Hard work and reliable service at a decent price are what Pat Beany credits for the continued growth of his business.

Hard work and reliable service at a decent price are what Pat Beany credits for the continued growth of his business.

What is now called Beany's Auto Service Center will celebrate its 32nd anniversary on Monday, July 5. Owner Pat Beany will mark the occasion by serving a free lunch to customers.

Beany, 67, opened what was then called Beany's Muffler Land in 1978 at the northeast corner of Brice Road and Livingston Avenue. The former Texaco station had two bays and Beany had three employees.

His current location at 6271 Brice Road has seven service bays and he now employs seven people, four of them mechanics.

Beany, a native of Hyatts, Ohio, in Delaware County, said he began working on cars at age 15 when he became interested in hot-rodding and customizing -"restoring" is not the right word, he said -vintage cars.

He also began taking some of his hot rods to various drag strips around central Ohio, competing with other hot rod enthusiasts.

"For some reason, I guess because my buddies all had cars of some sort, we just grew up in that era in the sixties with the Beach Boys and drag racing and custom cars, and, of course, that culture started on the West Coast and went east," Beany said.

Over the years, he has customized about 40 cars, mainly vintage models built between 1930 and 1970, and has dozens of trophies to prove it.

Beany said he was a little wild as a young man, and after some "intervention from the law," he decided to enlist in the Ohio National Guard in 1964, a decision he said helped him straighten up.

"I credit the army a lot to getting my head together, so to speak, and getting out of trouble, because of discipline, teamwork, camaraderie -everything you learn when you're in the military," he said. "If we took all these gangsters out there and put them in the military, the military could straighten them out."

Beany married in 1966 and raised two daughters. During the next six years, while he was in the National Guard, he worked on cars as a hobby. He also eventually held a number of jobs selling everything from cars and hearing aids to paint and telephone answering machines.

In the mid-1970s, he said, he began working in a muffler shop in Whitehall. After a couple of years of doing that, he decided he was going to go into business for himself and opened Beany's Muffler Land in 1978. Ten years later, he said he decided to move to a larger facility at 6271 E. Main St., where he remained until 2008.

"We started doing more work there besides mufflers, like brake work, and around 1990, I changed the name to Beany's Auto Service," he said.

The company then began doing a wide range of service work on cars. Beany said he believes his business continued to grow because he built his reputation by doing good work at decent prices. That success enabled him to put his children through school and buy a house in Pickerington, he said. He now lives in Canal Winchester.

In 2008, he bought the building at 1673 Brice Road, which was a former Tuffy Muffler shop.

"It was for sale and I liked it," he said. "It had more bays, bigger parking lot - it just seemed like the thing to do."

His daughter, Kerri Beany Foulks, joined him that year as business manager after working for several years for the state of Ohio as a software designer and tester.

"He needed to computerize the shop and needed someone," she said, noting that the company's large customer base includes many repeat customers.

"We have customers still now today that we had at the very first shop and we have their children and, some of them, their grandchildren," she said.

Beany also knows the value of an occasional "freebie." He said the company began to offer free clinics for women this year, aimed at educating them about their cars so they don't get "ripped off" when their vehicles need work.

"Women get ripped off a lot, because they don't know what is done mechanically and unfortunately, there are a lot of thieves in my industry - and you can pring that," Beany said.

The next woman's clinic is scheduled from 1-3 p.m. on Saturday, July 17.

And in September, Beany's will hold a free new-driver clinic for teenagers, although details are still being worked out.

District spokesperson Tricia Moore said Reynoldsburg students will be encouraged to participate in the clinic.

"Once they set an exact date and time for the workshop, we will be communicating it to students, those who either have their license or a temporary license," Moore said.

More details about the new drivers clinic will be released in the fall.

dowen@thisweeknews.com