Pro Works Automotive builds on history, expands shop

Pro Works Automotive builds on history, expands shop
Pro Works Automotive builds on history, expands shop
Pro Works Automotive owner Bryan Chapman (left) and Randy Harris are Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) master technicians.

Pro Works Automotive is under new ownership, and the longstanding car repair center is positioned to provide better service than ever, thanks to the efforts of two men well-known to customers.

Bryan Chapman, a five-year employee of the shop with more than three decades of experience in the industry, recently acquired the business after its previous owner retired.

He plans to grow the business with the help of fellow ASE master technician Randy Harris while continuing to provide the same honest, high-quality service Pro Works is known for.

“We try to give our customers the best service possible and make them as comfortable as we can,” Chapman said. “We have an open-door policy; if we’re working on your car, you’re more than welcome to come in and see what we’re doing. If you have questions, we’ll put the car on the rack and show you. A lot of places, you can’t do that.”

To grow the business, Chapman plans to hire a third mechanic and is expanding the shop’s 4,000 square feet by breaking down a partition wall and installing two additional vehicle lifts, effectively doubling the shop’s capacity.

On average, Chapman and Harris work on between 15 and 20 vehicles per week, offering a spectrum of services minus wheel alignment and upholstery work, for which they bring in specialists.

“We try to provide a full service so customers don’t have to go somewhere else, where they’d be given a list [of things to buy that they don’t need],” said Harris. “We do honest work and fix what people need, not what we need. We show you every part we take off and explain what we’re going to do. There are no secrets here.”

Chapman, the son of an engineer, took his first job as a mechanic at age 15. He grew up hanging around various garages, learning what he could from veteran mechanics. He graduated from Westminster Christian School while dually enrolled in the automotive program at Robert Morgan Technical College and has been serving the South Dade area since 1993.

“I’ve always been mechanically inclined,” he said. “I love what I do. We’re anxious to get here every morning and we love to be here. At the end of the day, it’s kind of hard to leave all the time.”

The 48-year old Miami native found a kindred spirit in Harris, 72, a pro boat racer turned mechanic. Harris, who was working at Pro Works when they met, had sharpened his skills building high-performance motors at Courtesy Ford (now Gus Machado Ford) and in general repair at his own shop.

Five years ago, however, Harris suffered a serious back injury and could not continue working. The shop’s original owner called Chapman to see if he could fill in. Chapman obliged.

“I told him I wasn’t planning on leaving where I was, but I could come help him after hours to get through the busy spell he was in,” he said. “But shortly after that, I came on full-time.”

When Chapman bought the shop early this year, he relied on Harris, who’d since returned, to bring the place up to speed. Harris had lost the ability to walk after the accident but since recovered enough to get around without assistance.

“I’d rather be turning wrenches on the floor than [sitting behind a desk], but four years ago I was in a wheelchair, so I’m happy to be here,” said Harris. “I’ve known Bryan a long time, and he’s a great, honest mechanic—and there are very few honest mechanics.”

With little to no advertisement or current social media presence, Chapman said Pro Works relies almost exclusively on word-of-mouth referrals. The family-owned shop serves the surrounding community and, in turn, buys its parts and supplies from local providers.

“It’s a community,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of history here, and we believe in supporting it.”

Pro Works Automotive is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the warehouse area near the Falls at 8726 SW 129th St. (It’s the unit with the American flag flying above it.) For information, call 305-232-2202.

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