Gary Sobbry started working in his father's auto shop when he was five years old. He washed the cars before their owners picked them up. He made five dollars a car. At age eight he was painting them. At 14 he had saved enough to buy his first car, a '79 metallic blue Camaro, a car he still owns 15 years later.
"I was making $50,000 a year in high school and working all the time, it's the only thing I've known," says Sobbry, who credits his father for instilling in him a strong work ethic. "My dad was a Vietnam vet, did three tours of duty on the U.S.S. Constellation. He taught me to work for what I wanted. I learned from him that when your name's on a business the job has to be perfect."
The Sobbrys have been in the automotive business since in 1937. According to Sobbry, family members now own and operate over a dozen auto-related businesses, including City Body in Ypsilanti. With that history, it is not surprising that he knows good work when he sees it.
Entrepreneur and educator
Sobbry, opened his own shop, Sobbry's Automotive Enterprises, in 1999 and taught at WCC part time while he established the business. Today he carries a full-time teaching schedule and couldn't be happier. He has a mastery certificate and associate's degree from Washtenaw and takes classes at Eastern Michigan University. History fascinates him, especially American history from 1865 to the present, especially World War II.
"Growing up I wanted to be the next Chip Foose," says Sobbry of the renowned concept car designer. "But that changed. My wife and I are expecting our first child, a girl, in July. I think I'll enjoy being a dad for a while.
Students come to Washtenaw Community College for a number of reasons. Some are preparing to transfer to a
four-year university while others come seeking a degree to improve their job status. Whatever the reason,
students find that WCC can make a difference in their lives.
Learn about the successes of some of WCC's previous students by selecting their name.
Washtenaw Community College's faculty members bring a unique collection of specialties and experiences to our campus. Their life experiences and diverse backgrounds offer students a different perspective in the classroom and add to the vibrant culture at WCC.
Learn about the backgrounds and interests some of WCC's faculty members by selecting their name.