GREENVILLE — Lucas Anstett grew up learning about car engines and auto glass repair from inside his father’s shop in Greenville.
“The guys out in the garage pretty much taught me everything that I know about cars,” the 2008 Greenville graduate told the Daily News.
Now, having left the business for some time to do his own thing, Anstett is returning to his roots.
As of last week, Anstett took over ownership of Ziebart/Maxi Automotive at 601 N. Lafayette St. in Greenville from his father, Larry Anstett.
Larry, who was recently recognized by the Ziebart company for providing 30 years of service to the Greenville area, told the Daily News he’s happy to see the company remain in the family.
“We’ve been rust-proofing cars for 42 years,” he said. “We’ve been doing auto glass repairs for 22 years and doing mechanical work for 41. We’ve been here for a while. With the changing of the times, it was time for me to cut back.”
“He was at the point where he was going to shut the doors,” agreed Larry’s wife, Susan Anstett. “I’m just so thankful that Lucas decided he was going to take it on. During this whole COVID thing, we had to shut the repairs side of the business down. We had people in tears and it was very sad. I’m thankful that (Lucas) can take it over and be there for our customers.”
With Ziebart being the rust-proofing portion of the business, Lucas says the company additionally offers auto glass repair and an assortment of other mechanical services under the Maxi Automotive name.
“As we’re opening back up the mechanical repair side, we’re doing brakes, front end, steering suspension components, exhaust work and the auto glass, which covers everything from windshields, back windows, side windows or any other glass on the vehicle that we can get it,” Lucas explained. “We also do basic maintenance, oil changes, tire rotations and things like that.”
Lucas says the company has gotten into the habit of picking up and dropping off customer’s vehicles in order to keep things as safe and sanitary as possible.
“Especially with the COVID stuff that’s going on, we’re really big on sanitizing the vehicle when we’re getting in and out of it,” he said. “We’re making it so that people don’t have to sit inside our building and wait for their car to be done. If you need something done on your vehicle and you work local, let us know and we’ll come to pick it up and drop it back off when it’s done. We’ll do the whole thing while you’re at work so that you won’t even know it’s gone.”
Apart from a few other minor shifts here and there, Lucas says the rest of the business will remain in line with how his father previously laid things out.
“We’re pretty much trying to keep with tradition,” he noted. “You don’t stay in business for as long as he has without doing something right. My dad taught me everything about customer service and taking care of customers. That’s something I’ve always used in my whole career.”
With almost two weeks now under his belt as owner, Lucas is hopeful for what the future might have in store for the business.
“I’m optimistic,” he said. “I’ve worked here for a few years in and out of high school. Now that I’m coming back, while the first week was a little rough, we’re hoping for another 35 years.”
“I’m very proud of Lucas,” added Larry, who’s remaining at the company on a part-time basis. “He’s going to do a great job. He’s a great son and he’s going to take great care of the business and the customers.”
Location: 601 N. Lafayette St. in Greenville
Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. The Ziebart portion of the business is also open from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.
Information: Visit maxzie.com or call (616) 754-9351