Watch Now: Lincoln Mechanic Keeps Up With The Trend And Shows She Knows What She’s Talking About | Local business news

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Delta Nelson’s whole life has been rooted in the automotive industry, so it only made sense when she decided to open The Mechanix Garage nearly a year and a half ago.

His great-grandparents had a salvage yard in Garden City, Kansas. His grandfather was a mechanic. His uncles and his own children were passionate about racing.

“That’s all I really know,” Nelson said one recent afternoon in the lobby of his store at 1323 Dawes Ave., near 14th Street and the Cornhusker Expressway.

She said her store offers everything from basic oil changes and computer diagnostics to replacing tires, brake pads and batteries and work on vehicle suspensions.

And that expands the off-road side of the business, which includes work on side-by-sides, ATVs and customizations. That’s something not all auto shops do, Nelson said.

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She said she left school, got married and had children. She went on to co-own a local auto glass business, worked as a service manager for a Ford dealership, and managed a Honda and Toyota specialty store for 12 years before her final opportunity presented itself.

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“Everything kind of fell into place,” Nelson said.

Although it hasn’t necessarily been easy to be a woman in a career perceived by some as a man’s job.

“It’s still seen as a male-dominated industry. And it is. But every year we see more and more women being part of the industry in all aspects,” she said. declared.






The Mechanix Garage, 1323 Dawes Ave., offers everything from basic oil changes and computer diagnostics to replacing tires, brake pads and batteries and working on vehicle suspensions.


GWYNETH ROBERTS, newspaper star


According to statistics from the United States Bureau of Labor, last year women accounted for 9.5% of automotive service and repair positions in the country, 22.2% of car dealerships and 27.1% of people hired to make vehicles and parts.

Nelson has said nationally that she hears of more female mechanics becoming service managers and shop owners. It’s one of the only women-owned stores in town.

She is involved with the Women’s Automotive Counsel, a national group that provides opportunities, education and career leadership for women in the automotive industry, and says she is very supportive of women pursuing careers in the industry. automobile.

And there are a variety of careers. His advice to anyone interested in the field: twinning. Come in and see what it’s all about.

To be a mechanic, Nelson said, you always have to be able to turn a key. But power tools now make this easier than before.

She said at first that she was intimidated by some in the industry.

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“Over the years, I’ve been kind of proud of it. … The shock value when they realize I know what I’m talking about,” Nelson said.

She still deals with people who think women shouldn’t be in the industry. She said she let them have their say and then steered the conversation back to work.

During a recent call to a new supplier, she said, the man on the phone asked her if she knew what the part she was ordering was for, which he probably wouldn’t have asked. a man.

But that’s usually not a problem. She likes to keep things, such as buying parts, as local as possible and has a good camaraderie with her local people.

When asked if she felt the need to prove herself early on, Nelson responds quickly.

“I always do. Every day,” she said. “But it’s okay. Because it makes me want to keep learning and staying on top of things that might happen.”

Contact the writer at 402-473-7237 or lpilger@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSpilger

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