On April 9, we published a post about the imminent closure of Inca Service, the auto repair shop located at the Chevron station on the corner of Telegraph and Ashby, run by Hugo Cornejo since 1983.

Chevron, which bought the service station from Cornejo six years ago, plans to expand the mini-mart to a “maxi-mart”, which will mean the elimination of the repair shop.

The post provoked two dozen people to write in and share their experience of patronizing Inca Service. With one exception, everyone was extremely happy with the service they received from Cornejo. Support for Cornejo and the style of old-fashioned service he represented was overwhelming. Friendships had been forged and cars well looked-after — sometimes over periods of multiple decades.

Yesterday, Hugo Cornejo himself wrote in to update us on developments. Here is his note:

Hugo here to let you know what is happening with Inca Service and the above written article regarding our operation and its future.

We have been at the present location for the last 27 years and have been servicing the surrounding communities for the last 35 years.

In the course of doing that. I meet the most amazing people like yourself. I have made amazing friends whom I will respect and cherish for the rest of my life.

Because of the economic downturn, my business just like the entire economy of the United States, took a bad turn that we are all paying for now.

We have been trying very hard to make as many cut backs on the expenses of our operation and still be able to provide you with the highest quality of service for your automotive needs at a fair price.

For the last few months I have been working to see if I could accomplish an adjustment on the rent for the present economic times, and so far I have not been able to reach an agreement that would be beneficial for everybody.

Chevron has been a very good company for me to work with. They have been very helpful in accommodating my operation for the benefit of our customers. Just like anybody else, I am sure they need to get the best value for the land they own and rent.

I hope to remain in business for many more years to come in order to service your vehicle needs.

From the bottom of my heart, myself and all my crew. Thank you very much for all your support past, present and future if not fixing your vehicle. I could be leading you on especially catered trips to Peru or South America :) :) :)

I very much appreciate your taking the time to read my note.

Hugo Cornejo
Inca Service

Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...