River Valley

Knapheide Truck Equipment Center, in Wentzville, Mo., is a new NTEA Member Verifation Program member. NTEA’s Member Verification Program (MVP) acknowledges companies leading the industry to excellence. Fleet managers, truck dealers and OEMs know truck equipment manufacturers and distributors with...
Richard Zbinden, owner of Z-1 Automotive, started his business as a one-man shop in 1996 and says it has grown into one of the most successful in his area.
Greenville, Ill.—Z-1 Automotive has flourished in this rural market for the last decade as Richard Zbinden has adapted to keep up with growth and the changing automotive industry. The shop started as a one-man operation in 1996 when Zbinden decided to purchase a lift and install it in a building he...
Chris Becker, owner of Central Auto Body Rebuilders, has kept his shop’s I-CAR Gold Class status for 27 years, which is a requirement of his St. Louis County contract.
Maplewood, Mo.—Chris Becker, who’s owned Central Auto Body Rebuilders Inc. since 1987, started working as an apprentice for the company right after graduating from South County Technical School in 1974. He’s since seen the business through several expansions and a jump in yearly revenue from $277,...
CHARLOTTE (July 9, 2018) — In support of their ongoing exclusive partnership with the CARSTAR St. Louis Business Group, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, through their Enterprise Holdings Foundation, donated $2,500 to CARSTAR’s charitable efforts to fund research, treatment and advocacy for cystic fibrosis. ...
From left: Jay Alwood, Ryan Miller, and Travis Sunderland completed apprenticeships at Zara’s.
RIVER VALLEY Jay Alwood, Ryan Miller, and Travis Sunderland, students in Capital Area Career Center Auto Body Program, have completed their semester-long apprenticeships at Zara’s. The announcement was made by Brad Zara, president of Zara’s. Alwood, of New Berlin High School, joined Zara’s detail...
Steve Finzel became a NAPA AutoCare Center in 2006. “NAPA is the best shop affiliation program in the business by far,” he says.
Terre Haute, Ind.—In a smaller market area, Steve Finzel, owner of Finzel’s Mastertech, has been able to maintain a prosperous shop by doing just a few simple things. “I think what has made the shop successful is being able to stay one step ahead of the competition, which includes dealerships,...
John and Connie Luczak started selling AMSOIL products from their basement in 1978.
St. Louis—John and Connie Luczak opened Gateway Synthetics in 1978, from their home, in the basement — with one box of product. Fast forward 40 years and this husband-and-wife team say they are one of the highest ranked AMSOIL sales jobbers in the country by expanding product categories and...
“Tricky Ricky” Thomas was the winner of the Open Comp Class and he took home a $600 purse.
Bonne Terre, Mo.— Auto Plaza Group recently held its annual Horsepower For Hope at Bonne Terre Drag Strip. The event held races in several categories such as Open Comp, Big Tire Class, and Small Tire Class. The event was open to the public and money raised will be donated to Camp Hope. All proceeds...
Gary Sampson helps a customer match a color on his Opel GT.
Springfield, Ill.—Having observed its 30th anniversary in June, independent distributor Specialty Paint has grown over the years, but compared to its conglomerate competition, it has remained a smaller organization with the ability to react quickly to customers’ needs, said General Manager Gary...
From left: Stan Shoun, Ranken Technical College, President  John Helterbrand, Ranken Technical College, Department Chair of Automotive Division  Dan Kania,, Ranken Technical College, Dean of Academic Affairs  Stephanie Schmitt, U.S. Department of Labor, Apprenticeship & Training Representative  Neil Perry, Missouri State Director, US Dept of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship
ST. LOUIS (June 21, 2018) Imagine being a college student, earning money while you learn. This is what Ranken Technical College students do in several of their registered apprenticeship programs. They simply “earn while they learn.” Ranken’s two-year associate degree for Auto Collision Repair is...

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Parts & People

Parts & People is published monthly by Automotive Counseling and Publishing Company, Inc., a Colorado corporation, P.O. Box 18731 Denver, CO 80203, 303-765-4664. President-Lance Buchner. Founded by Lance Buchner and Dave Lucia.