Meet The Team

Meet The Team

  • J. Bittle J. Bittle J. Bittle Operating Manager

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    Experience:
    • Began playing with cars in 1972 in High School…driving my Dad’s Opel Rally Cadet 1900cc 4-speed!

    • Arrived at JBA: 1985 after Joe Drew turned down opening up a department in Drew Ford.

    • Favorite car: 1967 Shelby GT500

  •  John Gerardy John Gerardy John Gerardy CFO

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    Experience:
    • Began playing with cars in 1958 - model cars & 1966 - real cars.

    • Arrived at JBA: Helped J get started in 1985.

    • Favorite car: Cobras

  • Vickie Bittle Vickie Bittle Vickie Bittle Controller

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    Experience:
    • I have always loved cars and their makers

    • My dad bought, fixed and sold used cars

    • Met J., joined the Texas A&M Sports Car Club and bought a 1969 Mach 1 428SCJ—all in the same year!

    • Favorite cars: 1965 Shelby; 1990s Taurus SHO & F150, 2012 Mustang Boss 302

    • Fun fact: Loves loud cars with visibility!

  • Bruce Tucker Bruce Tucker Bruce Tucker GM

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    Experience:
    • Skateboards…bicycles…go carts…minibikes…and on to cars by the time I was 13 years old.

    • Arrived at JBA: as a customer, I bought an 8.8 rear end assembly from JBA in 1986. Came to work full time at JBA in 2002.

    • Favorite car: The 1959 Austin Healey 100-6 with a small block Chevy I built in high school.

  • Austin Bittle Austin Bittle Austin Bittle Parts Manager

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    Experience:
    • Began learning about cars via a 1966 Ford Fairlane 500XL with a 390

    • Arrived at JBA in 1987 in a baby seat in the back of a Mustang SVO

    • Graduated from Texas A&M like both my parents, my brother, and my grandfather

    • Favorite Car: 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 SCJ

  • Lee Sweitzer Lee Sweitzer Lee Sweitzer Shop Foreman

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    Experience:
    • Dad was a drag racer and I grew up around tracks in Phoenix and later SoCal

    • Started racing at 16!

    • Served in the United States Marine Corps for eight years and drove big trucks

    • Favorite Car: 1993 Fox Body Cobra

  • Mike Evans Mike Evans Mike Evans Race Coordinator

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    Experience:
    • Built a 1961 Ford Falcon model at age 12; took auto shop in high school and I was hooked

    • First Car: 1960 Corvair with no second gear and an oil slick that remains in front of my childhood home 50 years later

    • Wish I Still Had: 1965 Chevelle Malibu SS which I paid $1,200 for and in which my wife, Susie, and I, drove and, uh, shared together

    • Favorite Car: My 2012 Boss 302 or, as Carroll Shelby says, “my next Shelby Mustang”

  • Artie Bonillas Artie Bonillas Artie Bonillas Concierge + Customer Service Specialist

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    Experience:
    • Passion for cars began at age seven when my dad bought me a slot car; I was racing around the track the next day

    • Nailed my skates to a box and made a coaster; then, found a bike frame, painted it purple and scrounged up the missing pieces to create the first BMX bike ever!

    • Philosophy: “If you put enough of the right parts together, whatever you’re putting together will move!”

  • Michael Yanez Michael Yanez Michael Yanez Inventory Control/HP Parts Specialist + Service Writer

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    Experience:
    • Grandfather left me his 1966 Chevy Malibu when I was 12. I took it apart and rebuilt it.

    • Worked well over a decade for Checker/O’Reilly and Auto Zone as a store manager

    • Favorite Car: My 2017 Mustang GT Performance Back.

  • David Mercer David Mercer David Mercer Inventory Control/HP Parts Specialist + Service Writer

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    Experience:
    • “Cars? It’s a family thing. My grandfather and dad were both mechanics. I raced as a teenager and drag raced a bit while in the Navy.”

    • Served eight years as an aviation sonar warfare specialist

    • Favorite Car: “I’m a MOPAR guy!”

