Pat Oakes compares the morals and values of the people of Sampson County to a different time, saying that “coming to Sampson County is like getting in a time machine and going back to the 60s, but in a good way.” He explained that he understands the people in the community respect hard work, honesty, and loyalty, and that is precisely what he is striving to provide.
Oakes is 29 years old and has been married to his wife Beth for seven years. They have three children and currently reside in Fayetteville, though moving to Sampson County is not out of the question. He left a civil service job as a DOD contractor to enter into the business that has been close to his heart since he was a young boy.
“My dad had me under the hood at the age of 12. I was amazed that people trusted my dad with their car so much that they would drive from Raleigh, Cary, and even Massachusetts to have him fix their car. I knew that was what I wanted to do,” he said.
Pat Oakes Automotive recently had its grand opening on Aug.4. They had food, door prizes, and festivities for the kids and were thrilled with the opportunity to catch up with old friends and meet new people in the community. Oakes is planning on providing the location for an upcoming Antique Car Show and thinks that it will be a great opportunity to meet even more people in the community, and it makes it special that these are fellow car lovers.
He boasts that his employees are the “best in the business” and that the cost for labor at his operation is extremely competitive with every other businesses in Sampson County. He currently has three full-time employees: Billy Lewis, who just returned from Afghanistan and is a native of Sampson County; Jason Glover; and Taylor Dew. Also joining him part time are his wife Beth Oakes, his father Donald Oakes and Christy Riles who handles marketing.
Donald Oakes taught his son the value of ‘fixing it right the first time,” the motto Oakes, the son, is practicing in his new venture as a young business owner in the automotive repair industry. He even includes the slogan on the sign in front of his location, which reads: “The quality of work I do speaks for itself. I would not have put it on the sign if I couldn’t stand behind it.”
Oakes is one of the only two Ford Certified Technicians in Clinton and has professional training on every make and model vehicle with the exception of the Lamborghini. He feels confident that he can fix any problem that arises with any vehicle.
Within the next two to three months, Oakes plans to have living quarters set up at his location at 1304 Beaman St. so he can service people 24 hours a day. If someone needs assistance, he will go out to the customer at any time of night, and if he can’t fix it right there on the spot, he will tow the vehicle and fix it at the shop, with no cost to the customer until the job is completed.
When asked what his ultimate goal was, Oakes replied “I want to bring a service to this county that they haven’t had in a long time. It’s about personal service, and I want people to feel comfortable coming in and asking to speak to a mechanic. It is so rare that customers are able to speak with the person that is actually touching their car.”
Pat Oakes Automotive is currently offering a special on oil changes. If you provide the oil and filter, the oil change is free, plus the customer gets to showcase a ‘Pat Oakes Automotive’ decal on their car. They are also offering 10 percent off a customer’s first visit for any service.
“I have a no failure rate. If I aim to do something, it gets done, and if I can’t, I figure out a way to get it done,” Oakes said.