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Meet Tom O'Connor - ArborMotion's Monthly Team Member Spotlight

European Auto Repair Ann Arbor
European Auto Repair Ann Arbor

Tom O’Connor is a Master Certified Technician at ArborMotion who specializes in Volkswagen and Asian vehicles.

How did you choose your profession?

I don’t know if I really chose it as a profession. At a very early age I made things, and took things apart. I took apart my tricycle – this is a common story among the best mechanics.

What was your first automotive job?

In 1963 at European Motor Service, it was a small British car shop. We worked on Anglias, Triumphs, MG, Sunbeam, Hillman,  and  Rover (cars that are rarely seen anymore).

How long have you been doing what you do?

Fifty-two years and counting.

European Auto Repair Ann Arbor

What certifications do you hold?

NAISE Master, ASE Master with L1, Robert Bosch Certification, Volkswagen Registered Master

What is the weirdest thing you have found in a car during a job that should not have been there?

A loaded hand gun.


What are you known for professionally? What do you have a knack for?

Early in my career, I worked for (and with) exceptionally good European-trained mechanics. From them I learned sound diagnostic habits.  That coupled with a natural sense of curiosity, I can sort problems that stump many others. I have very good smith skills and can make almost anything.

European Auto Repair Ann Arbor

What are you most passionate about professionally? What most excites you about your work & the contribution you can make?

Over a period of years, I have had the opportunity to mentor a few of the area’s really good mechanics and shop owners.  It’s a lot fun to see a young mechanic’s skills develop, and remember when I was learning those same lesson so many years ago.

I take a great deal of pride in what I do. I really like what I do.

Where can we find you when you’re not working? What’s your favorite way to spend a weekend or a Sunday afternoon?

I think I’m what “Outside Magazine” calls an “Eco-Jock.” I’ve hiked segments of  Appalachian, Cascade and Pacific Trails. I built the kayak that I paddled from Michigan to Wisconsin. Rode my bike from Baton Rouge to Cincinnati and so on…

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