Clyde's Service Inc.

A Bit of History

Clyde's Auto Service ~ The Driving Force Behind Our Business

Times were simpler when Clyde opened Clyde’s 66 Service on 42nd and Bloomington. It was 1947. Margarine was illegal and often smuggled in from Wisconsin. Families ate breakfast, lunch and dinner together when they could, and if Clyde worked late, a warmed-over dinner awaited him at home.

Phillips 66 charged Clyde 3 cents a gallon for gas pumped at his station. He signed a thick, 3-year contract, but not before negotiating the price down to a cent and a half. Clyde looked for bargains in other ways as well, including buying mint jelly by the gallon along with cases of day old Jule Kage for his growing family. He and his wife devised a "phone code" to avoid spending money on the station's pay phone. When Clyde wanted to talk to his wife, he'd put his dime in, let it ring twice, then quickly hang up--the signal for his wife to call the station. He always got his dime back!

In the late 40s and 50s, customers mostly paid with cash. Clyde took many different routes to the bank to avoid robbery. On nights he worked late, he would bring the cash home and place it in a large, coffin-sized freezer in his basement.

Clyde treated his customers with respect, offering suggestions and solace when asked. Older widows came to seek advice on learning to drive after their husbands died. A local radio personality who frequented Clyde's referred to him as the "brain surgeon." He joked he could tell if his repair bill was going to be high by the way Clyde hemmed and hawed!

In 1957, Clyde moved his business to the 38th Street location where it stands today. The grand opening included releasing balloons with messages inside. One ended up in Illinois. The folks who found it thought it was a message from heaven! And in a sense it was. Through consistent service, quality repairs and reasonable prices, Clyde's 66 Service built a cadre of loyal customers, supporting three generations including Clyde's seven children. Clyde retired in 1985. Around this time he decided to focus exclusively on the repair service, while avoiding costly replacement of the aging underground gas tanks. His son Brian took over ownership under the name Clyde’s Auto Service. The shop continues to offer the same reliable, conscientious service that Clyde insisted on over the decades. Only the name has changed.

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