Back to the Vashon Napa, these guys had the old reference books and the computer, the owners, Stu and Steve, knew you by name, and the car, truck, or boat you were working on. I went in one day needing a gas cap and set of plugs for the '49 Ford truck, Stu called back to his brother behind the counter, telling him to get me a XYZ stainless gas cap, and a set of XYZ plugs for the flathead. No computer, no reference book, and not a bunch of useless questions about the year, make, size of the engine, power steering, air conditioning, V-8, six- or four- cylinder. Now to talk about supporting your local parts store, these guys had to close the business-the store got hit by the economy, raised rent, and corporate fees-it was gone like that. A few of the local hardware stores took on selling oil and miscellaneous auto parts, with not nearly the same support like Stu and Steve. My point is that if one finds a locally owned, managed, knowledgeable parts store, where you are not wasting time educating the counter staff, support them even if they can't beat the national chain prices. By the way, they really helped me with setting up my V-8 60 in my Model A truck; now they are gone like a '60 Caddie.
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Thanks, I could have filled five pages with the letters I've received regarding my parts store rant. Thankfully everyone could relate and agreed wholeheartedly. Though, I may have to start sending my wife out for parts when necessity requires a trip to a chain store.