Veteran Turned Mechanic Gives Back To Those In Need With Free Repairs

Anyone who isn’t well-versed in the interworkings of a vehicle has walked out of an auto shop and wondered if they got taken advantage of. The same can’t be said for the patrons of Hard Luck Automotive.

Adam and Toni Ely own the Oklahoma auto repair shop which has an unprecedented model: if you can pay for the parts your car needs, the labor is free.

Hard Luck Auto

Adam is a former paratrooper and helicopter mechanic for the US military. He knows his way around an engine and has fixed minor problems in his and friends’ cars for years. But, it wasn’t until a few years ago that he suddenly realized what he could do with his skills.

After fixing his daughter’s friend’s car, and realizing how much money he saved her by not having to pay for labor, Adam got the idea to open an auto repair shop that would do the same thing for people in his community. So, he went to his wife to pitch the idea (and she, of course, loved it) and in 2017 they opened Hard Luck Automotive Services.


As a disabled veteran, Adam gets financial assistance from the government which allows him the freedom to not charge for his labor (and provides him a way to give back – as if serving his country wasn’t enough!). He also credits the organization for helping him cope with his PTSD because working on the cars distracts him from the flashbacks and other symptoms he experiences.

Since starting the organization, word has spread about Adam and Toni’s mission and local businesses have started partnering with them by donating tools, offering discounted parts, and even giving advice when Adam feels like a repair may be a bit “over his head”.


Adam and Toni have become well-known in their community for their generosity and willingness to help people, but they don’t do it for recognition. For them, they’re just happy to save people some money and they simply provide this service because “they can”.

Check out the shop’s website here and be sure to spread the word about Hard Luck Automotive Services by sharing this story with your friends.

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