Tom Hillesheim, the mechanic trusted by so many people, is turning his last wrench. | Face to Face

Tom Hillesheim, the mechanic trusted by so many people, is turning his last wrench. | Face to Face

For 12 consecutive decades, Tom’s Monterey Auto Mend has been named Greatest Vehicle Repair Shop by viewers of the Weekly. Plainly he has earned a whole lot of rely on.

Tom’s success is constructed on that have faith in, and on a workforce that has been working with each other in the garage for a lot more than two a long time. Now, after 32 yrs at the helm, the shop’s major mechanic and owner, Tom Hillesheim, has announced his options to retire at the age of 66. The past working day of his decades-spanning vocation will be Friday, April 15.

Hillesheim has lived and worked all-around devices and vehicles given that graduating from trade faculty. He worked for Quinn Caterpillar, owned a fuel station in Corral de Tierra prior to purchasing Uyeda Bros. Automotive Inc. on Abrego Avenue in the early 1990s and turning it into Tom’s Monterey Vehicle Maintenance.

That is the place Hillesheim’s been at any time due to the fact. Inspite of spending his daily life close to motor vehicles, he claims he doesn’t fall into any camp. He’s not a Ford man, a Chevy person, a Mopar man – he’s not specific when it will come to his possess journey.

Hillesheim suggests he’s retiring at a excellent age and notes that both equally his dad and mom are however alive. His father and mom are 96 and 93 yrs old, respectively, and each are in superior wellness. “I’m youthful,” Hillesheim suggests.

Hillesheim compares his knowledge of getting a business enterprise owner with fishing in a favourite gap that is nicely stocked. “If you have good bait and you do the proper issue, and you are honest about it, and you test tough, you’re gonna catch it.”

Hillesheim has now bought the shop. Tom’s Monterey Car Mend will shut its location at 870 Abrego St. and reopen future thirty day period in a new space under management both new and acquainted. Mark Swank from All Automotive and Edgar Uda, Tom’s present manager, will consider around. The relaxation of the staff members will keep on being as effectively.

Hillesheim states on Friday he will established a time, from 12-3pm, for his loyal buyers to halt by the Abrego Avenue locale and mail him off.

The Weekly caught Hillesheim at his shop during his last 7 days as a reliable mechanic and store proprietor – and as some of his longtime customers commenced coming by for 1 previous tune-up.

Weekly: You’ve been in this business for a lengthy time. How a great deal has it adjusted over the yrs?

Hillesheim: Unquestionably, factors are superior. It’s nonetheless fairly elaborate. You go from little little repairs to major fixes just like you utilised to. All in all, autos are way improved nowadays than they were, for positive, and they are finding better all the time. Truly, with the newer autos, a lot more has to do with [connecting] your telephone or your Bluetooth in your vehicle.

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What are your retirement options?

We’re heading on a church mission for a few of several years and then we’ll arrive again and do whatever we want. I never imagine I’m gonna be working entire-time when I get back. I’m not gonna do that. There’s another era that requires a task. I never need to have to stage back in there and consider their place. I’ll do one thing, certainly, just to help people today I hope.

You don’t have a beloved brand. Why not?

Possibly just my identity. I do not set cars and trucks on a pedestal. I just want a thing that does not split down … a thing that I do not have to spend any time messing with. So I’m driving an aged 1993 Chevy K1500 shortbed pickup truck. It is swift to do the services and keep.

Do you get attached to your cars and trucks at all?

No, it’s just a piece of devices. They don’t talk to me. I know we have a ton of consumers who get attached to their cars, have names for them and I believe that is excellent. I just really do not.

How have your clients reacted to your retirement? What have they instructed you?

That they are going to pass up me. My clients have been with me for 45 several years, or 32 years in this article. You have customers then you have their kids, and then their grandchildren in lots of scenarios. These people today grow to be our pals.

What are you heading to skip the most when you leave operate on Friday?

Coming to perform and viewing all the folks doing work on their cars and looking at all the individuals I see all day extended – working with the men that I’ve labored with. I’ll miss out on that for 10 minutes. It’s like when I took my to start with son to higher education. You get them to university. You drop tears and you go “Oh, my gosh, that genuinely was not so negative.” You just bought to move on in lifetime.