Dennis & Patricia at the Astros Game, October 2004
The “something better that came along.”
How it all began…
If he hadn’t stopped by a friend’s transmission shop in the mid 70’s, this story might be about a paint & body shop. Dennis has worked on cars since he was 15 years old. He’s done it all…from engine rebuilding, paint & body and eventually to transmission repair. He was also a licensed plumber for many years and even dabbled in photography in his younger days. But, it was his love for automobiles that kept driving him back to the automotive industry.
Amidst all of his trade jumping, he landed in his uncle’s auto repair shop, just north of Houston in the early 70’s. While working there, he met Patricia, they fell in love and soon married. They made a move back to Houston where Dennis intended to pursue a career in paint & body. He stopped by a friend’s shop one day to make a phone call. That friend just so happened to be in the transmission repair business. Dennis was borrowing his phone to make an inquiry about a vacant building for rent that he could use for a paint & body shop. His friend overheard the conversation and being short-handed, offered Dennis a job. Even though he did not have experience with transmissions, he took the job “until something better came along.” However, something very interesting happened; Dennis became intrigued by transmission repair and before long he was running the shop. He soon realized that a quality rebuilt transmission was in high demand and he could see a bright future. At the same time he was very much involved in Sprint Car Racing. In fact, the name Circle D is derived from his racing roots. The “Circle” in “Circle D” came from the circle dirt track that you could often find him speeding around on any given weekend and of course, the “D” is for Dennis.
After a few years of working for someone else, he decided he wanted to do this on his own. His entrepreneurial spirit landed him in a small two bay shop located just minutes from our current location on Hempstead Road. It was on June 6, 1976 that Circle D commenced to business. It did not take long for the word to spread…”If you need a rebuilt transmission, go see Dennis at Circle D in Houston!” Years passed and things were going well; he and Patricia made a huge decision to buy their own land and build a shop. Wanting to remain in the area to serve the customer base that they had already established, they decided on a tract of land at 13706 Hempstead Road. Their newly constructed 4 bay shop with 2 building stations was completed in 1980. Over the years we’ve added on, moved things around and made it all work. Now, we’ve got 9 lifts, 6 rebuilding stations in a climate controlled building room and a full supply of scanners and computers for late model automobiles.
Like all good things in life, change happens. Sometimes it can be good, other times it can be devastating. Our Circle D Family life was rocked in a terrible way back in October of 2004. Dennis was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The strong and courageous man that some of us have had the honor of calling husband, dad, boss and friend, fell victim to this terrible and debilitating disease. His valiant battle with this disease was an inspiration to all of us.
Please click HERE to learn about the Dennis Sehorn Foundation/ALS Circle of Friends that was formed in 2011 by family and friends in memory of Dennis Sehorn. We are blessed to be able to honor this great man by giving to others – he always gave so much to his family and friends. His legacy lives on as we work together to assist PALS (People with ALS.)
Life has changed in some very dramatic ways for all of us around here, but our commitment to excellence remains untouched. The word on the street is the same…”If you need a rebuilt transmission, go see the crew at Circle D in Houston!”
Thank you for taking the time to learn more about us.