“Fixing their vehicle quickly, correctly, and inexpensively every time is what customers expect. I don’t blame them. I would want the same thing too. They trust me and I never take that for granted. Never.”
Chris Romanow, Owner
Al’s Auto Care
373 Mantoloking Road
Brick, NJ 08723
Al’s Auto Care has a rich history in the auto repair business dating back almost 80 years! My family story is a classic tale of an immigrant arriving in the USA with little and creating a new life through honest, hard work. Auto repair has helped my family live the American dream. I owe a lot to my family, the industry and to my customers. Without a customer we are nothing! We use this vision to guide what we do every day.
1932 – A 21 year old immigrant named Willam Romanow (my grandfather) opened an Esso service station in Elizabeth NJ. He pumped gas and did auto repairs.
1936 – Willam gets married to Sophie and they work the shop together.
1937 – They have a baby, and name him Al. World War II takes Willam away and Sophie works hard to keep their dream alive. She not only pumped the gas, she even worked on the cars and did whatever she could to keep the business going.
1944 – Willam returns from the war. He and Sophie expand the business and hire extra help.
1949 – Willam and Sophie decide to buy the shop next door and open an auto parts store and machine shop.
1955 – “Baby” Al is now 17 years old and graduates from high school. He starts working full time in the family businesses which now includes a gas station, auto repair shop, parts store, and auto machine shop.
1961 – Al and his new wife Jane take over the gas station and repair shop while Bill and Sophie run the parts store and machine shop next door.
1967 – Al and Jane now have three young sons and are faced with a very tough decision. Either stay in Elizabeth NJ and continue to run the successful business that Al’s parents created, or move down the “Shore” and start a new repair shop in a small town that would be much better suited to raising a family. Moving to a smaller town would not be as good for business but Al was never one to pick money over people. The choice was easy. They left the city of Elizabeth and moved to Brick, NJ. At the time many in Al’s family thought he was crazy… this bit of family lore always makes me think the TV show Green Acres! In October 1967 Al buys a two repair bay gas station on Mantoloking Road and so a new life in Brick NJ begins for the Romanow family.
1967 – 1968 – The entire family works at the shop, pumping gas and fixing cars… Al Sr., Jane, Al Jr., my brother Bryan and myself (Chris). They face many challenges during this period such as the 1970’s gas crisis, poor economy, and separation from the family and friends whom mostly still lived in North Jersey. They worked hard and the business steadily grew.
I started working at the shop in the late 1970’s pushing a broom, emptying garbage cans and cleaning bathrooms.
1980 – 1988 – In 1981 I begin pumping gas, doing minor auto repairs while working after school, weekends and summers. 1984 I graduated from Brick High School and headed off to college. I still worked at the shop while I wasn’t at class or studying. 1988 I graduated from Monmouth University and was accepted to law school. But by the end of the summer of 1988 I realized that working with dad at Al’s Auto Care was what I loved most and committed myself full time to automotive repair.
1988 – Al decides to no longer sell gasoline and focuses on auto repairs. He felt cars were growing in complexity and specialization was the best way serve his customers.
1989 – I achieved auto repairs highest level of certification as a ASE Master Technician.
1992 – I attend classes at the GM/ Toyota Training Center and complete an AAS in Automotive Technologies, my third college degree, with a perfect 4.0 Grade Point Average, all while working six days a week at Al’s.
1996 – Al and Jane decide it is time to retire. They felt my people skills were well suited to running the family business and taking good care of their life long customers. I had been a Master Technician for over seven years at this point and was more than ready to take over the shop.
1997 – My wife Kali and I take complete ownership of the shop and next chapter in the Romanow auto repair book has begun.
Al’s Auto Care has provided high quality, guaranteed auto repair in Brick, NJ since 1967. And the Romanow family has provided auto repairs in New Jersey since the 1930’s. Dedication to customer satisfaction has built a following of loyal customers for almost 80 years!
Our concern for service quality is confirmed by us being the ONLY AAA Approved auto repair facility in Bricktown and have archived a 98% Customer Satisfaction rating on the American Automobile Association’s annual survey… we are working hard to please those last few that don’t give us a perfect score!
Don’t take our word for it. Let our online reviews speak for themselves… our customers know us best.