By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Sincere with a good outlook on life and fear of the Lord
Chris Kohl has owned and operated Mantecas Precision Automotive for more than 30 years. - photo by JASON CAMPBELL

NAME: Chris Kohl

JOB: Owner, Precision Automotive

BORN: Los Gatos, CA

HIGH SCHOOL: Los Gatos High School


WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM YOUR PARENTS: “The commitment to tell the truth. I learned from my dad to be a good provider. There are seven of us kids, and all of us are hard-working, working-class people. They taught me a lot.”

GREATEST THING TO EVER HAPPEN TO YOU: “To become a father (two children – Chris and Melissa.) I’ve always been the kind of guy that takes chances, and I moved my family out to Manteca because I wanted a safe place to raise my kids. Manteca offered me that.”

PET PEEVE: “Not following through with something that you said you were going to get done.”

LAST NICE THING A STRANGER DID: “When I was stuck down in Pismo Beach three fisherman came along and pulled me out. We pulled up to stop and watch the sunset and I guess we pulled up into some soft sand. They were nice enough to help me out.”


BEST GIFT EVER RECEIVED: “My boat. It’s a full-on fisherman. It’s got three motors – two downriggers – 18-and-half-foot. It’s the ‘Reel Therapy.’ I’ve used that more in the year since I’ve had it than the three boats that I had before it. I like taking it up to New Melones or Lake Amador. I’ve got that lake down to a science.”

IDEA OF A GREAT DAY: “Just stopping to smell the roses. From Monday to Friday it’s just full-on, so on the weekends it’s nice to just slowdown and spend time with the grandkids. That’s huge.”

FAVORITE PLACE TO GO IN MANTECA (HANGOUT): “Bass Pro Shops. I like to take my grandson over there. That place is just amazing.”

FAVORITE TYPE OF MUSIC: “Some cool jazz. It’s mellow. It calms the beast.”

BIGGEST CHANGE IN MANTECA OVER PAST 15 YEARS?: “The demolition of the Spreckels Sugar silos. I saw those things come down, and that’s still a vivid picture in my mind. The smoke and the cloud – that was a big day in this city’s history.”

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BEING A BUSINESS OWNER IN MANTECA?: “The ability to be able to meet people and meet their needs. To run a business with integrity and honesty – I think that’s really what has kept us in business over the years. You’ve got to be able to guarantee what you do.”

WHAT MOTIVATES YOU TO COME TO WORK EVERYDAY?: “Family. Eagerness to learn. I’m still learning today after 38 years in this business. It’s something that you have to do if you want to stay current in the changes that are taking place.

WHEN DID YOU REALIZE THAT WORKING ON AND REPAIRING CARS COULD BECOME A CAREER FOR YOU?: “When I was sweeping the floor of my father’s shop in Los Gatos at 21-years-old. I took a shop class in high school and of course broke a few things that he had to help me with. But it’s something that you have to have a knack for, and that’s when I realized I had a knack for it.

BEST PIECE OF ADVICE EVER GIVEN TO YOU?: “Seek your dreams and don’t give up.”

WHAT WAS THE BEST PART OF THE LAST YEAR FOR YOU?: “Moving on to 2012. Last year was a hard year for us, and we definitely grew through adversity. I was glad to look forward to a new year and a new chance to start over.”

WHAT’S YOUR PERSONAL MANTRA?: “Do what you say and say what you do.”

WHAT’S THE MOST STRESSFUL THING ABOUT BEING YOUR OWN BOSS?: “There are a lot of things that you have to worry about as a business owner – finances, personnel. But there comes a point when you can’t do everything – you can’t give quotes and fix every car and greet every customer and handle every payment and shake every hand. You need to look for somebody that you can trust to help you with that load because in the end the best person to sell you is you. It’s a hard decision to make – to find that balance on both sides of the beam.”

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR THE YOUTH OF THE COMMUNITY THAT MIGHT BE EMBARKING ON THEIR OWN JOURNEY TOWARDS BEING A MECHANIC OR STARTING A CAREER IN AUTOMOTIVE REPAIR?: “First see if you have a knack for it – if you’re really mechanically inclined. Nowadays you need to have certification if you’re going to work on anything, so it’s best to find somebody that will take you under their wing and show you what you need to do. Seek out a mentor.”

FAVORITE GETAWAY: “Fly fishing on the trout pond at Camanche. Sitting out there on my float tube. That’s it for me.”

WHAT DO YOU DO FOR EXERCISE? “Work out at In Shape.”

HARDEST THING YOU EVER HAD TO DO? “Put my dog down. She was a deaf red-nosed pit bull named ‘Fun’ but she’d come to anything as long as you clapped your hands together with some compression. She had one ear that went up and other ear that folded down. She was a great dog.”

WHO DO YOU ADMIRE? “My father. He was a good provider – he’s retired now – and a hard worker, and he was always there for his family.”

IF YOU WERE SOMEONE ELSE AND YOU HAD TO DESCRIBE WHAT KIND OF PERSON CHRIS WAS, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY? “A funny guy. Sincere – with a good outlook on life and fear of the Lord. Easy to get along with.”

WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE 10 YEARS FROM NOW? “Back up in Bend, Oregon. That place is paradise for anything that you want to do – you’ve got the ocean and the mountains and rivers and lakes and snow and sunshine just a car ride away. The first time I drove down the Cascade Highway I was just in awe. It’s beautiful.”

WHAT MAKES YOU PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN? “I’m just grateful to be in this country – the land of the free and the home of the brave. I fly a flag in front of my home everyday.”

WHAT IS YOUR GOAL WHEN YOU WAKE UP IN THE MORNING? “Strive to be the best person I possibly can be in the eyes of the Lord. To be better than I was the day before.”

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE IN MANTECA HAVE THAT IT CURRENTLY DOESN’T? “A good vegan restaurant. A good 100 percent vegan restaurant.”

Staff reporter