Our company has had many, many employees and friends throughout the years, and in no way do we want to leave anyone out of the company history. However, due to space restrictions, we must condense the history of the company as follows:
1962 Clintonville Sohio On July 7, 1962 Walt Stein, the founder of Clintonville Servicenter Inc., leased the Sohio filling station at the corner of Dunedin Rd. and N. High St. in Columbus Ohio, from the Standard Oil Company of Ohio. He named the business Clintonville Sohio. Walt hired two employees of the station to stay and work for him. One of them was a young mechanic named Charley Walker, who later became a Service Manager and Stockholder in the company. The business was operated successfully and profitably through the next six years, both selling gasoline and performing auto repairs. One service bay was added as the automotive service business grew.
In 1968 the “Mobile Brake Service” was purchased by the company and was operated by Herb Derwent out of the service station facility. On June 4, 1968 Clintonville Sohio was incorporated in the State of Ohio under the name of Clintonville Servicenter Inc. The business continued to grow year after year. In 1970 Walt Stein, joined by Ken Washington, owner of Bexley Sohio, decided to purchase the property at 585 Oakland Park Ave., Columbus Ohio, to build the existing facility. In July of 1971 the construction was complete and the company began doing business in the new location. Mobile Brake Service and Bexley Sohio were sold to the corporation and their assets became a part of Clintonville Servicenter Inc. In the new facility the company”s DBA was introduced, “Clintonville Automotive Repair Service”, and from the first letter of each of the words has evolved the current identification of “C.A.R.S”. Ken Washington sold his interest in the company in 1977 and opened an auto parts store in Johnstown, Ohio.
Ron, who is Walt’s son, began working part time for the company very early on doing clean up duties, then on to pumping gasoline, and eventually in the service bays while in school. Upon graduation from The Defiance College in June 1976, Ron Stein joined the company on a full time basis, starting in the parts department. With Ken Washington’s departure in 1977, Ron assumed the Service Manager duties, which he held until 1994. In June of 1978 Lynette Van Arsdale, Walt’s daughter, joined the company in the front office learning the accounting and computer side of the operation.
1982 CARS Annex In 1982 the adjacent ARCO gas station at 3378 Indianola Ave. became available for sale and was purchased. The underground gas and oil tanks were removed, and our current “Annex” was in operation. This gave us three additional service bays, so a new “while you wait” fastlube was started. In 1983 we acquired a motor vehicle dealers license and opened our used car lot at the Annex on the corner of Oakland Park Ave. and Indianola Ave. With the addition of the three service bays and the business becoming more and more productive, it became necessary to add a third service writer. So, Mark Onosko, a master certified technician working in the shop, accepted a position as Service Advisor in Jan. 1987.
In May of 1991 Herb Derwent, our parts manager since opening the new facility in 1971, retired and was replaced by Jim Van Arsdale, Lynette’s husband, who had been working in the parts department since Aug. 1982.
After thirty two years as president of the company, Walt Stein retired on December 31, 1994 and Ron Stein assumed the duties as President which he continues to perform. In 1996 Steve Lee, another master certified technician working in the shop, became a Service Advisor, writing orders and interacting with customers, to allow Ron to concentrate on the overall operations of the company.
On Dec. 31, 1997 Joyce Derwent retired as Office Manager after 26 years of service and Lynette assumed her role. At the same time Lynette was named Secretary/Treasurer of the Corporation.
2002 Charley Walker retirement In Aug. 2002 the third generation Stein decided to join the family business after a short time in corporate America. David Stein, Walt’s grandson and Ron’s son, graduated from The Ohio State University in Aug. 1999. He had worked on and off driving our parts pick up vehicle, and as the evening cashier while in school. When David came on board full time he spent his time working in the shop and attending automotive classes to learn the mechanical side of the business.
On Dec.31, 2002 Charley Walker, the young mechanic that Walt hired when he bought the original filling station, retired after 41 years of service. At that time David moved to a Service Advisor position working along side Mark and Steve.
2005 CARS Polaris opens On July 1st, C.A.R.S. opened their second location known as C.A.R.S @ Polaris. The building is located at 9175 S. Old State Rd. C.A.R.S. purchased the building that was formerly known as Lube and Latte. Steve Lee (employeed since 1986) took the reigns as the General Manager of C.A.R.S @ Polaris. Kelli Stein (Walt’s granddaughter and Ron’s daughter) came aboard after graduation from the University of Michigan as the new Office Manager for one year to help the new location get started. Kelli then went on to pursue her passion as a swimming coach at the Collegiate level.
In August 2007 David Stein decided to leave the company and went into business with a long time friend selling a patented product they designed. Paul Marquardt and Les Walters came to the counter to round out the team of Service Advisors with Mark Onosko at the Clintonville location.
February 27th Walt Stein, founder of Clintonville Servicenter Inc., succumbed to a long battle with cancer. Walt was a true visionary in the automotive service industry and the driving force behind C.A.R.S. Without his unwavering dedication and high ethical values both locations would not exist. He will be greatly missed.
The reputation and popularity of the Polaris location has continued to grow by leaps and bounds. Both shops recieved the Angie’s List Super Service Award in 2007, 2008, and 2009. Polaris also was awarded “Best of Lewis Center Auto Repair” for the same two years.
In April 2010, Paul Marquardt became the Executive Vice President of the company in preparation for the planned retirement of Ron Stein in 2012. Paul has been with the company since 2002 and has worked as a Technician and Service Advisor at both of our locations. Paul shares the business and customer service philosophies that Walt and Ron subscribed to which have allowed C.A.R.S. to earn the reputation of being both honest and fair.
June 1, 2012 Ron Stein officially retired and Paul Marquardt assumed the role of President of the Company. At this time Les Walters was named Service Manager.
In January 2013 Andre Adair became the Service Manager of the Polaris location and Jason Caudill was promoted to Service Advisor. In Clintonville Mark Candella was added as a Service Advisor to assist Mark O. and Les W. with the counter duties.
The Company also added two new Technicians to Clintonville, Chad Deere and Dillion Stone, and Polaris added John Kiner.