- Jan 1, 2007
- Central NY
The US military used to have “Auto Hobby Shops” on every base. Two post lifts, drive on lifts, every tool imaginable. Pay the $1.00/hour lift fee or the $0.50/hour bay fee, with unlimited free tool rental. Huge selection of tools, from impact, sockets, pullers, and wrenches, to a hydraulic press, brake lathe, tire machine and balancer, they had everything you could ever need.
The staff would advise and help.
I learned to work on cars at the Oceana Auto Hobby Shop. Engine swaps, suspension work, oil changes, and everything in between. Spent a lot of time there.
After leaving Virginia Beach in 1997, I took my 4 Runner in for some work in 2012. I was a bit older, a couple ranks more senior, a bit less hair, but it felt like going home.
Same staff. Looking at me, one of them said, “haven’t seen you here in a while, Sir.” I had to smile.
Yep. Like going home.
They‘re all closed now. Lack of patronage. Young military members are just not interested in fixing their own cars.
A genuine loss.
I set up my own shop, though it costs me a lot more than the Hobby Shop ever did.
I don’t see the value proposition of these shops at the quoted rate. A couple hours rental, and I could’ve paid a mechanic to do the work. Granted, like many of us, I prefer doing it myself to know that it’s done right, but the dollar value just isn’t there in this business model.
There is one right near my shop.
American Do It Yourself Garage Home - American Do It Yourself GarageAmerican Do It Yourself Garage Virginia Beach - your garage away from home. Rent a bay, complete with tools, by the hour or by the day. Gearheads welcome!americandiyg.com
Wonder how they’re doing?
Loves the shop st Oceana. 11/1992-8/1994.
The PRs used to help me modify my RX7 LOL.