Have you ever met or learned about someone who inspired you? Well, I did. Bart Hickey, of Bart Automotive and Towing in Alsip, Illinois. Believe it or not, he is a blind mechanic! What an inspirational story.
The start of his inspirational story
As a young boy Bart was always drawn to tools and was fortunate to have a father who showed him their use. Unfortunately, Bart’s father passed away when he was 11 years old. Later, Bart would turn his interest and passion to cars, owning a 1969 Impala and by having a mother whose car was continuously breaking down. So, in 1993 Bart was able to buy an automotive shop.
Bart’s inspirational story is that he was born 2 months premature at 3lbs and 1 ounce. As a result, his lungs were underdeveloped which caused oxygen use which resulted in severe damage to his retinas and thus visual impairment. However, he never let this lack of vision interfere with his passion for cars. His favorite magazine from 1977 was Popular Mechanics which he received in Braille. American Foundation for the Blind
Opening the shop as a blind mechanic
After opening his automotive business in 1993, Bart and his brother arrived at the name for the business. In short, Bart’s Automotive and Towing or B.A.T. (Blind as a bat).
In addition, his automotive business is located at 11501 South Ridgeland Avenue, Alsip, Illinois. Phone 708-361-1112.
Bart’s son, Brendan recounts the joy Bart experienced when Mercedes-Benz on November 3, 2008 arranged for his father, Bart, to drive for the first time. Can you imagine the joy that he felt?
Bart is indeed more than an everyday hero. Moreover, he never let his lack of sight (his blindness) get in the way of his passion and contributes his success to his supportive, encouraging parents. In short, what an inspiration to us all!
Video Production: Rocko Productions
Review Written By: M. Cardinal
Date Written: Feb 29th, 2020
Check out more videos with Bart at his repair shop at:
Inspirational Story FAQs
Bart was born without sight.
Bart’s father was a mechanic, so he grew up around fixing cars. When Bart was 11 years old his father died. To help his Mom with the bills, he started doing basic vehicle maintenance \. His l\passion for cars grew from there.
Bart’s family has not only been supportive of his business, but his Mom, his son, and his brother all spend time working at the shop.
Bart’s dream came true in 2011 when Mercedes Benz offered to have him drive one of their race cars 130 miles an hour!