Big-Time Boxes: Michael V. Napoleon Jr.


Michael V. Napoleon Jr.

Auto Brake & Clutch/KoolGuy Shop

North Las Vegas, NV



Michael Napoleon Jr. has one of the cleanest shops you will ever see. Auto Brake & Clutch major repair shop by day, KoolGuy hot rods by night. This North Las Vegas shop is complemented by a massive 110 square-foot black and gold Matco toolbox which was purchased by Matco dealer Chris Lamb.

Napoleon has had the box for more than 16 years, over half of his professional career. He particularly likes that the top box has a roller door, which allows him to put tool sets and books in his box for quick access.

Even though one of these boxes would be more than enough for most technicians, Napoleon's box is in reality two toolboxes pushed together. He might be called by some a "tool junky," buying whatever catches his fancy off the tool truck. Napoleon laughs thinking about it. "My sons make fun of me for this, reminding me that I have triple of the same tool! It's an on-going joke around the shop."

Whether the box's contents are in triplicate does not matter. It contains thousands of dollars of tools Napoleon could not do business without. For diagnostics, Napoleon prefers his smoke machine. He uses it mostly for checking for vacuum leaks and for evaporative emissions DTCs. However, he has much more fun with his body work tools, which makes sense being that he restores old hot rods. Napoleon probably uses his welding equipment the most, but the tool he has the most fun with his plasma cutter.

The box has been paid off for years, which was no small feat. Longer than most cars, its price could not be much less. Napoleon was particularly proud of this fact and the box's "convenient size." "My box fits in my garage at home," he boasts. "Then again, my garage at home is 40 times the size of the average man's garage!" Most people cannot navigate the box, because of its size: "The sons have fingers in it from time to time and can never find anything because box is so big!"

Napoleon's business is family owned and he works with his sons, Anthony and Michael III. He also has four other employees. ASE certifications are important to Napoleon and he has made sure that both his sons are ASE certified. The mind, after all, is the most important tool a technician has.