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Auto repair runs in the family

December 28, 2010

Norris Auto Clinic

Michael Norris just wants to fix cars.

And apparently, that desire is a genetic trait passed on from generation to generation.

Norris, 28, of Maiden, is a third-generation member of the automotive repair industry. His father and grandfather worked in auto-body repair, and now Norris has his own auto-mechanical repair store, Norris Auto Clinic, in Newton.

Just as Norris has a history in the automotive industry, so does the building he works in. Norris' grandfather, Red Norris, operated his auto-body business in a building next-door, which is now Charles Reed Carpet Cleaning.

The current Norris Auto Clinic is located at 1507 Northwest Blvd. in Newton.

"The building came up for rent, and I just had to have it," Norris said. "It's because of the heritage."

Red Norris moved his business from Newton to Maiden in 1975, where he continued working until his death in 1993.

Norris started his own auto-mechanic shop in Maiden, and he worked there until April. Norris' business was expanding, and he wanted a bigger location.

That need led him to Northwest Boulevard in Newton, where his current clinic is located. Norris performs diagnostics and repairs on all makes and models of vehicles.

As his business continues to grow, Norris is always guided by the values instilled in him by his grandfather and father.

"It's about family pride," Norris said. "The biggest thing is to carry on the family name."

Norris served in the U.S. Air Force from 2002-05, where he had electronics training that later helped him become a better mechanic.

"Electronics training in the Air Force is second to none," he said. "... Once (a part) goes on a plane, there can be no mistakes."

That mentality -- giving everything 100 percent at all times -- is what makes a mechanic successful, Norris said.

"I love diagnostics," he said. "I love problem solving. If it's broke, I want to know why."

Norris doesn't have children of his own, but he someday hopes to pass on the family business to one of his children.

"That means a lot to keep it in the family," he said.

For Norris, however, family doesn't necessarily mean a blood relative. He is actively involved in community charities and other organizations, making a conscious effort to reach out and share his family oriented mindset with others.

"We're really trying to get involved in every part of Newton," said Misty Helms, who works at Norris Auto Clinic.

The clinic itself became Norris' baby since he moved into the building about nine months ago.

"I'm nurturing her and watching her grow," he said of his business.

And, like a proud father, Norris said he hopes his baby continues to grow and expand.

"I really want to dominate the field," he said. "We stand behind what we do."

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