Certified Smog Station, Smog Failure Diagnostics & Repair


The History of Swann’s Automotive Repair  Modesto

The American Dream in Action


Cecil Swann was born the son of an Alabama sharecropper. With little hope of escaping the poverty of the Depression era Deep South,he quite literally fought his way to California in his early teen years. Having made a name for himself as a local bare-knuckle “barn fighter”, he was noticed by a visiting friend of a local boxing trainer who encouraged him to come to Modesto, where he quickly became a successful amateur and eventually a professional prize fighter.

Still in his teens, he met and fell in love with his wife of over seventy years, Elise. Modesto Auto RepairAs well as boxing, he quickly fell in love with automobiles, and was working in his manager’s gas station when World War II broke out. He volunteered for service in the Navy, and before the war was over he became the light-heavyweight champion of the seventh fleet in the pacific. After the war, Elise convinced Cecil to give up boxing due to the danger involved, forcing him to choose between her or boxing. So he took over the gas station at 100 LaLoma Avenue, where we are to this day. He built a business based on quality work, honesty, and integrity.

I started pumping gas in the late 60’s, and went to work full time in 1973. After Modesto Junior College and trade school I passed all my state license tests in a single sitting. My oldest son, Will, who is also a product of our local Junior College program and holds all the offered state licenses, came to work with us in 2001. My youngest son, Joe, works part time at Stan. State, as did my middle son, Greg, who currently works at Northwestern University in Chicago as a behavioral geneticist—he has his mom’s smarts! We all still love combat sports and hold varying levels of black belts, but we are first and foremost professional automobile technicians, proud of our craft and grateful to our community for its patronage and support.


The gas tanks at 100 LaLoma Avenue came out in 1989. We have added on six times. Today, we have the best staff we have ever had—and we have had many great crews! Sharon Stigman as our office manage—whom I have worked with for over twenty years, and Joe Swann as cashier and shop maintenance technician, we have a combined experience of over 200 years. Our focus is to provide the best quality repairs at the most reasonable cost possible while keeping customer service as our highest priority.

We have been blessed, my father before me since 1946, and will continue to be blessed, my son after me to 2046 and beyond, Lord willing.

Modesto Smog

Swann’s Automotive

Dennis Swann