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Tiki Central / Locating Tiki

Mission Bay Automotive Repair, San Diego, CA (other)

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Name:Mission Bay Automotive Repair
Street:1125 Morena Blvd.
City:San Diego
Phone:(619) 276-3262

A Tiki Garage? A garage who's office's conical roof is topped by a 3' tall tiki? Who'd'a thunk it?

I found this place while taking the bus into Downtown San Diego, It's at the corner of Morena & Buenos Ave just a little North of I 8 and Old Town. Their website has a picture where you can see the office roof, but the picture crops out the Tiki. Moki takes car there, but the owners don't seem to know where the Tiki came from.

Images of the office's Tiki-topped conical roof:

And the matching garage building behind the office:

I think the trim is supposed to be "island" inspired?

When I first found this place I was quite excited as I suspected that this may have once been a Tiki gas station or at least a Tiki repair shop. I had hoped to get proof of that for the (then) upcoming BOT, unfortunately all my leads slowly petered out. The mechanics I spoke with there (over 10 years ago) thought I was crazy. But after talking for a while, the head guy he said the Tiki was put up there for “luck” and it had always been a car shop. My brother happened to know a guy who knew a guy who knew the former owner. Before we were able to pursue this long avenue, Sven’s book finally went to the publisher and I put this place in the back of my head. The location of the establishment is important as this was a main road into town before freeway 5 was put in. If you look at the structure it (to me) resembles an old style filling station (with a lot of additions) of course now there are no pumps left but I still believe this was a gas station way back when. Also if you go north just a block or so you’ll hit the cool rattan/patio shop, its architecture is clearly mid-century exotic. If you look closely they both have a similar border treatment, obviously one borrowed the idea from the other, either way they were trying to capitalize on the popularity of Polynesian pop.

My very best alohas,


Bosko, I think you're right about it having been a Gas Station, or maybe a Used Car lot? With the central Tiki-fied building and what looks like the original auto repair bays to the right it looks very like an old Gas Station with attached Garage.

Good post. The post seems to be very useful for the readers. By the way, have you heard of MiNeeds.com? It really simplifies finding affordable Auto Repair. I used it to find them for my Vehicles. Essentially, after I described what I needed on this site, I received several competitive bids from local Auto Repair. I liked the fact that I didn’t have to call around and negotiate with each, and that they actually came to me.

San Diego Auto Repair & Services - Get Bids & Save | MiNeeds


Way to spam up an old thread. :roll:

The Tiki on top of the main building was taken down today as they replaced the roof of the building. To my surprise they had no intention of putting it back up. I was across the street at the thrift shop and my daughter pointed out the tiki that was being rolled across the street on a dolly. The owner of the thrift shop had just purchased the tiki and was getting ready to place it on craigslist. I purchased it immediately and am glad to be able to put it up for others to continue to enjoy in front of my bar two blocks down on Morena. I feel instead of hiding it away in my personal backyard this Tiki is meant to be enjoyed by all. It will be located at The High Dive at 1801 Morena Blvd alongside another great Tiki. The current Tiki (By Tiki Dan) had been located in front of the Tiki store Bamboo to you and Tikis too in Lucadia and Tiki Farm is currently in the process of making a replica mug to be released for Tiki Oasis 2014. Let the Tiki's live on

Hey thanks so much for doing that Ingrid!

I guess that saying "right place, right time" applies :)

Thanks for sharing too!


Nice save, although I'm more than a little disappointed at Mission Bay Automotive

Sure enough. I remember that other tiki being at "Bamboo 2 U and Tikis Too!". You can see it in the photo I took for Critiki.
I guess it's not there anymore.

Oh, I'm so sad it's not up there anymore, but Thanks so much for saving it! I've been meaning to visit the High Dive for ages - now I have even more reason to do so!


Well, I now know why they didn't care about the tiki -- Mission Bay Automotive is moving down the street and this property is now for sale.

Use to live around the corner long ago
Remember seeing that tiki daily

Pages: 1 12 replies