'Like Grandpa Used to Do'

"Grease monkey" opens old-school service station in Loveland

Service Station (CSP Daily News / Convenience Stores / Gas Stations)

LOVELAND, Colo. -- Jason Whitehurst, who spent 20 years in the corporate auto-maintenance world, has opened an old-fashioned service station in Loveland, Colo. He opened his Professional Car Care business in the location of the old West Shore Automotive, a holdout from the service station era that closed in January after four decades in business, said The Loveland Reporter-Herald.

"I want to bring back the old service element," Whitehurst told the newspaper. "It's missing in this day and age."

He is not calling his business a gas station. "It's a maintenance facility that carries gas," he said. "It's not going to be a convenience store."

Whitehurst said he started vacuuming out cars at Grease Monkey at age 15. He stayed with the company for 20 years, most recently working as a regional director. Now he wants to have his own place, offering routine maintenance and light mechanical work such as oil changes and brake jobs by certified technicians.

He sees the gas pumps as a way to drive business into his two service bays.

"I'll be out there shaking hands while my guys are pumping gas and checking tires," he said. "Getting the opportunity to talk to that customer that drives up, that's the best marketing you can do."

The gas at Professional Car Care's pumps will be name-brand fuel, but Whitehurst can't advertise it because he's not putting in the usual full gas station, convenience store model, he said.

It will cost "a few pennies more" per gallon, he said, but he's not trying to do much more than break even on the gas. "People will pay a little more for customer service."

Professional Car Care's motto is "like Grandpa used to do," and Whitehurst plans to hang a picture of his wife's grandfather, Don Semple Sr., who worked at the station in the early '80s, he said. "I want to bring back that old-school nostalgia feel," Whitehurst said.

Click here to read the full Reporter-Herald report.