New owner of Bell Auto promises same quality service

NASHUA – When Bell Auto first raised its garage stall doors in 1962, gas cost pennies a gallon.

After logging many miles over a long road with dedicated customers, Charles Bell has sold the popular local fixture at 93 E. Hollis St. to John A. Marino III.

“Cosmetically, things will change,” Marino said. “We’re giving the building a major face lift, and we’re cleaning up the yard. But from a customer care standpoint, the only changes that are going to happen are for the better.

“We’re going to continue very good pricing; we’re not going to raise our rates.”

The name will remain the same.

Marino became interested in owning an auto service garage because of issues he encountered running his other business, a construction firm.

“I have half a dozen trucks, and they constantly break down through simple wear and tear and mileage and such,” he said. “And I just got tired of taking my vehicles to places and they couldn’t fix this type of a brand of a truck … or their skills were limited and they couldn’t diagnose transmission work, or they only did brakes or just exhausts and things like that.”

His solution? Run a shop that can do everything – brakes, exhausts, tires, engine work – for foreign and domestic vehicles.

Marino said the transition has been smooth so far. He is hoping to continue the tradition of Bell’s good name.

“The customers that come in here have been coming in here for 20, 30, 40 years,” Marino said. “Bell has been servicing the community for a long time. And they’ve done a good job at it.”

Bell’s well-known staff members will stay in place, and a new senior mechanic has been hired. Marino also purchased new equipment, including diagnostic machines.

With the revamp, some customers have been taken aback at how great the place looks, Marino said.

“They didn’t recognize the place,” he said.