Gene O. Morris/McCook Gazette
Terry Hilker, joined by his son, Jarrod, left, in 1994, has operated Terry's Auto Repair for 40 years, most of them at 17 South Street.
"We started the business just after Christmas in 1974," Terry said. "And here we are 40 years later, at the same location providing the same quality repair work we have throughout our time in business."
Terry started the repair shop in the building which originally served as Duke's Body Shop. Terry moved the business to 421 West B for several years before buying the building on South Street in 1979 and returning to stay until the present day.
To keep pace with the repair firm's increasing volume, Terry was joined in the business by his son, Jarrod, in 1994. Following graduation from McCook High School in 1992, Jarrod took part in the auto body program in Milford before joining his father full-time in the auto repair trade.
Among the many specialties of Terry's Auto Repair are complete brake systems, full custom exhaust work, front end alignments, oil changes, engine and transmission rebuilding, and complete air conditioning service. In addition, Terry's Auto Repair offers 5-Star Muffler installations and service.
The years have flown by for Terry, who was raised in McCook and graduated from McCook High School in 1966. Following graduation, he served in the U.S. Navy for four years. Upon his return to McCook, he worked at Dodge City, advancing to the job foreman's position before deciding to start his own business.
Terry and his wife, Tammie, have two children and six grandchildren. Their son, Jarrod and his wife, Julie, are the parents of three daughters. The Hilkers' daughter, Toni Fila and her husband, Chris, live in Grand Island and also are the parents of three daughters.
Around cars all his life, many of Terry's hobbies are auto-related. "I enjoy driving and showing street rods, traveling and camping," he said.
"There's been a lot of wrench-turning in 40 years," Terry said. But he still enjoys his work and looks forward to continued service to customers, old and new, in the years to come.
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