Big-Time Boxes: John Adams


John Adams
Adams Automotive Repair
Old Monroe, Mo.


John Adams, owner of Adams Automotive Repair in Old Monroe, Mo., bought his toolbox from Matco Tools in 1993. Adams used this first model, No. MB 2010, as a base to expand his tool storage, and hasn’t stopped adding since.

Decorated in a deep-blue finish with gold trim, the box measures 18 ft. 4 in. from one end to the other, with a height of 6 ft. 11 in.

Adams’ box includes both a three-bay box at the bottom and top, and two hang-ons with full sets of drawers on each side. Next to the hang-ons, either side comes equipped with a cabinet hanger and cart.

He also carpeted the drawers of the box in order to better organize his tools.

“None of the wrenches move or anything,” he said. “They all lay in the same spot.”

Adams began building on to his box after he opened Adams Automotive Repair.

“Once I opened up my own shop, I had to cut loose and buy all the hang-ons, the cabinets and lockers, and have to store all the stuff,” said Adams. “When you work for somebody they supply everything, but when you’re on your own, you have to buy it all.”

Unique from other techs, Adams attached two neon blue clocks to cover the holes between the hang-ons of drawers and cabinets.


Adams gained experience through previous jobs before opening his own shop. For over 23 years, he worked as a Kmart automotive technician. After also working at a small firm with all different kinds of equipment, including bobcats, trucks and high lifts, he decided to open his own shop.

He currently runs a four-bay automotive repair shop with two employees, focusing on tractors and any other vehicles that need fixing.

Although Old Monroe only has a population of 250, Adams still keeps busy by working every day of the week.

“I’ve been going on here for about six years," said Adams. "I pretty much work seven days a week, from 4 a.m. until the dark."