It takes a lot to succeed and grow in a family business today with so much competition from the corporate giants, but one local Alamo Heights business has obviously found the secret to not only surviving, but thriving during volatile economic conditions for 65 years.
They say that the only two things guaranteed in life are death and taxes, but we all know that you can always count on the fact that, eventually, your vehicle will break down or need to be serviced. Luckily Alamo Heights Garage has proven to be one of the most dependable automotive repair garages in the area for decades, and they continue to embrace the changes and improvements in automotive technology, keeping them on the cutting edge of the service industry locally.
Alamo Heights Garage first opened in 1958 on the corner of Broadway and Patterson. John and Lee Pundt began with three automotive technicians, including John. The business steadily grew, becoming a trusted local repair shop for residents in Alamo Heights and throughout San Antonio by delivering the best customer service for a fair price. In 1977 the garage moved to Chichester Street, behind the iconic Mobil station, on the corner of Broadway and Austin Highway, and they remained there until they outgrew that location. Today, Alamo Heights Garage is led by John and Lee’s son, Gary Pundt, and his wife, Darla. The garage moved north to its current location on Broadway, just outside of Loop 410, in 2007, and Gary and Darla continue to carry on the family legacy of putting customers first
Alamo Heights Garage features a state-of-the-art facility with computerized and innovative technology that provides customers with a complete digital inspection of their vehicle, from headlights to taillights. This gives customers a complete report of their vehicle’s automotive health, identifying serious problems that need to be addressed immediately, but also outlines other issues that may become larger problems down the road. This inspection tool allows owners to prioritize service visits and even shows them maintenance options that may prevent future breakdowns.
Gary, a certified ASE Master Technician since 1986, and Darla have also started to pass the family legacy down to the next generation and have brought their son, Mathew, on board to learn the business. Gary says, “Trust and integrity have always been paramount to the success of Alamo Heights Garage, and when you partner those core values with our commitment to technology and training, we have created a business plan that can thrive for decades to come.”
Darla runs the operations side of the business. She and Gary have been married for 36 years, and together, they have three sons. Darla’s vibrant personality draws people in, and her love for the business shines through. She says, “Gary’s parents really set a great blueprint to expand upon, and it’s the customer service foundation that they set in motion nearly 65 years ago that sets us apart. We are honest and upfront about everything, and we focus on educating our customers so that they can make the best decisions about their vehicles.”
Alamo Heights Garage specializes in domestic and Asian imports, and they offer military discounts, along with being a certified AAA and NAPA Autocare center. The family is very involved with local automotive events, and Darla even served on the board of directors for CarFest from 2015 to 2020. CarFest (carfestSA.org) is an annual event that takes place in April at The Freeman Coliseum. It brings automotive professionals together to provide free car repairs for those in need, offers scholarship opportunities for young students interested in automotive education, and they even give away free used cars at the event.
Alamo Heights Garage will celebrate its 65th anniversary on September 15th from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. They invite everyone in the community to tour their facility while enjoying free food and drinks, music, and door prizes while learning about the services they provide and offering an opportunity to meet the family and their valued team members. You might even get to meet the garage mascots, and family dogs, Molly and Ripley. Don’t miss this event, and when your vehicle inevitably needs repair or maintenance, remember that this local garage will have you back on the road in no time.
Alamo Heights Garage
8719 Broadway (outside 410)
Monday – Friday 7:30A to 5:30P