Drake Tire is now Bobby’s Tire and Auto Care

Published 10:33 am Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Customers who visit the Drake Tire Company in downtown Franklin may see some unfamiliar faces at the longtime family-owned automotive business — or perhaps, familiar faces, if they have also patronized Bobby’s Tire and Auto Care, which recently took over management of Drake.

Robby Cutchins, CEO of Bobby’s Tire and son of founder Bobby Cutchins, said the change in management happened when members of the Drake family approached the Cutchins family and said they were interested in selling their automotive business on Fourth Avenue. The Cutchins family agreed to buy them and officially reopened Drake Tire as another Bobby’s on April 3.

“On behalf of the Cutchins family, it is quite an honor to continue the Drake Tire tradition under the name Bobby’s Tire and Auto Care,” Robby Cutchins said. “We will be doing a full line of automotive services from tires to alignments to any other mechanical care.”

Currently, the Drake Tire facility’s exterior looks the same as ever, but Cutchins expects to get new signage for the business in the next 30 days. The Cutchins family has, however, already completed extensive renovations to the building’s interior.

Lindy Drake, son of Drake Tire founder Linwood Drake, plans to continue working at the facility for Bobby’s and will also oversee the business’s farm, agriculture and truck division. Drake said that all of his employees will, likewise, keep their jobs. He cited age and health issues for his family’s decision to get out of running the business themselves.

“Dad has been in the business since the 1960s; I’ve been with him since 1979 full-time,” Drake said. He added that his father still plans to show up at the business now and then as a sort of greeter.

The Cutchins family’s acquisition of Drake Tire makes this the fourth automotive business now operating under the name Bobby’s Tire. Previously, the family had purchased the Ted Lee Goodyear store and the Powell Tire Service, both in Emporia, in 2010. Bobby’s original Franklin location opened in 1982.

Drake Tire has operated out of its Fourth Avenue location since 1969.