When veteran auto mechanic William Green first started working on vehicles, Chevrolet had not introduced its Monte Carlo, and Toyota had not yet sold a single Corolla.
It was 1969, and Green was about 22 years old when he began working for his father-in-law J.D. Spinks doing light mechanic work at a garage in Glen Rose. The business was also a grocery store and sold gas.
Now, Green and his son Tracey are the ones who get their hands greasy and bust their knuckles to keep trucks and cars moving at Spinks and Green Garage and Auto, 1416 NE Barnard Street.
William Green opened his business in 1970, and added a retail and wholesale auto parts store in 1978.
He estimates that his 50th year working in the profession will be in September, and will mark his 50th year in business at this location in February.
“Nearly 50 years in this business went by in a hurry, “ said Green, now 71. “I try to treat everybody like I want to be treated. I try to treat everybody fair.”
At the most recent Glen Rose City Council meeting, Green was approved to serve a fourth term as a member of the Glen Rose Economic Development Corporation. A few years ago, Green had a spot on the Glen Rose Planning and Zone Commission for one term. He served as a volunteer on the Somervell County Fire Department for several years, ending in the early 1970s.
In 1988, Green bought out Spinks, who retired. Green kept the original garage moniker because of the name recognition even after Spinks died in 1995.
“My customers have been my advertising,” said Green, who was born in Vernon and eventually moved with his family to Hood County. He said they moved to Somervell County when William was in the second or third grade.
The Greens continue to do brake work, air-conditioning, tuneups, exhaust — and all types of general repair. They used to do their own transmission repair and complete engine rebuilding jobs, but now outsource the inner machining work.
“We did it all. When I first started, you could take a dwell meter and a timing light and that was about it,” said Green, who learned how to work on vehicles from his late father, Bill Green, who owned a fleet of dump trucks.
ONE MAN, ONE WRENCH
In general after a mechanic acquired his wrenches and other basic muscle-powered hand tools, working on vehicles was relatively uncomplicated in 1969.
“When I first started, I didn’t have an air wrench,” Green said.
The Greens not only keep up with the latest training classes, they recently purchased a new — and expensive — diagnostic sensor scanner called a Modis Ultra from Snap-On Tools to be able to keep up with the newest car and truck production models.
Green’s basic enjoyment of his profession hasn’t changed.
“I’ve always enjoyed it,” he said. “It’s been great for us. Our customers have been good, and we’ve made a good living out of it. I don’t think anybody could stay in this type of business if they didn’t like it.”
The garage is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. For more information call 254-897-2857.