The people of Art’s Automotive

Art’s Automotive has 4 buildings and some of the very best tooling and equipment, but the thing that makes us special is the people who work here. You may have seen these names on your repair order, but never met them. This is where you can put a face to the name and learn a little about our crew.

If you’re looking for information about our shop and history, click here. If you’d like to find out more about the services we offer, click here.

Art Ratner, Founder, Partner — Since 1980

“Thorough, competent, caring”. Art’s maxim formed the mold around which the Art’s Automotive of today was built. After his tour of duty, Sgt. Ranter roamed North America making and selling leather crafts and fixing his Volkswagen van. He settled in the Bay Area and retrained as a mechanic, starting his first “shop” in back of his apartment. He then bought property and opened Art’s Automotive in its current location in 1980. Art sold a portion of Art’s Automotive to Lute and Paul in 2019 and we are now partners. These days Art is still providing guidance, but is spending more time traveling, driving his 2020 NSX, and enjoying life.

Lute Farnsworth, Partner, General Manager — Since 1997

Lute smiling in front of a wall of "best mechanic" awards

If you’ve been to Art’s, you probably know Lute already. He’s the glue that holds the shop together. If feathers get ruffled, whether it be employees or customers, Lute is the one who does the preening. He’s also in charge of worrying about everything. Are we doing the best we can? Are we being fair to customers? Are we being fair to employees? Will we have enough work tomorrow? Lute’s up at 3AM working on the answers.

Paul Cortes, Partner, Shop Foreman — Since 1997

Paul and a cat in a recliner

I started at Art’s as a mechanic, but I’ve done every job there is here at the shop since then. I teach hybrid repair at Contra Costa College, I helped write the ASE L3 (hybrid) test, and I do a little tech writing on the side. These days I do whatever my boss Chris Ligocki tells me to. In my spare time I ride motorcycles, shoot, and enjoy beer (not all at the same time).

Chris Ligocki, Service Manager — Since 2016

Chris smiling at his desk

Chris started with us as an apprentice mechanic, and he was really good at his job. However, we quickly realized that he was even better at talking to people. We eventually convinced him to move to the office and he’s been a customer favorite ever since. One day my publisher asked if I knew anyone else who could write tech articles, and I started to wonder if Chris might be able to write as well as he talks. Turns out he was pretty good at it because professional editors keep offering him more work than he has free time for.

Jared Cabrera, Service Writer — Since 2018

Jared smiling in front of a rack of car keys

Our youngest team member, Jared is an auto enthusiast and has taken to shop life like a fish to water. In his spare time installs performance parts from Russia and Japan on his 2003 IS300 5MT. He leaves the shop on Friday with a fresh set of tires and return on Monday somehow needing to buy a new set.

Morgan Darius, Lead Technician — Since 2010

morgan smiling while installing a wheel on a car

Morgan does it all. No matter what the the job is, Morgan is a good choice. Network diagnosis? No problem. Install an LS1 in a Prius? If it can be done, Morgan can do it. He works fast and almost never makes mistakes. In his free time drives a home-built rock crawler, camps, and takes care of his kids.

Ivan Manolski, Master Technician — Since 2005

Ivan works hard. Maybe a little too hard to be honest. But when you need your car back before leaving for a vacation, Ivan is the guy who will offer to stay late to get it done. He does top quality work and wont cut a corner no matter what. Its the right way or the highway. Once he gets home he tends to his vegetable garden which fills his back yard and feeds him in the summer.

Brad Davis, Master Technician — Since 1990

Brad is one of the best mechanic’s I know. Years of experience point him in the right direction and he’s often able to bypass conventional diagnostic technique and jump right to the problem using his “intuition”. He has the patience to deal with intermittent problems that can take a long time to reproduce and diagnose. Brad plays the guitar, collects firearms, and loves to be social.

Scott Hipol, Master Technician — Since 2005

Scott performing brake repair

Scott used to work right down the street from us at Weatherford BMW, until he opened his own shop in Moraga. Now we’re lucky to have him here at Art’s Automotive. Scott is a mechanic who knows all aspects of the auto repair business, and this allows him to anticipate and respond to questions without having to be asked. Like most of the small business owners I’ve met, Scott remains very focused on his work all day.

Matt Henry, Line Technician — Since 2016

Matt performing a wheel alignment

After graduating from Contra Costa College Matt worked at a muffler shop for a few years before coming to work as a lube tech at Arts. He quickly demonstrated that he was capable of a whole lot more than changing oil. He returned to CCC to take hybrid classes which weren’t offered when he attended. He now had “graduated” to a line tech at Arts and continues to impress us.

Ann Brocato, Bookkeeper — Since 1984

People who have been coming to Art’s for a long time will remember Ann. She used to be in the front office and knew all the customers by name. With the growth of the business, she started spending more and more time in her office upstairs doing the bookkeeping. Now she telecommutes some days, so it even more rare to see her in the office, which is too bad, because she’s fun to have around.