"You don’t stay in business if you don’t provide a quality product"
In 1970, Mack was able to do the Heavy Duty Collision Work with new equipment. This included Full Body Sectioning (1972). "Jack" put the Full Body Sectioning to good use right away. He disabled a Vega. Yes, a Vega! When Jack was finished, the Vega looked like it had just come off the dealer lot. It proved to be a valuable product, and a valuable learning experience for Jack.
With a constant effort to improve, Mack’s Body Shop proved to be a productive shop. Jack offered that, "You don’t stay in business if you don’t provide a quality product. Having a good reputation in a small community is a must to stay in business. Mack’s Body Shop remained at 43 Water Street until 1975 when it moved to its present location on Route 31." That’s when Jack took over the business until his retirement in 2000.
The move proved to be positive. Not only was Mack’s Body Shop in a new state of the art facility, it was also in a location with more drive by traffic. One thing Jack noticed right away was more women stopped into the shop. Two factors can be contributed to this. The new location proved to be safer and as the years went on, women had more household responsibilities included having the car repaired. Mack’s Body Shop was the first in the area to do Unibody repairs.
In October of 1945, Mack (Dominic) was working at Wayne Chevrolet in Lyons. In his free time, Mack worked on cars in his garage on Broad Street. As time passed, Mack had accumulated several cars in his garage until his wife had had enough. Henry Jennings offered Mack a garage at 43 Water Street. It was there that Mack’s Body Shop began. The economy was still feeling the effects of the Depression and credit was hard to come by. So Mr. Jennings did Mack a favor and let him pay as he could.
The time for Mack was impeccable. During the war there weren’t any cars built. If your car was rusting and falling apart, you just didn’t go down to the car dealer and purchase a new one. As you can imagine Mack had enough work to keep him busy. His first car he repaired was a 1936 Chevrolet Deluxe. Cars in the 30’s and 40’s were both wood and metal. If you worked on the body of cars back then you needed to be a skilled craftsman and wood worker. Wooden car frames or "Woodies", as they were known back then were made in Waterloo.
History is full of experiences you will never forget.
The first memorable event occurred on a towing job in 1971. Jack received a call to pull a car out of the Barge Canal. The accident happened at Creiger’s Bridge just east of Lyons. Jack had just purchased a new tow truck. The new tow truck allowed Jack to pull the car out of the Canal. Another experience occurred on the old expansion bridge across the Barge Canal (Erie Canal) in 1973. A distracted driver crossed the bridge near the Bridge Tavern. While looking at the Canal, he proceeded to drive up onto bridge support. This VW bus was rocking back and forth, just like you’d seen in the movies. The passengers were able to get out of the VW safely and then Jack went to work. Word spread quickly around the town and before long crowds were gathered everywhere to see if Jack could pull this one off. Just like in the movies Jack was successful.
In life there are experiences that will remain with you forever.
On March 3, 1994 at 5:30 PM. Jack had just gone home and received a call that Mack’s Body Shop was on fire. Workers at Rite Aid had called the fire emergency. The Lyons Fire Department was there immediately. Fire trucks from all over Wayne County helped fight the fire. When all was done, there was a ½ million dollars in damages including 31 cars. 21 of the cars were destroyed by the fire. Jack said it wasn’t easy. It was hard to get over. Even with all the loss and hardship, the doors at Mack’s Body Shop were open for business on Monday. "There was no loss of work or pay," said Jack. He was glad he spent the extra to have a more than adequate insurance policy. It took to the end of July to completely get the Shop restored. If there was any good that came from the fire, it was that the new shop was bigger and better then ever. The shop was now more modern and environmentally safer.
Jack is now preparing for retirement. Gary Shumway will be taking over day-to-day operations in March as President and Owner of Mack’s Body Shop. Jack plans on spending some time in Arizona and visiting his Grandchildren which he said are all over the country. "It’s been 40 years at 100% 7 days a week. It’s time to relax and enjoy my Grandchildren."
Gary Shumway takes over Mack's
Gary Shumway brings 25 years experience with him as he takes over the company. Gary started working at Mack’s Body Shop in 1975 cleaning and polishing cars. Gary said , "I always had a love for body work and cars. In the 80’s I began doing body work and trained to do the front end and frame work."
Gary became manager in the early 90’s. Now in the New Millenium, Gary is the General Manager.