ABOUT H & M MOTORS...
Both John and Bryan are ASE "Certified Master Automotive Technicians" and GM, (General Motors), trained in more than 18+ categories of expertise. H&M is your GM specialist team.
By DAVID BRO / ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
Published: Dec. 30, 2013 Updated: Jan. 1, 2014 10:58 p.m.
Bryan Hall and John Mondt have combined a family legacy handed down from their grandfathers with a 20-year friendship to open H&M Automotive, a car-repair shop in San Juan Capistrano. Their granddads were General Motors dealership mechanics in Los Angeles in the days when American cars were king and if your father had a GM or Ford model, you bought one, too. “I started working on go-karts when I was 10, and then just naturally got into cars,” said Hall, 43, of San Juan Capistrano. “I started working on GM cars because of my grandfather, and GM makes a great product.”
Mondt, 54, started working on cars as a gas-station attendant when fuel was 40 cents a gallon and you couldn't pump it yourself.
“I had a job … pumping gas and then moved up to changing oil and filters,” said Mondt, a Laguna Hills resident. “Later on, I started working at dealerships. But it all started with my grandfather as a GM mechanic.” Hall and Mondt met 20 years ago as dealer mechanics at Allen Cadillac in Laguna Niguel and have been close friends since. They share values and goals in life. “It's John's honesty and integrity that I really like,” Hall said. “He has never lied to me, and you can see it in the way he lives his life. His family is a great example of what he is about.” Mondt said he admires Hall’s honesty as well. “I see it every day when he deals with customers,” Mondt said.
The two say they weren't planning to build a business together until about a year ago, after GM began to change the billing and warranty structure on which its mechanics made their living. Frustrated by making less money, the pair decided it was time to go on their own. Recently they were putting together a computer system to track invoicing and parts.
Only a few weeks into their new spot on Camino Capistrano, Hall and Mondt say their south Orange County roots have helped bring in steady work. They plan to have a grand-opening event soon. Though they say they have the knowledge and ability to work on any make or model, they hope to specialize in GM vehicles and restoration of classic hot rods. “I like GM because of my family heritage,” Hall said. “It's a well-built car, and I think GM is the best now they have ever been.” But as he leaned against an old Ford utility truck owned by a longtime friend, Hall added: “We haven't really seen many GM cars lately. It's all been Fords we have been working on.”