After 45 years Mufflers and Pipes shifts name, ownership
New title reflects that it's a full auto body repair shop

By Hannah Weikel - Freeman Staff

June 27, 2017

 After a recent name change, the Waukesha Auto Repair: Mufflers and Pipes sign sits outside the shop on Sunset Boulevard on Monday morning.
Hannah Weikel/Freeman Staff

WAUKESHA - What started as a specialty muffler and pipe shop in 1972, has officially entered a new era by changing its antiquated moniker to Waukesha Auto Repair: Mufflers and Pipes.

The name change from simply "Mufflers and Pipes" was a long time coming, said co-owner Todd Green, because the shop stopped doing exclusively muffler and exhaust pipe work decades ago.

"The name started to limit us," Green said. "We wanted customers to know that we do more than just mufflers and pipes."

The shop is a full auto body repair shop, and after the umpteenth person came in asking if all they work on is mufflers and pipes, Green and his former business partner and older brother Gary Green decided the name had to be changed to fit current times.

The shop opened in 1972 downtown Waukesha under the ownership of Art Ray. In 1978, the shop moved to Southwest Avenue and that's when Gary Green started working there.

 Dozens of old pipes hang in the back of the Waukesha Auto Repair: Mufflers and Pipes shop on Monday.
Hannah Weikel/Freeman Staff

Gary and Art were the only two workers and Mufflers and Pipes was the only local muffler shop, Green said.

"Through the 70s and 80s, one type of muffler would fit on all different types of cars, but now it's all different shapes and sizes," Green said.

Gary, 62, and Todd Green, 53, bought the shop from Ray in 1992, but didn't decide to officially change the name until Gary Green retired on June 1. The name still includes "Mufflers and Pipes" because they didn't want to lose the three generations of customers who were familiar with it, Green said.

They moved the shop to its current location on West Sunset Drive in 2001 and set it up to do more than just mufflers and pipes. They watched other auto repair chains spring up on the same street, but kept a steady clientele because of their reputation in Waukesha, Green said.

The Greens were active in Waukesha's auto racing community in their younger years, and would use the shop to fix up cars to compete in demolition derbies at the county fairgrounds, Green said.

 An employee walks through a bay at Waukesha Auto Repair: Mufflers and Pipes, which changed ownership earlier this month.
Hannah Weikel/Freeman Staff

'Straight up, honest and old-fashioned guys'

Rick Weber, owner of Weber Auto Body in North Prairie, has sent all his custom exhaust work to the Greens since his shop opened in 2002.

"They've always been straight up, honest and old-fashioned guys; it's hard to find that nowadays," Weber said.

He said he also knew Gary Green, who was an avid wrestler, from when they had wrestling matches at Weber Auto Body.

But after Gary Green retired, the custom exhaust expertise left with him, Weber said.

"Gary was an expert at custom pipe bending, and that will sort of be going away," said long-time Waukesha Auto Repair employee Randy Krueger. "He has these tips and tricks that he didn't share with anybody."

Gary Green's share of the company was bought by Justin Karidis, who has been with the shop for nearly 10 years.

Karidis grew up working on cars with his family members and often brings his six-year-old son Devlin into the shop. He said the family-owned nature of Mufflers and Pipes was what drew him in to begin with, and hopes to keep it that way.

Email: hweikel@conleynet.com