About South Valley Automotive

South Valley Automotive was created from a desire to offer the knowledge that folks expect from a dealership without the pushy sales tactics and overselling that usually comes with it. Owner Mike Reel worked for the large corporate dealerships, along with small ma-and-pa shops. He took the things that he liked the best from both worlds and created South Valley.

It’s been a long road with several moves, ups and downs, endless training and constant improvement. In June of 2021, the shop moved to its current location at 1310 Ivy Street in Junction City. Months of long nights and weekends from family, friends, and team members resulted in a facility that we are truly proud of. South Valley now hosts a beautiful lobby, six lifts, an alignment machine, fenced overnight parking, and 7,000 square feet of work space, all under one roof. 

In 2021 South Valley became an ASE Blue Seal shop. What does that mean? 

  • ASE Blue Seal is an elite status attained by relentless commitment to excellence. 75% of the establishment’s personnel must be ASE certified, with at least one person certified in each area of service offered.
  • ASE Blue Seal recognizes establishments striving to be the best and willing to prove their commitment through annual renewal
  • The program is designed to generate customer confidence due to the high percentage of ASE certified, professional staff
  • ASE Certification means that a person has passed tough, industry-developed exams

Also in 2021, South Valley became the only Napa Autocare Gold Facility in Lane County, and the seventh in the state of Oregon. This program is by invitation-only from Napa. The requirements and expectations are rigorous, including:

  • Become ASE Blue Seal certified
  • Have and maintain excellent customer satisfaction ratings, showcasing that we truly put people first
  • Offer digital vehicle inspections to ensure that customers can see what we see
  • Pass a high benchmark for a clean and well maintained facility to ensure that your experience is the best it can be

When our technicians recommend something, it’s because you need it, or because we have caught the issue with enough time to get it on your budget in the future. When you’re here, you’re family, and that’s how we want you to feel. No high sales pressure, no recommendations without explanations, and no grief if it doesn’t fit in your budget right now. We strive to provide high quality repairs and maintenance, which will keep your vehicle running to wherever you need to be without questioning your safety. A repair is only good for us if it’s good for our customer and good for their vehicle.

If you’re a current customer, you know what to expect from us. If you’re not, then give us a try. You’ll be glad you did!

South Valley owner Mike Reel

Mike Reel, Owner

I was born in Oklahoma to a fellow gearhead, and raised in Oregon. Growing up, we had a number of hot rods, including an1972 El Camino SS 396, 1981 K5 Blazer with a built small block, and a 1981 Corvette that my Dad and I redid the interior, exhaust and other goodies too.

At an early age I got the car bug. After high school I moved around a bit trying to find my stride. I graduated from Wyotech in 2009. After moving back home I worked at Norm’s Auto Repair, Kendall Honda, and finally Green Streak Automotive.

I started South Valley Automotive & Customs LLC in April 2012 with the idea in mind to offer everything I possibly could without high sales pressure or unnecessary repairs. From wheels and tires, to tune-ups and oil changes. We strive to take care of our customers in the same manner I would my own family.

On my off time I love hanging out with my kiddos and lady. Harlow is almost 9 and Lucas just turned 8. We enjoy coast camping trips at the dunes and working around the “farm” picking up hazelnuts.

I like to collect die-cast cars, mostly Chevelles. Aside from our annual trip to Hot August Nights, the Function 4 Junction, and other car shows and cruises, our 1970 Chevelle “Trudy” spends most of the time parked.

My dream is to one day drive Route 66 on a tour with other Hot Rod Enthusiasts.

Sarah Fay

I’m the controller here at South Valley, or as the guys like to call me, ‘boss lady’. I handle the finances of the business, manage our human resources, and support the team however I can.

I grew up in Junction City and we chose to live in Monroe. Being part of a community that gives back, watches out for one another, and supports those within it are what makes ours great!

Mike & I are fortunate to be board members for Function 4 Junction. Supporting our community, our youth and our passion for cars is a fantastic feeling.

As a mom, I know how important your cargo is and therefore your vehicle’s safety is. As a woman, I know how unsettling it can be for someone to tell you that your vehicle needs endless repairs and you don’t understand any of the fancy words coming out of their mouth. I can tell you that is NOT what you will experience here at South Valley.

When we aren’t working, well, we are always working. But when we get the opportunity to escape, Mike and I love taking the kids, Lucas & Harlow, to the dunes! We have a small hazelnut orchard that we tend to, Sarreel Acres, that we are using to help instill hard work and responsibility into our kids.

