The year was 2002. The Winter Olympics were held in Salt Lake City. Jimmy Carter won the Nobel Peace Prize. Kmart Corp filed for bankruptcy protection. The September 11, 2001, terror attacks were still fresh on American’s minds. Auto One – Howell opened its doors for the first time.
Auto One – Howell originally opened on the west-end of Howell on the north side of Grand River Avenue in a single bay building. It was a full Auto One store offering auto glass, automotive accessories, auto electronics, rust proofing, detailing, and window tinting.
Since joining the Auto One team in 2008, Jeff Best, store manager, has been the friendly face for Auto One customers in the Howell area. We asked Jeff for memories over his 14 years with Auto One.
“I’ll never forget the day a customer brought his car in for service, and we found his pet snake coiled up under the dash,” Jeff said. “Or the time we detailed a car the day after a baby was born. Not unusual, except the baby had popped out in the car before making it to the hospital.”
Over the years, Auto One – Howell has seen its share of vehicles; everything from a 1960’s Nova up to a 2022 Tesla. Jeff mentioned, “One of the more unique vehicles we’ve seen was a modified Jeep Wrangler. The customer had put a Corvette C7 motor in it and had the Jeep in the 700HP range.”
After many years and a few makeovers in its original location, Auto One – Howell moved to a temporary location into the Tenpenny, an empty furniture store with a loading bay Auto One could use to service vehicles.
“No one will forget the trials and tribulations of our temporary location, but it was all worth it to move into our state-of-the-art new building,” Jeff recalled.
Currently Auto One – Howell’s new building is directly across the street from its original location on Grand River Avenue.
Looking Forward to Twenty More Years
Jeff concluded with a note of pride, “This has been an interesting look back for me. Seeing where the store was and where it is today. Look at us now in this amazing new building where we can help customers with their every auto accessory and auto glass need. I have been here for 14 of these 20+ years, and it’s been a great ride.”