Larry's AutoWorks closes down for good

45-year business closed with plans to sell the property

Popular car repair shop Larry's AutoWorks closed down Friday and there are no plans for it to reopen. Owner Larry Moore told the Voice on Monday that he and his wife had decided to retire after lining up the sale of their shop at 2526 Leghorn St.

The closure of a business that's been a Mountain View institution for 45 years came as a surprise on Friday, March 17, when Moore and his business partner and wife Laurie created a voice mail message and Facebook post pointing customers to other shops for auto work.

Speaking to the Voice on Monday, Larry Moore said they decided to get the closure over with quickly rather than having a prolonged, painful shutdown. Moore, who is 72, said he was already looking to retire. Last week, the shop finished its last round of repair jobs and vendor payments, and then they decided to close down for good, he said.

"We could have gone on and on, but why do that? This seemed like the easiest way to do it," Moore said. "It seemed like the right time."

It might go without saying that the 1-acre auto shop is a lucrative piece of land, located just a short walk from Google's North Bayshore campus. Moore said he could not disclose who is buying the property or what the new owner planned to do with it.

Moore has been upfront that his auto shop and other small tradesmen have been struggling amid the tech-fueled economic surge that has played out in Mountain View over recent years. In a 2014 article in the Silicon Valley Business Journal, Moore said his business was doing about $2 million in business annually, yet he was still struggling to retain car mechanics and increase his bottom line.

Over its long history, Larry's AutoWorks maintained a popularity that would be the envy of many entrepreneurs. For 16 years straight, Voice readers voted the auto shop the "Best of Mountain View," and its social-media pages offer ample testimony to its loyal following.

The closure was truly bittersweet, Moore said.

"It's hard to think about not having Larry's AutoWorks. It's part of who I am," Moore said.


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13 people like this
Posted by Jim
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 20, 2017 at 7:43 pm

Sorry to see Larry's Autoworks shut down. Too bad his staff didn't get the word until the day they closed. The owners kind of left their staff high and dry.

Like this comment
Posted by Elizabeth
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 21, 2017 at 11:13 am

Well, Jim, on the upside, I think Eddie at Silicon Valley Performance needs an employee. He lost his employee a while ago, and could probably still use some help.

8 people like this
Posted by Debbie Mytels
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 21, 2017 at 1:05 pm

Sorry to read this, since I know that Larry Moore has been a champion of environmentally responsible auto maintenance for many years! His business was an early recipient of an Acterra Business Environmental Award. He talked about how important it was for a "dirty business" like an auto shop to get ahead of the curve and he started early by recycling oil and other chemicals in an environmentally responsible way. And his shop was a real leader in this! Bravo and thank you, Larry Moore!

For those who are now looking for another auto repair shop, I'd like to suggest Independence Auto Service at the corner of Old Middlefield and Independence. Vladimir and his son Michael are head of a cracker-jack team of mechanics -- and I can share many examples of their honesty and thoughtfulness in working with customers.

4 people like this
Posted by Gerturde
a resident of Menlo Park
on Mar 21, 2017 at 3:35 pm

I'd like to second Debbie's recommendation for Independence Auto. I've taken my Honda Civic there twice and both times they fixed the problem and didn't overcharge me. I haven't been back in years because they did such a good job repairing my car I've had no need to return.

7 people like this
Posted by Happy Customer
a resident of Professorville
on Mar 21, 2017 at 7:14 pm

I'm so sad to hear this. Louie was the most amazing employee - fabulous communicator, very fair, very patient. He always remembered everyone in the family and details about their lives. He is truly one of a kind. I met Larry & Laurie at a dinner party and they are equally wonderful. What a loss to the community. I have no idea what to do with my car now.

Like this comment
Posted by John Sylvester
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 22, 2017 at 2:49 pm

I have been a customer of Larry's for over 20 years and have received outstanding service from Larry and Laurie who have become good friends. I also agree that Louie is a treasure and I will miss seeing him.

1 person likes this
Posted by Palo Altan
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Mar 22, 2017 at 2:58 pm

Louie treated us like family, probably because we were in there every other month for our Chevy Suburban! Piece of junk, no wonder Larry can retire; he overcharged. Our Honda Odyssey is much cheaper. Louie was commuting from Merced; hopefully he can find a job closer to his home.

Unfortunate to read the posting about Larry's lack of notifying his employees; totally uncool.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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