Mike Middlebrook has been working in the auto mechanic industry for 25 years, but his experience started at age 14 when he started helping his father, Dennis Middlebrook, in the shop with various engines and auto parts.
Just like his father, Mike has been officially working under his auto mechanic certification since he graduated from Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, IA.
“It’s always what I wanted to do,” Mike said.
His son, Jeffrey Middlebrook, 21, also started helping out in the shop when he was around 14 years old, and is now employed full-time by the family business.
Jeffrey also graduated from Indian Hills, but his specialty is auto body painting. He said that he was always more interested in making the vehicles look nice, but he also does some auto mechanic work. The paint room in the shop is known as his area, where he can mix any kind of paint.
“I was more into the painting side of things,” Jeffrey said. “I was more into the looks of the vehicles and making them look nice---not so much the mechanic side.”
Middlebrook Auto started with Floyd Middlebrook, Mike’s great-grandfather, when the standard station was built in 1939. Mert, Mike’s grandfather, built the building that now houses the body shop in the 1950s. The building was recently redone with a new work and office space.