Mike & I’s annual vacation is to Hot August Nights in Reno. It gives us the opportunity to get away, spend time with friends and family and get inspiration for future builds.

This shop and the employees that work in it are truly our life. We owe so much to so many, and we thank you for choosing us.

Kevin Bridges

I was born in Pampa, Texas but have lived in Oregon for the last 52 years. I graduated from Sheldon HIgh and attended Lane Community College obtaining my degree in Automotive Technology. I am married to my amazing wife Lori. We share 10 children and 3 grandchildren. My hobbies are camping, fishing, and NASCAR. I have been repairing and maintaining vehicles for 43 years. I am ASE certified and enjoy my job. Come on by, meet our team and become part of the South Valley family. 

John Sidman

I was born in Stafford, Kansas. I fell in love with cars at an early age when I went to my first drag race. I became fascinated with how cars work and everything about them. It took me many years to finally get into automotive for real.

At 15 I began working on cars when I completed my first tune up (spark plugs, wires, cap and rotor) on my moms suburban. At 18 I enrolled at Wolf Creek Job Corps to begin formal automotive training, a year later I transferred to another college to increase my knowledge until I was 21. I’ve been working on cars ever since.

My hobbies include hanging out with my dog, Fenrir. He is a Mastiff/Great Pyrenees mix. He barks at things, plays fetch and eats a lot. Other hobbies include puzzles, haven’t found one I can’t solve. I enjoy the challenge. I like making jewelry sometimes, as well as chain mail. In the summer I spend a lot of time in the river looking for rocks. They are easy to find because there are a lot!

Jacob Bentley

I was Born in Casa Grande, Arizona and moved to Eugene, Oregon at the age of three. I have wanted to be in the automotive industry since I was 5 years old. From that time on I’ve had an almost singular focus on growing the skills necessary to become the best automotive technician and
fabricator I could possibly dream of.

I hold myself to the highest standard. My quality of work starts from commitment and determination to do the job to the best of my abilities.

When I’m not at work, I get to go home to my beautiful girlfriend Sarah and my little 6 year old girl. We love going on road trips, camping and finding a calming lake to go kayaking on.

“The test of a machine is the satisfaction it gives you. There isn’t any other test. If the machine produces tranquility it’s right, if it disturbs you it’s wrong until either the machine or your mind is changed ”. Robert M Pirsig.

Cameron Smith

I was born in Eugene and moved to Junction City in 2013. When I was a kid, it was my dream to drive race cars, or to work on cars, or both. As of yet, I haven’t been able to drive any race cars (at least on a track). In 2022, I applied at South Valley for their Apprenticeship Program, and I have been working with them ever since.

When I am not working, I like to go on hikes and take pictures. I also enjoy playing piano and guitar, although my music skills are a bit rusty right now. One of my goals is to be able to get my 1967 Dodge Dart restored and to be able to drive it at the Function 4 Junction.

Ben Bishop

I was born in Rancho Cucamonga, California and moved to Brookings, Oregon when I was 4 years old where I grew up until I was in high school. I then moved to Eugene in my Sophomore year where I finished high school and shortly after I graduated I went to a commercial diving academy in Jacksonville Florida. I moved back to Oregon and went to work for a heavy marine salvage company called Fred Devine Diving and Salvage, which assisted with the Exon Valdez and New Clarrisa oil tanker salvages. I was a deepsea gangster with them for several years until I went into welding, fabrication and mechanic work for building log trucks, during which I met the love of my life Ashley. I then moved on to an off-road race team out of Washington called Clavicle 3 Offroad where we raced the Best In The Desert circuit through Nevada and Arizona, taking 1st place in the iconic Mint 400 amongst others. After I left there, my wife and I moved back to Eugene and I went to work for a hot rod shop in Springfield for the better part of the next 10 years. I loved working on the old classics and learned a lot about the automotive industry there.

My wife and I have just had our first son called Bo who is the most important part of our lives. I made the move to South Valley Automotive at the beginning of 2023 and have not been this happy at a job until now. This place is the epitome of a family business. I have never worked anywhere that cares about their employees and customers as much as this place. If I wasn’t an employee, here I would definitely be a customer. The care and attention that South Valley provides its customers and employees is unmatched and the technicians are amongst the best in the business. Overall I believe this is where my life was meant to take me.