DUNNING—After nearly 60 years in the business, Norm’s Auto Repair (41615 NE-2, Dunning, NE 68833) has expanded their services into a brand new building. A ribbon cutting and open house was held in celebration of the expansion project on Friday afternoon. The new space features three service bays and two lifts.
Norval Van Diest started a gas business in 1961 and then opened the gas station on the north edge of Dunning. Norval passed away in September 2017 but has left his business in good hands. According to Norval’s obituary, all of his children worked at Van’s Ranch Service throughout the years. Norval’s youngest son Norman Van Diest reopened the service station in 1990 and now runs the business as Norm’s Auto Repair.
Norman and his wife Chris, who manages the office and helps Norm, said the plan to add more space had been in the works for about two years. Norman graduated from Dunning and then attended Hastings Tech College. He told KCNI/KBBN he has been working on cars since he was a teenager.
The original business only housed one bay, which made it difficult to work on multiple cars. Norm said a lot of time was spent moving vehicles and waiting for parts. He and Chris are hoping to be more efficient and continue serving customers in the Sandhills–from Purdum to Broken Bow, north of Brewster, and of course, in Dunning.
“Tire repair, transmission, differentials, motors,” Norm Van Diest said regarding services offered. “I’m hoping we’ll be more efficient where if I get tied up with one [vehicle] I can just go over to another. It’s great, it will be nice. It’s going to be a big change, if you walk over and look at my other hole, you’d think a big change. It’s a whole in the wall,” he added.
Michael Croxen, Kristi Giles, and Jodi Swisher are also on staff and auto repair services will resume on Monday. Norm’s Auto Repair has served customers near and far for many years focusing on oil changes, tires, transmission work, and other engine repair.
The convenience store and Sinclair gas station is also home to Sandhills Pottery. Marlene Van Diest and Norval were married in 1956 and Marlene has been making beautiful pieces of pottery for about 40 years.