AFTER 50 years looking after Ford cars in Taunton, Steve Singh is looking forward to spending his retirement with a different kind of horsepower.

Steve, who joined White Brothers, in East Reach, straight from school in 1964, has put his spanners away for the last time and plans to indulge his passion for riding at his stables on a smallholding in Halse.

He also worked for the Ford franchise at Cornishway until recently moving to the Taunton Ford main workshop in Priorswood.

He built up such a rapport with customers that many still drop by for nothing more than a cup of tea.

Kevin Graves, service director of Taunton Ford parent company Foray Motor Group, said: “It’s rare to find such exemplary loyalty from an employee with regards to both the company he works for and the customers he serves.

“Steve’s success is down to his thorough knowledge of the product and his ability to connect with people.

“It would be impossible to work out how many Somerset motorists Steve has helped during his half-century but there must be a considerable number who owe him an unknowing debt of gratitude for keeping them mobile.”

Steve, who is married to Jackie and has two daughters, had always wanted to be a farmer, but his father persuaded him to join White Brothers to learn to fix cars.

He was presented with an engraved watch by the firm to mark his retirement.