My name is Tom Marks, president of the Motor Vehicle Appraisal Service. I’ve been involved in the automotive and powersports industries my entire life. I made a career in this business as a technician, salesperson, business owner, and instructor. It actually has been more than just a career, it’s been a lifestyle and a passionate journey that I enjoy every single day. Through the Motor Vehicle Appraisal Service I get to share my skills and expertise with everyone and anyone that loves this lifestyle as much as I do. With that said, this is where I’ve been.
The career began in the early seventies where I worked at Acton Motor Company, Acton, Massachusetts, after school in the autobody shop. I learned how to take cars apart and put them back together again. My entry level position was ‘hands on’ and the experienced veterans of autobody repair guided me through all of the processes of what it takes to restore an automobile to its original form.
Through the remaining years in the seventies I worked at several different dealerships as a service technician. These years were spent working at Ford, GM, AMC, Jaguar / Triumph, Ferrari and Datsun dealers as well as doing some work at independent shops that specialized in servicing European cars. Each of these positions gave me an opportunity to learn how to deal with different service operations and to perform those service operations efficiently.
When the early eighties rolled in I was still working as an auto tech at auto dealerships and I was doing a lot of side work on my own customers cars, trucks, and motorcycles. All of this extra curricular activity was enough to motivate me to start my own business. On July 15th, 1983 I opened American Auto-Cycle in Laconia, New Hampshire. It was the first business in the New Hampshire Lakes Region to focus on general service work for cars, trucks, and motorcycles.
The business was successful right out of the gate, but as time went on, I found working on motorcycles to be much more gratifying than working on the automotive stuff. After being in business for a couple of years I decided to concentrate on motorcycles and changed the business name to American Cycle. Our specialties were restoration, racing, and repair of American and European motorcycles. A shortage of available new bikes from Harley Davidson in the mid-nineties created an opportunity to develop custom bike building skills which opened up an even larger motorcycle market than we had ever experienced before. The racing, restoration, and service business evolved into a lucrative custom bike dealership and remained as such until 2005.
After twenty two years of operation I reluctantly closed American Cycle and headed south to Florida to pursue other opportunities and take advantage of an extended motorcycle riding season. J&P Cycles offered me a position as motorcycle parts sales technician. For a couple of years I worked with customers from all over the world while helping them address their rebuilding and restoration needs with parts from J&P Cycles.
In 2007 I was offered a position to teach motorcycle mechanics as an instructor for WyoTech in Ormond Beach, Florida. It was a wonderful opportunity to share my experiences and techniques that worked successfully for me as a career technician, restorer, fabricator, and business owner.
As gratifying as teaching was, I began to miss New Hampshire and in 2012 I decided to move back and focus on rekindling my automotive technical skills. Currently I am an inspector for Warranty Inspection Services. I am also an independent contract inspector for a half a dozen other inspection services. I am currently covering the Northern New England region. When I’m not at work during the work week you can find me at home working on the body – off restoration of my 1975 Corvette roadster.
In 2015 I joined the International Vehicle Appraisers Network, http://www.i-van.org , as a certified vehicle appraiser to compliment over twenty years of motorcycle appraisal experience through the ownership of American Cycle. What you can expect to get from Motor Vehicle Appraisal Service is a fair and honest evaluation of a vehicles condition and value based on decades of ‘hands – on’ professional experience in the automotive and powersports industries.
- International Vehicle Appraisers Network; http://www.i-van.org
- Antique Automobile Club of America, and active meet judge; http://www.aaca.org
- National Corvette Restorers Society, and active meet judge; http://www.ncrs.org
- American Motorcyclist Association; http://www.americanmotorcyclist.com
- National El Camino Owners Association; http://www.elcaminocentral.com