Bruce's Automotive Inc.'s exterior

Past Meets Present at Bruce's Automotive Inc. in East Aurora

In the fall of 1955, Bruce Putney, founder of Bruce's Automotive Inc., was working for the company now known as Moog Aerospace. Moog was incredibly busy at the time, and required mandatory overtime—Bruce was on a stretch of working 90 days straight! Months earlier, however, he had requested time off in February to go to Daytona for speed week. But when it was time for him to take his vacation, Moog informed him that if he left he would be looking for a new job when he came back.

After an exchange of some unpleasant words, Bruce went on his vacation! And while out of town, he pondered his future. He had been working on cars since he was a kid, and was also actively involved in racing. A career in auto repair made sense, so when he returned to East Aurora, Bruce rented a one-bay garage, and started his own auto repair shop without even inquiring to see if he still had a job.

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Passing the Wrench to the Next Generation

In the early 1980s, Brian Schofield met his wife-to-be, who happened to be Bruce’s daughter. For fun, Brian started working on his father-in-law’s race car while finishing his college degree in electronics. As graduation approached, Bruce told Brian that his education was where the automotive industry was going, and he thought Brian would be a good fit at the shop. Well, Brian turned him down flat, and told Bruce he wanted to find a real job! Ironically enough, he envisioned himself working at a place like Moog.

Fortunately for Brian, Bruce didn’t take offense to this rejection because, during this time, work was very scarce in East Aurora. A lot of large companies were leaving Buffalo area, and jobs were scarce. Brian was working at a fast-food franchise when Bruce approached him once again. Due to high local unemployment, a 16-week basic auto mechanics program became available. The deal was Bruce would pay for the school, and pay Brian to go to it. In exchange, Brian had to work after class at the shop and on Saturdays until he completed the program. They also agreed that Brian would work for Bruce for two years at an agreed rate. At that point, if it didn’t work out, the two would part as friends.

Brian Schofield; owner of Bruce's Automotive Inc.

Sometimes you need a little push—or a big one—to get where you need to be… in this case, an auto repair shop!

In the end, Bruce gave Brian the push he needed to be the best he could be, and provided him with all the training he would need to be successful. After 15 years under Bruce’s tutelage, Brian took over the shop, and the rest—as they say—is history, or in this case a continuation of history.

Get to Know Our Auto Repair & Service Team

  • Brian Schofield
    Brian SchofieldOwner

    Brian purchased Bruce’s Automotive Inc. from his father-in-law on January 1, 1999. He now has over 33 years of auto repair experience, and has been an ASE Master technician for 25 years. Over the course of his career, Brian has attended hundreds of continuous education training classes to stay current with today’s automotive technology. His expertise include electronics and drivability diagnostics, steering, suspension and alignment, heating and air conditioning, brakes and driveline, and engine diagnostics and repair.

  • Linda Kelleher
    Linda KelleherService Writer

    Linda has been working in the auto repair industry for over 40 years, and has been an invaluable member of the Bruce's Automotive team for nearly 17 years. Her outgoing personality coupled with her incredible wealth of knowledge and experience in the automotive service industry give customers confidence they are in good hands.

  • Harley Pike
    Harley PikeAutomotive Technician

    Harley has been a member of the Bruce’s team since 2004. He is an ASE Master technician whose areas of expertise are engine drivability, electrical diagnostics, air conditioning, and all facets of undercar work, ranging from alignments to brakes to shocks and suspension. If you drive an American make, Harley specializes in domestic cars and trucks.

  • Vince Harrington
    Vince HarringtonAutomotive Technician

    Vince has been a member of our team for over 25 years, but has more than 40 years of auto repair experience total. He is ASE Master certified, and specializes in European auto repair. For those who drive a Mercedes, BMW, Audi, or other German make in East Aurora, Vince is your guy.

  • Neil Cook
    Neil CookAutomotive Technician

    Neil has been with Bruce's since 2006. He is an ASE-certified technician who specializes in foreign car and truck repair, including all your Asian makes, such as Honda, Toyota, Kia, and Hyundai.

  • Brett Szumigala
    Brett SzumigalaAutomotive Technician

    Brett has been a member of the Bruce's team for a year, and has been working as an auto repair technician for five years. He specializes in domestic cars and trucks, so if you drive a Ford, Chevy, Dodge, or other American make, Brett is ready to take care of your vehicle.

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