1932 ford Hot rod build that I did after work and on the weekends to have a little fun and work on something that I have such a passion for. I work at Watkinsville Service Center during the day and work on modern cars most of the time. We are a regular auto mechanic shop that will fix your breaks, get your air conditioning running cool, change your tires, fix that check engine light issue, or just make sure your car is in top shape for getting you to work.
I know it is crazy to think that I would come home and work on this hot rod build after work, but it completely got under my skin. I have been tinkering with it for about 4 years. Last Christmas I had the whole family out and we brought up the project. My son and I have built a good bit of hot rods from the ground up. It started with a 63 Nova that for getting back and forth to school for my son. Low and behold we took it to a car show for fun and wine top prize. We actually won several shows and got a in a few magazines and get the editors top picks. It was a lot of fun we had together. We did ended up selling it and some how that turned into another build and then another. I have worked on several other hot rod builds including a 1923 T bucket, a 28, a 29, and a 30.
Anyway back a Christmas we were looking over the sea of parts I had for this build and I thought I need to finish this for me, OK and my family. So I go to work and from frame to here in just a few months. I loved every bit of it. I really did try to forget about this project a few time but I have such a passion for the work that I had to get it finished. I saw this same model as a teenager and since then I knew I wanted to build or restore one for my self.
I did this hot rod build from the frame up, Painted it, built the engine from a crate and bolted everything together. I plan on driving the car for a while, trips to the mountains and fun drives in the country, maybe a parade. With that in mind I did put as many modern items as I could, AC, power windows, power breaks. I wanted to have the look and feel with the convenience and safety of a modern car.
I still have a couple of months work to go on this hot rod build, the whole Interior, some break work, and a few other things. One of the things I loved the most about this build was painting the flames on the side. I was thinking about doing it two toned, but in the end I really wanted it to have that street old school look and feel to it.
When it comes to prolonging the life of your vehicle, there is nothing more important than preventive maintenance – the regular, factory recommended maintenance schedule (typically every 30,000 miles).
Through preventive maintenance, your auto mechanic is able to regularly inspect the vehicle for routine wear and tear, replenish fluids, check tire pressure and be certain that a small problem does not become a catastrophic situation that can leave you stranded or paying hundreds of dollars more than necessary.
Darcy Lapointe, owner of Watkinsville Service Center, encourages his customers to get on a regular maintenance schedule.
“What you want to do is give us the opportunity to find a problem under the hood that might easily be caught and repaired at a low cost,” Darcy says. “If you’re not on a regular maintenance schedule, we don’t have that opportunity to find those problems before they become catastrophic. And then you’re looking at expensive repairs. You’re looking at being stranded. And our goal is always to help our customers keep their vehicles in good running order, keep them from being on the side of the road, and keep them from having to spend unnecessary dollars fixing a major repair that could have been caught.”
Darcy said that too often customers who are not on a regular maintenance schedule will hear a strange knocking or squeaking and ignore it at first, or procrastinate in taking the car in to have it looked at. Often, the strange noise gets worse, and it’s weeks before the customer will bring in the vehicle to have it looked at.
“By then, whatever started as a simple fix has become a serious issue,” Darcy said. “I hate to have to tell a customer that they’re going to have to spend several hundred or a thousand dollars to get their car fixed. Nobody wants to hear that news, and I don’t enjoy giving bad news. I’d much rather tell you that we caught an issue in time and the cost will be minimal.
“When you’re driving down the highway, and you’re running 60 miles per hour and going over bumps, or you’re going through town and doing a lot of starting and stopping at lights, that puts a lot of wear on these vehicles. There’s a whole lot of stress being placed on your vehicle from front to back.
“At Watkinsville Service Center, our technicians know what to look for and know which component to inspect in order to avoid serious problems. The best way that we can help you and keep your costs down and get the most life out of your vehicle is by sticking with a regular maintenance schedule that keeps your car in good condition.”
If you want to get your vehicle on a regular maintenance schedule, call Watkinsville Service Center at 706-769-8334 and schedule a time to bring it in and have us look at it.
When the Athens Banner Herald announced winners for its 2016 Reader’s Choice Awards, it came as no surprise to anyone who knows the folks at Watkinsville Service Center that Darcy and Kathy Lapointe and the crew at the Oconee County auto shop ranked among the top for favorite people in the auto mechanics category.
