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  • Wizard spark plug

    Helped a friend start an old Fraser that hadn't run in 50+ years. Here's one of the old spark plugs (the top is broken off).

    Click image for larger version

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  • #2
    Was "Wizard " a house brand for the Western Auto chain? I think I remember they sold Wizard outboard motors, but that is a 60 year old memory.
    Don Wilson, Centralia, WA

    40 Champion 4 door*
    50 Champion 2 door*
    53 Commander K Auto*
    53 Commander K overdrive*
    55 President Speedster
    62 GT 4Speed*
    63 Avanti R1*
    64 Champ 1/2 ton

    * Formerly owned

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    • #3
      Originally posted by ddub View Post
      Was "Wizard " a house brand for the Western Auto chain? I think I remember they sold Wizard outboard motors, but that is a 60 year old memory.
      Yes, Don...back in the day, Western Auto was one of the "Go-To" stores for blue collar America. I recall them as a bit smaller in scope than Sears and a great alternative for comparative shopping instead of having to negotiate your way through the maze of crowds at the usually larger Sears stores. Western Auto used that "Wizard" logo on all sorts of things from radios to lawn mowers. I think at some point in my younger days, I was given a Wizard brand outboard motor, got it running, and used it a couple of seasons before trading it for some other "fixer-upper" piece of equipment.
      John Clary
      Greer, SC

      SDC member since 1975

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      • #4
        Yep, I have a few things lying around out in my shop that came from the local Western Auto. I believe I still have a Wizard voltage regulator.

        Comment


        • #5
          You kind of wonder what happened to Western Auto? How did they get displaced / replaced by the likes of Auto Zone, O'Reilly's, etc? BP
          We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

          Ayn Rand:
          "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

          G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by BobPalma View Post
            You kind of wonder what happened to Western Auto? How did they get displaced / replaced by the likes of Auto Zone, O'Reilly's, etc? BP
            The "short" version. Western Auto was founded in 1909 and started retail store sales in 1921. They built up to 1200 company stores and 4000 associate stores. They went through being owned by a couple of investment companies. In 1988, Sears bought WA. In 1995-1997, they were converted to Parts America stores. In 1998, Sears sold WA to Advance Auto Parts. There are still some stores with WA signage, but they are no longer supposed to use it.
            Gary L.
            Wappinger, NY

            SDC member since 1968
            Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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            • #7
              I am sure there were lots of Auto Parts Stores Now gone.

              In Calif. we had a pretty big Chain of Trac Auto Stores, they MIGHT have been bought by O'Reilly's.

              Here in Wash. we had Al's Auto Parts, they were bought by Shucks Auto Parts who became O'Reilly's.

              We still have Auto Zone in very few locations, probably on the way out.

              Then there is the big Chain of CarQuest Stores, but they do it differently, they seem to just Franchise Local Ma and Pa Stores to sell only their Products.
              That just seems a bit different to me rather than Opening a Franchised Independently Owned NAPA Store for some reason, maybe because they keep their own Name, I don't really know how it is different, IF it is.
              StudeRich
              Second Generation Stude Driver,
              Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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              • #8
                I lived two blocks from the Western Auto as a kid. Every accessory on my bicycle (headlight, handlebar grips, etc.) was Wizard. They were kind of a cross between a hardware store and an auto parts store. My dwell meter is a Wizard. I have tons of my Dad's tools that came from Western Auto. I don't recall ever being able to walk in and buy things like an alternator or starter, but they had things like tune up kits, light bulbs, etc.

                Western Auto was the standby for me, but in my little town of 5000, there was also a Gambles and Moore's Store. All of them were similar, and to explain the niche they served to youngsters, I think of Western Auto when I walk into a TSC or Rural King.

                They may have been full service auto parts stores before my time, but by the 70's, they could best be described as "Home & Auto".

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by jclary View Post
                  Yes, Don...back in the day, Western Auto was one of the "Go-To" stores for blue collar America. I recall them as a bit smaller in scope than Sears and a great alternative for comparative shopping instead of having to negotiate your way through the maze of crowds at the usually larger Sears stores.
                  Canadian Tire in Canada is still similar in scope to Western Auto stores. "Mastercraft" is their in-house brand name on various products they sell.

                  And they do sell lots of bike accessories:
                  https://www.canadiantire.ca/en/sport...essoriesCat_en

                  Craig

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by 8E45E View Post

                    Canadian Tire in Canada is still similar in scope to Western Auto stores. "Mastercraft" is their in-house brand name on various products they sell.

                    And they do sell lots of bike accessories:
                    https://www.canadiantire.ca/en/sport...essoriesCat_en

                    Craig
                    Didn't they sponsor Studebaker for things like rallies or did they just sponsor the rallies themselves?
                    Gary L.
                    Wappinger, NY

                    SDC member since 1968
                    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by 556063 View Post
                      I lived two blocks from the Western Auto as a kid. Every accessory on my bicycle (headlight, handlebar grips, etc.) was Wizard. They were kind of a cross between a hardware store and an auto parts store. My dwell meter is a Wizard. I have tons of my Dad's tools that came from Western Auto. I don't recall ever being able to walk in and buy things like an alternator or starter, but they had things like tune up kits, light bulbs, etc.

                      Western Auto was the standby for me, but in my little town of 5000, there was also a Gambles and Moore's Store. All of them were similar, and to explain the niche they served to youngsters, I think of Western Auto when I walk into a TSC or Rural King.

                      They may have been full service auto parts stores before my time, but by the 70's, they could best be described as "Home & Auto".
                      I think you have described them better than I did. I think you could buy common stuff like oil/air filters, and even somewhat generic voltage regulators, but the more technical brand and model specific parts usually meant going to a dedicated counter service auto parts store. I think the very first, clamp on the steering column, one-wire bullet shaped chrome tachometer I ever bought (1964?) came from Western Auto.

                      Besides the auto related accessories, there were also many of the period trendy family homeowner "have to have it" items from hardware, to small appliances, kids toys, hunting supplies, etc. Much of the stock was also geared to regional needs too. But, never as huge or as extensive as Sears & Roebuck.

                      I believe what weakened the attraction for such stores as Western Auto was the proliferation of large box store chains such as K-Mart, J.M. Fields (now gone), and the sprawling expansion of huge just outside of town shopping malls with acres of free parking. As I recall it...Walmart came in a bit later than the others, followed by Home Depot. Even Lowe's stores were around as building supply stores before Home Depot, but before they lost out to the Home Depot business model...Lowe's quickly caught on and retooled from an over the counter sales method to the open warehouse model like Home Depot. If they hadn't copied Home Depot...I believe we would have fewer people remembering Lowe's than Western Auto.

                      I kinda miss the days of small community merchandisers...and...after this pandemic...wonder what's next???
                      John Clary
                      Greer, SC

                      SDC member since 1975

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by studegary View Post
                        Didn't they sponsor Studebaker for things like rallies or did they just sponsor the rallies themselves?
                        That is a good question! Canadian Tire didn't come to western Canada until 1975, but they got their start in Ontario in the 1920's. Perhaps Stu Chapman has some insight on this.

                        Craig

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                        • #13
                          Just came across this and thought I would pass it on.

                          http://www.cimorelli.com/mtdl/1927/1927westernauto.pdf

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