The Renaissance Roadster, created in Portland, is the 2017 Ridler Award winner.Some of the coordinators of the Automotive Industry Challenge in Spokane included (from left) Mike Helmberger, Career Path Services/WorkForce Spokane; Dud Bain, AAM, Spokane Unit president of ASA Northwest; and Stacey Rogers, automotive instructor at Spokane Community College. A Spokane Community College automotive technology student working on a “bugged” vehicle during the Automotive Industry Challenge.Team Subaru stirring up dust at the 2016 Olympus Rally with David Higgins and Craig Drew winning the rally.Officers for VMMC 2018-2019 include John Lightner, Cummins Northwest, secretary; David Adler, Washington State Department of Ecology, immediate past chairman; and George Schillinger, Parker Hannifin/Racor Div., conference chairman. (Photo by Jerold B. Smith)Jeff Curtis (standing), longtime diesel technology instructor at Bellingham Technical College, instructs a Basic Electrical hands-on class at VMMC.  (Photo by Jerold B. Smith)

Northwest People & Places - May 2017


The Boyd Group Inc. has announced openings of Gerber Collision & Glass centers in McMinnville and Newberg. The two formerly operated as True Form Collision Repair since 1998 and 2003, respectively. “Both of these locations are in busy, high traffic areas, complement our seven other centers located in the Portland area, and will allow us to serve new customers and our insurance partners southwest of the city,” said Tim O’Day, Boyd Group president and COO. “We look forward to becoming part of the community and are pleased that Nick Gardner and Dan Gardner will continue to manage these centers.” The Boyd Group is one of the largest operators of non-franchised collision repair centers in North America. The company operates in five Canadian provinces and 20 states, plus has retail auto glass outlets across 31 states.

The Northwest Automotive Trades Association (NATA) has elected new board officers. Newly elected are Mary Ann Trout, Hillsboro Auto Wrecking in Hillsboro, president; Jim Moore of Performance Warehouse in Portland, vice president; Jake Hammer, Everett Street Autoworks in Portland, secretary; and Merry Green, McCollum’s Auto Body in Portland, treasurer. Other board members include Ross Bradshaw, Portland Transmission Warehouse, Portland; Bob Anderson, AJ’s Auto Repair, Salem; Ron Reichen, Precision Body & Paint, Beaverton; Catherine Skiens, RGS Auto & Marine, Albany; and Monte Reed, Blue Mountain Auto Parts/NAPA, LaGrande.

Family-owned John’s Auto in Oregon City celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Founded in 1967 by John Morton as John’s Auto Electric & Supply, the business soon transformed into a full-service and repair shop for import and domestic vehicles. Members of the original Morton family continue to operate the business today.

The Career & Technical Training Center (CTTC) in Salem will open its new collision training program in the fall, and the program is seeking industry donations, program sponsorship, and product discounts to offset the cost of program equipment and tools. The Salem-Keizer program will have some 100 students beginning courses in September. For information on how to assist the new program, contact Kim Hanson at 503-881-4388.

Advance Vehicle Training Group Northwest will present a Dual-Course Training Event at Portland Community College (PCC), June 26-30. The courses, held at the Sylvania Campus of PCC, include a three-day class titled, “Electrified Vehicles Inside and Out,” plus a two-day “Alternating Current for Electric Drive Vehicles” course. For course details and registration, visit

Sheridan Collision Center in Sheridan is celebrating its 20th anniversary. The firm is owned by Hugh Beck, one of the founders of the autobody repair business in 1997.

HB3322 has been introduced in the Oregon House of Representatives that would require auto repair shops to obtain a certificate of operation from the Department of Consumer and Business Services. The bill would require that shops file a detailed application form that includes names and addresses of business ownership, proof of insurance and surety bonds, and other data. If enacted as written, the bill would allow the state to collect a fee of $1,100 for the main location of the business, plus $350 for each additional location in the state, as well as department inspections of the businesses. A fine of up to $15,000 could be assessed if a shop is found to be operating without a certificate. The Northwest Automotive Trades Association and other trade groups are monitoring the bill and are asking for input from shop owners. As of press time, a hearing on the bill by the House Business & Labor Committee had been held, but no further action had been taken. In odd-numbered years, the Oregon legislature may last 160 days, so pending action on this bill is still likely.

A Portland-built and PPG-painted 1933 Ford Roadster, the “Renaissance Roadster,” was honored with the coveted Don Ridler Memorial Award at the 65th Detroit Autorama held at Cobo Center. Owned by Buddy Jordan of San Antonio, Texas, the roadster was built by Steve Frisbie and his team at Steve’s Auto Restoration in Portland. Established in 1963, the Ridler Award is the most prestigious honor in the custom car world and the 2017 winner was selected from eight finalists. The crew at Steve’s Auto Restoration used aluminum and steel shaped from flat metal stock to give the roadster its winning look. Designed by team member and Designer Chris Ito, the car is powered by an aluminum big-block V-8 engine, and Painter Jay Spencer gave the Ford its candy-apple red and black appearance using an array of PPG finish products.



