Looking for a Corvette? Maybe a classic muscle car? You can always go online and search to your heart’s content. But you can also make the easy drive to downtown Springfield and find a showroom filled with great vehicles. Welcome to Mershon’s World of Cars.
“We usually have somewhere between 80 and 100 cars in stock, and as you can see, the showroom is pretty packed,” explained Shelby Mershon, son of retired founder Dan Mershon. And yes, Shelby was named after the Shelby Cobra and was brought home from the hospital in a Lamborghini.
“My dad graduated from the JVS auto mechanic program, went to work for Monte Zinn here in Springfield as a mechanic while he built hot rods on the side,” Mershon explained. “He eventually became the sales manager of Monte Zinn and in 1981 he took two Panteras to Auburn for the Kruse auction. After he sold those, well, he came back here and started Mershon’s.
“I started delivering cars for him when I turned 16, and it just went from there. I’ve been around cool cars my entire life; what else would I do?” Mershon added.
While he did not attend college, the now 30-year old learned by working every day in all aspects of the business and got his dealer’s license about eight years ago.
Corvettes have become a specialty for the store, which in the last year has expanded with the purchase of a body shop next door.
“Now we have plenty of room to do the mechanical and body work needed to get these cars as close to original as possible,” Mershon said. “We buy most of our cars from private sellers. Many of them need upholstery repaired, maybe some touch-up paint, plus we completely detail the entire car.
“Everything on our cars works when you get it. Sometimes it takes a few weeks to get them ready for sale,” he said.
The business employs nine people full-time; most all of the prep work is done in house.
While based in Springfield, Mershon’s is a worldwide business.
“I’ve sold cars to people in France, Dubai, England, Spain – you name it. By being on the internet, and advertising online and on eBay, your market grows immediately and world-wide,” Mershon explained. “Plus, shipping is much cheaper than many people expect. We have two carriers we use, and they take the car from here to the customer. I can ship a car overseas for about $3,500, to California for about $2,000. We do it all the time.”
Corvettes make up most of the business, but classic muscle cars are also in the mix.
“I’ve got a ’66 GTO convertible, a nice Camaro, a ’57 T-Bird, plus a few others. The inventory on those cars varies a lot but we always have some. We don’t have room to display all of our cars here, but if you see one online and get in touch with us, we’ll get it from our storage facility and have it here,” Mershon added.
He said they have also gone the extra mile for customers.
“We’ve helped deliver cars so they can be hidden, placed them in garages with big red bows, all that surprise stuff. We’re happy to help make dreams come true,” he said.
While Wheels was in the showroom, a couple wandered in and started going over a variety of cars. They looked closely at a ’63 Corvette split-window coupe, a ’67 427 Corvette convertible and a number of other cars, asking lots of question.
They were still there when our interview and photo session ended. Who knows? Maybe they drove the split window home.
You can see the inventory online at www.mershons.com.
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