Mid-Island Auto Wreckers, 50 Years Later

Mid-Island Auto Wreckers continues to thrive under the leadership and guidance of owner Dave Marro Sr.


Dave Marro Sr. started his career in the auto recycling industry more than 50 years ago by driving the busy streets of New York City delivering parts. He built his business, Mid-Island Auto Wreckers, Inc. - now located in the middle of Long Island in Deer Park, N.Y. - with perseverance, patience and foresight.

"In the beginning, it was hard work," Marro Sr. said. "The job didn't follow any trend; it was labor-intensive. Then we started to focus on selling parts."

In the 1960s, Marro Sr. worked with Chuck Spitaliere at East Island Auto Wreckers, which was in Riverhead, N.Y. Spitaliere, now the owner of Phoenix Auto Parts (, in Bay Shore, N.Y., recalled that Mid-Island Auto Wreckers was among the city's first salvage centers to achieve success through delivering auto parts.

"They got it down to a science as far as delivering parts," he said. "They were the forerunners in New York. They had trucks going all over the tristate area."

Delivering to such a vast area had its disadvantages, added Marro Sr.

"The drawback of being in Long Island is the traffic; trying to deliver is time consuming," he said. "But we built up a good name; a big part of our success was the service."

Income from the deliveries eventually helped Marro Sr. move his company from its original location in a woodshed to a 6,000-square-foot building.

At age 68, Marro Sr. still goes to work five days a week to run the salvage side of the business, Mid-Island Salvage Corp. ( His son, Dave Marro Jr., manages the parts side, Mid-Island Auto Wreckers ( The business employs 36 people. While Marro Sr. said he sometimes wonders what keeps him going to work every day, he still has a passion for the industry.

"I still have a fire for it," he said. "It's all I've done since I was 14. I don't know anything else. What else would I do? I'm not one to sit at home or go shopping."

Marro Jr. said his dad bought him a Mustang to work on when he was 14 years old. That experience played a significant role in getting him started in the auto parts business.

"I went to school to be an accountant and wound up here anyway," he said. "A lot of it had to do with that Mustang. It gets in your blood."

Mid-Island Auto Wreckers continues to grow as plans for expansion to a second location in Riverhead, N.Y. are under way. "It's an up-and-coming area, and we'd be the only game in town," Marro Jr. said. "We're just looking at getting enough staff now."

Marro Sr. said one positive change he has noticed during his career is the public's perception of salvage centers.

"The industry made great strides in changing the way we operated," he said. "We get a little better recognition from the public now than when we first started."

For Marro Jr., watching his dad has helped guide him in his relationships with the public and fellow employees.

"He always deals fairly. He gives everyone a fair shake and doesn't take any shortcuts."

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