"I have always worked hard," he said. "Sometimes I have gone overboard to please my customers, but because of that, I have built a good reputation, and I have good clients ? people who have known me for at least 15 or 20 years. Honesty and good work is what keeps people coming back to you because that is what people really want."
Originally from Sri Lanka, Van Ranzow moved to London in 1966 to further his education. He took up a day job and began night school at Kilburn Polytechnic.
But after some persuasion from his wife, Zarina, he decided to take up a trade instead.
It was a decision that he has never regretted, but when his wife injured her backbone and doctors recommended they move to a warmer climate to ease the pain she suffered during the cold English winters, the Van Ranzows decided to make a new home in California in 1978.
"When I first came to this country, I wasn't even sure whether I was going to have a job myself," Robin Van Ranzow said. "Now, I employ three people ? two mechanics and an office manager."
After eight years of struggling to make ends meet, he decided to go into business for himself and opened up R.V. Volvo in Glendale in 1986.
He wanted to get a home for his family and make sure that his own two children, Fabian and Susan, could go to college. But the first few years were tough especially because Zarina, who helped in the office, had been diagnosed with breast cancer.
When she died of the disease in 1990 at 41, Robin Van Ranzow fell into a deep depression for two years and tried hard to comfort his children who were inconsolable after losing their mother.
He still misses the formidable presence of his "petite" wife.
"She was the boss in my life ? and, boy, did she have some brains," he said with a laugh.
Linda Hurevitz, a Glendale-based lawyer and a regular client of R.V. Volvo, has known Robin Van Ranzow for 17 years and said that he has never once taken advantage of her because of her lack of knowledge about cars ? and Volvo cars, in particular.
"I have always found him to be extremely honest and trustworthy," Hurevitz said. "He is an extremely straightforward guy and is a noble human being."
When a catastrophic tsunami struck Southeast Asia in 2004, Robin Van Ranzow collected donations from clients and flew to Sri Lanka to personally help with reconstruction efforts, she said.