NEW BRITAIN – September is an anniversary month for Dalena Auto Parts Inc. and 2018 marks 65 years of service to the local community.
Al Simeone, of Berlin, is repairing a 1968 Firebird Convertible. Simeone recently stopped by Dalena’s to drop off the front brake drum of his vehicle and let the crew do the work the part requires.
Simeone said that he and Dalena Auto Parts were business partners back in the 1970’s and the reason he keeps going back to the shop is that they have always offered “great service”.
“I’m glad they are still able to have the equipment to work on old cars,” Simeone added.
The business opened in 1953, when Don Dalena and Peter Dalena Jr. returned from air force duties to start the new business adventure with their father Peter Dalena Sr. and his younger brother Cozy Dalena.
Dalena Auto Parts, located at 63 Glen St. is presently owned and operated by Don’s sons, Dan and Peter Dalena. But 90-year-old Don and 85-year-old Peter Jr. frequently visit the business and wear their blue uniforms shirts to help out when needed.
The third generation family business offers machine shop services and a complete part store.
The services provided at Dalena Auto Parts include cylinder honing, bolt installing and resizing, and seat resurfacing. However, brakes, rotors and engines are the parts that are seen with most frequency at the shop.
“Any other thing that we can do, we’ll do.” Peter said. “There’s almost nothing that we can’t do mechanically, and we’ve done it for all this years.”
Dalena Auto Parts works with many commercial and industrial companies including the Manafort Brothers, Dattco as well as other truck and bus companies.
Striving for quality of work and parts is a big deal to the Dalena family, and it is the one thing that sets them apart from other shops, Don said.
“We only carry the best parts,” Don said. “We are not like the chains, where they will sell you any kind of quality parts. If you can’t afford it, they’ll give you something cheap, but we try to keep to the better quality manufacturers.”
According to Don, one of the most rewarding parts of managing the old business is the relationships that he and his family have been able to develop.
“We know everybody in town, every business in town comes here because we’ve been here so long and we know their children and their grand children,” Don said. “We do get a lot of outsiders, a lot of people from out of town come in, bigger shops and people that repair cars.”
The shop is open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon. To learn more about Dalena Auto Parts call 860-225-7851.
Karla Santos can be reached at 860-801-5079 or firstname.lastname@example.org.