Sometimes, you get what you pay for

Mackey’s Mobil, in Old Greenwich, is probably not the cheapest garage in town, but I like Peter, Paul and Kenny (don’t know what happened to Mark) and I appreciate dropping off my car and walking one block to my office. And then there’s this: my daughter Sarah was heading out west last week and casually mentioned that her car (which, of course, had been sitting in the driveway for six months) had two bad tires. I went to Mackey’s at 8 the next morning and within 45 minutes, we were equipped and Sarah was on her way. That was great service, and it turned out to be fabulous service when I saw that Sarah’s route through Atlanta, Mississippi and Louisiana were all buried in snow just a day after she passed through. Thanks, guys.

24 Comments

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24 responses to “Sometimes, you get what you pay for

  1. sound beacher

    It is great to support the local guy. We use them too. Much better than the car dealership.

  2. cotswood

    Agreed. They are solid, although a little pricey. But you get honest service, they guarantee their work, with no BS. Also, Steve Potter is a great mechanic and an even better guy – they are lucky to have him.

  3. Anon

    I have had great experience with 24 Hour Le Mans on Cos Cob – across from Dunkin Donuts. Great mechanics. Very honest, which is key, as one may not know what are they really charging/fixing.

  4. Fred2

    Yeah the big problem with indepdents is the *blatant* way the manufacturers have been cutting them out of the car repiar business by restricting coding inthe computer system to *very * Expensive machines that basically on one manufacturer dealers can pay for.

    Now you’d think our politicians would be all over protecting the little guy from the big manufacturers. Right?

    Nevermind.

  5. Jane

    We drove in there the weekend we first moved to Riverside. We had a broken air conditioner in our (very old) car. He fixed it (for a fair price) and told us all the good things about the neighborhood, etc. It felt so “Mayberry” and very welcoming. Still stop in there to buy gas any chance I can.

  6. happy in riverside

    Couldn’t agree more with CF. Have known Peter and Paul a long time and always recommend them to friends who are new to town. They are always friendly, happy to help and active around the community with Old Timers, Lions Group etc. Seeing these guys every week is one of the best things about living in a small town!

  7. Cobra

    European Autoworks Inc.(formerly Sucic Brothers…Joe and Mirko), on Bruce Park Avenue has been our family’s “go to” repair shop for our street cars for a few decades. Owner Jakov Saric is highly competent, honest, and fair. Plus, he’s a great guy and a hell of a downhill skier. Never noticed any Asian or American cars there, but for European and English cars he’s the best in town.

  8. edgewater

    i have known peter for more than 40 years and would not go anywhere else if it’s something within their competence [and not covered by a manufacturer’s warranty.] and you can’t beat the convenience.

  9. My favorite story about these guys involves my late grandmother who,long after she’d stopped driving, would walk to Old Greenwich to shop and, having grown tired, would ask John Mackey for a ride home. She wasn’t a customer anymore, but Mr. Mackey would always, and cheerfully, dispatch a young man to drive her to William Street. His son in law Peter continues that tradition of great service.

  10. I absolutely swear by Soundview Service – the one on Arcadia in OG. Couldn’t be nicer, friendlier and my cars run great without the hassle of a dealership’s repairshop. Important to keep a local guy in business – particularly when they do a great job

    • I liked Soundview until they sold Sarah on a transmission flush, for a hundred bucks or so – totally unnecessary, and I thought they’d taken advantage of her. Haven’t been back since.

  11. Pete

    For people toward the western end of Greenwich, try Glenville Shell. I’ve been going there for over 30 years. Good mechanics, and an honest shop.

  12. Cobra

    My now quite sketchy memory seems to recall that back in the early ’60’s, Mackey’s was situated further north on Sound Beach, near the railroad tracks, next to the Railway Express office. After John looked my Harley WLH over, topped up the oil and drained the fuel, I shipped the bike by rail to Chapel Hill to serve as my freshman year transportation. Hopefully, another reader of FWIW will also recall that previous location so my now foggy memory may prove to be at least semi-accurate.

