Metropolitan Pit Stop was founded in 1975 by Jimmy and Eve Valentine. Jimmy began scouring auto swap meets on weekends and purchasing (new old stock) parts from American Motors dealers across the country. Since many of the original parts were no longer available, the Valentines started having parts manufactured, which involved the expensive process of creating new molds and dies. They also had many parts remade by the original manufacturers. Over several years, Jimmy developed a complete inventory of Metropolitan parts, reaching the goal of being able to offer a replacement part for every component of the car.
As business grew, a full-service garage was added for repairing and restoring Metropolitans, as well as for conducting research and development on new parts production.
Jimmy and Eve’s daughter June was smitten with her parents’ Metropolitan and eventually acquired her first one in 1978. Shortly after having 2 children, June reluctantly gave up her Met to buy a more practical family car. It was restored here at Metropolitan Pit Stop in the mid-eighties for Graham Nash (of Crosby, Stills & Nash) as a gift from his wife. It changed hands a few times, was a raffle prize for a private school and currently resides in Texas.
June joined the business in 2002 when Eve retired. She immediately brought fresh ideas from her background in management. Computerization was just the first step of many. Jimmy was forced to retire while battling cancer and sadly, he lost his fight in 2008. Today, June is directing the business. Along with a highly dedicated team, she is taking the business to new levels; constantly developing new parts, continually raising the bar with award-winning restorations, utilizing new technologies and supporting the local, national and UK Metropolitan clubs. June moved the office from another building in order to welcome everyone to see the museum without an appointment. Future plans include adding display cases for the huge assortment of memorabilia, collectibles and literature.
Mark met June soon after purchasing his first Metropolitan. After numerous visits as a customer, he and June became friends. When a longtime employee moved out of state in 2006, Mark offered to temporarily help out in the parts department. Eventually, Mark joined the team on a permanent basis. Mark offers superb customer service and technical assistance. He brings years of retail management experience and a longtime love of Metropolitans to run the parts department, ensuring the best fitting and highest quality parts are always in stock.
June’s son Justin has loved of all types of cars his entire life. He saved money and bought a very rough 1968 VW Beetle when he was 15. He spent his spare time after school and on weekends restoring it, achieving his goal of driving it when he turned 16. Starting in 1998, Justin spent a few summers helping out at Metropolitan Pit Stop. After receiving his Bachelor’s Degree in Business along with several years of retail management experience, he joined full time in 2014. Justin manages the shop; preparing estimates, scheduling service jobs and coordinating restorations. He enjoys working alongside our technicians whenever time permits and provides technical assistance to our customers.
Rounding out the team, our lead technician Morton brings decades of experience in restoration and fabrication. Our master parts rebuilder Richard calls himself a lifelong car nut and drives his 1971 VW bus to work every day.
Our team remains dedicated exclusively to the preservation of Metropolitans. No other types of vehicles are taken into the shop and no other vehicles’ parts are stocked. The dynamic business plan of the Metropolitan Pit Stop will assure the survival, support and growth of the Metropolitan for many generations to come.