MOUNTAIN VIEW − When asked his favorite part of being the owner of Larry’s AutoWorks, Larry Moore expresses the satisfaction he derives from making sure his customers’ cars are reliable for the long term. “It’s very gratifying to get a ‘thank you’ from a customer who realizes the value we’ve provided by keeping their car running well after so many years,” he says. However, as Larry explains, maximizing vehicle longevity is just one aspect of his overarching passion for environmental sustainability. “Auto repair work can have a major impact on the environment, which is why we’ve proactively implemented eco-friendly measures like using re-refined oil and non-copper brakes. Not only is taking an environmentally-conscious approach the right thing to do, in many cases it’s also the more cost-effective thing to do, so it just makes sense.”
While he’s been on the cutting edge of the automotive industry for more than four decades, Larry’s initiation resulted from an unlikely catalyst: an adolescent brush with the law. “I grew up in Southern California in the late 1950s, when the primary weekend activity was to go racing up and down the Pacific Coast Highway,” he remembers. “To make a long story short, a highway patrol officer gave me the option of going to jail or getting rid of my Ford Hot Rod and quitting racing. Naturally, I opted for the latter.”
After selling his hot rod, Larry purchased a Volkswagen, which led to an unexpected education in auto repair. “Soon after buying my Volkswagen, I discovered that nobody knew how to fix them, so I had to learn to do it myself,” he says. “During college, I started working at an auto repair shop, and by the time I graduated, an opportunity arose for me to buy it. I had basically been running things there already, so it was a pretty seamless transition.”
Originally from the Los Angeles area, Larry today resides in Los Altos with his wife, Laurie. Outside of work, he enjoys a variety of hobbies, from raising Koi fish to working on his house. “We have a 110-year-old house, which means I spend a lot of time doing upkeep and maintenance,” he says. “I also enjoy working around the yard and using recycled redwood and other materials to build things like decks and gates.” Additionally, Larry likes to spend time with his and Laurie’s daughter, Tiffany, and granddaughter, Lilah.
In regard to his life and career, Larry espouses a bit of Eastern wisdom. “I try to live by the Japanese word ‘kaizen,’ which means, ‘I work to improve something a little bit every day,’” he explains. “I’m a believer in the idea that incremental improvements over time will lead to major improvements in the long run.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he could retire tomorrow, Larry says he’d take a long vacation. “I’m not sure I ever plan on fully retiring, because I like being involved and working with businesses, but I would like to have a little more flexibility to travel. If I were to retire tomorrow, I’d probably take a trip to somewhere I haven’t been, like Costa Rica.”