After 13 years of loyal service at a local dealership, Clarence Baalhorn bought some of the equipment from the failing company and went out on his own. From 1957 to 1961 he operated Baalhorn’s Auto Service in a 900 square foot 2 bay shop behind his house in Boise, ID. He died in 1961 and his business closed, but he left behind a heritage that a grandson not yet born was destined to take up.
Birth of an Entrepreneur
22 years later at the age of 16, that grandson, Tony Zanders, picked up the mantle and entered the auto repair industry as an eager apprentice. Trained by veteran technician and business owner Daryl Johnson of Boise, ID, Tony went on to attend Phoenix Institute of Technology. In 1988 he graduated 4th overall in his class with a 4.0 GPA and Dean’s Honor Award.
In the years that followed, Tony worked at a variety of automotive businesses as a technician and manager. In 1999 he took advantage of the good training he’d received and the relationships he had developed over the years and opened Heritage Automotive. This, by the way, was in a 900 square foot 2 bay shop behind his house in Meridian, ID.
Tony has been awarded the regional NAPA/ASE Technician of the Year award for 2005, served on the National NAPA Autocare Advisory Counsel, and the Meridian Traffic Safety Commission, served 3 years as the Chairman of the Board for the national Car Care Professional’s Network, received the Brightest Star Award for Meridian in 2006, was awarded the 2008 Integrity Counts Award from the Better Business Bureau, and annually sponsors the Meridian Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast.
Expansion of a Legacy
Heritage Automotive has changed a little since 1999. No longer in a 2 bay shop, Heritage Automotive has become Heritage Auto Repair and occupies a 6,000 square foot 8 bay shop with 4 ASE Certified technicians employed.
Clarence and Tony never met, but they share a common destiny of serving customers and friends with honesty, and old fashioned values.
That commitment to integrity was rewarded in 2008 with the BBB Integrity Counts! Award.
When asked how long Heritage Auto Repair has been in business, Tony responds, “Since the turn of the century.” Although that has only been a few short years, the heritage that we started with has been around for a very long time and will continue.
Giving Back to the Community
Heritage Auto Repair Owners Tony and Becca Zanders have a heart of generosity and a love for the community in which they live. As a result of that generous spirit they have made it a business priority to give back to the Treasure Valley in a tangible way.
In 2001 they began an annual tradition of thanking our veterans for their service to this country by donating free oil changes and vehicle inspections to active or retired servicemen and women and their families.
Then in 2002 they decided to bless the single mothers of the Treasure Valley by donating free oil changes and vehicle inspections. The event, dubbed "SMOOCH," was a huge success and it has grown in popularity every year since. Tony has also participated in the "Wishing for Wheels" program several times in the last few years. It is a charitable cause that donates free vehicles to struggling families in need of reliable transportation.
Visit our Community Involvement page to learn more about the charitable organizations we support.
Heritage Auto Repair and its employees consider it a privilege to serve this great community and they plan to continue doing so for years to come.