River Valley Auto

Rockford business changes hands

June 9, 2011 // 0 Comments

‘I’m buying a piece of Rockford’ by BETH ALTENA When you see the Rockford football team on the big flatbed truck during this Saturday’s Start of Summer parade, the truck towing it won’t be River Valley Auto. Todd Pell has purchased the towing portion of the River Valley Auto business and has changed the company name to Rockford Towing. He couldn’t be more pleased about owning his own business in Rockford and, after nearly two decades in the tow business, to being his own boss. The business was purchased from John Shattuck and Dan Williams, who between them own River Valley Auto and Car Star of Rockford. Williams said that for tow customers, there will be no change in service and the business will still be located in the “bull pen” on River Valley’s property. “He wanted a tow business and we wanted to get out of that and concentrate on body shops and mechanical garage,” said Williams, a second-generation owner of Car Star. Williams said River Valley and Car Star will service and repair any make vehicle, but specialize in European makes. They have been very busy and Williams said the transaction comes at a good time. “It was a handful to juggle all those balls.” The business is one of the “old timers” in Rockford, reaching back to its founding in 1985 by Roy Nielson when Roy opened a gas station/car wash with towing. Son Ryan Nielson, who is still with the business, going to work with Pell as lead tow driver. Along with Ryan go the titles to six wreckers, two flatbeds and one service car. Ryan remembers when his dad owned just one tow truck, when he was a tot. “A lot of people still call it Roy’s,” said Ryan. Roy sold the business in February 2001 to Gordie LaFontaine, who operated it for the next seven years. The public has seen the bright red trucks with black lettering pull our athletic heroes on flatbeds through the annual Start of Summer Parade. Pell is excited that this year the trucks pulling the high school football team will be his and parade watchers will see his new logo as Rockford Towing. “Over time as we acquire new trucks we will change the […]