Falloway’s Auto Sales has been on the corner of West Fourth and Maple streets since the fall of 2001.
But its roots run a lot deeper than that.
Ronnie Falloway, the third generation in the business, runs the dealership today.
But in 1947, his grandfather, Delbert Falloway, opened Falloway Auto Parts on Bluff Avenue.
He not only sold parts, he rebuilt and sold cars as well, his grandson said.
Ronnie’s father, Danny, took over the family business and moved it near Hawesway Truck Plaza in 1980.
He also rebuilt and sold cars.
In 2009, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet took that property for the U.S. 60 bypass extension.
And Danny Falloway moved the business to Ohio County.
Ronnie Falloway continues to buy wrecked cars, rebuild them and sell them on his car lot.
“I sell a lot for $2,000 to $4,000,” he said. “Those can be really nice cars, especially for kids.”
This year, readers of the Messenger-Inquirer voted Falloway’s as their second most-favorite dealership — behind Don Moore GM Center.
“Most of my business has been word of mouth,” Falloway said. “But a year and a half ago, I got a website and now I sell a lot that way.”
He said his father taught him to do both mechanic and body work, starting when he was 15 or 16.
“I worked at Don Moore from 1992 to 1998 in the body shop and service department, painted cars and managed the service department,” Falloway said.
He went to Dempewolf Ford in Henderson for awhile, came back to Moore and then started Falloway’s.
“I wondered if I was going to be a mechanic or do body work,” Falloway said. “But computers have made being a mechanic a lot harder and they’re even somewhat in body work now. I paid $5,000 for a computer. But you’ve got to have them.”
His parents and his wife helped him get the business started, he said.
“My wife helps out when she’s needed,” Falloway said. “But I’m the only employee on the books.”
Greg Way next door does his mechanic work.
Charlie Beatty and Charlie Kase are both retired, “but they do body work for me when I need it,” Falloway said.
“If I have 20 cars on the lot, that’s a bunch,” he said. “I usually have four or five ready to go. I typically sell them while we’re still working on them.”
Vehicles are built a lot better these days, Falloway said.
“It used to be that I wouldn’t touch a vehicle with 200,000 miles on it,” he said. “But now I see 300,000 on cars at auctions. I’m not saying I buy them though.”
The business started as a Buy Here, Pay Here dealership, offering its own financing on sales
“I still do a lot of that,” Falloway said. “But these days I sell a lot for cash.”
Some Buy Here, Pay Here lots have gotten bad reputations for continually repossessing vehicles and selling them over and over again.
But Falloway said, “You have to take care of your customers after the sale. I have 75 to 100 vehicles under contract. I’ve been making sure they’re OK during COVID. I’ve had to help a few, but most are able to pay on time. I’ve been extremely lucky to have had such great customers.”
Keith Lawrence, 270-691-7301 firstname.lastname@example.org