Vehicles break down on occasion, and when they do, Erwin has a new auto repair business that can help make repairs.
Jimmy’s Garage, located at 1210 North Main Ave., is owned by Jimmy and Michelle Linville,
The couple spoke to The Erwin Record about their background in auto repair, their interest in dirt racing and their hopes for their new business.
Jimmy Linville said he graduated in 2018 from the diesel safety and rebuild program at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology.
At that time, he said he did not consider becoming a small business owner.
“There’s a lot that goes into just the mechanics’ side of it,” he said.
Linville added that he did not have enough experience upon graduation to confidently diagnose malfunctions in a vehicle.
“I had the foundation to build on,” he said.
Much of the experience, he said, came from building and racing cars on dirt tracks, as well as working in other shops and dealerships.
His wife, Michelle, is also a partner in the business. She said that her role is managing the finances, which allows her husband to focus on completing his auto repair work.
“We are a family-run business,” she said. “We keep the family involved; we base everything in honesty.”
Her husband noted that he is already teaching the trade to his 15-year-old stepson, who has expressed an interest in auto repair.
Linville said his policy is to present the old or broken parts to the vehicle owners and explain his decisions to the customers.
“I want to be transparent with the customers,” he said. “I want them to know what I changed, and why I changed it.”
He also said the goal is to earn trust and have repeat customers.
The most frequent jobs needed by customers include brakes, oil changes, tune-ups, and safety inspections, but customers also occasionally inquire about larger jobs like full engine replacements.
Linville said he can do repairs on most vehicle brands, but he is especially known for his skill with Ford engineering.
According to Linville, the only jobs he does not do are ones that cost more than the vehicle’s worth, or jobs related to electrical malfunctions.
The Linvilles said they are capable of completing two to three projects per day, but that it also depends on the job difficulty.
Linville said he sources his parts from O’Reilly’s and have had no supply chain issues slowing repair work.
“People need their vehicles,” he said. “This is a small town, and not everyone has an extra vehicle.”
He added that the business does not operate with a sales quota, and therefore does not push extra sales onto customers.
“If I don’t feel that you need it right now, I’ll mention it to you, but I won’t push it,” he said.
He said he made the decision to open a business about three months ago. Prior to that, the location was used for personal projects, hobbies and race car builds.
He added that when people began to request simple repair jobs, the couple recognized the opportunity to go into business for themselves fulltime.
In the future, Michelle said that she and her husband would like to purchase property to use for the business.
Jimmy Linville said he is still currently building and racing cars on dirt racetracks like Volunteer Speedway in Bulls Gap, Smokey Mountain Speedway in Maryville and 411 Speedway in Seymour.
He said that after 20 laps around a track typically less than half a mile long, their cars finish “in the middle of the pack.”
Jimmy’s Garage is located at 1211 North Main Avenue and across from Little Caesars Pizza.