International Rally Driver Ken Block and the Hoonigan Team recently revealed their newly built Ford Escort Cosworth that began competing in the ARA 100 Acre Wood Rally in March and is expected to be front runner in the Olympus Rally.The 1968 Ford Mustang GT 390 Fastback from the film Bullitt is on display at America’s Car Museum.The colorful PPG Show Truck will make two stops in Washington this summer.

Northwest People & Places - April 2019


     Michael Gonzalez, of Larry Miller Chrysler Jeep Dodge RAM in Boise, is one of 30 service advisors nationwide to receive the Mopar “TopAdvisor” award from FCA. Award winners received a trip to FCA US headquarters in Auburn Hills, Mich., and a Mopar Shinola watch. Mopar parts has honored top techs and advisors for decades for their outstanding performance at dealerships across the nation.



     The Oregon Trail Rally (OTR) is set for May 31-June 2, the fourth round of the 2019 American Rally Association (ARA) National Championship series. The only three-day ARA rally, the OTR has moved from April to late May and is the middle event of three Northwest ARA rallies (Olympus Rally in April and Idaho Rally in late June). In total, ARA stages nine championship events from New England to Washington, plus eight one-day regional rallies across the country (including the Tour de Forest in Montesano, Wash., Sept. 21). The world’s top rally teams will compete at OTR and the other Northwest events.

     Audi Beaverton is one of 16 nationwide dealers to receive the 2018 Audi Magna Society Elite Award from Audi of America. In total, 161 dealers across the country were honored with the Magna award for an exceptional level of customer service and business performance (nine total in the Northwest), but the 16 were awarded the Elite level accolade for superior achievement.

     Oregon-based Les Schwab Tires no longer has exclusive rights to sell passenger and light-truck Toyo Tires in the Northwest. For 52 years, Schwab had an exclusive deal with Toyo Tire USA, which locked out other tire dealers in Oregon and Washington, plus portions of Idaho, Montana, Northern California, and Nevada. Schwab does retain an exclusive territory in Oregon and Washington for Toyo commercial tires through Dec. 31. Randy Gaetz, senior vice president for Toyo, said his company will continue a relationship with the 421-store Schwab group, but will open new markets with groups like Point S USA, based in Portland.

     Plans are being finalized for the Automotive Industry & Education Roundtable at the World of Speed Museum in Wilsonville, April 27. An inaugural event sponsored by ASE, NATA, and ASA Northwest, the event will bring together dozens of shop owners from Oregon and Washington, other industry professionals, Northwest educators and administrators, parents, and students, to promote the automotive industry as a career choice, awareness of automotive training programs in region, and the availability of resources for students who are considering automotive education. The event, which features a panel of industry professionals, will be moderated by Walt Commans, ASE Western States consultant and ASE Education Foundation manager. For details, call Margaret Ragan at NATA, 503-253-9898.

     A full April event schedule is planned at Oregon Raceway Park in Grass Valley, said manager Bill Murray. Events range from club days to autocross. For details, visit

     The Northwest Automotive Trades Association (NATA) has elected its 2019 board of directors to serve during the group’s 105th anniversary year. Officers include Mary Ann Trout of Hillsboro Auto Wrecking, president; Jim Moore of Performance Warehouse in Portland, vice president; Bob Knodel of Silver Creek Auto Body in Silverton, secretary; and Jake Hammer of Everett Street Auto Works in Portland, treasurer. General directors are Ross Bradshaw, Portland Transmission Warehouse; Bob Anderson of AJ’s Auto Repair in Salem; Ron Reichen of Precision Body & Paint, Gresham; Merry Green, McCollum’s Auto Body in Portland; and Catherine Skeins, RGS Auto & Marine in Albany.

