DC Transmissions owner Darcy Barilla poses beside Kermit, a custom power train project he worked on recently. The shop, in addition to full transmission and general auto repair, also does custom work for car and truck enthusiasts. – Stephen Dafoe Photo
by Stephen Dafoe
Morinville – A lifetime of working around transmissions, motors and other parts of vehicles has culminated in the start of Morinville’s newest garage. Darcy’s Custom Transmissions and Auto Repair opened in early September in the old Morin’s Auto location on 100 Street, north of the Fire Hall.
Owner Darcy Barilla grew up in Morinville and grew up in the transmission business. His family owned a small franchise in St. Albert. Barilla started his shop as a home-based business three years ago, but the Red Seal certified mechanic decided to open a storefront location and moved into his present 100 Street shop Sept. 3.
“I was working from home, which was good,” Barilla said of his home-based business. “It was a decent living. I was OK with it, but it was time to take it to the next level. ”
Barilla specializes in transmissions, transfer cases and differentials, but the shop also does general transmission services, engine work and general auto repairs. The only thing the shop doesn’t work on is tires.
Wife Donna Marie Barilla said with the business growing, the time to open the storefront location was right. “When your home-based business gets to a point where its growing and developing and ultimately you interfere with your home, I think the timing is right,” she said, adding Darcy’s long-time partner Sheldon Linbeck also passed away in June, a situation that prompted Barilla to take the business forward – partly because the time had come and partly in honour of his friend’s memory. “You recognize that life is short and you have to make a leap.”
While the shop is a full service auto repair and transmission shop, the Barillas have a passion for cars, particularly customs. They hope to eventually run a full custom business and already do many custom power train projects for car enthusiasts. “There have been a lot of side projects,” Donna Marie said. “Once you name them, you have to keep them.” The couple encourages their customers to put their projects on the businesses Facebook page because the vehicles are often in the early stages when Barilla works on them. “We follow their projects and we hope they follow ours,” she said. “We have a lot of DC projects out there and we hope people put them on our Facebook page.”
Paying it forward
Sharing the joy of custom vehicle projects with friends and clients is not the only way the new business is looking to share. Barilla is currently in talks with Morinville Community High School to having students come and work at DC Transmission Repair. Helping a young person to get off on the right foot on a career path is something Barilla says he is passionate about, an opportunity to repay the opportunity he was given and to do the right thing in a community he is proud to call home.
“I’d like to definitely give it back,” Barilla said. “I want to teach what I have [learned] back to somebody else. I’ve got a certain way of doing things and it’s by the book.”
The couple is hoping Morinville and area residents will drop by for everything from an oil change to custom transmission work. Darcy the Transmission Guy is located just north of Morinville on 100 Street. They can be reached at 780-939-6741.