HOUGHTON - While making a pit stop for petrol on his way home from work one afternoon several years ago, Mike Sayen stumbled upon what would become a thriving family business venture.
"I stopped to buy gas to get home and noticed in the gas station there was a rust proofing pump and a barrel of Texaco rust proofing," he said.
It was the early 1970s, and at the time, Sayen was learning the ropes of the auto industry under the wing of the late Bruno Lucchesi, working at a gas station in Ripley.
Sayen’s Auto Sales of Houghton, is the area’s full-service Ziebart center. Additional services include auto detailing, truck accessories, Rhino lining, quality, pre-owned vehicle sales, shown in the above photo, remote car starter sales and installation, oil changes and quick lube, and car washes, among other services.
Prior to that, Mike was employed with Stevenson Chevrolet, formerly Lindrus Chevrolet, of Hancock.
As Lucchesi's gas station business flourished, Mike began considering additional avenues of revenue, and eventually purchased vehicles from then Public Chevrolet, of Calumet.
"I brought the cars and the rust pump home and placed an ad in the paper," Mike continued. "I was overwhelmed with responses, and at that time, I sold my brother a vehicle that was Ziebart rust proofed. I took the car apart and learned what it was really about. At that point, I realized the Ziebart franchise was my next step."
It was in 1977 that Mike opened his business, Sayen's Auto Sales, along M-26 in Houghton, where it has continued to grow successfully for decades.
"It's quite the story when you think about it," said Mike's son Dan, who is the manager of Sayen's. "We have quite the history."
Sayen's Auto Sales is the area's full-service Ziebart center, specializing in undercoating, rust protection, underbody sound barrier, diamond gloss, among other protective measures for both the interior and exterior of vehicles.
Additional services include auto detailing, truck accessories, spray-on Rhino lining and box liners, to name a few.
"We do a lot of different things here," Dan said. "We are very diverse in the products and services we offer."
In addition to providing excellent customer service, Sayen's is widely known for its selection of quality, pre-owned vehicles. Customers can browse the lot or view the vehicles online at their convenience by visiting sayensauto.com.
"We usually keep about 40 to 50 units in stock," Dan said. "We also like to stress our service after the sale."
Heading up the vehicle sales department is Dan and Marcus Johnson, who has been with the business for the past five years.
Additional services include Sayen's full- service oil change, quick lube and car wash.
"We recently added a new car wash," Dan said. "We have the fastest, cheapest car wash and it will clean your car all the way, not just half way."
There are three car wash bays - one automatic and two self-service.
Dan said there is an attendant on hand at all times to pre-wash vehicles prior to entering the wash bay.
"He uses a high-pressure hose to remove any snow, dirt and ice on the vehicle before pulling it into the machine for a wash and wax," he said. "We can guarantee your car will be clean when you're done."
Every Sunday, Sayen's offers its deluxe car wash (regularly priced at $7) for $4. The wash special runs from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
With winter in full swing, Dan reminds customers that Sayen's sells and installs Compu-Star brand remote car starters. Customers can choose the appropriate range to fit their needs.
"They can choose from 800 feet up to 3,000 feet," he said. "We have thousands of these installed with 100 percent customer satisfaction."
Having installed remote starters on a variety of makes and models, Dan said they are up to speed on all the latest technology.
Each starter comes with a lifetime warranty.
Sayen's Auto Sales is located on M-26 in Houghton. Business hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Car wash hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
For more information, call 482-2179 or visit sayensauto.com.
Editor's note: This feature is part of a paid advertising package purchased by Sayen's Auto Sales of Houghton. Businesses interested in being featured on the Business page may call Yvonne Robillard at 483-2220.