Gene Pannell sat outside his business under a sign on the window that said “Pannell & Son.”
It did not take long for customers to start showing up.
Pannell and his dad started the business more than 40 years ago. His father, Roy, passed away seven months ago.
The name of the business is Pannell & Son Superior Muffler, and it is located at 500 Highland St.
“It used to be a service station,” said Pannell. “We've been here for 43 years.”
When the business first started it did mechanic work and body work and sold used cars. But now the business only does muffler and exhaust work.
“Gradually, I got more and more exhaust work to do,” he said. “I wouldn't do anything else if I could I guess.”
He said he likes the work because “it's not the same thing every day. You won't get rich, but you'll make a living,” he said.
After his dad quit the business, Pannell just stuck to working on mufflers and pipes, and “I've been doing it ever since.”
“I have a lot of compliments on my work,” he said, adding that customers recommend him to other people.
Pipes and mufflers last longer on cars than they used to in the 1970s and 1980s, he said.
“Car manufacturers went to stainless steel pipes and stainless steel mufflers, and they hardly ever wear out,” he said.
He also does custom muffler and exhaust work for people who want to give their cars and trucks a different sound.
“I do a lot of that,” he said, adding that some people want dual exhaust systems and Flowmaster mufflers.
He also works on mufflers and exhaust systems for antique cars and show cars. For instance, he can give a Trans Am a “deep rumble” sound.
Pannell has been running the business by himself for more than 20 years but decided to keep the Pannell & Son business name.
“I guess that's the way it will stay,” he noted. “That's just the name of it. That's the way it's been.”
His dad worked at the shipyard in Pascagoula for 18 years, and the family moved to New Albany in 1970 after Hurricane Camille struck the Mississippi coast.
“Hurricane Camille put about 5 feet of water in our house down there,” he said.
His mom and dad were originally from New Albany so the family moved back.
Pannell and his dad worked together until 1997, and then his dad quit the business to start farming.
Pannell & Son Superior Muffler is open Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.