  • Mike Hill Mike Hill Mike Hill Parts & Service

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    Experience:
    • 50 years of automotive experience

    • Been working at JBA 15 years

    • Favorite car: My 2002 Ford Mustang convertible

  • Alex Conger Alex Conger Alex Conger Performance Plumbing Technician & Horsepower Specialist

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    Experience:
    • Born and raised in San Diego; graduated from Clairemont High School

    • When I was five years old, my neighbors were always working on hot rods; I started working on tossed carburetors shortly thereafter

    • Been working with J Bittle since 1999

  • John Elderhorst John Elderhorst J.Elderhorst Master Engine Builder + Senior Machinist

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    Experience:
    • ASE Certified Master Engine Machinist

    • Began working on cars as a teenager

    • Started working with J. in Texas 1980

    • Arrived at JBA when it was located on Daggett Street

    • Favorite cars: 1968 Charger; 1967 Buick GS and 1973 SD Trans Am

  • Gary Wilkey Gary Wilkey Gary Wilkey Senior Machinist

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    Experience:
    • Started working on a ’37 Chevy Pick Up while at Norco High School in SoCal

    • Today, focuses on motors, bore blocks, crankshafts, rods, heads and surfacing

    • Favorite Car: 1967 Camaro…Best Car Ever!

  • Benjamin Gibson Benjamin Gibson Benjamin Gibson Administration, Graphic Design

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    Experience:
    • Lived in Ecuador, India, the Philippines and New Mexico growing up; father was a missionary

    • Family has always been into cars; great grandfather was the town mechanic; grandfather worked in that shop; my dad owned a 1969 Dodge Challenger and currently owns a 1932 Ford Model A.

    • Favorite Car: 1965 Mustang, which my grandfather and I worked on and which I still have!

  • Tim Naylor Tim Naylor Tim Naylor Lead Performance Technician + Crew Chief

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    Experience:
    • In 1989, talked my father into fronting me $300 for a 1969 Chevy Chevelle with 105,000 miles on it and a flat cam

    • Started at JBA a decade ago

    • Favorite Car: Always love your first! That 1969 Chevelle! There’s about a dozen close seconds

  • Rusty Staley Rusty Staley Rusty Staley Performance Technician

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    Experience:
    • Grew up in Peoria, Illinois and Topeka, Kansas; started working on domestic cars and hot rods with the next door neighbor as a kid; took shop classes and ‘lived’ at the race track as a teen

    • Served our country in the United States Navy for 20 years

    • 2018 Barona Speed Stock Pony Champion driving a 1974 Ford Pinto w/164 HP!

    • Favorite Car: My 1971 Chevy Nova

  • Rick Ball Rick Ball Rick Ball Performance Technician

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    Experience:
    • Over 30 years in the high performance automotive industry

    • Love working with turbos, nitrous oxide systems and all things that make cars go fast

  • Steven Esquilin Steven Esquilin Steven Esquilin Performance Technician

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    Experience:

    Grew up in Pacific Beach and Mira Mesa; Dad was a Master Gunnery Sergeant in the USMC.

    “I served our country in the United States Army. I earned a Bronze Star & Medal of Valor as a member of Army Airborne and Air Assault.”

    Aviation has always been part of my family; Purchased first aircraft in Stuttgart, Germany. Earned two federal licenses as an Inspector Agent. “Flying has always been a hobby. I met J Bittle through an aircraft client of mine. Now, I work on vehicles like I did fixing Jeeps in the Army. I can fix almost anything mechanical.”

    Favorite Car: My dad’s 1976 Chevy Super Sport.

  • Chris Maile Chris Maile Chris Maile Performance Technician

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    Experience:
    • “I got a car before I got a computer and I’ve been wrenching ever since!”

    • Holds an Automotive Technician and Management degree

    • “My dad bought mom a 1971 Mach I four-speed. Mom couldn’t drive it! When my dad, brothers and I worked on the car, he’d say we were doing it for mom but really it was for us. We called it ‘the bonding vehicle.’”

    • Favorite Car: My 1968 Dodge Cornet 440

  • Kyle Johnston Kyle Johnston Kyle Johnston Tire Center Manager

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    Experience:

    Born and raised in San Diego; graduated from West Hills High School in Santee

    14 years experience at a nationally known tire center, working at six separate San Diego locations and rising to assistant manager; created and managed their Training Center to teach employees all about tires.

    Favorite Car: “I love GTOs and two door muscle cars of all kinds.”