Mason-Dixon Auto Auction sold

September 13, 1999

Auto AuctionBy RICHARD F. BELISLE / Staff Writer, Waynesboro

photo: KEVIN G. GILBERT / staff photographer

STATE LINE. Pa. - A group of four Pennsylvania auto dealers known as Picol Corp. has bought the Mason-Dixon Auto Auction, an ongoing public sale that runs about 40,000 cars and trucks through its bays every year.

Dave Utzinger, general manager for the auction, said the sale was completed in August. He decline to state the selling price but said Antrim Township netted about $10,000 from taxes in the transaction.

The new owners are Fred Lorenzo, owner of Cadillac, Chevrolet and Honda dealerships in the Lebanon, Pa., area; Dominic Conicelli, owner of several auto dealerships and the Carriage Trade Auto Auction in Conshohocken, Pa.; Tim Smith, general manager of the Carriage Trade Auto Auction; and Vince Piazza, owner of several auto dealerships in Redding, Pa., Utzinger said.


Piazza is also the father of New York Mets catcher Mike Piazza.

Utzinger said the new owners plan no major changes in the operation "except to grow." He said their business philosophy is to buy a business, invest in it and put a general manager in charge. They show up on auction nights, he said.

The auction owns more than 43 acres, only about half of which is used for the operation. "We have a lot of land to expand," Utzinger said.

Two years ago, a modern main office building was added onto the selling bays. The same year, State Line began selling used vehicles for the federal government - a part of the business that has continued to grow. "We have six to seven government auctions a year now and a good relationship with the Department of General Services," Utzinger said. That agency buys vehicles for government agencies and disposes of them when the time comes to replace them.

Mason-Dixon Auto Auction was started in 1982 by two local businessmen, Earl Mayhew and Roy B. Wingert. Mayhew sold his interests to Tom Harris of Chambersburg, Pa., in 1990, Utzinger said. Wingert and Harris sold it to Picol so they could retire, he said.

Neither Wingert nor Harris could be reached for comment Wednesday.

Utzinger, who was hired by Wingert and Harris more than five years ago, expects to stay on as general manager. "I serve at their pleasure," he said of his new bosses. "I expect to be here as long as we continue to turn a profit."

Mason-Dixon, which Utzinger said is one of the largest public auto auctions in the country, sells about half of its cars to dealers and half to individuals.

The auction employees 25 full-time workers and about 100 who work part-time, especially on Tuesday nights, when the weekly auctions are held.

The Herald-Mail Articles