More than one honor

Bob Mandic, who will ride as the community grand marshal in Huntington Beach's 106th annual Fourth of July Parade, is on a roll of another kind this year.

The former mayor and city councilman's roadside assistance company, Mandic Motors, recently was honored by the American Automobile Assn. as the country's top towing service.

Mandic Motors, which Mandic and his wife, Connie, have owned since 1972, received the association's Gold Service Provider of Excellence Award, beating about 10,000 other companies that contract with the association in the United States and Canada. Mandic Motors previously won the Gold award in 2003 and the Silver second-place award in 2004 and 2007.

"They're a great company, and they do a great job in their community," said Elaine Beno, a spokeswoman for the Automobile Club of Southern California. "They're well established, they're professional, and they put their service to their community really at the top of their list."

According to the association, Mandic Motors performed more than 26,000 roadside assistance calls in 2009, with a total of eight complaints, and managed an average response time of 16 minutes.

The business opened on Main Street in 1939 as a car dealership, then transitioned over the years to a towing company and repair shop. In 2005, Mandic Motors relocated to an industrial parcel on Gothard Street.

Mandic, who found out about his award two days after he learned he would be community grand marshal, said the honor made him doubly proud to represent Surf City in the parade.

"Huntington Beach has been very kind to me over the years," he said. "It's a great place to live."

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