It's one of the town's oldest businesses having served customers in the Alexandria area in the same location since the late 1940's. But soon, Alexandria Auto Parts will have a new home.
The business, owned by Brad Driver and Chris Hale, will be moving from its current location on High Street to Highway 53 just past Prichard Foods. "We're hoping to be in the new building by mid- September or the first of October," said Driver.
The new store is much larger which will allow Driver and Hale to have more room to better serve their customers. "Over there we'll have a 60' x 60' parts store and a 60' x 60' shop, "said Driver. " We'll have three doors (to the garage), but it's two deep so we can have up to six bays," he said.
"We do everything but internal engine work but over there we are going to start doing front end alignments. We've got a man trained on those alignments," said Driver.
"Hopefully we'll be able to get our customers in and out quicker in a more timely manner," added Hale. "We will continue to do brakes, tires, exhaust, oil changes, intake gaskets, transmissions, alternators, starters, belts, etc. but we'll have a better parts store. It will be fully stocked," he said.
The new store will also have new hours. "We'll be open from 7:30 a.m. til 7:00 p.m. weekdays and probably til 4:30 p.m. or 5:00 p.m. on Saturdays," said Hale. "Right now we're open from 7:30 a.m. til 5:00 p.m. weekdays and we open half a day on Saturdays," he continued.
Born and raised in DeKalb County, both Driver and Hale began working in the auto related field at an early age. "Chris went to Nashville Auto Diesel College and then started out working at Walker Diesel in Cookeville. He also worked in maintenance at Tracker Marine in Murfreesboro," Driver said.
Driver worked for D.Y. Young at Young's Auto Parts while in high school and then joined the family business at Alexandria Auto Parts after graduation while also working part time at Liberty Exxon.
Driver and Hale have been co-owners of the store since July 2000. Driver bought half interest in the business from his father Darry "Red" Driver in 1994 and Hale bought the other half in 2000.
" My dad (Darry) started working here in 1968," said Driver. "He then went to the service in 1970. When he came back he worked for Jewel Braswell here and bought the business in 1973. Four years later, he bought the building and was sole owner until 1994. He left the business in 2002," said Driver.
The history of Alexandria Auto Parts dates back to the late 1940's. "I've heard that the Sinclair Oil Company built this building for Robert Burton (the original owner). Whether that's true or not, I don't know," said Driver.
"It was probably about a 20' x 20' building in the beginning and they sold gas. Then they added a garage. Over the years this building has been added onto about three times," said Hale.
Gas is no longer sold there but the existing business now consists of a 40' x 24' parts store and customer service area and a 40' x 40' shop.
In addition to Driver and Hale, the staff includes mechanics Drake Vaughn, Chad Curtis, Derek Carter, and Spencer Prichard.
Driver and Hale said they look forward to serving their customers in the new location.
Alexandria Auto Parts is a Parts City Auto Parts store. Parts City stores are independently owned but are serviced by Ozark Automotive, the same company that owns O'Reilly Auto Parts stores.