A 1972 Pontiac Firebird Formula 400. That was the car that started Jim Lehman’s lifelong love affair with automobiles.
“Legendary engine, hood scoop … that was the car I drove in high school,” he said. “I drove that around until it rusted apart.”
Decades later, Lehman’s love of cars is manifesting itself in one of Malvern’s newest businesses, Honest-1 Auto Care, an automotive repair and car shop opening on Lancaster Avenue in late September.
An Honest Shop
Lehman’s road to his passion was a long one. The Wayne native and Exton resident logged 27 years at Vanguard in Malvern before making the move into small business ownership, where he learned that “taking care of employees and customers” was the way he wanted to run his own business.
“I had a great career at Vanguard, but I always wanted to own my own business,” he said. “I started dreaming up what a great automotive care business would look like, and when I found Honest-1, it had everything I was looking for.”
Lehman hooked up with Honest-1 regional developer Greg Gonville in 2012 and, after finding their spot on Lancaster Avenue and refurbishing the space, he’s ready to open the auto care shop of his dreams, the first Honest-1 shop in Pennsylvania.
Love the Area, Serve the Area
For Lehman, operating in the Malvern area was always part of the plan.
“I’ve always been attracted to this area,” he said. “I want to be able to provide a service to the residents of this area because I feel like I can give back with great car care.”
He plans to run his shop on principals of honesty, comfort and relationship building above all else.
“We’re not trying to make a sale today, I want to form relationship with people over time and be the area’s car service provider,” he said. “I know that’s not going to happen over night, but I want people to come to trust us. If you bring your car here, we’re going to show you what we find and explain it in layman’s terms. If you want our service, that’s fine, but we’re not going to pressure anyone to get work they don’t want done.”
Lehman says he wants to apply what he learned in his past life at Vanguard to his auto care shop.
“What I’ve learned from Vanguard, honesty and integrity, that’s what Honest-1 is all about, what I want here,” he said. “Treat your customers right, treat your employees right, and stand behind your people.”
Honest-1 Auto Care
228 Lancaster Avenue, Malvern
Check back later this week for a preview of the store’s opening.