• 70°

Jeff Yost drives hobby into business at Rowan Auto & Speed

By Liz Moomey
liz.moomey@salisburypost.com

ROCKWELL — Jeff Yost started working on cars when he was a teenager.

Last summer, he opened Rowan Auto & Speed Shop in Rockwell, repairing anything from lawnmowers and bulldozers to any type of car.

“I’ll work on about anything,” Yost said. “They’re all mechanical. They’re all put together by a human. It’s just about having the information to work on them.”

Yost previously worked at area dealerships.

“I want customers to know when they come in, it’s not a shade-tree guy working on their car,” Yost said. “I’m knowledgeable about what I do. I want the car fixed right the first time for them, and I stand behind everything I do.”

He also has owned several businesses over the years, including Handyman of Rowan, but he was itching to go back to repairing cars.

“I turned 50 years old this year,” Yost said. “I might want to say slow down just a little bit, but I wasn’t happy at what I was doing.”

Over the years, Yost said he wanted to work for himself more and more.

“I love being my own boss and I love to fix things, but working with public. I like to do things on my terms,” Yost said.

While working for others in the automotive business, Yost said he was uncomfortable selling customers parts and services they didn’t need.

“If you come in for an oil change or a brake job or whatever, I’m going to do the job,” Yost said. “Of course, I’m going to look the vehicle over and I’m going to put an estimate together. If it needs a transmission service or a water pump or what have you, I’m going to price that to you and make you aware of it, but it’s no pressure.”

He said he would like to work on commercial vehicles as well.

“I’m looking for some bigger commercial customers, bigger companies that have fleets of vehicles,” Yost said. “I want that service work. I want to be able to show them where I can save them some money versus wherever they’ve been taking it to.”

He said he has a community of mentors he has relied on for advice to open Rowan Auto & Speed Shop. They advised him to continue to face adversities and keep his name clean.

“You can work on 100 cars,” he said. “You can do 100 things right and 100 people will be happy with you. But if you have one person who is not happy for whatever reason, whether it’s right or wrong, and they go out and tell 10 people … they’ve burned you.”

He said one of the best compliments a customer can give is referring someone else to the shop.

Owning a business in Rockwell is in the family, he said. His grandfather owned Rockwell Tire and Fuel.

“I definitely feel an attachment to the area,” Yost said.

Yost’s interest in repairing cars goes further with racing hot rods. He had the repair shop fix up his Ford Maverick, fitting for his motto: “We do old school cool.”

“We were racing pretty heavy for the last three years, and I was like, ‘It’s time,’” Yost said. “I already had the building here. I was renting this side of the building, and I had already bought one lift four years ago. And I had most of my tools in here anyway, and I was like, ‘It’s the perfect opportunity.’”

Rowan Auto & Speed Shop is at 436 Broad St. in Rockwell. The auto repair shop is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and it takes drive-ins.

Comments

News

Catawba College hosts three in-person commencement ceremonies

Local

With high case loads causing numerous staff departures, Child Protective Services seeks more positions

Education

Livingstone College graduates celebrate ‘crossing the finish line’ during commencement celebration

Coronavirus

Rowan sees 4 new COVID-19 deaths as mask mandate lifted, vaccines administered continue decline

Local

Spencer is latest town updating its development ordinance

Local

Salisbury native Kristy Woodson Harvey makes NY Times bestseller list

Local

Board of Commissioners will convene for third time in May

Business

Biz Roundup: Salisbury, Kannapolis among recipients of Region of Excellence Awards

Local

Cheerleading team competes at Disney

Education

Salisbury High to celebrate football, swimming champions with parade

High School

High school girls soccer: Isley, Webb lead all-county team

Local

Spencer awarded $10,000 to develop trails at Stanback Forest

Books

‘Tails and Tales’ coming to library this summer

Local

Public Records: March Deeds

Entertainment

Salisbury Symphony’s ‘Return to the Concert Hall’ available May 24-31

Coronavirus

Salisbury teen becomes one of first in age group to receive COVID-19 vaccine

Business

Local farm and creamery poised to add goat yoga, artisan goat cheese to offerings

Local

Pandemic’s impact, uncertainty of transit funding prompt request to eliminate Rowan Express service

Lifestyle

New Waterworks’ exhibit opens June 1

High School

High school football: Walsh accepts the South football challenge

Lifestyle

Price of Freedom Museum gets donated landscape project

Lifestyle

Rowan Museum will have Upscale Yard Sale Saturday

Business

Seventh dragon boat festival set for July 24; deadline for sponsorships is May 28

Nation/World

‘Shocking and horrifying’: Israel destroys AP office in Gaza