Scott and Diane Ramm ran the Barracks Road Shell gas station in Charlottesville for 20 years until September, when they took over Ivy Exxon. Roger and Steve Gibson operated the station for the previous 15 years. They are now retired.
The Ramms have extended operating hours to include Sundays and converted one of the station’s four pumps to full service. Full service means they pump the gas, wash the front and rear windows, check tire air pressures, and look under the hood at engine fluid levels.
Their three fulltime mechanics have come with them. All are ASE-certified, one at the master level. The station has three service bays, two with lifts and one with a pit. Ramm said he intends to put a lift in the pit bay as well.
The station can do maintenance and repairs on any American or foreign-made car, Scott Ramm said. Work is scheduled by appointment—though they do respond to emergencies—and usually jobs can be scheduled in the next couple of days, said Ramm. They offer courtesy shuttle service to Crozet and Charlottesville for customers who need to leave their car for the day.
The station will do factory-scheduled maintenance, including timing belts, oil changes, wipers and batteries, state inspections, air conditioning and “check engine” light repairs, and trip checks for those headed out of town. They can also handle some repairs that are covered under extended warranty programs. They offer an Auto Advantage Club for $99.95 per year that gives members two free state inspections, four free oil changes, a free trip check and discounts on other repairs.
“We’re like a family doctor for your car, A to Z,” said Ramm. “We’re very proactive about repairs people are likely to need so they don’t end up on the side of the road. We have a lot more computer diagnostic equipment than the station had before. Now we can compile repair histories for cars.”
The station sells Exxon products and offers an assortment of additives and other car products.
“Things have been good since we opened. People have been friendly and welcoming. We kept the same phone number and we want to maintain as much as possible what Roger Gibson had going. We are family-owned and we treat everybody’s car as if it were my mother’s car. We treat our customers like they are family and we want them to be safe,” said Ramm, a Western Albemarle High School graduate.
“We want to be a hometown station for Ivy and Crozet. There is much more of a neighborhood feel to this business than there was in town. We enjoy that people recognize us now.” They had a petition sheet about the local elementary school redistricting options available on the cash register counter for customers who wanted to sign.
“We want to make some face-lift changes,” said Diane Ramm. “We want to remodel the office and bathrooms, put awnings over the office windows and do more landscaping. We also hope to swap out the older pumps so customers will be able to use their credit cards at the pumps.”
The station is open for gas from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Repairs are available from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays.