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Classic Cars and Retro Repairs

Written by Neal F. Litherland. Posted in Featured

Published on March 27, 2012 with No Comments

Americans love cars. Even if you aren’t the do-it-yourself kind of person, something catches at you when you see a growling muscle car or a regal roadster tooling down the highway or gleaming in the sun at a car show.

Robert Vlasic began his love affair with classic cars when he was still years away from having a license.  And recently, he’s turned that passion into his full-time profession.

 “I was 14 when my father let me buy my first car,” Vlasic said when asked how far back his days of tinkering with cars went. “I used to work on cars before I could even drive. Older cars were so much easier.”

Five years ago Vlasic opened up Yesteryears Auto Repair. The business is located at 1454 S. State Route 2 in Valparaiso, across from the old Fetlas Trading Post.  In fact, the building originally belonged to Fetlas.  Vlasic bought it, cleaned it up, made some repairs and turned it into a combination garage and display room where he keeps many of the cars that he currently tinkers with. The oldest car on display is a 1929 Buick.

In this current economy, however, Vlasic has realized, “people don’t have time for their toys”.  As such, Vlasic has expanded the services offered to include repair of a wide variety of automobiles, ranging from this year’s latest models to the stately machines of decades gone by.

 Also, because the name Yesteryears brings up images of days gone past, Vlasic is renaming Yesteryears Classic Auto Repair to the simpler Bob’s Auto Repair. This name, according to the owner, shows customers that they repair antique and classic vehicles but also modern vehicles as well.

Yesteryears / Bob’s Auto Repair has a fully ASE certified staff.  No matter what your car’s problem, Vlasic and his team can fix it.

Of course, it’s a problem with the industry, more than with your car, that Vlasic’s shop can really solve.

 “My proudest thing is honesty,” Vlasic said. According to the owner of this small town garage, it’s a very common procedure for some people in the automotive industry to lure in customers with a special on one service, only to add a number of other repairs and services onto an estimate.  What makes this practice particularly bad is that, “half the time it doesn’t need it,” Vlasic said, referring to the laundry list of suggested repairs.

Vlasic said that he believes a business should run on honesty and forthrightness. When customers come into his garage with one problem, he won’t try to persuade them to get a bunch of repairs that they don’t need.

 Much like how old-fashioned vehicles were easier to service, Vlasic has an old-fashioned work ethic based on trust between his staff and his customers. That, combined with top quality work from knowledgeable professionals, is enough to ensure that customers keep coming back when they have problems on down the road.

Whether customers have junkers or speed demons, Yesteryears’ / Bob’s Auto Repair staff has the knowledge and expertise to take care of any problems customers bring them.

Even older cars aren’t lost causes in this technologically-connected age.  Discontinued parts that once would have been impossible to acquire are now barely an inconvenience to find. Vlasic, smiling at the question, said, “You can find almost anything you need these days on the Internet.”

Yesteryears / Bob’s Auto Repair also buys antique and classic cars, junk cars and operates a towing service. A modern business that caters to all services a customer might need in the automotive field, Yesteryears / Bob’s Auto Repair is your one-stop shop.  For more information, call 219-531-1955.

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About Neal F. Litherland

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All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Chronicle. Neal Litherland is a Valparaiso resident who has been a freelance writer for several years. A graduate of Indiana University, he holds a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice. He offers advice on money-saving tips using common-sense tactics. He welcomes suggestions and comments. Contact Neal: neal@thechroniclenwi.com.

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