Try telling a bird not to sing or a fish not to swim, or try telling Henry Marino to stop selling cars. You won’t have much luck.
Marino, one of the region’s most recognizable names in auto sales – most recently at his Town & Country Preowned Auto Mall – has emerged from a brief retirement to join the sales staff at Walker Chevrolet in Nitro.
Marino gave retirement a try, but he realized after about a month that sitting at home was not for him.
That was good news for Walker Chevrolet owner Gene Walker, who realized quickly that his old friend would be an excellent fit for his dealership, which is just off the Nitro exit of Interstate 64.
Walker reached out to Marino, who was happy to get back into the saddle again.
“He got out of the business, didn’t like it and wanted back in,” Walker said. “I wanted to get Henry down here and go to work for me.”
The invitation was well received.
“After about 30 days of retirement, I was bored to death,” Marino said.
The two veterans of the car business worked together more than 40 years ago at the old C&O Motors in St. Albans. Marino joins another C&O alum, Scott Linville, who recently joined Walker Automotive Group as general sales manager.
Walker, Marino and Linville – representing nearly 150 years of combined experience — are happy to be reunited at Walker’s dealerships, which also includes Walker Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in Hurricane.
Marino joined Walker Chevrolet at the same time the dealership unveiled its new Pre-Owned Department next door to the main dealership. He is happy to be back working with old friends.
And without the pressure and responsibilities of running his own dealership, Marino said he’s enjoying the car business again.
“I want to invite all my old customers down here. I’m having fun doing this; it’s very relaxing,” Marino said. “I’m glad to be here.”
In addition to owning and operating a used car lot, Marino’s 57 years in the car business also includes owning Crown Pontiac Buick and Crown Dodge in Nitro.
“He started when he was 9,” joked Linville, who said Marino is a welcome addition to Walker Automotive Group.
“Henry loves selling cars, and he loves people,” Linville said. “He’s already had several of his friends and past customers call him about vehicles. I know he’s having fun, and I’m glad to be working with him again.”
Marino is based at Walker Chevrolet’s new Pre-Owned Department, but he can sell new or used at both Walker locations.
The new Walker Pre-Owned at Walker Chevrolet has a great selection from which to choose.
“We have a large selection of pre-owned vehicles. Trucks, SUVs, cars – anything you want, we have it,” Marino said.
Walker Chevrolet had a strong December and is on pace for an even stronger January. It’s a fast-growing dealership, and Walker attributes that to providing a fun work environment.
“I kind of preach, ‘Let’s have fun.’ We make that our number one thing. Take care of customers and have fun doing it,” Walker said. “If you’re not a friend, you will be by the time you leave here.”
For more information about Walker Chevrolet, call 304-769-9902 or visit www.walkerchevroletwv.com