Valley Auto Shop Owner Pays Tribute to Star Trek and Klingons at His CenPho Garage

The side of Andrew Atwood's auto repair business in Central Phoenix, which features the logo of the Klingon Empire.
The side of Andrew Atwood's auto repair business in Central Phoenix, which features the logo of the Klingon Empire.
Benjamin Leatherman

Andrew Atwood is a hardcore Trekkie and isn't embarrassed to show it. The 44-year-old auto shop owner has a few Star Trek tattoos, an extensive collection of memorabilia in his Cave Creek home, and even photos of himself wearing USS Enterprise pajamas as a kid. 

He also has a huge logo of the Klingon Empire painted on the side of Atwood European, his CenPho auto repair garage.

In 2005, Atwood incorporated the spiky, triangular-shaped sigil of the space opera franchise's fictional, warrior-like species (who served as eternal enemies of Captain Kirk and the Enterprise) into the logo of his business, which also features lettering depicted in a Star Trek-oriented font.

Atwood says it's a tribute to his lifelong love of all things Trek-related that also dovetails with his career of fixing European import cars made by BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

"People always ask me if I know what that symbol is, and I always tell them, 'Of course, that's why I put it up there,'" he says. "It kinda looks like a Mercedes emblem, but yet it's not, so I don't get into copyright infringement. And Paramount is less likely to sue me for copyright infringement than Mercedes."

Atwood also quite enamored with Klingons in general, which is why the same emblem is integrated into a tribal armband tattoo around his right bicep. (He also sports a Star Trek: The Next Generation-style communicator inked on his chest.)

"This is more hardcore than any other Star Trek fan I know," Atwood says. "People can dress up in costumes, but they get to take that stuff off when they get home. I can't take these off."

And while it's more likely that you'll see BMWs and Porsches getting repaired at his garage instead of any starships, Atwood says he's prepared for the day when some Klingons beam into his business looking to get their warp drive upgraded.

Although most mechanics keep Chilton guides or other repair manuals on their shelves, Atwood has copies of both the Klingon Dictionary and Star Trek Encyclopedia in the office. 

"I would love for that to happen, but it probably won't," Atwood says. "However, I am also looking for an app for my phone that translates Klingon to English."

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