New automotive shop opens on US 36 west of Belleville


By Cynthia Scheer Telescope News

A young man walked through the door of Shane Throckmorton’s newly opened automotive business, EST Automotive. He introduced himself and asked Throckmorton if he’d donate $20 for his eight man all-star sponsorship.

Without hesitation Throckmorton pulled his checkbook from his chest pocket and wrote a check.

“I’m all about helping people out,” he told the young man.

That’s why Throckmorton’s prices are competitively low, he said after the all-star player walked out the door. “People work hard for their money, and they need a break,” he said.

On Jan. 3 Throckmorton and his wife, Lea, purchased the former Rite Way Lumber building located about two miles west of Belleville on U.S. Highway 36. With the help of loans, including a $40,000 loan from the Republic County Revolving Loan Fund, the couple has transformed the former lumber business buildings into a spacious, clean and clutter-free office and shop. The business has been Throckmorton’s dream for about 10 years.

“I knew it would be a pretty big investment,” he said.

The realization of his dream happened quickly. Last December Throckmorton contacted the owner of the Rite Way Lumber property and asked if it was for sale.

“I had been looking for a place to buy for an automotive shop,” he said. Throckmorton and his wife, along with children Michael, Nate and Eric, went to work cleaning the buildings right after the purchase.

The lumber building is now the shop, although it took more than a week to tear out the lumber racks, Throckmorton said. Spray foam insulation was added to the building. The shop now includes all new equipment including lifts and tire changer and balancer.

The office’s walls and floors were redone. The open-spaced room now features a television and complimentary coffee and hot chocolate.

“It gives people a place to come in and get something to drink while they wait for their vehicle to get serviced,” he said.

Throckmorton, who has 34 years of automotive experience, said the majority of the work he has done since his business opened a month ago has been tires and oil changes, although he has been working on some transmissions. The ASE certified mechanic said he previously did mechanic work out of his garage at his Belleville home.

Throckmorton said he hoped to add a couple employees this summer. “I hope people will come out and see how clean this shop is,” he said, “and the top-of-the-line equipment.”