If you talk with Athell Yon he will probably tell you he grew up in a parts shop and repair business, mainly because he thinks his father wanted to keep him in tow and out of his mother’s hair.
Evidently he loved the business because in 1954 he and his brother established Yon Brother’s Garage in Charleston, South Carolina. Prior to that he and his father founded W. H. Yon Garage.
In 1958 he organized Independent Garage Owners of South Carolina and held elective offices at all levels of the local, state and national association
He represented the Independent Garage Owners Association on IGOA-ABAA Liasion Committee, served on Liasion Committee of IGOA-ASIA, represented the association on time study of the Flat Rate Manuals, served on Automotive Service Council’s (Formerly Independent Garage Owners Assn.) Committee to develop safety standards for the Department of Transportation with American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators.
Often he was found testifying before the U S. Senate Anti-Trust and Monopoly Committee regarding the repair industry and testified before the Department of Commerce, Federal Trade Commission Oversight Hearings.
He has written articles and editorials for Motor, Motor Age, Motor Service and Southern Automotive Journal, prepared text “Automotive Engine Specialists” for H.E.W. office of Education. Has been an expert witness in State and Federal court litigations for individuals, attorneys, franchised car dealers and insurance companies.
The Secretary of Energy, James B Edwards says of Yon, “Athell is indeed, an unusual man in today’s society. He is a truly patriotic American, a superb technician, a man of integrity, honesty and sterling character. Over the years he has had the courage to stand tall for those basic fundamental principles that make freedom exist in America throughout the years. .
His keen interest in young people involves him in vo-tech programs, his love for the industry keeps him involved in many associations, especially National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (NIASE), Independent Garage Owners Association, now Automotive Service Councils (ASC) for whom he served as President in 1965 and in many other official capacities over the years.
He says, “if I had to single out the greatest benefits, it would be meeting the people of the industry. It has given me better insight and empathy with the guy down the street. It has taught me good business practices And, it has taught me that, if we stick together, we can accomplish a lot more than if we go it alone.”
The story of Athell Yon tells you why his business has more than doubled in size. It began as a mechanical shop, and now they have transmission work, differentials, engine overhauls — everything but front end work which grosses a quarter of a million yearly.