Full service still offered at Montevallo Auto Repair

Montevallo Auto Repair owners Stan and Jo Dawson still offer full-service gas and auto repair. (contributed)

By MOLLIE BROWN / Business Columnist

For those old enough, do you to remember pulling into a Texaco station and an attendant wearing a “you can trust your car to the man who wears the star” tag would pump your gas, clean your windshield and check under the hood?

Today, you pump the gas, clean the windshield and pay for air. That’s with the exception of Montevallo Auto Repair, formerly Montevallo Citgo, across from Montevallo Post Office on Main Street. Owners Stan and Jo Dawson have owned the station 27 years. Stan gained mechanic and wrecker experience working for Charlie Watson, who owned Watson Shell. It was when he worked for Franklin Lucas, who owned Montevallo Citgo, that he bought the business.

“Mr. Lucas was tired of being tied down with the station, so he told Stan either buy it or go to work for someone else,” Jo said. “We’ve continued to give full service because we enjoy meeting people. Stan’s favorite line if a customer asks for air is ‘Take a deep breath, get all you want.’”

Pumping gas for customers gives Stan a chance to help people in other ways.

“It’s not unusual for elderly ladies to pull up to the pump, hand me a jar of pickles and say, ‘Will you open this? My arthritis is so bad I just can’t do it,’ ” he said. “When customers pick up their car I say, ‘You’re like Willie Nelson, on the road again.’ ”

The Dawsons have two children, Jarrod Dawson and Jennifer Dawson Tidwell. Stan spends Sundays running God’s business as pastor of Marvel Baptist Church in Bibb County. Ask Stan how he’s doing and you’ll hear, “Blessed by the best, and highly favored.”

Jo drives a school bus, but wants to be remembered as the Sybil McManus of Montevallo.

“She was a lady who opened a service station in Chelsea in the ‘60s to care for her children after her husband died. Her son, JR McManus, owns Westover Salvage. I have total respect for Sybil McManus.”

In addition to operating a full-service station, the business runs a full-service auto repair shop — motor and transmission replacement, tires, air conditioning, etc.

The station is open weekdays 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. For auto repairs, call 665-7218.


Mollie Brown is a business columnist for the Shelby County Reporter. She can be reached at dmjhb1@bellsouth.net.