     The 2019 Portland International Raceway Swap Meet is April 4-6. More than three miles of booths are scattered throughout the scenic race course in north Portland. The event coincides with the Portland Swap Meet at the nearby Portland Expo Center April 5-7. For details, visit

     An ASE Accreditation Certificate was presented Feb. 28 at Clackamas Community College (CCC) campus in Oregon City. More than 100 people attended a special event that celebrated the expansion of the automotive technology department by 6,000 square feet with new labs and workstations, as well as an additional 2,561 square feet of space for the collision repair program. Speaking at the event were Walt Commans, ASE Western States consultant and ASE Education Foundation manager; Jay Leuck, ASE Education Foundation accreditation team leader; Tim Cook, CCC president; and Matt Stewart, CCC alumni and owner of K&M Auto Service in Oregon City.

Caption: Instructors and staff from the automotive departments at Clackamas Community College with ASE's Walt Commans (coat and tie) at the recent ASE Accreditation Certificate presentation ceremony.



     The Olympus Rally, Round 3 of the 2019 American Rally Association (ARA) National Championship series, will be April 27-28 in the Shelton area. The title sponsor for the Olympus will again be DirtFish Rally School based in Snoqualmie. One of the most popular rally events in the North America, the 46-year-old Olympus played host to three FIA World Rally Championship series from 1986-1988. Thousands of spectators will view some of the most challenging off-road courses through Olympic Forest lands during the April rally. For further information, visit

     Wesco/Color Compass, a major PBE distributor in the Western U.S. and Canada, announced in March the acquisition of WD Co-Auto’s PBE division based in Edmonton, Alberta. The WD Co-Auto PBE division serves independent and member-dealer collision centers across British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Wesco is based in Lynnwood and operates more than 70 locations, including dozens of stores in seven states, five equipment centers in five states, seven distribution centers in four states, plus two training centers. Color Compass, an affiliate of Wesco, operates 14 PBE outlets in western Canada with offices in Vancouver and Edmonton.

     America’s Car Museum (ACM) in Tacoma has announced that the current Bullitt Mustang exhibit has been extended through July 14. The 1968 Ford Mustang GT 390 Fastback was the featured car in the 1968 iconic film Bullitt that starred Steve McQueen. He and Stunt Driver Bud Ekins drove the Mustang during a 10 minute and 53 second chase scene with a Dodge Charger through the streets of San Francisco. The ACM exhibit also includes memorabilia from the movie and a 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt Edition.

     The SEMA CuS.T.E.M Car Experience has begun its national tour and will be at America’s Car Museum (ACM), April 19. The program involves middle school field trips that introduce students to the automotive customization hobby through STEM Education. In half-day field trips, students learn about customization options with the emphasis on performance, design, safety, and technology. In an effort to create a real-world atmosphere, students form their own fabrication company and build a custom vehicle. Students who attend the Tacoma event at ACM will be part of more than 3,000 students nationwide who will participate at 10 events in 2019. For details on getting involved in the program, email Katie Hurst at

     PPG has announced its 2019 Show Truck Tour that includes two Northwest appearances in Puyallup and Spokane. The colorful show truck will make 12 stops nationwide this year. It serves as a mobile PPG exhibit designed to give custom car builders and painters an opportunity to learn about PPG’s innovative products and finishes. The truck will be at the 32nd annual Pacific Northwest Nationals in Puyallup, July 26-28, followed by an appearance at the 18th annual Great Northwest Nationals in Spokane, Aug. 9-11. “We’re proud of our show truck and the excitement it generates at these events,” said Christina Murray, PPG director of customer communications.

     The 10th annual High Rollin’ Hotrods at the Beach car show and poker run takes place April 26-27, at the Quinault Beach Resort & Casino in Ocean Shores. This popular event, sponsored by Pushrods of Hoquiam, draws thousands of enthusiasts and features rods and other vehicles from the throughout the West. Lance Lambert of the Vintage Vehicle television show is the special celebrity guest this year. Show proceeds benefit local non-profit organizations plus two automotive program scholarships at Grays Harbor College. For details, visit


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.