On April 28, 2017, T&M Foreign Car Repair closed its doors for the last time to tearful customers and years of trusted service to Wayne County and surrounding areas. For many, Bill McCullen and Charles Taylor, owners of T&M, were far more than mechanics but instead viewed as cherished friends. While in business for over 42 years, the two each raised children and become grandparents, lost their own parents, and faced struggles they could never have imagined.
Bill and Charles first met in grade school when Bill’s father, a Methodist minister, moved his family to the town of Faison, North Carolina. The young boys began a friendship that has stood the test of time for well over 60 years. After finishing high school both men served our country in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War. To make their connection even stronger, Charles and his soon to be wife at the time, Judy, introduced Bill to my mother’s best friend, Connie, and the two were married soon after. Both couples have been married nearly 50 years!
In February of 1975, Bill and Charles made the decision to go into business together. Their first two shops were located on Hwy 111 South, while most know their last location on Hwy 70 East across from Wilber’s BBQ, where they ate lunch every day. I asked Charles what he thought the secret of their success had been and his response was, “We are honest and we both have a conscience. You don’t find that much anymore in business. Most of our customers just left their cars and ask us to fix them. They never even question us.”
After posting the sign which announced the men’s retirement several months ago, customers’ reactions were everything from shock to breaking down in tears. Many families were sending the 3rd generation of customers due to beginning with Bill and Charles back in 1975.
For two friends, closer than any brothers who have never had a fight, it is now their time. Bill, 70, looks forward to spending more time with his family and working in his yard while Charles, 71, says he is going to do a few projects around the house but is definitely riding his Harley and fishing.
Wayne County and I sincerely thank these two men for always placing God and their families first while serving their customers with integrity and amazing skill.
T&M Foreign Car Repair will be missed but never forgotten!