After serving South Whidbey since 1980, Whidbey Tire & Auto owner Dana Gildersleeve is closing shop.
Gildersleeve is putting away his gloves after initially going into business with his father in the mid 1970s. Running the business on his own since the early 90s, the 68-year-old Gildersleeve decided “it’s just time” after saying he’s not getting any younger.
“It’s time for me to retire from the family operation,” Gildersleeve said. “Retirement is a bittersweet deal for me. I’m the second generation who ran the shop.”
The auto shop officially closed it’s doors this past Friday after Gildersleeve sold the business and the property. The shop was located at 2856 Howard Road, near The Goose Community Grocer.
Before the shop is replaced, Gildersleeve is hosting a get-together from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 9 to sell whatever is left of his shop equipment to other garages and mechanics with in-house shops. He added he’s sold most of his equipment already, but there’s some still up for grabs.
Gildersleeve and his father originally built an auto shop next to Bailey’s Corner in 1975 when they ran the corner store, according to Gildersleeve’s daughter Julie Kinskie. They later relocated their business to Howard Road and were there ever since.
“It’s one of those South Whidbey staples that’s always been there,” Kinskie said. “It’s going to be weird without it, and that’s not just coming from me, but from a lot of people in the area.”
Gildersleeve expressed his thanks to the South Whidbey community for the decades of business.