His passion, aside from helping people, is vintage Volkswagen’s.
Jahnai has been around VW’s since he was born. His parents only drove VW’s and still do. His technical skills were basically self taught born out of necessity, although he has been guided by several of Nor Cal’s foremost vintage VW experts.
His first engine pull was on a 1966 bug at the age of 14. He is a member of all local and national VW clubs including the Vintage VW Club of America. He attends every (and I mean every) vintage VW show in all of California. He currently owns 6 VW buses including a rare double cab pick-up truck and a fully restored 1968 passenger bus.