Local auto shop celebrating six decades of service in eastern Idaho - East Idaho News
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Local auto shop celebrating six decades of service in eastern Idaho

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Do you want to know what’s happening in the eastern Idaho business scene? We’ve got you covered. Here is a rundown of this week’s business news across the valley.

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AMMON

Auto repair shop has been around since 1959, and its manager says customers still love it

employee at work at Sunnyside Auto Repair
An employee at work on a vehicle at Sunnyside Auto Repair. | Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com

AMMON – An old photo showing an aerial view of the shop where Mike Kersh goes to work every day provides a perspective on how the business has evolved over the years.

Kersh is the service manager at Sunnyside Auto, an auto repair shop that’s been in business since 1959 at 3770 East Sunnyside Road in Ammon. About five years ago, an RV and car dealership came along as an extension of the business. As this branch of the business has grown in popularity, customers have mistakenly thought the auto repair portion went away.

“We do everything from regular maintenance to brakes. We also do motor and transmissions. We service just about every make and model there is. The one thing about Sunnyside Automotive is that we have some of the cheapest labor rates in Idaho Falls,” Kersh tells EastIdahoNews.com.

The photo hanging inside the shop, included above, was taken sometime in the late 1980s or early ’90s, according to Kersh. It shows the building in its heyday before any of the other business models existed, and that’s the business Kersh remembers fondly.

Kersh has been an employee there since April, and he’s proud to be part of a brand that’s been serving customers for 64 years.

“I think it says something for a local business to stay running for as long as it has,” says Kersh. “It’s a business that has stuck around, and we’re just trying to let everyone know that we’re still here.”

employee repairs intake manifold
Sunnyside Auto Repair employee repairing an intake manifold on a custom RV. | Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com

Dave Pinegar and Blayne Andersen have owned the business since 2018, but its original owner was Jerry Wadsworth. Kersh doesn’t know the story of how Sunnyside Auto came into existence, but he does remember seeing the old shop when he grew up in Idaho Falls.

“It started off as a relatively small shop about half the size that it is now,” Kersh recalls.

Wadsworth owned it for about 40 years before selling it to Roger Sheehy. Sheehy is responsible for its expansion.

Kersh used to deliver parts to Sunnyside Auto frequently as an employee at Advanced Auto Parts. He says Sheehy had a great reputation with customers and the community he served.

“He was the local guy that everybody could count on … to be honest and truthful about (the work he did),” says Kersh.

Pinegar and Andersen bought the business in 2017, and that same history of integrity is an important value the owners still strive for, Kersh says.

“We’re not going to do anything without consulting with the customer (first),” he says. “We’re about having happy customers and serving people that want to continue to do business with us on a regular basis.”

rowleywhiterv
Signs for Rowley White RV at Sunnyside Auto Repair. | Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com

The Rowley White RV brand became an integral part of the business several years after Pinegar and Andersen took it over when they realized how lucrative the industry was. It became a massive hit at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

Today, there is a small car lot with 30 to 40 vehicles available for sale, as well as detailing services.

After more than 64 years, Kersh and the team are devoted to the shop’s continued success and they want to carry on the legacy that Wadsworth started.

“People who know we’re here are very faithful and continue to bring their cars here,” says Kersh. “A lot of new (customers) are really impressed with what we’re able to do for them, especially when it comes to cost. (Our goal) is to continue to provide that quality service with prices that people are happy with and try to get them in and out as quick as possible.”

Sunnyside Auto is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.

team picture
Mike Kersh, left, and the rest of the crew at Sunnyside Auto. | Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com

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