Advertisement

Celebrating 40 years in business

Fintona Auto Spares ‘proud’ to reach milestone

From supplying parts for all makes of vehicles, to offering 24-hour refuelling pumps on-site, ‘Fintona Auto Spares’ have gone from strength-to-strength over the past 40 years.

Fondly nicknamed the ‘Old Mill Garage’ by loyal customers and locals, it is a family-run business in the truest sense, with James ‘Jim’ McConnell and wife Charlotte, and Charlie McConnell and wife Marion, keeping the cogs turning. At present, Lee McConnell, son of Charlie and Charlotte, is general manager.

Proud to specialise in Vauxhall and Opel vehicles, Fintona Auto Spares – located at 43 Mill Street – also holds the honour of being Fintona’s first 24-hour filling station.

The business further offers a wealth of services to suit every driver’s needs, including: A next-day parts ordering service for all vehicle makes and models; new and used parts for all vehicles; tyre fitting service; vehicle servicing; puncture repair; solid fuel; and a large range of batteries and lubricants are available for purchase.

Beginning of an Era

Fintona Auto Spares was founded in May 1981 by Jim McConnell, when he recognised that there was a gap in the market for dismantling vehicles – and businesses in England who were offering similar services were flourishing. As such, the local business opened up at 11 Main Street, Fintona, and specialised in dismantling Vauxhall and Opel vehicles.

One year later, Jim’s brother, Charlie joined the business, and in 1983, the pair began selling new parts for Vauxhall and Opel vehicles.

In October 1985, the growing establishment enjoyed a major change: It relocated to 43 Mill Street – a place which boasted a large yard and Mex petrol station (now known as Maxol) on-site. Marion, Charlie’s wife also joined the team as book keeper.

The move proved popular, and business spiked; particularly as in the ‘80s and ‘90s, demand was rife for car shells and body panels.

In the early 1990s, Fintona Auto Spares began selling wholesale new parts, and by the tail-end of the decade, they advanced from using catalogues to source car parts to a fully computerised system.

Then in 2001, Charlie and Marion’s son, Lee joined the business, and quickly learned the innovative ways of the trade by selling parts online, and tracking orders, using a modern computer.

Fast-forward to 2010, and Fintona Auto Spares began selling solid fuels, such as coal; heating oil; and fitting new tyres. Further success struck in 2011, when Fintona Auto Parts became a fully-licensed vehicle dismantler, and continuing to improve and adapt with the contemporary times, they moved to a computerised accounting system in 2012.

Balloons and celebrations as Fintona Auto Spares turns 40. Pictured are Jim McConnell and wife, Charlotte and Charlie McConnell and wife, Marion.

Making History

On May 29, 2015, the ever-popular business installed brand new 24-hour refuelling pumps, and made history in Fintona, by becoming the town’s first ever 24-hour filling station.

A revamp of the parts store took place in 2018, with the result that Fintona Auto Parts were now able to supply parts for all makes of vehicles, and to aid drivers of diesel cars, brand new ‘ad blue’ pumps were installed beside the fuel pumps in August 2020.
Also in 2020, Fintona Auto Spares proudly announced they were now able to service all vehicles.

Reflecting upon four decades of success, change and support, founder Jim McConnell was keen to thank everyone who has contributed to the success of Fintona Auto Spares.

“As a family-run partnership, we feel very proud to have reached this milestone,” he said. “Over the years, we have put in consistent hard work, paid great attention to detail, and have always adapted with the times so that we can provide our customers with the very best, and up-todate services possible. Business evolvement is key.

“We have enjoyed many memorable moments, and we are thankful for the loyal support of our customers and staff, both part-time and full-time, over the decades.

“We hope that the business can survive the next 40 years in the McConnell name!”

  • Fintona Auto Spares is located at 43 Mill Street, Fintona. Its opening hours are: Monday to Fridays from 9am to 6pm, and 9am to 1pm on Saturdays. For more information, please contact: 028 8284 1859 or email: fintonaautospares@hotmail.com
Top
Advertisement

Ulster Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 10-14 John Street, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, N. Ireland, BT781DW