By Sarah Shurge – The name you can trust since 1965.
Harlow Tire and Auto Service began on May 25 in 1965. Jim Harlow, at the age of 21 started it himself. His wife, Margaret was only 19. Harlow’s just celebrated the company’s 50th anniversary in May.
“We are honest business people who don’t sell you what you don’t need,” said Margaret. “Sometimes we don’t even sell you what you ask for because it’s not what you need.”
Jim always had a love for cars since he was a child. He would spend a lot of his time at the Detroit Drag Way, either racing his car or working on it. He planned on heading to college but after a trip to Kentucky where he got into a car accident and broke his pelvis, his plans changed.
A friend offered him a job changing tires. He worked his way up and became the manager at the Wayne Tires Company. He enjoyed it so much he decided to start his own company.
“We were young and we just jumped in with both feet. I told my husband if we’re going to do this, we need to do this now while we don’t have kids so if this doesn’t work out it’s just us who are going to starve. Now 50 years later we have three kids who are all grown up and nine grandchildren and we’re still here,” said Margaret.
On May 13, the city came and gave a proclamation, Channel 12 also came. There was celebration all day with free food: hot dogs, chips and ice cream.
Harlow’s is located at 1845 North Wayne Road, near the corner of Ford Road since its beginning in 1965. Margaret says the company has third generations of customers that have been loyal for years.
One struggle for the company has always been getting good employees but Margaret claims they have some of the best employees. She says they have had a lot of kids working from John Glenn through Co-Op or Vo-Tech.
Harlow works with Advance Auto Parts across the street and buys parts from them.
Speedy Auto Service down the street and Bell Tire are one of Harlow’s biggest competitions but the most new competition is the Internet.
“Being in business is not for the faint of heart. It’s a lot of hard work,” said Margaret.
Harlow’s has a big business with classic cars. Margaret claims it’s a labor of love for Jim due to his deep love for cars, especially classic ones.
“We have such a gratitude to the people that have supported us throughout the years. We would not be here without them, to be honest,” said Margaret.