By Nicole Schoen
In 1962, a young high school student started changing tires at the local Goodyear tire store. With hard work and determination, young Buddy Long would eventually open his own Goodyear shop. Now, after more than 50 years in the industry, Long, 72, still makes it into one of the two local Long Tire and Auto Service Centers almost every day.
When Buddy originally founded the business in 1985, Long Tire and Auto Service Center became known as a dependable, family-run auto repair business. Now, with the two locations and expanded hours to serve the Brandon and Valrico areas, it has continued to grow as a locally-owned business over the last 27 years. The Brandon location at 2015 Town Center Blvd. (right behind the newly opened Pollo Tropicale and within walking distance to the Westfield Brandon Mall) has been serving the community with excellent customer service and auto repairs since 2000.
“We have people that have been coming here since the original store has been open,” said the manager of the Brandon branch, Scott Cutting.
Long Tire is a family run, full-service auto repair shop including diesel line vehicles. It offers top-of-the-line brands such as Goodyear, Continental and Dunlop, and only employs ASE certified technicians. The shop does everything from tire inspections and oil changes to motor work, with prices varying depending on parts and models of cars.
“We do everything but body work,” said Cutting, “but we do everything else.”
Buddy himself is still heavily invested in the running of the business he created, spending a few hours at the store each day; but now son, Shannon Long, continues the family business by managing the day-to-day operations.
“It’s a family-run and operated business and everyone who works here is treated like family,” described Cutting, who was promoted as the new manager of the Brandon location. “We all have a stake in making the business run.”
The Brandon location is open Monday-Friday 7 a.m.–6 p.m. and Saturday 7 a.m.–4 p.m. For more information, call the Brandon location at 643-6503. Valrico residents can also visit the other area location at 3523 Bell Shoals Rd. or call 651-9585 for more info.