AUGUST 11, 2020
Stephen Adams has been in the auto industry for most of his life, but if he was going to stay in the auto game he knew he wanted to play it a lot differently. So in October of 2015, he and his wife opened Buckhead Auto Sport and changed the way the auto service industry looked. From a loyal team rooted in accountability to unmatched concierge-style service, the result is a growing legacy and neighborhood staple that Stephen looks forward to tuning up for years to come.
Stephen with his wife Michelle, daughter Tinsley, and son Liam “Being around people and serving the people in my area was something I always wanted to do, but I didn’t like how people were just a number to most companies,” Stephen, who also recently acquired Buckhead Motor Works in Sandy Springs with Brett Sanderson, says. “I live here and I’m going to be here for awhile, so I have to take care of these people. I can’t treat them like a number, because I will probably see them at dinner or play golf with them over the weekend. They’re more than customers, really. They are my neighbors, my friends, my family.”
Serving that family takes accountability from a team with more than 15 years together, not to mention almost three decades of combined experience on European motors. They include Stephen’s right-hand man and lead service manager, Tyler Wood; his mentor, Mark McDowell, who has worked for the Adams family since 1976; two Matts—McDowell’s son and Matt Davis; as well as BMW-specialist, Thomas Tengstrom.
“It’s priceless having a crew like this working with me,” says Stephen. “They already know how to work together and understand the common goal of getting a customer back into their car.”
What makes Buckhead Auto Sport stand out from the competition is the personal relationship they maintain with their customers. That trust allows them to successfully execute a unique concierge service for customers who live amidst hectic schedules, usually preventing efficient car care.
“My customers—they don’t have time to drop their car off, and they don’t have time to pick up the phone and answer questions,” says Stephen, who provides this service himself. “Instead, we have built up a relationship and trust over many years to make those trusted decisions for them. “I always want to maintain that personal touch when it comes to this business,” he adds. “Having a place that runs proficiently, professionally and offers every service to the highest degree for our customers is the most important thing to me.”
Stephen has a 1-year-old daughter, Tinsley, and a son, Liam, who will be 4 in September (he’s “helping” Daddy build a Shelby Cobra in the garage). He and his family love their community—date nights at Le Bilboquet, family walks on the BeltLine—and giving back to it, supporting CHOA’s fundraisers and Christ the King Catholic Church’s annual golf tournament. “The people here are what make me love [my job] so much,” says Stephen. “Helping them through a moment in life that isn’t usually very positive—and making it a good experience—that means everything.”