By Mike Louvière
Orange, like many small towns, had grocery stores in every neighborhood and almost as many auto and body shops. Small Mom and Pop grocery stores are gone, in their place are chain stores and big box stores. Fortunately, there are still some privately owned stores where you can get almost any car or van repaired without having to go to a dealership.
At a local homeowner the prices are almost always lower, the customer service is good because that’s what keeps customers coming back to the stores, and the same mechanic may have worked on the same car for years.
The Mockingbird store in Pinehurst has been in business for 60 years. It was started by CJ Huckaby and was named after him. It is now Young’s Automotive. Young’s performs auto repairs, including alternator and generator work, oil changes and lubrication.
Another store in Pinehurst, one block from Young’s, on Martin Street, is Dean’s Service Department. Dean Perkins was a mechanic and later service manager for Wickersham Ford. When he left Wickersham and opened his own business, he paid tribute to his years of automotive service by the name he gave to his workshop. Dean never advertised, except for an occasional advertisement. He felt his name and reputation were enough. The shop did almost all types of auto repairs except transmission work. Dean even had a big steam cleaner to clean the engines. After Dean’s health declined, he sold the store to his mechanic, Aaron Moody. Moody has changed very little about the store. He still runs it like Dean is there. Dean’s business practices must be good, the store has been around for about 35 years.
Western Avenue Automotive has been in business for over 39 years. It is located in a unique location. It is on the other side of Stark Alley, on the south side of Evergreen Cemetery. Stark Street and Western Avenue intersect to the west of the store. The store is located on the former site of a “dumping ground” which was operated by a French native named Guillett. There used to be a small church at the intersection of Stark and Western. The workshop performs general auto repairs.
Kool Breeze Automotive is located on Western Avenue, a few miles west of Western Avenue Automotive. It’s another store with a story. It used to be the location of one of Cliff’s 7-11 stores. The old open store layout was ideal for the bays in an auto store. Kool Breeze announces that they do everything from oil changes to engine replacements, air conditioning jobs are their specialty. After Hurricane Rita destroyed the old building, a new modern building was built.
Next to Kool Breeze on Western Avenue is Steve’s Import Auto Repair. Steve’s has been in business since 1975. They do repairs on European cars from BMW to Cooper Minis. They can do anything any dealership can do to a European car. They use OE or OEM parts. If these are not available, they use the highest quality aftermarket parts available. The company can service and repair any Asian car from Acura to Subaru with the same quality it uses on European cars.
Steve’s has the most up-to-date diagnostic equipment available for diagnosing problems. They offer a two-year 24,000 mile warranty on all labor and parts and pride themselves on providing dealer-level service at a competitive price.
Heads Up Automotive Machine Shop located on Border Street specializes in performing machine work such as cylinder head work, engine balancing, valve work, hot tank and engine block boring. It’s the shop mechanics who come to work on the machines instead of having to ship parts out of town for reconditioning.
A muffler shop owner once said he was going to have to look for another job because mufflers and exhaust pipes in newer cars last so long. Maybe yes, but AA Muffler and Custom Shop on MacArthur Drive are doing well. They replace and repair mufflers and exhaust systems and build custom systems using Flowmaster parts. Flowmaster is known as the Exhaust Technology Company.
If your vehicle has transmission issues, Baker’s Transmission on Green Avenue has been rebuilding transmissions for 31 years. Baker’s repairs and rebuilds automatic and standard transmissions.
For repairs to the body or chassis of a passenger car or truck, Orange has body shops to carry out all repairs, the replacement of body parts or the straightening of the chassis, painting work. custom and other custom work.
Robert’s Body Shop has been providing quality service by local workers for over 40 years. The store was founded by the late Robert Baca and has been one of Orange’s most successful businesses.
Bob’s Paint and Body Shop, located near the Orange County Airport, is another local business. Bob’s has been in business for 43 years.
Orange is fortunate to have these stores and others that carry out mechanical work owned by the locals. Stores understood that they had to provide quality workmanship and quality customer service to survive in today’s economy.
Orange may no longer have Mom and Pop selling groceries on street corners, but they have good companies to run cars and trucks so owners can get to chain and chain grocery stores. big surface.