Orion Auto Repair & Service
Josh and Bonnie Wood Weren't Born In Amarillo
But They Got Here As Fast As They Could
Josh and Bonnie Wood were born, raised and met in Roswell, New Mexico. After they were married in 1998, they came to Amarillo to visit Josh’s aunt. Bonnie said she just fell in love with Amarillo. According to Bonnie, “You come here and everybody was saying “hi” and everyone was so friendly and it was nice.” So within two weeks, they decided to move to Amarillo and this is where their life as a family began. They lived in Amarillo for the next 10 years.
Josh’s grandpa was a mechanic and he would help him tinker with cars since he was a little boy. Josh loves to take things apart and figure out how they work. So during those 10 years, Josh worked at Meineke, Midas and then Arenas Auto Repair here in Amarillo. And Bonnie is a “people person”, so she worked as the Assistant Manager at Wal-Mart. Being in customer service with Wal-Mart for 10 years, Bonnie says, “People are my thing, I love customer service.”
The Woods moved to east Texas for 4 years where Josh worked in small auto shop. They decided to move back to Amarillo and Josh switched over to construction. At the time, Bonnie got a job at Amarillo Pawn & Gun in the Bell Hillside Shopping Center, which is now Damron’s Pawn. Bonnie would take the rent down to Virgie Cook, the owner of the Bell Hillside Shopping Center, every month. Virgie told Bonnie the free standing auto building in the strip would be coming available and if she knew of a mechanic to let her know. With the construction business up and down, Bonnie took this as a sign to take the leap and open their own auto repair shop. Not only did Josh want to be in charge of his own career, they wanted to provide the community with honest service and affordable prices. So they took the money they had saved to buy a house and opened up their own auto repair shop. Ten years ago when they were sitting around dreaming of opening their own shop, they tossed around names and “Orion” stuck with Josh. So in April 2014, Orion Auto Parts (pronounced OR-Ion) was born.
When they first opened, ProTech Auto Body came in and offered to bring them all of their auto repair work. Art with Budget Auto Sales, Rick with Amarillo Car Sales and Car Credit Center all came in within the first year to bring their cars. Even with great partnerships from other local businesses, the first 3 years of owning their own shop was a struggle. Josh has a passion for cars and Bonnie has a passion for Josh, so she couldn’t let Josh struggle alone. Therefore, she learned to do tune-ups and oil changes and she lays out parts and cleans up to help out. They now have a system down and can turn out 8-9 cars a day on uncomplicated jobs. Bonnie jokingly says, “Never in my life did I think I would end up being a grease monkey” and is proud of her very own new tool box.
Orion celebrated their 5 year anniversary in April 2019. They have grown through word of mouth over the years and feel that people know who they are before they step in the door. They attribute not only word of mouth and great partnerships to their success but also the support of their amazing landlord Virgie. Bonnie also says their three kids are their biggest cheerleaders. Their success can also be traced to the fact that they are good people who truly care about our community. Through the years, they have had people just give them cars that are no longer working. Their goal is to fix up such cars and be able to donate them to a single mom or family in need.
Josh and Bonnie love calling Amarillo home and being blessed to be able to do what they love together. They want you to feel welcome when you come in and trust that they offer good service at an affordable price. They do everything mechanically except rebuild transmission and they offer a 10% discount to Veterans, police officers and firemen. Orion Auto Repair is open at 5901 Bell St. Monday-Friday 8:30am-5:30pm.