  13. Boomer

    I worked at Mackey’s one summer during the mid ’80s. It was easily one of the best work experiences I’ve ever had and I learned more that summer about customer service and the relationship with the customer than I did in any job until I started working full time after college (in retail sales). My hats off to those guys; they were (and are, it sounds) a class act.

  14. Soundview Service lover

    For the last five years, the Parente brothers (Peter, Joe and Phil) at Soundview Service North on Arcadia Road across from the Food Mart have been keeping my family’s fleet of old cars ( mid-80’s VW, BMW, Mercedes and a 1968 Land Rover!) in excellent running condition. Peter is an ex-Marine (8 years), a veteran of Desert Storm and very involved in charity, Joe most often is there, and all of them are patient and skilled. Also, very nice people. Go there!

  15. Real Torme

    I don’t know what service station Cobra means. John Mackey took over the the old Graves Mobil Station at the same corner location. Does anyone remember Bill Graves light blue Jaguar with BGOG license plate? The first vanity plate I ever saw. Kanstrups “Flying A” station was the other side of the tracks where the Peoples Bank/MacKenzies shopping strip is. In the early 50’s there were a couple of gas pumps in front of the stone building by the RR underpass. Maybe he means that one.
    Pete Krause’s father had the Arcadia Rd Station for years, and Lou Palumbo had the Cities Service station next to Wattsy’s Hardware Store (Feinsod)
    Lou had a sign that read “U Turn Yes, Next Time Try Our Gas”
    Peter, Paul, Kenny and the others continue a great tradition of local, friendly service.

  16. Anonymous

    I’m surprised nobody has mentioned Greenwich Exxon which was recently thrown off its longtime perch at Dearfield and W Putnam by the evil JP Morgan/Chase Bank Empire. Owner Chris Canavan and his family were the real deal there for so many years, honest and nice to their customers.

    I’ve argued here that big banks are a cancer upon our community, and this is a perfect example. Chris wanted to buy this property that his business had leased for many years, but he couldn’t outbid the deep pocketed bank which already has other branches just seconds away from this location.

    So now, instead of a useful gas and service station on that prominent corner, we end up with yet another goddam rubber-stamp bank branch.

    I wonder how many other small businesses like this got snuffed out by the Obama/Geithner bailout of the big banks? Your tax dollars at work!

  17. Anonymous

    I wished I had known about these guys before my daughter went to Post Road Auto in Cos Cob (next to car wash) They lied and cheated her on a car repair and really took advantage. The initial estimate was low (she obtained several from other places) they then jacked up the price! After having this negitive experience I found out I was not alone. Whatever you do don’t go to these guys- you will regret it!!

  18. Cineast

    If you need foreign car repair, I cannot recommend Expert Auto enough. They are located at 480 West Main, corner of Post road and West Avenue – a block up from Shop Rite on West Main. I’ve been dealing with Joe since the early ’80’s and he is the best. Honest, does great work, and a really nice guy, too.

  19. towny

    Cobra. There was a gas station just north of the tracks where that little shopping center sits today. Building made out of stone as i recall? It wasnt Mackeys though. Mackeys has always been across from the fire house.

  20. pulled up in OG

    Same Bill Graves that had the gin mill on Selleck, or his father?

  21. Cobra

    Towny may have nailed it. As I mentioned, my memory is definitely garbled. Stone building, similar to the structure still just to the south of the RR tracks, is what I recall, although not where I initially recalled. Thought it was Mackey’s, but apparently not. I did ship the Harley from Old Greenwich, after the gas station proprietor checked it over. Apparently some brain cells remain operative, albeit now arranged randomly.

  22. happy in riverside

    I just realized that the teenage boy who died this past weekend worked at Mackey’s on the weekends. I thought he looked familiar. I already felt so upset about that story and now I just feel sick.

  23. Real Torme

    Pulled Up – Yes, Bill Graves owned “Graves End” the saloon near Interstate Lumber. His father owned the Mobil station, and I believe John Mackey worked for him. Not sure about that. I knew Bill.