Before he could start to unpack the last 30-plus years of his career, Al Nuetzel had to listen to an engine.
The lone mechanic at Cooprider Auto Service, Nuetzel took a bite of an apple and sat it on a yellowed notepad, grabbed a surgical mask and excused himself — he had to take a quick drive with a customer to see about a clicking sound in the front end.
“Watch the shop,” he said.
Like Nuetzel, there’s not a shred of pretense in the building. The door stop in the front office is a can of Bush’s baked beans that expired in 2012. Most of the windows are boarded up, the ceiling tiles are sagging and decades of motor oil and grease have stained the garage floor varying shades of gray and black.
The walls are lined with photos stereotypical of a car shop. A Mac tools calendar from 1983. A poster of the Colts cheerleaders from 1994. A 1998 Sports Illustrated calendar only…