Lifelong friends, Travis Mohrbachher and Dustin Lee, have put their enduring love of cars to work.
BY WAYNE GRANT | CONTRIBUTING WRITER
Travis Mohrbacher owned an El Camino 20 years ago, when he attended Seabreeze High School. Dustin Lee had a Road Runner. They worked on their rides together growing up, even entered them into Central Florida drag races.
The two friends bonded over their mutual love of cars. They shared a passion. And today, both in their mid-30s, they have transformed that passion into a livelihood.
T&D Auto Repair opened for business June 1, at 301 Division Ave.
“I couldn’t afford a new car (as a kid),” Mohrbacher said, explaining that he and Lee first got into automotives out of necessity. “We bought ‘less fortunate’ cars and repaired them ourselves.”
He says he learned about cars because of his dad, who would only let him ask for help after he tried something over and over without any luck.
Before opening up a shop of their own, Mohrbacher worked for an auto dealership and Lee worked for a garage. Together, they have a combined 25 years of auto-mechanic experience.
Lee said it feels “really good” to work for himself, despite the extra worry. “I really care about my work,” he said.
Both men have wanted to run their own auto shop for a long time, but they only started talking about going into business together the past couple of years. After awhile, it just seemed natural. They do stuff together on the weekends. Their kids play together.
“We work well together,” Mohrbacher said.
But when it comes to management, their approach is unique: They take turns, which they hope will keep them on their toes.
“When it’s my turn to make a decision, I feel like I better get it right,” Mohrbacher said.
The two were able to buy a shop complete with all the necessary equipment. And although they offer full auto repair, they plan to specialize in air conditioning. In these hot summer months, they hope that will be a good place to start.