I went into business Dec. 4, 1961, right after I got out of the Air Force. Things were a lot different around here then. I started my business on Old Sonoma Road, and when I chose this location in 1967, people said to me, ‘Lee, do we have to drive all the way out into the country now, to get our cars worked on?’ You see, in 1967, there was hardly anything down here other than my building, except for swamps across the street and the old ice house in back. That ice house building is now one of my three shop buildings; I service motor homes in there.”
Williams explained the services he offers.
“We certainly do a lot of transmission work, but that’s not all,” Williams said. “We do all repairs except tires and front ends. We have three shops, actually. We had the first smog station in Napa, started in the 1960s, and we do all exhaust system repairs and testing in the back building. We have our full-service shop in our main building, and we have a complete transmission rebuilding shop next door.”
Williams Automotive has long been a strong recycler. “We were one of the first shops to enroll in the Bay Area Green Business Program, which encourages environmental responsibility, good business practices and community concern,” Williams recalled.
My son, Mike, has worked with me in the shop for many years. And my grandson, Michael, started helping us this summer of 2011.
I grew up in Florida and after I joined the Air Force, I came out here to Travis in 1957. I started working part-time in an auto service station here in Napa in 1958. Just a few short years later I opened and started Williams Tranmission.