by Bianca Chaves
Senior Josh Hatch was never really interested in cars unlike most of the men in his family who started and ran auto shops. He is the son of David Hatch, who works at Hatch and Sons auto shop in Hudson. They specialize in restoring Mercedes Benz.
The Hatch and Sons auto shop started in Hudson with Bob Hatch, Josh’s grandfather. Once the business grew, it moved to a bigger garage in Wayland. Years later Bob Hatch retired. After being retired for a few years, he opened his shop again in Hudson.
Hatch did not share that love. “Before I got my first car, I didn’t really care about cars,” Hatch said. “But when I got my permit and looked for a car, I started to get interested.”
Like his father Hatch developed an interest in cars later. “I started getting into cars when I turned 15,” Hatch said. “While my eldest brother Chris was into them his whole life, my middle brother Andrew was never into cars.”
Hatch’s first car was a 2003 BMW M3. He bought it because it was cheaper. The engine was ticking. “We bought it and thought it could be a really easy valve adjustment,” Hatch said, “but it wasn’t that. One of the rocker arms was worn, causing the tick.” Hatch and his dad took the whole engine apart.
Hatch spent a lot of time fixing his car. “Fixing it was really hard because I had never worked on a car before,” Hatch said. “We started it in November, and just on the weekends we would go in the garage and work on it. That work went until when it started getting nice out, like around April.”
At first, he was unable to help a lot because he was still learning. “At the beginning I did nothing because I didn’t know what I was doing, so my dad mostly worked on it,” Hatch explains. “By about halfway through, I was helping significantly.”
Once the car was finally finished, Hatch took it out for the first drive. “The first drive in my car was awesome,” Hatch said. “It felt awesome that everything worked out. Driving it for the first time on my own was also very cool but scary as it was my first driving experience.”
Since then, Hatch has completed some big jobs. “Last summer I completely tore apart a BMW M3 motor,” he said. “I took out the cylinder head, oil pan, subframe and eventually the entire motor came out all on my own. It was very fun.”
This work has impacted his relationship with his family. “I bonded so much with my brother Chris and my dad,” Hatch explains. “We always had something to talk about, and we would hang out nearly every weekend doing something to a car.”
Hatch is entering college this fall to pursue a degree in finance, but he will keep “cars as just a hobby.”
“I am still learning to this day,” Hatch says. “There is nothing specifically that is really hard to learn; it just all takes experience and time to figure out how things work.”