Nicholas J. Collins, better known as Nick’s downtown garage, was born at Marin General Hospital, the only son of Carol and Billy Jo Collins. Billy Jo and Carol met at the roller-skating rink and became a couple.
Nick went to school at San Geronimo, Wood Acre and Sir Francis Drake and was known as a Valley boy.
He decided he needed a job in 1987 and went to Henry Curtis Ford and asked to be put on as he needed income. He worked at the Ford dealership until he heard that Fred Andreolli’s Towing service could use some help. Collins always admired Fred’s setup in downtown Cotati and desperately wanted to get in on the action. Fred was a very nice fellow but also could be a curmudgeon and Nick being a young hungry guy talked Fred into giving him a lease to the A-Downtown Garage.
A tragic accident happened to Fred only six months after Nick had engaged Fred with the car repair shop.
Nick is married 35 years to his wife Lisa and ended up having four daughters: Renee, Andrea, Victoria and Alisha. Nick always said that he loved hot cars and good-looking women. He received his wish with a car repair shop and four daughters.
A motto that his father mined. “There is a gold mine in every job, you just have to keep working at it.”
Nick services about 10 to 15 cars a day. He works on all makes and models but because cars usually outlast the owners, he doesn’t work on engines and such. He runs smog jobs all day long at a very reasonable cost.
In the 25 years Nick has been in his car repair shop not too much has changed, and very seldom has he ever had a problem with vandalism. He enjoys Cotati as the people are friendly and now, he is realizing that he actually is repairing generational cars. Grandpa introduced them to A Downtown Garage and dad keeps coming back, now the third generation also bring their cars in for repairs. Nick is always jovial and loves to reminisce about the old things happening in Cotati. Nick’s friendly dog used to greet customers but now you see a rooster that belongs to Cotati’s chicken population strutting around and letting people know he is the boss.