After 30 years, the Schmidt family has closed the doors on its iconic mechanical repair business and Ford dealership, Brains Automotive.
The Schmidt family purchased the business from Brian Brain in 1986, with Victor Schmidt taking over the reins in 2006.
Originally a Ford dealership, the business also conducted NRMA road service and insurance from its main street location.
Following a devastating fire in 2003, the premises was rebuilt on its original site.
While Brains Automotive has closed, NRMA road service and insurance continue to function as normal. The insurance office is now located next door, in a larger, air-conditioned office facility.
NRMA road service continues to operate from the same location, however, will shortly be taken over by Barron’s Tyre and Mechanical, in Dalgarno Street, Coonabarabran.
“Our family has enjoyed looking after the people and communities of Coonabarabran and the surrounding areas,” said Victor Schmidt, owner of Brains Automotive.
“My wife, Anne, and I have often spoken about a change in our lives and seeing that all our children are now grown and settled, it was the perfect opportunity to do something different with our lives.
“All our staff have found new positions in and around the town and the NRMA road service will be going to Warren and Tammy Barron. They will give the same great service that we have supplied over the years.
“The insurance office is still being managed by Troy Brown and we are currently training a second person for the office, so there will be no disruption to the needs of the community or the services being supplied, in fact, I believe they will improve with the new office.”
When asked about the future, Mr Schmidt said he was looking forward to a rest.
“I have been so heavily entrenched within the community and its activities that I really want a break,” Mr Schmidt said.
“Warrumbungle Shire Council for over 12 years, Chamber of Commerce, a big list of committees, activities, fund-raising, donations, Australia Day, Crooked Mountain, free breakfast barbecues - the list goes on and on.
“We have a great community, full of energetic and enthusiastic people - I’d like to give them a chance.
“I’m not sure exactly what the future holds, but we are both excited about the change.”
Dispelling rumours about what is happening with the business’s buildings, Mr Schmidt said the rear building had been purchased by a developer, who also owned the Woolworths and Crazy Sam’s buildings.
“However, I am not at liberty to say what his plans are,” Mr Schmidt said.
“He has voiced an interest in the front building, which is listed for sale through Ray White, but he hasn’t said any more.
“We owned the entire block. There is the rear, the front and the NRMA office - three lots in total.
“The insurance office is not part of the front building and is not currently listed for sale. The contract for the insurance office is up for sale and we have had some interest, but nothing conclusive yet.”
Mr Schmidt praised the local community and, always a great proponent of shopping locally, urged people to continue to support district enterprises.
“We have a great shire and a fantastic town and community. The people are caring and generous and that is something that my family has always tried to replicate and add to in our business dealings.
“We have supported the VRA, RFS and TAFE with vehicles to train on for the benefit of everyone.
“We have donated, sponsored and supported groups, individuals and clubs.
“We gave our time and our financial support to ensure the success of these groups to create a better, safer community for everyone.
“The business sector is the major supporter of most of these groups and activities and I would ask that you support them as they have supported you.
“Remember, if they are no longer there, they can’t support you - so they need your business to survive.”
While Brains Automotive has closed its doors, the NRMA road service and insurance office continue to operate as normal.