• DC journo

    Nicely done … hope to to see+hear more stories on underground economies like this, as what’s fly-by-night is often so telling. These guys could probably get busted on so many different fronts, it’s hard to know where to start (the local police could start with unlawful disposal of motor oil, I’m betting, and work their way up) … it’s desperate and banal at the same time. Am curious tho: do the guys who fix cars here work just on the cars of other Hispanics (guessing mostly Mexican in this case, given migration patterns)? Or do local gringos come to? That’s when things get more complicated …

  • Ashley

    Your question is a really good one. I would say the customer base is half and half. Half hispanic and half a mixture of white and black.

    The guys are well known in and around the area. Every time I talked about this story to anyone, even when I went to other Autozones and asked about solicitation, the managers would allude to the parking lot mechanics. White and black families come to get their cars fixed, as well as both men and women. One customer I spoke to, Duane, said he was originally recommended to go to the parking lot mechanics by the cashier at Autozone. I would guess that recommendations from the workers at Autozone supply 60 percent of their clients.

    Thanks so much for the comment.