May 2015 - Northwest People & Places


Nissan sold its 75,000th electric Leaf to Rishabh Mehandru of Portland, an engineer at Intel who commutes 30 miles a day from home to work. “I found I was inhaling a lot of exhaust from gas-powered cars that passed me on the road, and was aware of the amount of fuel I was burning (to commute), and that’s when I decided that I wanted an electric car,” he said. Overall, the Renault Nissan Alliance has sold more than 200,000 electric cars worldwide as of late 2014.

The Automotive Distribution Network has announced the addition of Portland-based IPD USA to the program’s parts distribution network. “I’m pleased to welcome the nation’s foremost Volvo specialists to the Network under the Auto Pride brand,” said Mike Lambert, president of the Network. “Auto Pride continues to sign niche warehouses that are an ideal fit for the brand,” said Cora Roark, director of Auto Pride. Since 1963, IPD has focused on OE and custom-made Volvo parts, including the company’s own 4T4 ball-bearing turbocharger, shipping orders worldwide. “With the recent launch of our of new subsidiary, WPD USA, the timing was right to join the Network as we are in the process of import-car product lines, including Subaru, VW, Audi, and Saab,” said Stuart Hockman, president of IPD USA. Operating under the brands Parts Plus, Parts Plus Mexico, IAPA, and Auto Pride, the Tennessee-based Automotive Distribution Network is one of the most diverse parts distribution systems in the industry.

NAPA Auto Tech has scheduled a “Fuel System Analysis” classes on May 20, at Hillsboro Auto Parts in Hillsboro, and May 21, in LaGrande at the ODOT building. Contact Jason Henning at 503-969-5039 for details and registration.

The 33rd annual Spring Classic & Auto Exhibit takes place May 9, in Southeast Portland, one of the largest vehicle shows in the Northwest. Sponsored by Portland Transmission Warehouse (PTW), the event draws an eclectic array of customs, rods, classics, trucks, motorcycles, and other vehicles. For details, call PTW at 800-444-4556.

The Pacific Motorsports Management board of directors, the owners and operators of Oregon Raceway Park (ORP), announced April 10 that Kyle Nadeau has been appointed assistant track manager. His move to Oregon was from the Chicago area where he worked for Autobahn Country Club. Nadeau also has extensive management experience at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah and several Midwest road racing venues. ORP is Oregon’s largest racing facility and is located in Grass Valley in Sherman County. “With an increase in our Track Day business during the 2014 season, the need to expand the team at ORP was clear,” said Bill Murray, ORP operations manager.


On April 18, a retirement party for a longtime Auburn High School instructor was held at the school’s automotive training center. Fred Donaldson, a graduate of the Green River Community College automotive technology program, has headed the automotive technology and small engines programs at the school for 32 years. A former Teacher of the Year in the Auburn School District, he also has led the district’s advisory board for automotive education, and is a NATEF-certified evaluation team leader that evaluates schools seeking certification under the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF). In addition, he served for many years as the president of the Washington Association of Skilled and Technical Sciences.

Nick Sebesta, former sales manager at NAPA’s Seattle distribution center in Kent, is now the branch manager at Northwest Bearing, a division of BDI, in East Wenatchee. He spent 13 years with Genuine Parts in various positions prior to his move to joining Northwest Bearing.

Blanchard Electric & Fleet Supply recently moved from its Spokane Street location in Seattle, where it operated for 21 years, to new 10,000-square-foot headquarters on East Marginal Way South in Tukwila, said company president Bob Yates. Founded in Seattle in 1947, the third-generation Yates family has owned the business since 1965 and provides a variety of parts and services for the automotive, heavy-duty, industrial, marine, bus, and fleet markets. Blanchard also operates a branch in Bremerton.

Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems and Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake will offer a three-day Bendix Brake Training School, June 23-25, in Tacoma, the only Northwest site for the nationwide training that began in April with 13 schools across the country. The training school uses a comprehensive curriculum to instruct maintenance professionals the description, operation, and service of the entire range of foundation and air brake system components, as well as troubleshooting, diagnostics, and hands-on training. For complete course details and school registration, visit or, or call 800-AIR-BRAKE.

NAPA Auto Tech will present three “Prius Diagnostics” classes in the Puget Sound region in May. Sites include the NAPA Seattle DC (Kent) on May 11, West Sound Technical Skills Center in Bremerton on May 12, and South Puget Sound Community College in Olympia on May 13. Contact Dawnette Moore at 425-919-4558 for class details and registration. Also, a “Fuel Systems Analysis” class will be held May 19, at Lower Columbia College in Longview (contact Jason Henning at 503-969-5039).

The former Husky Trucks in Tukwila, an International and Isuzu truck dealer, recently sold to RWC Group based in Phoenix, with locations throughout the West. Darren Hendrickson, the former parts manager at Husky, is now the service manager, and Toby Dinkins, former with Western Peterbilt, is the new parts manager for both the Tukwila and Tacoma RWC operations. RWC sells a variety of medium to heavy-duty trucks, including International, Isuzu, Hino, CCC, and IC School Bus.

One of the largest automotive events in the Northwest, the 42nd annual Seattle Swap Meet takes place May 16-17, at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds in Monroe. For details, visit

In memoriam: Peter Fred Harksell Sr., 79, of Ferndale died March 21, following complications of a brain hemorrhage suffered in February. A lifetime Whatcom County resident, Harksell owned and operated Pete’s Exxon in Ferndale for 23 years prior to his retirement in 1992. Today, that business is Pete’s Auto Repair operated by son, Pete Harksell Jr., AAM, and wife, Nita. He was an active member of the Automotive Service Association of Washington (now ASA Northwest) for many years, and was involved in civic activities that included the Ferndale City Council, Ferndale City Planning Committee, Kiwanis, Boy Scouts, and the Whatcom County Old Settlers group. Services were held April 1, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Ferndale where Harksell was a lifetime member.

Parts & People

Parts & People is published monthly by Automotive Counseling and Publishing Company, Inc., a Colorado corporation, P.O. Box 18731 Denver, CO 80203, 303-765-4664. President-Lance Buchner. Founded by Lance Buchner and Dave Lucia.