By Morgan Noseworthy
With 25 years’ experience, Ted Wright is no stranger to getting his hands dirty. After thirteen years working at a shop for someone else, Wright felt it was time to branch out on his own.
“I didn’t buy the shop itself, but I bought the business. It was kind of a floundering one-man show at the time. It was just an older guy who was close to retirement who sold me the business,” said Wright.
Wright purchased Wright Automotive in the summer of 2015.
Not only a mechanic, Wright is also a notable musician in the Edmonton rock ‘n’ roll scene, having been a guitar player for various Edmonton bands for more than 20 years.
“I had lots of clientele from the Edmonton entertainment scene and beyond that came to see me at my old job and lots and lots of people followed me over and kept supporting us and spreading the word, and that’s really how it took off and became viable again,” Wright said.
In the back of his shop a 1955 Pontiac two-door sedan can be found.
“It’s an extended-length project. I started quite some time ago, but it’s a complete retrofit, front to back. Engine, driveline, braking system, suspension. It’s got a modern, four-point, eight-litre small block LS series Chevy engine. It has the transmission out of our old tour van. It’s got a rear differential from a Chevy Blazer. It was a really nice clean, rust-free car that I bought off a guy in Saskatchewan a couple years ago. It’s on indefinite hiatus as I raise children, but it’s going to be a really cool car once it’s done,” Wright said.
Owning a small business isn’t all fun and franken-cars, however. Wright said the biggest challenge has been finding a good balance between work and life.
“The biggest challenge is…trying to figure out when to say no to people and still accommodate everybody. Everybody wants a piece of your time, and you want to be able to provide that for everybody, but you can’t always,” said Wright.
“You feel bad, because you’re here to provide a service and if you’re not providing that service then people are going to go somewhere else, and are they going to keep going to that place if I can’t provide service?”
Wright went on to explain his business does very little in the way of advertising.
“I think it stands as a testimony that we don’t do any advertising except [for] a Facebook page – which is sadly under maintained – but I think it speaks to our honesty and integrity in running our shop. We appreciate everybody’s support and the fact that it’s a successful word-of-mouth business is the strongest recommendation that anyone can have.”
Wright Automotive is located at 9978 67 Ave and can be found online at facebook.com/wrightautomotive.