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Our Story

Peter Lawrence Haughton, born and raised in West Palm Beach, Florida grew up with two older brothers playing with toys like go carts, mini bikes and motorcycles. Peter quickly began his young career in all things mechanical at the ripe age of 10. His love of mechanical workings lead him to a mechanical engineering major at Florida State University in 1976. During summer break from college, he worked at the Datsun dealership and realized his gift for diagnosing mechanical as well as electrical issues of the day. After two years of hands on training, Peter decided to open his own shop in West Palm Beach, Florida, thus began Haughton Motor Works, Inc. circa 1980.

Cherry Lisle, also born and raised in West Palm Beach, Florida worked in the dental field since 1976, as a dental assistant, then later practiced dental hygiene after acquiring a degree in dental hygiene from Savannah State College in 1980.

Peter and Cherry met at a Kentucky Derby party thrown by a mutual friend and after Peter informed Cherry that he had a 160 pound yellow Labrador, the friendship began. Haughton Motor Works was growing rapidly, all the while technology was also rapidly changing, as the computerized car was a reality way back then. Peter experienced the first “check engine” light in 1983.

As fate would have it, Peter and Cherry became best friends and buddies. Any free time they had, they could be found hiking and camping or riding in their bass boat with their dog Elmo,or fishing and skiing on the intracoastal  waterway.

In the meantime, Cherry applied to The University of Georgia, college of Pharmacy and was accepted and Peter found himself in the crossroads of a major career change requiring serious dedication to re-schooling as well. They made a plan…Cherry advised Peter to return to school to learn as much of the digital, computerized advances in his industry as possible to eventually open his shop again. Meanwhile, Cherry put her seat in Pharmacy school on hold to help out financially while Peter went to classes and worked. They decided to make a commitment to a great future together and married.

Peter kept his ASE master technician certificate current as he mastered the latest technical challenges in the automotive industry and the next year Cherry reapplied to Pharmacy school and was accepted again. The time soon approached for Peter to open his shop again, scraping together $5,000.00 and a clamp lamp, Peter and Cherry opened Japanese Motor Works, Inc. circa 1992. Opening a business and going back to college was scary to say the least. Many long days and late nights were on the menu for several years, as Peter worked way into the night and Cherry held the clamp light to help. Japanese Motor Works is/was based on an excellent work product, ethical business practices and fair pricing, thus would be their brain child of success.  

Many successful years passed as JMW, Inc. continued to expand and become known as a top shop of Athens, Ga. As all businesses grow and change, there are always challenges and struggles to overcome, as was the case during the bank crisis of 2008. Peter’s work ethic and talent, plus Cherry’s financial contribution and solid advice paid off during these times and future times to come. Cherry practiced Pharmacy for several years, but eventually came to work at JMW in 2012 part time while continuing to invest in real estate. Eventually Peter and Cherry took their real estate earnings and invested more into JMW, helping to bring the business to the forefront in Athens.

We/they learned that financial sacrifice, tackling the fear of failure and perseverance eventually do pay off. Peter has achieved the American dream, as he loves his profession. On any given day, whether at work or out having fun, his love and passion for diagnosing and fixing vehicles is apparent just by listening to him talk about engines and technology.

Peter and Cherry Haughton, still best friends and buddies, spend their free time on Lake Hartwell after 30 years. They love their life, their Labrador retriever Preston “B” and their business with all of their heart…circa 2017.

“To be successful, you have to have your heart in your business and your business in your heart.” --Thomas J. Watson

We look forward to seeing you soon.  

With warmest regards,

Peter and Cherry Haughton


Japanese Motor Works provides efficient auto repair to car owners throughout Athens. Our auto mechanics are ASE-Certified, and each has at least 20 years of experience under the hood of a Japanese vehicle. Our team wakes up each day, thrilled to go to work. Why? To put it simply, we love what we do. From interacting with our clients to figuring out a tricky issue in your engine, we are enjoying every minute of it. This passion began at an early age for the owner of Japanese Motor Works: Peter Haughton. 

In 1976, Peter was given a broken-down Datsun to fix up, and he hasn’t looked back since. Japanese cars are his absolute favorite, and you can tell. Throughout the years, he has devoted himself to the repair and maintenance of these cars. He coaxes hundreds and thousands of miles from each one of them. This passion translates into a state of the art facility equipped with the latest in technology, tools, and equipment. His team of auto mechanics also share the passion, as they also boast many years of experience servicing and repairing Japanese models. 

Even during his free time, Peter is involved in the auto industry, or more specifically, car racing. When he is a spectator at the race track, he can observe the latest in cars and technology. Because of his passion for car racing, he speaks with a lot of the drivers, engineers, pit crew chiefs, and other members of the racing teams. He then applies this cutting-edge technology on the track to his Japanese automotive repair services offered back home in Athens, GA. 

At Japanese Motor Works, we emphasize safety and reliability. Your car needs to be safe and reliable, and it is our responsibility as your auto mechanic to make sure it is. To do so, we always perform a visual inspection, free of charge. During each step of the way, you will be informed so that you can have the final say about your Japanese vehicle. Our advice and suggestions are based on your car’s safety and reliability, along with your budget and lifestyle. 

Because of our dedication and passion for our clients and their Japanese vehicles, we are proud to have earned the reputation as the leading auto repair shop in Athens. To schedule an appointment for any and all auto repair services regarding Japanese vehicles, call us at 706-549-5222. Japanese Motor Works is located at 200 Firefighter Court, in Athens, GA 30607.

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