The Hero of Honda Repair
By day, he is mild-mannered Tait Johnson. But when evil strikes your carburetor, he finds the nearest open phone booth and becomes . . . Honda Man!
Okay, not really. He doesn't have a cape or a fortress of solitude (though his repair shop, HON-MAN, is well-hidden, behind an East Indian shopping center, at 1864 East Apache Boulevard in Tempe; call 480-377-0638).
And true, his powers are a little more pedestrian than super. He can't dodge a bullet. He's not faster than a locomotive . . . unless it's a parked locomotive. He can't leap tall building in a single bound — or multiple bounds, for that matter.
No, if there's one superpower that Tait Johnson possesses, it's the power to fix Hondas and Acuras really, really well at reasonable prices.
So where did this mild-mannered repairman get his start?
At 17, Tait Johnson already knew his calling was repairing Honda cars. He dropped out of school in Orange County, California, and moved to Arizona by himself to pursue his auto-repair passion. Johnson worked at a Honda dealership for five years before once again going off on his own to start a mobile repair service. During this time, Johnson developed the "Honda Man" logo and placed it on his mobile repair station, a bright blue minivan.
Now Johnson owns a shop with two bays. He still answers the phone himself and applies his own hands and keen car-repair intellect to every ride that rolls in, despite the fact that he employs a staff of mechanics.
So what's next for Honda Man?
"I'm just going to try to keep it this size and not grow it," he says of his business, adding that if it gets much bigger, he'll have to "hire someone to be me."
"There's nobody to replace me, so why bother trying?"
If you don't have a Honda or Acura, fear not! Honda Man has established a veritable justice league of car repair specialists in the Phoenix area. Simply call in with your vehicle type and leave the rest to Honda Man.
Maybe it's the Honda "H" in gold and red, or maybe it's the beat-boxed theme song that plays when you visit his Web site, www.hon-man.com, but we can't help but thank Krypton for Honda Man.
Get the Arts & Culture Newsletter
Find out about upcoming performances, exhibitions, openings and special events happening in the Phoenix art and theater scene.