Megara Pullen, Mahnke Auto Body marketing director, said, “We will continue the work that Rick has done in the community over the years. We are going to step into his place with his support.”
Pullen said Mahnke was looking to expand and Shovald was looking for a change.
“We chose Salida because it fits our company culture. We are family-owned and started the business in 1975 in Arvada. (We) began with one shop, which was founded by Gary and Judy Mahnke. They have four children. At different times, all four children have worked for the company,” Pullen said.
She said the Mahnke family has been in Colorado for several generations, and they are pioneer people who love the mountains and outdoor sports.
“Although we follow the numbers, we have retained a family atmosphere. We care about people. We want to serve generations of customers. We want our customers to have total confidence in us when they walk in that door,” she said. “It’s a great fit. Rick is genuine as the day is long.”
Shovald built Clyde’s Auto Body from the ground up, Pullen said.
She said when he was in high school, he got a job painting vans for rafting companies. He made a great deal of money and was able to use space at the high school to complete the painting jobs.
Shovald said after high school, he increased his painting knowledge at a big auto body shop in Denver.
“In November 1985, I returned to Salida. The economy was a little bit bad and my father was out of work. At that time, I leased a body shop from Danny and Katherine Granzella, who owned Salida Motors at the time,” Shovald said.
He said in 1992, the shop moved to its current location on Park Avenue.
In his role as owner of Clyde’s, he said the biggest joy was his customers.
“We got to the point where we were serving fourth generations,” he said.
Shovald is still a part of the shop. He said he intends on working with Mahnke as a technician.
“With the advancements they can offer, I actually have the opportunity to work on cars,” Shovald said.
He said when he owned the business, he was not able to work on cars as much as he wanted.
“Mahnke Auto Body offered me the opportunity to take Clyde’s Auto Body to the next level in the collision repair industry and remain a part of the operation. My true love is the actual hands-on repairs of my customers’ vehicles,” Shovald said.
“The recent advancements in the business, training for certified Original Equipment Manufacturer repairs and the technical advancements in the trade, are what Sam Mahnke and his operation bring to Salida. We are so fortunate to have their knowledge and experience here in Salida.
“I am so grateful that Mahnke was able to employ the same production staff to serve our customers that we have been serving, in some cases for four generations. I can’t thank my customers and employees enough who made Clyde’s what it is.”
Mahnke’s main services are collision repair, auto body paint, auto frame repair, hail damage repair and dent repair.
Sam Mahnke is the current CEO and comes to Salida every week, Pullen said.
She said Mahnke owns a total of six shops in Colorado, with seven people employed at the shop in Salida.
“We want to increase the ability for the shop to produce work. There’s a great need in Salida and it is under capacity. (We) want to increase the amount of work that runs through it, and we are adding technology. Rick created a great structure and functionality and a well-designed shop. It is set up for growth---we just have to find the people,” Pullen said.