Spokane Community College (SCC), in conjunction with WorkSource Spokane, presented the first annual Automotive Industry Challenge, March 15. The event allowed representatives from auto dealerships, independent repair shops, and others to review more than three dozen SCC general automotive and Toyota T-TEN students’ skills on vehicle inspections, customer skills, and other facets of service. The Challenge had 20 bays with cars “bugged” for an inspection process with prospective employers there to observe, critique, and provide feedback to students. “We had a number of ASA Northwest member shops participate in this unique event,” said Dud Bain, president of Benefit Consultants Northwest and the president of the Spokane Unit of ASA Northwest. “It’s always very positive to bring together our industry, the college, and student technicians that will help fulfill the future needs of our members.”

The Olympus Rally, Round 3 of the non-profit American Rally Association (ARA), takes place May 13-14, with headquarters in Shelton. Top drivers from around the world will compete in the rally that has been a racing fixture for more than 40 years. The 2016 Olympus was won by Team Subaru (David Higgins and Craig Drew) who, as of press time, were favorites to win the Oregon Trail Rally, Round 2 of the ARA season.

United Automotive Distributors in Arlington has been purchased by Don Mylan and Tim Dickison and will operate as United Distributors NW, based in Snohomish. The company was purchased from Rudy Urban who for many years distributed automotive products, including detail supplies, cleaners, lubricants, shop supplies, and United Brake Clean to OEM dealerships. The new group has added Meguiar’s polishes and waxes to the lineup of brands that include Lube Guard, Johnsen’s Chemical, Harper Brush, among others. Dickison, formerly the general manager at Seattle Automotive Distributing, said the new group has purchased trucks, added new products, and hired personnel to grow the business in Northwest Washington.

The Vehicle Maintenance Management Conference (VMMC) held its annual event in late March at the Professional Automotive Training Center on the campus of Shoreline Community College. The 68th annual VMMC offered some 50 technical and management training classes for those involved in private sector and government agency automotive and truck fleet operations. Hailed as the West Coast’s premier educational conference for the vehicle maintenance industry, the three-day VMMC also offered certification classes, a Snap-on Tech Challenge, and a trade show featuring products and services for the fleet trade. The conference is overseen by a 35-member volunteer board of trustees from industry, and coordinated by the Washington State University Conference Management team. At the conference trustee meeting, George Schillinger, senior territory manager/Western U.S. for Parker Hannifin/Racor Div., was re-elected conference chairman of VMMC for two years; Joe Chesley of ACDelco was elected as the new vice-chair; and John Lightner, Cummins Northwest, was elected as secretary.

The 32nd annual Les Schwab Classy Chassis Parade & Car Show is set for May 5-6, in East Wenatchee. The Friday night parade is one of the largest motoring galas in the Northwest and features hundreds of customs, rods, racers, classics, antiques, military, and specialty vehicles. The car show portion of the event is on Saturday, May 6. The 5th annual Apple Blossom Festival Cruz-In takes place after the Friday evening parade. For details, visit

DirtFish Rally School, the West Coast’s only full-time rally school based in Snoqualmie, has partnered with the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) to title the 2017 rally cross events. Now called the DirtFish SCCA RallyCross National Challenge and the DirtFish SCCA RallyCross National Championship, the two entities will expand and promote rally racing in the U.S. DirtFish Motorsports also recently announced that it will have two teams competing in the 2017 Red Bull Global Rallycross season that began April 29. Drivers will be Conner Martell and James Rimmer, both veterans of the 2016 Red Bull racing season. The expanded 2017 season will bring the Red Bull Global Rallycross to Evergreen Speedway in Monroe in September for two days of racing.

America’s Automotive Trust (AAT) will host its largest annual fundraiser, June 3, at LeMay-America’s Car Museum (ACM) in Tacoma. AAT describes the “Wheels & Heels Annual Gala” event as “a soiree known for its spirited live auction of one-of-a-kind items, plus an explosive fireworks display.” Presented by State Farm and the LeMay Family Collection Foundation, the event will mark the five-year anniversary of the museum. The non-profit AAT raises funds at four annual events. Proceeds are dedicated to securing America’s automotive heritage and the transfer of skills and knowledge necessary for the future of collector vehicles. AAT and ACM provide a variety of educational services, including grants through the RPM Foundation that offer the next generation of restoration and preservation craftsmen a variety of educational resources. For details on this event or other AAT resources, visit

Valley Auto Parts in Sunnyside celebrates its 70th year in business, May 1. Founded by Al Pedee and Bud Shearer in 1947, Valley, along with a branch in Grandview, is currently owned by Richard Pedee and operate as NAPA Auto Parts stores.

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.