OCEAN PARK — If Barry Coleman Jr. has his way, classic cars will continue to cruise along the Peninsula for years to come.
“I just like seeing those old cars on the road,” Coleman said. “We would love to see a lot more.”
On Tuesday, Aug. 1, Coleman officially opened his own shop in Ocean Park, Busted Knuckle Garage. Located at 1702 Bay Avenue, the former location for Chrome Dome Automotive Repair, Coleman saw perfect spot — and opportunity — to plant his new business.
New car mechanic in Ocean Park
Coleman’s career as a mechanic started as a hobby wrenching on hot rods. Over the years, he gained hands-on experience as a mechanic for Del’s OK Tire Factory, Midas, Meikeke and Econo Lube.
“I’ve been wanting to do this since I was a kid,” Coleman said standing at the counter of his new business on Tuesday, Aug. 22. Now four weeks in, Coleman said business has been brisk.
“We’ve been going nonstop since we opened,” he said. “We’ve been packed almost every day.”
Many of the customers have carried over from Chrome Dome. An oil change, which cost $45, has been the most common service, but the shop also services “tires, wheels, brakes, suspension, mufflers, shocks, struts, minor trailer and engine repair,” according to Coleman. Classic cars and off-road trucks are some of his favorite undertakings. Coleman considers suspension work his specialty, particularly those seeking “lift kits.”
“We do all the lift stuff here — especially for beach trucks,” he said. Simply keeping up with demand has been the biggest hurdle, particularly relying on limited locations for parts.
“That’s the hardest part, having one parts stop and having to wait a whole other day to get it,” Coleman said.
Common maintenance mistakes
Most customers remember to have their oil changed at regular intervals, but coolant systems are often overlooked.
“It’s the most overlooked item everywhere,” said lead mechanic Michael Johnson. “Nobody changes their coolant.” Johnson said the coolant should look “clean and green” not the “rust color” he so often discovers after popping the cap.
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