How It All Began
Carlisle Air Automotive all began in 1955 when Mr. Billy Carlisle Sr. opened “Billy Carlisle Auto Repair” on the south side of San Antonio. A child of the great depression Mr. Carlisle began his business providing no nonsense work at fair prices with excellent customer service. Mr. Carlisle performed all kinds of automotive services, from paint and bodywork to general automotive maintenance and repair. In the early 1960’s he found a niche market that he was well adapted to, A/C service. Though only 10% of vehicles at that time came with A/C from the factory, replacement parts for these vehicles were hard to find. Mr. Carlisle cornered the market on these hard to find parts in San Antonio by accumulating and rebuilding these parts gathered from most of the salvage yards in town. In addition to these parts, he became very proficient and gained expertise in installing the aftermarket A/C systems that were just becoming available.
Mr. Carlisle’s son Billy Jr. began working for his father in the shop not long after he could hold a wrench. Blazing his own trail as an entrepreneur Billy Jr. opened the first parts department for the Carlisle’s when he was just a teenager. He began to stock and sell parts for the newer vehicles that came with factory air conditioning and replacement parts were that difficult to find. Mr. Billy Carlisle Jr bought out his father’s business in the late 1970’s embarking on a new chapter in the company’s history.
Changes in Technology
Through a newly discovered technique, he began rebuilding evaporators by coating them with an epoxy resin. Thus began the now parent company for Carlisle Air & Automotive called Evapocore incorporated. This new company began rebuilding evaporator cores for the industry eventually selling to the majority of the aftermarket supply companies in the United States. During all of this new phase of company life Carlisle’s continued to operate its retail service department and retail / wholesale parts department. Eventually in 1981 without room to grow Mr. Carlisle moved his parts and service operations to the current south side location at 1291 New Laredo Hwy. leaving his manufacturing facility at 1049 New Laredo Hwy.
Improvements & Inventions
In the dozen years that followed, Mr. Carlisle’s entrepreneurial efforts would lead him to create the first o-ring and nuisance item packaging specifically geared to A/C service. Trademarked under the name “COOL-AID”, the line was later purchased by the international company Motormite / Dorman Products, and set the stage for the vehicle specific seal kits widely used today. As well, Mr. Carlisle invented and patented a universal accumulator replacing more than forty commonly stocked GM accumulators.
In the early 1990’s Carlisle’s lead the aftermarket industry in retrofit conversions from the old Freon R-12 to the newly adopted refrigerant R-134a. These new changes in the market lead to substantial growth of Carlisle’s, as it opened its second service location at 6411 San Pedro Ave in 1993. This new facility at nearly three times the size of the south side location quickly became the corporate headquarters and parts warehouse as Mr. Carlisle and his youngest son Tray opened and began operations at this new store. His oldest son Billy managed the south side location.
Third Generation & Third and Fourth Locations
In June of 2000 Tray Carlisle opened Carlisle’s third location at 9617 Huebner Rd. this new facility was focused on service and repair, having more service bays than the other two shops. With increased warehouse operations and a growing customer base, Carlisle’s continued to provide unparallel customer service in a family friendly atmosphere earning the trust of hundreds of thousands of San Antonians over the fifty plus years.
Family Centered Business
The Carlisle family is proud of the business that has sustained us and serviced our community now into the third generation. It is our great privilege to extend our family to those employees that have worked so hard over the years to make the company what it is today. We strive to make Carlisle Air & Automotive earn the reputation as a Christian lead company through honesty, integrity and a commitment to excellence and professionalism.