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Hank's Auto Repair, the 'neighborhood garage' of 39th Street, will close after 67 years

Hank's Auto Repair opened in 1955, but has moved locations twice before ending up on 39th Street in the '70s.
Jacob Martin
KCUR 89.3
Hank's Auto Repair opened in 1955, but has moved locations twice before ending up on 39th Street in the '70s.

Owner Jeff Mattucks took over Hank's Auto Repair from his father, the original Hank. Mattucks says he's going to miss serving residents of Westport: "We're the neighborhood garage, we're sorta old fashion."

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

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

The 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 ’70s.

It was here that Jeff Mattucks said he learned to work on cars while still in school, under the guidance of his father. Mattucks said they’ve persisted through changes in cars and technology — but some things have remained the same.

“(We) try to treat everybody fair, and don't sell them a bunch of stuff they don't really need,” Mattucks said. “That's the way I was taught growing up.”

Hank's Auto
Jacob Martin
KCUR 89.3
After 67 years of service, Hank's Auto Repair will be closing January 31st.

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

“We’re the neighborhood garage, we’re sorta old fashion,” he says.

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

But Mattucks says that the last few years, he’s felt overworked and burned out, and the shop has struggled to find and keep employees. Recently, he’s been working full-time, sometimes 12-hour days, with just 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 its second location after some renovations.

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

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

Jacob Martin is a news intern at KCUR. Follow him on Twitter @jacob_noah or email him at Jacobmartin@kcur.org.
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