360 Auto Clinic helps SCV resident find a new car

Dan Lawrie, right, stands with the new owner of his Nissan Pathfinder, Cathy Tate, with her granddaughter Austyn Russon and 360 Auto Clinic owner Serj Ghahramanians. Ryan Mancini/The Signal

Santa Clarita resident Cathy Tate became the new owner of a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder with the help of 360 Auto Clinic for its Christmas giveaway on Saturday.

Outside the auto clinic were 15 people nominated by friends and family in the community. They were nominated to become the new owner of the Nissan, previously owned by Dan Lawrie and his family.

“We’ve been coming to (auto clinic owner Serj Ghahramanians) about a couple of years, he’s been great,” he said. “Then my wife and I, the last time we got the car fixed, we said that if anything else happens then we’re just going to – you know, it’s time. It’s been a great car for us, but it’s just time. We’ll move on.”

While the Lawries at first looked into selling or donating the car, Dan heard about the giveaway from Ghahramanians, something that began five years ago. Ghahramanians decided he wanted to create a program that would give a car away to someone local, a car in need of fixing a broken engine or inoperative transmissions.

“We knew the problem was something that could be fixed and it wouldn’t cause any further problems,” he said. “So we decided to take this car and usually we get some people who really want to give away the car. This is great for them to help a family as well.”

As the nominees gathered inside the auto clinic garage, they all wrote their names down on a small piece of paper, dropping them into a bag. Cathy Tate’s name was pulled, making her the winner of the Lawries’ Nissan. Nominated by her daughter, Bonnie Russon, she cried and hugged Ghahramanians and her daughter, along with Lawrie.

Tate said it was divine intervention that brought her to 360 Auto Clinic. Prior to stopping at 360 Auto Clinic, her son told her there was a deeper message as the car’s potential new owner.

“Pathfinder,” she said. “I’m finding my path and it just totally works with my life.”

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