Auto repair

Hank’s Auto Repair, the ‘neighborhood garage’ on 39th Street, will close after 67 years | KCUR 89.3

Hank’s Auto Repair is closing after nearly 70 years in business. The family-run auto shop has been a mainstay for Westport and Kansas City drivers since it opened in 1955.

Their last day of service will be Monday, January 31.

Original owner Hank Mattucks first started operating Hank’s Auto Repair on Broadway Boulevard, before moving to Westport Road and then to the current location on 39th Street in the early 1970s.

This is where Jeff Mattucks said he learned to work on cars while still in school, under the guidance of his father. Mattucks said they persisted despite the changes in cars and technology, but some things stayed the same.

“(We) try to treat everyone fairly and not sell them a bunch of stuff they don’t really need,” Mattucks said. “That’s how I was taught to grow up.”

After 67 years of service, Hank’s Auto Repair will close on January 31.

Mattucks is now the owner and principal mechanic of Hank’s, and has enjoyed being part of the Westport community over the years.

“We’re the neighborhood garage, we’re a bit old-fashioned,” he says.

Mattucks says Hank’s has never needed ads over the decades, thriving strictly on word of mouth — no small feat for an independent business.

But Mattucks says in recent years he has felt overworked and burnt out, and the shop has struggled to find and keep employees. Recently, he has been working full time, sometimes 12 hours a day, with only one part-time mechanic. That means he’s gone weeks without a day off.

Mattucks sold the business to KC Autoworx, another local service shop located on Southwest Boulevard. KC Autoworx plans to take over the 39th Street space as a second location after some renovations.

Once the sale is complete, Mattucks said he “plans to take some time off.” Eventually, he hopes to find a less demanding position, with more traditional schedules to maintain a better work-life balance.

“I will miss a lot of customers and the neighborhood,” Mattucks said. “All the years doing this, you get attached to some of them, but it’s good for me.”