All Things Automotive: Rising to the top

Nathan Solheim

Most auto repair shops get started to service many kinds of cars. In the case of Stang Auto Tech, a AAA Approved Repair facility in Broomfield, it started to service a single model—the Ford Mustang. And yes, that’s where the shop got its name.

Robert Blaes opened Stang in1980, while working nights at Rocky Flats as an electrician. He wanted a shop that specialized in Mustangs—his first car in high school. But as he worked on new and classic versions of the muscle car, some of his clients began asking if he’d service their vehicle fleets. Today, Stang Auto Tech services dozens of automotive makes and models and won AAA’s Approved Auto Repair Top Shop in 2019. Blaes shares a few thoughts with us about Mustangs, and what it means to be one of the best repair shops in Colorado.

Q: How did you become such a Mustang aficionado?

Blaes: Growing up, I was a gear head and really liked working on cars. My first car was a Mustang, and I got into building them. I also liked hanging around with other Mustang enthusiasts. I have a 1968 notchback—a luxury coupe with a big block—and my wife has a 2008 Shelby GT 500.

Q: What does it mean to be AAA’s Top Shop?

Blaes: One thing I really appreciate most about AAA, is it seems to be the only real watchdog in the automotive industry. Anyone can hang a sign and say they work on cars, but AAA actually checks when our certifications are due, and our liability insurance is up to date. Our certifications are the only thing we have in the [automotive] industry, as they show we’re knowledgeable to fix cars. AAA also stays on top of us to ensure we’re taking care of our customers. It is a huge benefit with the program that augments the other things AAA does. It’s good AAA monitors that and enforces those key items, and it’s why I’ve been a AAA member for a such a long time.

Q: What members of your family are involved?

Blaes: Pretty much everyone. My wife, Kerri, helps with marketing, accounts payable, and other owner responsibilities. Our oldest son, Kyle, is the head advisor and does most of the problem solving throughout the day. He’s also takes on many management responsibilities. Kyle’s wife, Sarah, does social media marketing on Facebook, Twitter, Google, the mobile app, and helps with some bookkeeping They plan on buying the business in the future. Our youngest son, Spencer, is an apprentice, and our middle son, Shane, helps with our Site Development project and facility maintenance. And finally, my mother, Mary, does a little bit with daily deposits, as well as our direct mail program for customer acquisition and retention. So, we’re definitely a “family” business.

Q: What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever fixed?

Blaes: A street sweeper. They have two engines—one to propel the vehicle and another to propel the vacuum. We’ve also upgraded a 2004 Mustang Cobra that ran on pump fuel with 850 horsepower and was a daily driver! The owner was from Craig and trailered it down here for us to do the performance upgrades. It was a production car with an upgraded 4.6 liter, which we added twin turbo chargers and upgraded the super charger.

To learn more about Stang Auto Tech, visit them at

Nathan Solheim is the creative content and digital media production manager for AAA Colorado.