History & About Us

I am Scott Benedict, president and owner of Benedict restoration and Repair Inc. I moved to San Juan Island in 1978 from the East Bay area in northern California. There I attended vo-tech school and apprenticed in auto repair until age 24 when I moved north. Prior to that in my high school years, I spent six summers in Baja California working as an apprentice mechanic in an evaporative salt mining facility. I was twelve when I started that and seventeen when I finished. I learned all kinds of interesting mechanical techniques for repairing things when you can’t run to the local parts house for what you need. You fix it, find it, or make a new one. Between the end of high school and trade school, I worked in two separate machine shops running lathes, milling machines, welding etc. All good valuable experiences.

Since moving to San Juan Island I have worked as an auto mechanic, with a short stint as a marine diesel mechanic and an auto parts store counter person. I purchased my property in 1979 and built half of the existing shop then. I started repairing things in that building shortly after that. I bought my business license in 1981 and officially went full time in 1986, incorporating in 1995. I think this makes us the oldest shop in the original location on the Island if not just the oldest shop period.

The Rest of the Crew

David De La Zerda
David is the “drivability tech” / electronics guru. David came to work for us in 1998 from Azusa California where he had owned and operated his own very successful auto repair shop. He had apprenticed in the shop and worked up to a position of running it at a young age. He later bought the shop which he owned for 26 more years after that. That’s over 30+ years experience right there. Dave is a master at computer diagnostics and all problems electrical. He no longer chooses to do regular heavy mechanical work so is now on a call in basis, which ends up being quite often as the new cars get more and more computerized. Dave invests a lot of time and money on equipment and training every year, he is the best!

Robert Benedict
What can I say about Robert? He grew up in this shop. Talk about a tough apprenticeship, working for Dad! I think this occupation chose him, though he has a very natural ability for it, and does quite well at it. Robert is our puzzle solver, as he sees things from outside the box. Which is to say when Dave and I are scratching our heads over some mechanical oddity,  Robert will often see the answer clearly. It is a gift. Robert now has about ten years of full time experience and is a real asset to the business in all ways.

Experience and certification

The state of Washington requires NO testing, work experience, bonding or liability insurance, certification, or knowledge to buy a business license and open an auto repair facility. That’s right, nothing but the license fee! We voluntarily carry a large, comprehensive, garage keeper/liability insurance plan to protect all involved in the event of a problem. As far as certification goes, ASE certification is a voluntary testing and certification not required by state or federal law, and legally guarantees nothing. We believe that nothing compares with honest apprenticeship and experience in the field. Old guys with gray hair taught us tried and true methods of basic mechanical repair that one must know to do this job effectively. We have expanded on these through the years and now we are the gray haired guys. David and I have over 80 years experience between us and a work ethic to go with it. That said, we did go take the ASE tests, which were easier I felt then they should have been, in that they really don’t test experience and ability.

Scott has taken and passed all eight ASE certification tests qualifying him as a master auto technician.

David has taken and passed all eight ASE certification tests qualifying him as a master auto technician.

Robert has put up with his dad Scott testing him on a daily basis and can still smile. He is a master of survival.