This car repair shop has soul.
Statues of the Blues Brothers “perform” on the roof.
What’s up with that?
It’s a roadside attraction atop Andy’s Auto Repair, a few blocks from Highway 99 at 6408 212th St. SW in Lynnwood.
Brothers Elwood and Jake Blues have rocked the roof since 2005. The Blues Brothers started as an act by John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd on “Saturday Night Live” in 1978, and took off from there in movies, music and fiberglass form.
Andy’s owner Corey Jonson said the figures were given to him by a neighboring shop, TJ’s Special Interest Autos, which sold hot rods and memorabilia.
“They were on the bottom floor of a two-story building,” said Jonson, who did repair work for the shop. “They did a lot of internet sales. Long story short: They’d sell a car and people would fly into SeaTac and take a cab up this way. We’d always kind of chuckle because we’d see the cab drive by about five times, because they were kind of hidden. They said, ‘We need a landmark. Can we put these on your roof?’ So they would tell the people flying in, ‘If you see the Blues Brothers on the roof, we’re right next door.’”
From the get-go, the dancing brothers scored as a navigational icon for customers and gawkers.
“People would stop and block traffic to take a picture,” Jonson said.
Some want to get a little too close.
“I’ve had people come in and say, ‘Hey, can I climb up on the roof and take a picture?’ ”
That’s easy: “No.”
As Jonson puts it: “If you fall off, it’s not going to be Andy’s anymore, it’s going to be ‘whatever your name is auto repair’ and I’ll work for you.”
The Blues Brothers have been the target of less desirable attention, too. One morning he arrived at the shop to find the figures decorated in toilet paper.
Elwood and Jake were briefly upstaged in 2016 by Charizard and Pikachu during the Pokémon Go craze, when Andy’s was deemed a virtual Pokémon gym. Pokémon players would gather around the station to fight critters on their phones.
“We still get customers who know it’s a hot spot, so when they’re waiting for their oil changes they’ll play it,” Jonson said.
Andy’s was a hot spot long before the Blues Brothers and pocket monsters.
“When it first opened it was Bob and Andy’s, an Arco station,” Jonson said. “Then Bob retired and Andy ran it by himself.”
Jonson, 47, started working at the station 30 years ago during his senior year at Lynnwood High School.
“I can remember trying to do whatever I was doing in the garage and that stupid bell would ring,” he said. “Ding! And I’d have to run out. And it was air up the tires, check the fan belts, do all that.”
The gas pumps were removed in 1990. “A blessing,” he said.
Jonson bought the repair shop in 2000. “I was going to school in Edmonds to be a police officer. The money here was better. I always liked working on cars.”
He said he kept the name Andy’s because he wanted to keep the station’s good reputation.
The four-bay shop has five mechanics.
“We work on anything from an Audi to a semi-truck,” Jonson said.
Compared to German engineering and mega motors, the Blues Brothers require little maintenance. “I go up and knock all the cobwebs off,” Jonson said.
When he replaced the roof seven years ago, he figured he might as well give Elwood and Jake a makeover.
“A buddy of mine was messing around with that True Fire stuff and he came over and showed me how to do it,” he said.
True Fire is an airbrushing technique to make realistic glowing red, orange and yellow flames. It’s mainly used on cars, motorcycles and helmets.
Jonson emblazoned the brothers’ classic blue suits from their shoes to their fedoras.
“I flamed them up,” he said.
It got him into Roadside America, which noted: “The Blues Brothers figures themselves are found all over the country, so we mostly ignore them, but the pants-on-fire paint job on these two makes them a little more noteworthy.”
Other local Roadside America highlights are the Muffler Man atop the building at 1110 Hewitt Ave. in Everett, the 26-foot fiberglass airplane at Dillon Works in Mukilteo and the flying saucer at Paine Field Community Park.
As for the hot rod shop that started it all?
TJ’s Special Interest Autos owner Ted Fulmer said putting those two flashy figures on Andy’s roof was good for sales, both of classic cars and the glossy statues he bought by the truckload.
“I figured it would be a unique way to draw attention,” Fulmer said. “It was a cheap sign, really.”
In 2010, Fulmer relocated the business 3 miles away to a new bigger building at 8130 240th St. SW in Edmonds. It has since changed hands to be Bobo’s Rods & Customs.
The bond with the Blues Brothers remains strong.
“I take my cars to Andy’s,” owner Rob Bobo said. “He does all my mechanical work.”
Andrea Brown: 425-339-3443; firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @reporterbrown.