Regnier opens S R Auto Repair garage in location of Curwick’s previous shop

MARSHALL — After standing empty for about 12 years, the auto repair shop on Highway 7 in Marshall is open for business again under new management.

Scott Regnier of Marshall found out the easy way that there had been a garage where his new shop stands. Customer of the previous owner have been calling him up and making appointments with him at S R Auto Repair.

“When I moved out here, into the building, the community has been very supportive,” Regnier said. “I’ve had word-of-mouth advertising. Old customers of my dad’s have called. I’ve had old customers of Larry Curwick’s (previous owner) call me up and ask to bring their cars here, too. They thought he was a good guy, so they thought they’d have me work on their cars, too. I’ve been pretty busy.”

Regnier is pretty happy about that because he has loved working on engines ever since he was little

“I’ve always enjoyed working on things, taking them apart,” he said. “I remember when I was a kid hanging around my dad’s shop, there was an old engine setting in the corner. I asked if I could take it apart. My grandpa said, ‘Yeah, go ahead.’ I took it apart when I was about 7 or 8 years old.

“Now, at least when I take things apart, I put them back together again,” he said with a chuckle.

Regnier’s father owned and started Regnier Heating and Cooling, he said. Regnier’s grandfather had an appliance repair shop, too. So whenever Scott needed to use some tools, there was always a set available to him. As he got older, his attention turned toward working on cars.

“I can’t think of enjoying doing anything else. When I was a kid, I’d play with Matchbox Cars and put together plastic model cars,” he said. “There’s something about four wheels that got me in.”

Regnier went to mechanics school at Canby Vo-tech in the late 1990s and went to work right away.

Over the years, Regnier tested with ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) and passed all eight topics for a Masters of Auto Technology certificate. For about 10 years, Regnier worked for Anton Motors and eventually went to work for Schwan’s working on their propane trucks. Eventually, he was promoted to an office job in fleet management, but missed the hands-on the shops provided.

“I got out into the field occasionally, but not as much as I would have liked,” he said. “The job had changed to more of a desk job.”

People often commented that he must like the desk job better, but that isn’t why he left garage work. So, he kept working on friends’ and family’s cars on the weekends.They kept asking him when he was going to open his own shop.

The building came up for sale, and a price was agreed upon, he said. S R Auto Repair shop opened the second week in April.

“I’ve always wanted to own my own shop some day,” he said, “and this place became available.”

In addition to Regnier working on the cars, his wife, Becky — a school teacher — comes out after school and during the summer to help with the bookkeeping. The Regniers have three boys, Brett, going into ninth grade; Garett, going into sixth grade, and Sammy going into second grade.

“Some day, they might show more of an interest in mechanics,” Regnier said, “but for now, they’re more into playing ball and riding bike.”

Regnier specializes in engine and mechanical work at S R Auto Repair on Airport Road. He said he does not have a preference of which type of car to work on. They each have their easy jobs and their hard jobs.

“One day, I’ll be working on an RV camper, and the next day, I may be working on a Honda Civic,” he said.

“It’s all nuts and bolts, parts and pieces. They come apart and go back together.”