Well-Oiled Machine

Customer service is king at this Florida auto repair business, where they take on even the most challenging cars.

Working as a transmission specialist at car dealerships for 35 years gave Corky Bumpus a wealth of experience, but also a cynical view after seeing how many auto repair chains run their businesses. “It’s been my experience that many automotive repair shops want to sell customers additional repairs that are very expensive and not necessary,” he said. “In this economy, it’s getting more difficult to find a repair shop you can trust, that’s honest and dependable, and where you can talk to the technician and get answers about what’s really happening with your vehicle.” With a goal of providing the type of superior service and integrity he believes customers deserve, in May 2006, Bumpus opened Corky’s Muscle Car Performance in Ocala, Fla.

Family Ties

For staffing his new business, Bumpus chose people who shared his customer service-oriented mindset—his family members. “The shop is family-owned and operated by me and my son, Tim,” he said. “My brother Bob came on board as a mechanic back in October of last year, and our sister, Nancy, has been the office manager since last June.”

What’s more, the business stands out because they insist on treating their customers like family as well. “We might be a small operation, but we do a great job for our customers—they can drop by to talk to us about any problems they might be having and get honest advice,” Bumpus said. “We are always upfront and fair with our pricing, and give our customers an honest opinion of whatis really needed.”

Specialty Shop

Corky’s performs all types of auto repairs with an emphasis on transmissions, but what really sets them apart is their work on muscle cars from the 1960s and ’70s, as well as classic and antique cars. “Many shops won’t even touch the older cars because it’s difficult to find parts for some of them,” he said. “We are persistent, and with the help of the Internet, usually find what we need. What we can’t find, we have built or build it ourselves. We stand behind our work and do it better than expected.”

For example, recently the team completely restored a customer’s 1968 Dodge Charger, also known as “The General Lee” of The Dukes of Hazzard fame. Not only did they totally rebuild the motor and transmission, they replaced and renovated the interior and exterior so the vehicle would look as good as new. In fact, the customer was able to take it to a gathering of Charger enthusiasts this past June.

The Next Steps

In addition to providing full-service auto repair, Bumpus plans to add body repair and painting services in the near future. They’ve also increased their marketing efforts since adding a myABCspace.com website, complete with racing videos and a rotating photo gallery of classic cars they’ve serviced. “The first week we signed up with ABC, the site was ready to go,” Bumpus said. “We were thinking we needed a web presence and just didn’t know how to build a website ourselves—this was the ticket to getting it done. Our membership in ABC has been a real blessing.”

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