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Shop Talk: Empire Automotive Repair

John Thome

John Thome grew up in upstate New York where his grandfather owned an auto shop. “I became interested in anything with an engine and learned to repair anything mechanical,” Thome says. “After test-driving my first BMW, I knew they were special cars.”

Since opening Empire Automotive 12 years ago, Thome has enjoyed being able to focus deeply on the mechanics of one brand rather than maintaining a more superficial knowledge of a wide range of vehicles. Customers travel from all over the state for Thome’s specialty expertise and his “small-shop” approach.

Empire Automotive consists of a three-person team, including Thome’s 25-year-old son, all of whom were trained by Thome himself. “They are all very detail-oriented and serious about the quality of their work, and customers notice that,” says Thome.

Empire Automotive Repair is located at 3286 Asheville Highway, Canton. Learn more at or call 828.492.1515.

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