Tallman Auto & Body celebrates 60 years in business
Don Tallman, 86, visits the business he started 60 years ago at least once per week — usually first thing in the morning at 7:30 a.m. as his son, Dan Tallman, prepares to open the auto shop for the day.
"I like to bother him quite often," Don laughed this week while sitting in the waiting room of Tallman Auto & Body, Complete Mechanical and Collision Center, just off State Avenue in Bonner Springs.
"We'll leave it at that," Dan said, smiling back at his father.
This Saturday, May 10, Tallman Auto & Body is celebrating the 60 years since Don started the business in a small garage near 29th Street and Brown Avenue in Kansas City, Kan. The celebration will include free food and music, as well as a car show from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
Six decades ago, Don, a Navy World War II Veteran, would work in the garage during the day and study mechanics at night. Several years later, Don moved the business to 2340 Central Ave. in Kansas City, Kan., where the business grew for 35 years. In 2009, Dan and his father moved the business to its current location.
Dan was just 15 when he started attending frame school and started on the path to becoming a mechanic, among other things.
"It was an easy choice," Dan said. "I had pretty much grown up in a garage."
Dan said he learned most of skills directly from his father. The two worked together for years before Don handed the business over to his son. Dan said it was an easy transition as cars were becoming more computerized and the shop had to adapt to the changing technology.
"He didn't want to do that so much," Dan said.
Despite the advancement in technology and location changes, the business has thrived for 60 years. Dan attributes the lasting success to the way his father taught him how to do business.
"He taught me how to treat people, both with quality work and by taking care of the customer," Dan said. "Really when it comes down to it, it's just treating the people the way you want to be treated."
The Golden Rule is something Dan lives by as he continues what his father started. He is also continuing the business motto established by his father, "Quality isn't expensive, it's priceless."
At the shop's current location, Dan said, the Tallman Auto & Body draws customers from Basehor, Tonganoxie and even areas in Johnson County, in addition to some loyal customers who still drive out there shop from Kansas City, Kan..
"This location has really been good to us," Dan said.
Dan is also happy to be working in the community that he lives in. Dan is the fire chief at the Sherman Township Fire Department and has been a firefighter at the department since 1988.
"It's fun to work in the same community that you live in because you get to see the firefighters and neighbors come into the shop," Dan said.
The Tallman family is inviting those neighbors, friends and customers to their 60th anniversary celebration this Saturday with free food, drinks and music.
"It's basically just going to be a big birthday party," Dan said.
For more information about the anniversary celebration, call Tallman Auto & Body at 913-371-2881.
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