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Drivers rejoice! State vehicle inspection returning to Marfa

February 9th, 2017 under Features
(staff photo by JOHN DANIEL GARCIA) Gilbert Lujan and Gustavo, the shop dog.

(staff photo by JOHN DANIEL GARCIA)
Gilbert Lujan and Gustavo, the shop dog.

By JOHN DANIEL GARCIA

johndaniel@bigbendnow.com

MARFA – “It really sucks having to drive to Alpine and having to wait so long just to get basic maintenance or an inspection on your car,” said TIOS (Tires, Inspection, Oil Services) proprietor Gilbert Lujan of his recently opened shop. “When I settled in Marfa, I wondered what this town really needed and what skill set I could provide, and performing basic maintenance just made sense.”

Located at the old Brit Webb station at 317 West San Antonio Street, TIOS will provide much needed services to Marfa residents, including oil and filter changes, tires fixed and balanced, car washes with interior detailing, and, yes, vehicle inspections.

Lujan, along with his brother Jerry and his dog/shop mascot Gustavo, will be running the shop from 8:30am – 5:30pm Monday – Friday and from 9am – 1pm on Saturdays, though he will leave his number on the window for any emergency tire patching jobs that will be needed, saying his shop will be more than just a business, but a service to the community.

“I know that things happen on Sundays or later in the day, and it’s always hard to find a place that’s open. I don’t want to be that guy who turns away people as soon as it turns 5:30. I hate that,” he said. “I’m just trying to fill in the gaps that this town needs and I want to keep it reasonable.”

Though the inspection certification is currently pending, Lujan hopes to begin inspections later this month, with plans to hire additional certified inspectors in the near future.

“I really don’t want people to have to wait,” he said, adding that he will be willing to help in any way to insure a vehicle will pass inspection. “I’ll do my best to help you pass inspection. If it’s something I can’t do, I’ll be ready and willing to refer you to someone who can fix what’s wrong.”

With all new machinery, Lujan is ready to get his hands dirty, even gaining the blessing from Webb, who ran the shop for 28 years before retiring in 2015.

“Brit helped out a lot. He was always there when I had a question I needed an answer to. He’s been super supportive,” said Lujan. “If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be here. He set this place up to be a tire shop, and I think it’s great that it’ll continue to be a tire shop.”

In keeping with the Marfa quirkiness, Lujan is also planning on adding a retail space to the front office.

“I’m definitely going to have sodas and water for the people who are waiting, but I also want to have some weird stuff for sale,” he laughed. “I’m not totally sure what it’ll be, though. It’s still up for debate.”

Pricing for services at the shop has been posted on Marfalist, though Lujan will be offering a 20% discount on all services for senior citizens.

“I’m just excited that I can do this and help out the members of the community,” he said.

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