The Gearhead School Story

Upon high school graduation, I completed a 1-year diploma in Automotive Repair. This was the only post-secondary automotive program available in the NC Community College System at the time.

My first automotive job was as a flat rate line tech at the local Honda dealer. After two years at the Honda dealership, I opened my own independent Honda repair shop, Triad Auto Specialty, in Greensboro, NC. The shop outgrew two leased facilities and then moved into a new 6,000 sq. ft. facility.

At Triad Auto’s 20-year mark, I was approached by a developer about purchasing the property. At this point, I offered to sell the business to my two first employees. They took me up on the offer and moved the shop to a leased facility, and eventually, they moved into a new custom-built 18-bay shop on a three-acre tract of land. I use this facility for most of my shop-based video work.

Triad Auto Specialty, Greensboro, NC – Honda Specialty Shop Since 1978

After selling Triad Auto, I spent the next 7 years developing and delivering onsite training to independent Honda repair shops. My training focused on OBD-II and drivability. During this period I also completed an A.A.S in Automotive Technology degree.

In 2003 I accepted a full-time teaching position with the NC Community College System. During my 15 years at this position, I self-published the textbook “Technology Guide for Today’s Automotive Technician”, and completed a B.S. Career and Technical Education degree.

At the end of the spring semester in 2018, I did some soul searching to decide how I wanted to complete my career. Did I want to continue with a traditional classroom teaching a cohort of 16 students each year? Or should I do something different that allowed me to better use my God-given talents to make a bigger impact on the automotive service industry?

So at the end of the spring semester in 2018, I listened to that little voice in my head and left my safe full-time salaried teaching position with the NC Community System. At that point, I didn’t know exactly what I was going to do. I had several ideas and ran down several rabbit holes before Gearhead School came into focus.

In 2020, I launched Gearhead School to address the severe shortage of trained technicians entering the automotive service industry.

Grant Swaim
Site Administrator
[email protected]