September '18

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50 THE SHOP SEPTEMBER 2018 GOOD CONNECTIONS With only one year of school left, Sarukh- anyan still plans to acquire his law degree— but doesn't regret putting it on hold and can't imagine doing anything else. After AR Auto Service hired a service manager nearly two years ago, Sarukhanyan was able to focus more on the tasks he enjoys the most, like planning customers' builds. "I don't have any formal mechanical training," he says. "I've just loved cars since I was 2 years old. Eddie took me under his wing and filled in any gaps that I had, and I also learned from the technicians. It was just one of those things where a passion became a job." When Nakato can't help a customer with a track setup, Sarukhanyan also has the skills to take on the task. In fact, the shop recently purchased a new Ford F-450 Super Duty and plans to buy a larger trailer to match, so it can support even more cus- tomers at more races located farther away. Sarukhanyan says building relation- ships and making friends with customers and vendors on and off the track makes working at AR Auto Service incredibly rewarding. "When you watch someone's childhood dream become reality, it brings immense satisfaction," he says. "It's really satisfying to finish a car, take it to the race track to perform exactly how you expected it to and your customer is super-thrilled." ABOVE & BEYOND One of the shop's standout builds is a full refresh and modification on a mid-1980s Porsche 911, which the shop exhibited at the 2018 Portland Auto Show. Work on the car included resealing the engine, installing a new clutch and exhaust, welding in a half roll cage, adding seats, rebuilding the suspension and doing a performance alignment. Other notable jobs include a Ford Mus- tang Boss 302 with an upgraded suspen- sion and power, big brakes, half roll cage and other modifications, and a BMW race car that's an ongoing shop project with an extensive engine swap and wide body kit. Working with good vendors like Atlanta- based Motion Control Suspension also helps AR Auto Service supply top-notch customer service and go above and beyond for its clients—which sets it apart from other shops, Sarukhanyan says. "Motion Control Suspension's customer service is what we love the most about them," he says. "And the fact that it's a high-end race product that we're able to trickle down into people's street cars to give them the benefits of a high-performance suspension that helps the car handle better TIME CRUNCH Racers at heart, the crew at AR Auto Service show off their abilities and lat- est projects at the Portland Auto Show.

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