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Shellaway Retiring after Long Career Selling Cars
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer
2021-01-13

            Before attending fourth grade, Tony Shellaway knew he wanted to spend his life working around cars. In the summer, when his dad came home for lunch every day with a different car, he would climb into the driver's seat, peer over the steering wheel and savor the smell.

Alex Mayer, Nick Mayer, and Tony Shellaway

 

            "I fell in love with cars," said Shellaway, who claimed to have known all the new models as far back as the 1940s by the time was eight-years-old. "I knew what I wanted to do."

            Late last year, the East Greenville native officially retired after a 32-year career selling new and used cars. Soon after Thanksgiving, Shellaway sold his business – Shellaway Auto Sales, located at 511 Main St. in Green Lane – to Nick Mayer, the owner of Mayer Motors.

            Shellaway, who figures he's sold nearly 5,000 vehicles over the last 25 years, believes the focus on customer service has been the key to his longevity. He said all of his sales were backed by his own personal warranty.

            "I have always felt that if you take care of the customer, the rest will take care of itself," Shellaway said. "I've made a decent living."

            Automobiles have always played a significant role in Shellaway's life. His father started Pennsburg Auto Body, located at 408 Railroad St., in 1950.

            Soon after graduating from Upper Perkiomen High School in 1970, Tony received an offer to sell cars locally.

            In 1986, he became the sales manager at the Keyser & Miller Ford dealership in Souderton. Shellaway wanted to learn the machinations of a dealership from the inside.

            "Millions of dollars are invested in the process," he said. "The hours were long and the money was great."

            Shellaway left the dealership in 1993 and operated his own used car lot at 105 East 7th St. for approximately 20 years. In April of 2015, he located the business to the corner parcel in Green Lane owned by F. Elizabeth and William Hunsberger.

            "It's a good spot," Shellaway said.

            He described the used car business as fickle. Shellaway said it slows approximately every four years. He said sales were sluggish while the bridge at the bottom of Sumneytown Hill in Marlborough was closed and that business was booming for two months after it opened in January of 2020.

            "I believe each individual runs his store according to their personality," Shellaway said. "The biggest problem in my business is (an owner's) ego."

            Shellaway will continue to work for Mayer Motors as a wholesale vehicle purchaser.

           Before he opened his Pennsburg dealership, Mayer provided cars for Shellaway to sell.  "Things have come full circle," Mayer said. "It's important to keep Tony in place. He and I sold the same kind of cars. We have the same values. We look at cars the same, and we think the same way."


 

 

 

 

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