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Neighborhood auto service provider sees new ownership after 40 years

After 40 years in business, Terry Conley of Conley’s Service Center in Hixson is passing the torch.

The longtime neighborhood auto service provider, who was born and raised in Hixson, is retiring and officially handing over his business to David Ratledge Aug. 1.

“I’ve walked this floor for 40 years, and these feet have been worn out walking on concrete,” Conley said laughing, while pointing down at the grease and oil-stained garage floor. “Middle Valley’s been good to us, but it’s time to retire. I’m going to miss everyone.”

Conley said he’s proud that his shop was a place where people could feel at home. The back of the garage is lined with rocking chairs friends have claimed as their own over the years. They’d rock away the hours watching the mechanics work and talking about the latest in football, said Conley.

“I don’t know what they’ll do now — they’re not coming to my house,” he chuckled.

He said he has full confidence in Ratledge, who will change the name of the shop to Differentials Plus, the name of his own business.

Ratledge will also add glass, tire and differentials services for customers.

“I’ve watched what he does and he is precise,” Conley said of Ratledge. “He’s an honest guy and he’s young and energetic.”

“I’d like to keep the place going,” Ratledge said. “Terry does good work and I want to keep everyone satisfied like he has for the past 40 years.”

While Ratledge starts fresh, Conley and his wife will be taking a trip to Cabo, and generally enjoying retirement.

Conley’s Service Center, soon to be Differentials Plus, is located at 6714 Middle Valley Road and can be reached at 842-7243.