The History of KARS
Lawrence & Janice Kirchmayer
Automotive Repair Shop Owners
After working and managing service centers of many auto dealerships in metro Atlanta/Marietta for 20+ years, Lawrence decided it was time to follow his dream of entrepreneurship. Larry and Janice together opened Kirchmayer Automotive Repair Service dba K.A.R.S. on Lower Roswell Road in 1987.
In October 2000, Larry and Janice semi retired and moved to Ellijay. Larry & Janice continued to commute to Marietta several days a week to consult and assist with the bookkeeping. In May of 2001, Larry suffered a massive heart attack and was also diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. Over the next 5 years, Janice focused all her time to care for and help Larry fight cancer. Their son, Marty became the shop manager of KARS in Marietta. After a few years, Larry, Janice & Marty decided to close KARS in Marietta.
While Larry was still recovering from cancer treatments, an opportunity to purchase a local repair shop arose. In December of 2006, Janice purchased Auto Doctor and Von Kirch Automotives dba KARS was reborn. Janice with the support of her family, friends and skilled technicians built the KARS into the business it is today. She was dedicated to help women feel comfortable taking their vehicle a mechanic, she wanted them to feel at ease in a normally male dominated industry. Janice operated and managed KARS in Ellijay with her whole heart and soul until she passed away on her 59th birthday in September 2, 2017.
After Janice's death, KARS remained open and is currently managed by James (Jimmy) Coleman. Larry and Janice's daughter, Julie Zagarola, joined the KARS team in October 2017 as the shop's office manager, bookkeeper and marketing.