Tucked into the back of a building on Rudder Road is one of Fenton's newest businesses. Sherman Auto Sales has been rolling along for 66 years in north St. Louis where Nat Sherman sold and traded cars at his storefront business on Natural Bridge Road.
Back in the day, Sherman's father was a horse trader of sorts, and it wasn't unusual for Nat to have a horse or a horse buggy at his Natural Bridge store.
Mark Sherman, Nat's son, holds the reins to Sherman Auto Sales these days. A Chesterfield resident, Mark longed for a business location closer to home and he ended up moving lock, stock and horse buggies to Fenton's industrial area to a location at 519B Rudder Road, sharing a building with JML Audio, a business that specializes in the latest car audio and electronics systems.
JML Audio is in direct contrast to Sherman Auto Sales, whose specialty is antique and classic cars. Mark Sherman has transformed his part of the building into a showroom for his antique and classic car gems, as well as hundreds of antique and collectible items that provide a unique setting for his auto collection and gives the place a very Fifties feel.
There are a lot of items related to the old SS.S. Admiral excursion boat that once carried passengers down the Mississippi River from the St. Louis riverfront and then back again. Sherman also has a neon "office" sign from the infamous Coral Court Motel that once commanded a large area on Watson Road in Marlborough.
"I've always loved cars," Sherman said. "I'm a true junker at heart."
He also is an avid collector. When he stumbled across an Oscar Meyer Weinermobile telephone recently, he had to have it. The phone keeps company with his other weinermobile collectibles. Every nook and cranny and all the walls of Sherman Auto Sales are filled with memorabilia from a bygone era
All of the items are proudly displayed with a price marked for those who are interested in in doing some horse trading of their own with Sherman. And he welcomes visitors to stop by and browse as he likes to show off the bounty from his life in the car business. For more information, call 636-326-1616.
"Just drop in and enjoy," Sherman says.
Sherman also says he's very happy to be in Fenton, which has made him feel very welcome as a new member of the business community. He said the lack of needless red tape is, especially after being located in the City of St. Louis for decades, refreshing.
"As a 66 year old business, the City of Fenton was extremely receptive and helpful in getting everything in place," Sherman said. "My first meeting with the city board was warm and comfotable. They have helped in every way to make this possible. First impressions are not a perfect guide, but my first impressions of Fenton from the beginning of this venture have been the same and have only gotten better. It is a class city that wants to help the small business."
Sherman hopes to be around for quite awhile yet.
"I don't want to retire," he said. "I enjoy the cars and I enjoy coming to work."