Brea Old and New: Tick-Tock, History Isn't So Boring After All™ ~ Charlie the Clock

A Brea Tradition – Ron & Wayne’s Automotive

8 years ago by in ( City Guide , Shopping , Welcome to Brea , Who's Who )

The old foundry building, 1983.

Ron & Wayne's. If you don't know them, you probably have seen the name. But, where? Ah, yes! That's right! The Brea Downtown, near the corner of Brea Blvd and Bracken. Ron & Wayne's Automotive.

Ron Piattoni came to a quiet, rural Brea in 1964, at age 16, after graduating from South Gate High School. With his brother, Wayne, he took a job at a Mobil Oil Station, once located at Central and Brea Blvd, and in 1967 the brothers bought the business from owner, Ted Vliss. It became known as Ron & Wayne's until 1983, when the brothers bought the old foundry building on Brea Blvd. They enlisted family and friends to help  with construction improvements and after learning of the foundry's history, the brothers maintained as much of the buildings original appearance as possible.

Most Breans are aware that the Ron & Wayne's Automotive building has an historic significance to the city, because it served as the place where Babe Ruth, Walter Johnson, and other celebrated baseball players changed into their uniforms before "The Big Game", played on Halloween Day in 1924 at the Brea Bowl.

Built in 1916, the building was originally constructed as a pillar to post foundry, providing oil well parts to a thriving local industry. While making improvements and modifications, the Piattoni brothers discovered that the foundry had once utilized a horse and buggy loading dock on the north end of the site, and there was a steel beam spanning the center of the building that had served to move heavy equipment by pulley. The beam remains, but had to be relocated to the side of the garage area.

According to Ron, the one-story buildng, built two-stories high, stays suprisingly cool in summer heat and still retains some of the original trappings of the foundry such as aluminum siding and steel posts sunk 9 feet into the ground.

Ron told me that a few years ago, an older man stopped by asking if he could see a small building behind the garage shop where, he said, his father once tested diesel engines for wind machines that warmed citrus orchards on cold winter nights. The gentleman was the son of Fred Thaheld, who also designed diesel engines for aircraft that were tested and flown at the two airports that once flanked the Brea city limits.

Several of Thaheld's innovative engine designs are housed at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.

With so much history in it's past, this long standing building still serves Breans, making new history as the family-owned home of one of Brea's favorite businesses, Ron & Wayne's Automotive. Wayne retired a few years ago and Ron enjoys semi-retirement, with the help of his son, Rod, who has worked with his dad since his days of attending Brea-Olinda High School. Although Ron says he enjoys that freedom, he has no plans for full retirement.


Ron (right), and Rod Piattoni at Ron & Wayne's Automotive

In business in Brea for over 40 years, Ron & Wayne's Automotive provides good, old-fashioned service from fan belts to differential overhauls, for Domestic and Foreign cars (with the exception of German automobiles).

Ron & Wayne's has a long tradition of great service, fair prices, and they'll give you a ride home when you drop off your car!

Full disclosure: I am a Ron & Wayne's customer. They're professional, they will answer your questions, they won't try to sell  you unnecessary repairs, and they do a great job! And they're really nice guys!

Looking for a car mechanic? Shop Brea! Give Ron & Wayne's Automotive a  call.

Located at 227 N. Brea Blvd, Ron & Wayne's Automotive is open Monday thru  Friday, from 8am until 6pm. (Not open on weekends) 714-529-5756 or 714-529-5757


Author :

"Thank you" for visiting Beautiful Brea Old & New (BBON). First & foremost, I am a proud mother & wife. I am also a well-rounded freelance consultant. But you can call me an enthusiastic cheerleader, supporting and promoting the city of Brea and its historic iconic Charlie's Clock turned "Charlie the Clock cartoon character!" Click on the front page illustration to read about the beloved time traveling talking clock!!

  • Carolyn Campbell

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