It’s not your run-of-the-mill used car dealership. In fact, Main Street Motors in Enterprise does much more, including auto and truck repair and, possibly its highlight, the company restores antique cars and pickups.
“We’re all at an age where we enjoy the older vehicles,” said co-owner Doug Crow.
In fact, the company has as part of its logo a 1931 Cord L29, a luxury automobile that was the first with front-wheel drive manufactured by the Auburn Automobile Co. from 1929 to 1932 and in 1936 and 1937.
Right now, the business has on display in its showroom a 1941 Ford F-1 pickup with a 350 cubic-inch Chevy engine. It also has a power lift tonnau cover over the bed operated by a switch under the driver’s seat.
The pickup is owned by Don Ward of the Flora area. Recently sold, it went for $38,000.
There’s also a midget racer based on a 1947 Kurtis Kraft model that has a 2-liter Ford motor.
The racer was built by the late Al Slinker. It’s now owned by his son, Randy Slinker and is on sale for $14,900, Crow said.
“He allows us to display it and he would love it if we’d sell it,” he said. “If it was me, I’d hang onto it and put it in my living room,” he said.
Crow partners with his son, Andy, and with Stangel Industries and Machine Shop, a family business made up of brothers Dick, Bob and Joe Stangel, sons of the late Bud Stangel who founded the operation. The elder Stangel died in 2014.
The Cord is one restored by the Stangels.
“We found it on eBay and put in a bid on it,” Dick Stangel said.
The Cord had been reduced to a rusting hulk by time and neglect. Retrieved from Arizona, it was largely complete but covered in rust, according to photographs posted at Main Street Motors.
“We tore it all down and started over,” Stangel said, finishing the job in 2010.
The Stangels provide much of the machine work and expertise that goes into the restoration operations the two companies perform.
“That’s what the Stangels brought to the business,” Crow said. Bud Stangel “wanted to restore a Ford and (the brothers) said if they were going to restore something, why not restore old high-dollar vehicles.”
But where does one find such unique vehicles to restore? Main Street Motors finds them “mainly by word of mouth and on the internet,” Andy Crow said.
Doug Crow said his operation doesn’t sell new vehicles.
“Purchasers need to buy new from dealerships where they can get all the warranty and new-car concerns,” he said.
While the shop is known for its restored vehicles, the Crows and the Stangels realize they can’t make a living on them alone. But that doesn’t make Main Street Motors any less valuable to the Wallowa County community.
The Stangels often are indispensable when it comes to Main Street Motors’ repair work. Often, it’s more efficient to remanufacture a part than to obtain it from a high-population area elsewhere in the region.
“We do mostly logging equipment here and right now we’re working on a rock crusher,” Dick Stangel said. “But we do some machine shop work for (Main Street Motors) when they can’t get it done. It’s mostly everyday things for people’s vehicles they drive day-to-day.”
Such services are needed every week or week and a half, he said.
“I usually go down to Main Street Motors in the morning before I come up here and the service manager, Casey Jones, lets me know what they need, like having a flywheel turned or something.”
The Crows’ operation relies heavily on the Stangels.
“If he can’t get something in, we’ll do it here,” Stangel said.
While the Stangels like to do restorations – they have a couple or three vehicles now in the works – they’re just too busy with other work on equipment people need on a daily basis, he said.
“As far as putting out a sign saying, ‘We do restoration work,’ we haven’t gotten to that yet,” he said.