Snap Shop: Ye Old Station Auto Body
SHOP STATS: Ye Old Station Auto Body Location: Cheshire, CT Owner/Operator: John Mazzella Average Monthly Car Count: 102 Staff Size: 13 (2 A techs, 3 B techs, 2 preps, 1 C tech, 2 cleaners, 1 PDR specialist, 2 office Shop Size: 18,000 square feet (across two buildings) Average Repair Order: $4,650 Annual Revenue: $3,125,000
1. Something Old
Don’t let the name “Ye Old Station” fool you. Sure, the shop has been in business for 60 years, though its current building is much newer, but there’s nothing old about how this Cheshire, Connecticut, shop goes about its business. It’s a goal of the shop to remain on the cutting edge of technology.
“We evolve with the technological world,” the shop website proudly states, “evermore so than yesterday.”
2. Something New
At the time Director of Operations Russell Sharnick spoke to FenderBender, the shop was just taking delivery of equipment to work on Rivian EVs, one of just 70 shops in the country set up to do so and one of only three in Connecticut. It was still all in boxes though as they didn’t even yet have the tools to set up the equipment, such is the newness of the vehicles. It’s a $350,000 investment, Sharnick says, but one the shop believes is worth it to stay up to date.
“Rivian is going to be a goal that we're going to trust in,” says Sharnick. “I could work on the other manufacturers like Tesla, and there's newer car companies, but there's other people that do that professionally, and they know it. So we're just being diversified, and just doing what we're gonna want to do to grow this business with the tools that we have in Rivian, we're going to put our money in and trust. And I think it's going to pay off.”
3. A ‘Country Atmosphere’
Space-age EV tech aside, the shop also takes pride in serving all manner of vehicles, from standard passenger cars to tractor trailers to fleet vehicles, which has been an emerging part of the growing business. The shop has a 50-foot long paint booth to handle anything that might come its way. The shop boasts mostly 5-star reviews on Google and owner John Mazzella has worked to make a comfortable environment for customers.
“It's a sharp looking shop,” says Sharnick. “It's a country atmosphere out this way. So I mean, the office itself, it’s [John’s] personality, I'm looking at a set of the little table and chairs that you could see maybe at a cafe, but it's a stick shift that [moves the seat] up and down.”
The original shop, opened more than 60 years ago, still stands in town, and Mazzella still owns it. He’s even thought of re-opening it, but doesn’t have the manpower at the moment. For now, the shop will stay firmly planted in the present and future.