Heights grad follows auto dreams

Chip Ramsey in his shop.

Chip Ramsey, Heights High class of 1984, has always known what he wanted to do: have his own auto repair station. “When I turned 40, I knew I had to do it.” One and a half years ago, Chip took the big step and put his dream in motion by purchasing Washington & Lee Service, Inc. on Lee Road.

Born and raised in Cleveland Heights, Chip says that his parents used to bring their cars to the repair station. Seeing and talking to the mechanics triggered some of his fascination with cars. “When I was 15 I bought a ’69 Pontiac GTO and drove it up and down the drive way,” Chip reminisced. When the car needed repairs it was taken to the Washington & Lee Station. “The previous owner gave me the tune up parts so I could learn how to work on it.”

Chip says that he has always been intrigued by what make things work. When he was younger he liked to tinker with discarded lawn mowers, and at the service station he would talk to the mechanics to learn what they were doing to fix the cars. “Certain people know instinctively how to do things,” Chip explained. “Knowing how to fix cars is in my blood.”

Chip Ramsey looks around his repair station as mechanics work on cars perched on lifts. In the corner of the waiting room is an old gas pump. Old license plates and colorful gas station advertisements decorate the walls. Chip points out the unusual stained-glass art piece that covers part of the front window. Thick pieces of glass form the shapes of a spark plug, gas pump, gears, wrench and a wheel. “When the sun shines through this it is amazing, and at night we leave the light on so it shines through the glass,” he says with pride. This is his dream.

Lita Gonzalez, a long time community volunteer, lives in Cleveland Heights with her husband Mark. Both her daughters are Heights High graduates.

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Volume 1, Issue 3, Posted 1:28 PM, 04.30.2008