SUNNYVALE – Cliff Do’s career as an auto repair professional started small, but it developed gradually as he worked his way up from the basics to the big leagues. “I’ve loved auto repair since I was a kid,” he says. “As a teenager, I worked on motorcycles and scooter bikes, and from there I moved to diesel and gasoline engines. I was never satisfied doing just one thing; rather, I wanted to learn how to work on all types of cars, from domestic to European and Japanese. So that’s what I did!” To increase his knowledge and achieve his occupational goals, Cliff attended Skyline College in San Bruno and earned his ASE Master Certification. In 2000, he established A1 Performance Auto Repair in Sunnyvale, where customers continue to benefit from his extensive automotive expertise.
Originally from Vietnam, Cliff came to the San Francisco area in 1990, where he still lives today with his wife, Jennifer, and their children, Stephen and Tristan. Cliff loves living and working in the Bay Area, not least because certain aspects of it remind him of his home country. “The weather here is similar to where I’m from,” he says. “There’s also a great community—a real melting pot. The people are very friendly and there are great schools and other community resources.”
As a business owner and family man, Cliff’s daily schedule is usually packed, but he says he doesn’t mind too much. “Most of my time is spent running my shop and being with my family, but since I love what I do and I love my family, that’s not such a bad thing.” When Cliff does get some free time, he likes to take advantage of the lush Bay Area surroundings by fishing in the bay and hiking along the San Francisco skyline.
Looking back on his life and career, Cliff cites hard work and determination as essential ingredients of his success. “In order to better yourself and accomplish your goals, you have to work hard,” he says. “Coming from a very poor family, I had to take things into my own hands and apply myself in order to get where I am today.” However, while Cliff’s resolute mentality was instrumental in achieving his accomplishments, he also acknowledges the shaping influence of the people in his life, which is why he says after retirement he’d like to give back to his community. “I would get involved with doing some volunteer work and just help people in need. I would also take care of any needs that my own family may have.”