3441 Adams Avenue San Diego, CA 92116

The Smitty's Service Story

In The Beginning...

In 1940 a factory - trained Ford mechanic from Kansas named Merle "Smitty" Smith moved to San Diego with his wife Edith. During WWII he worked as the foreman of electrical maintenance for Convair. As the men on his shift were drafted to the war they were replaced by very capable women. Eventually his entire staff was female. Being a proud American, he went down to the Army recruiter’s office to check on his draft status. He was quietly told that he would not be drafted because Convair needed a high level of continuity in his position to assist in the war effort.

During the war people did not make significant investments because they were never sure if their number would be called. In 1945 he had an opportunity to purchase a Rio Grande Gas and Oil franchise. He jumped on it! It wasn’t long before he gained a reputation as an honest mechanic who delivered the best possible work at reasonable prices. Over the years the name changed to Richfield and today you know it as ARCO but what kept them coming back was Smitty.


The Women of Convair
The Women of Convair

The legacy lives on...

Click to read "The legacy lives on..."
Hours of Operation: 8AM - 5PM Monday-Friday
For your convenience, we are here at 7AM for drop offs and until 5:30PM for pick ups.
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