“We tied for second in the ‘Favorite People’ category for auto mechanics,” said Kathy Lapointe. “We’re really very flattered that so many people voted for us.”
In business for more than 25 years, Darcy and Kathy have developed strong ties with their customers over the years and know most of them by name. Anyone who’s ever walked through the door at Watkinsville Service Center knows to expect to see a friendly face, whether it’s Darcy coming out of the back or Kathy behind the counter.
“They just run an honest business, and you’re treated like a friend,” said longtime customer Sam Walker. “They don’t care if you just walked into the shop or you’ve known them 18 years.”
Darcy and Kathy have built a strong reputation in their community by treating people the way they wanted to be treated – with honesty and integrity. That reputation is what helps them continue to grow, even after 25 years.
“A lot of times when people come to a car shop to get repairs they’re not in a great mood,” Darcy pointed out. “Car trouble never comes at a good time, and people know when they’re having a problem it’s going to cost them money they don’t want to spend.
“We understand this, and so we always want to be friendly and treat people well, because there’s a good chance if they’re coming through our door it’s because they’re having a bad day. So we’re very honored that people recognize this and voted for us in the 2016 Reader’s Choice Awards. We like being known as friendly people.”
Of course, Darcy also encourages his customers to get regular maintenance on their vehicles so that they can avoid as many of the problems as possible. With a regular maintenance schedule, Darcy and his crew at Watkinsville Service Center can spot a problem before it becomes a catastrophe and often save their customers money in the long run.
If you’re looking for quality service from a friendly and trustworthy auto mechanic, you should visit Watkinsville Service Center. Whether you need anything from an oil change to a rebuilt engine, Darcy and the mechanics at Watkinsville Service Center are happy to help.
When Sam Walker’s father passed away, he decided to give his father’s 2007 Jeep Commander to his daughter and her husband who live in Colorado.
Before he drove the Jeep to Colorado, he took it to Darcy Lapointe at Watkinsville Service Center to get the Jeep serviced. A month later, Walker and his wife were going to Chesapeake, Maryland for vacation. Before they left, he took his Ford F-150 to Watkinsville Service Center.
“Any long trips I go on, I take the vehicle in to Darcy first,” Walker said.
Walker, a retired lieutenant colonel whose family has a rich military history, said his relationship with Darcy goes back to 1996.
“I retired from the military in ’96,” Walker said. “I built a home here in Oconee County in ’98, and I met Darcy and his wife Kathy between ’96 and ’98 when I was building the home. They had a garage here on Main Street, and at the time I had a little Nissan King Cab pickup truck.”
Walker said when his pickup started having trouble he took it to another mechanic to have them take a look at it. “He told me the engine was blown and it was going to take a couple thousand dollars to get it fixed.”
Walker said he didn’t feel right about the diagnosis or the estimate on his engine.
“I was commuting from Athens to Oconee as I was building the house, and I decided to just take it into this service station on Main Street,” Walker recalled. “I told Darcy what was going on with it, and Darcy looked at me and said, ‘Naw. You can’t destroy that engine unless you’ve done something bad.’ He told me to leave it with him and he’d take a look at it.
“He made some adjustments and he called me and said, ‘I have it all good to go.’ I asked him what it was going to cost, and he said a couple hundred. Darcy saved me a couple of thousand dollars on that, and I’ve never gone to anybody else since for any major work.”
Sam Walker is third generation army. His grandfather and father were both four star generals – a rare feat accomplished by only one other father and son. Both were West Point graduates, and Sam was a graduate of West Point, too. His son is also a West Point graduate and retired as an army captain in 2013.
Walker said a few years ago he was looking to buy a used pickup truck. He found one he thought he liked, and he took it to Darcy.
“He test drove it with me and said he’d be wary about buying that truck,” Walker recalled. “I found another and took it in to Darcy. He test drove that one with me, and he told me the second one was a good vehicle.”
Walker said Watkinsville Service Center is the sort of garage where friendships are built, and for him, Darcy is more than just “the guy I take my car to.”
“He’s always talking about hunting and fishing, and when he had the bug, we went skeet shooting together,” Walker said. “Darcy’s a friend.”
But Walker said his friendship with Darcy is not something unique or unusual among the customers at Watkinsville Service Center.
“They just run a very honest business,” Walker said. “And you’re treated like a friend. They don’t care if you just walked into the shop or you’ve known them 18 years.”