Retired U.S. Army Veteran Runs CARSTAR Location with Military Precision
Ron Vallario served 23 years in the U.S. Army Special Forces before returning home to the collision repair business his father started.
Written by Autobody News Staff
Published Nov. 10, 2023
Ron Vallario, owner of CARSTAR Superior Auto Body in Pinellas Park, FL, grew up in a military family and the collision repair family business. It’s that military discipline that has helped drive his success as a longtime CARSTAR owner.
Ron’s father, Rudolph Vallario, had the distinction of being one of the few military members to have served in WWII, Korea and Vietnam. After retiring from the U.S. Army as a lieutenant colonel, the senior Vallario opened his shop in 1967. At the age of 13, Ron began working in his father’s shop. Ron’s older brother---who would also go on to have a 26-year career in the U.S. Army---taught him all the different aspects of the repair process, and at 16 years old, he was painting complete paint jobs.
At age 17, Ron decided to once again follow in his father’s footsteps and join the U.S. Army. Two years later, he graduated from Jump School and Special Forces Qualification Course and became a member of the 11th Special Forces Group, serving with some of the legends of special ops on A Detachment 312. After 23 years of service in both active duty and Special Forces Reserves, Ron retired from the military and returned to the shop full time.
Many of the skills he learned in the military---discipline, dedication, integrity and a “can-do” attitude---have helped make him a successful business owner.
“My team says that I run this shop like the military, and that’s true,” said Ron. “And that has worked just fine for us. One of those attributes is a strict attention to detail. I am in the shop all day every day making sure that all our work is perfect. Much of our business is really high-end---Rolls Royce, Mercedes, Bentley and Porsche. I make sure that three sets of eyes have inspected each vehicle before delivering it to the customer. That is how we are able to maintain our customer base and our reputation for the highest quality work.”
Like many other independent owners, Ron’s business is a family business, with wife Lorraine, son Garrett and daughter Angelica all working in the repair facility as well.
“My father has since passed on, but he was in the shop every day until he was 91,” said Ron. “I’m proud of the work we do and glad that my family and I can carry on his legacy.”