MARSHALL - Greg Rutlidge has worked on cars all his life and restored four Corvettes, including the 1972 Stingray convertible he's got in his workspace right now. So when he wanted to get an oil change for his wife's car, something clicked, and he saw a business opportunity.
"I looked all over town, and the best they could do was in three days, and they had your car all day," Rutlidge said. "So I started a mobile service, and it morphed into a place you could bring it in."
Rutlidge's Express Lube and Mobile Express Lube has four vehicles - three to go to the customer and one for parades.
Photo by Steve Browne
Peter Corcoran and Greg Rutlidge change a car’s oil at Rutlidge’s Express Lube’s temporary work space behind the DMV.
"If you're busy or at work, we come to you," said Peter Corcoran, technician and Rutlidge's first hire.
But when Rutlidge started distributing fliers for the grand opening last week, so many people called asking about bringing their cars in that he moved some of the business into his personal shop behind the Department of Motor Vehicles where he reconditions classic cars.
Rutlidge himself will keep his present job as a mechanical engineer for the Schwan Food Co. His daughter, Erin Rutlidge, moved to Marshall from Dallas, Texas, with her 4-year-old daughter in October to run the business.
"I started the business for her because I didn't want her to work on the factory floor, and I wanted her to learn to run a business," Rutlidge said.
Erin Rutlidge will run the day-to-day operations from the office and fill in when needed.
"I like it, I've always worked in an office, and I just learned how to change oil," Erin Rutlidge said. "We've only been open since yesterday (Nov. 5), and everybody's been real friendly. And there's enough for Pete and me to do."
Greg Rutlidge is currently looking for a garage to buy where he can offer full service indoors.