HOMEGROWN: Riley Auto and Tire

By Adam Armour/The Itawamba County Times

Kevin Riley really was born a couple of decades too late. A child of the ’70s, the Mantachie resident’s high school years would have been better spent in the grease-slicked 1950s.
Still, there’s undoubtedly a little bit of that greaser spirit in the man. For instance, Riley loves a fast car; any car, really. He always has.
“There’s this picture of me when I was four up under a Batmobile, working on it,” the Mantachie resident said.
That was the spark, but the fire didn’t really start burning hot until years later.
“I really got into (working on cars) right after high school,” Riley said. Some of his family were into racing at the time, so Riley was around cars quite a bit.
“I had seen some of the work being done on cars and thought, I could do that myself,” he said.
So, he did. After earning an automotive degree from Itawamba Community College, Riley took his first job in the industry: a position at Frankie Blackmon Chevrolet in Tupelo. Later, he took a position at Firestone. Three years later, he decided he wanted to go into business for himself.
To be in the business these days, a mechanic has to be a bit of a computer technician as well. The days of being a traditional greaser are long gone – at least in practice.
“There’s so much technology in cars now. When you crank up your car, you’re booting 11 or 12 computer systems,” Riley said. “Really, the only thing that’s mechanical now is the engine. There’s a lot more involved in just popping the hood and hooking up a machine to see what’s wrong.”
adam.armour@journalinc.com

OWNER: Kevin Riley

EST. 2004

ADDRESS: 3425 Highway 371, Mantachie

PHONE: (662) 282-7785

HOURS: Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

EMPLOYEES: Three

The Sunday Journal spotlights a locally owned business. To nominate a business, contact Dennis Seid at (662) 678-1578 or dennis.seid@journalinc.com.