by Melissa LaScaleia
Larry and Barb White had their own neighborhood auto repair shop in Howard County, Maryland for twenty-five years before they relocated to Myrle Beach in March 2020.
As a third-generation auto mechanic shop owner, Larry has always been mechanically inclined, and has twenty years of experience and training working in the industry. He and his wife decided to move just before the start of the pandemic.
“Our kids had finished high school and college and we no longer needed to be in the area,” he says. “We wanted to live more simply, and in a better climate. We were drawn to Myrtle Beach because there’s so much to do here. I’ve been here many times on golf trips with my buddies. We knew we wanted to be on the coast, but also within a day’s drive of Maryland to stay close to friends and family.”
Barb researched auto repair shops for sale in the area as she and Larry were driving South, exploring the place they would come to call their new home. Their realtor introduced them to the owner of one shop— Larry Dodd.
“We hit it off with Larry right away,” Barb says. “We really liked that his business already handled RVs and auto repairs. And we all shared a very similar business philosophy— delivering quality work, honest service, and taking pride in auto and RV repair.”
“Larry ran his business according to those principles for thirty-five years— helping anybody around who needed help,” Larry says. “He was very popular. Everybody loved him. Customers traveled hundreds of miles just so that his team could work on their RV. How he ran things mirrored what I did in Maryland— creating a rapport, going the extra mile for your customers, and offering the best customer service you can.”
The two soon discovered that they shared many things in common besides the same first name, the automotive industry, and their values.
“We were both born and raised in Maryland,” Larry says. “We both owned Exxon stations at certain points in our lives; his second wife’s maiden name was White; he was in the Air Force, my father was in the Air Force. There were so many coincidences. And we saw a lot of potential with the business— we felt a rapport with him and his business ethics, and it felt right for us to carry his legacy forward.”
Larry and Barb officially took over Larry’s Auto Clinic in September 2020. They kept Larry’s lead mechanic, and today, the local business still offers the same service, philosophy, and name.
“The biggest thing is that we stay on point and do what we say we’re going to do, and that really surprises and delights people,” Larry says. “We provide a service that is pleasing to the customer and at a fair price. I try to underpromise and over deliver rather than the opposite. You can get service from a bigger organization, but with us, you’re dealing with a family and people who care if you make it to your next destination.”