Typically, zeroes on an automotive repair bill are the stuff of nightmares, as expenses can often tick into the hundreds or thousands of dollars. That's not the case at Hard Luck Automotive. At the nonprofit shop in Oklahoma City, a zero means free, as in the labor is completely gratis. 

Featured by The Washington Post, Hard Luck was started by husband and wife Adam and Toni Ely in 2017. They have a simple policy: You buy the parts, we'll get the job done. It originally began when Adam was able to fix a friend's daughter's car for $65 rather than the previously quoted $400. Adam took that feeling of helping somebody out, kept it close to heart, and started the nonprofit.

“We feel fortunate,” Adam said. “Most families are just one car repair bill from catastrophe. If the engine or transmission blows up in your car, you’re looking at a $4,000 to $5,000 repair. What we’ve done is take away the middleman. Bring me your car, and let’s see if we can fix it for cheap. I’ll look into every option without charging you a dime."

The Elys are able to spread their good will, in part, due to their involvements in the military. Toni currently works as a B-52 bomber program manager at Tinker Air Force in Oklahoma. Adam served in Afghanistan as an Army paratrooper and helicopter mechanic for four years. When Adam returned, he became a civilian aircraft mechanic, and since 2007, he has received federal financial assistance. 

Once word got out about Hard Luck, Adam was having trouble keeping up with the volume of repairs. So, he left his job to focus on his new purpose. Read more about Adam and Toni and how they got to this point in the full story at The Washington Post.

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