Salvage Yard Ron

B&S Auto Wrecking gives Oregon what it wants: Trucks

Father and son (l-to-r) Larry and Gary Foster pose with one of their salvage yard¹s wreckers. Their yard, B&S Auto Wrecking & Towing, is located in Hines, Ore., and specializes in light- and medium-duty trucks.

Father and son (l-to-r) Larry and Gary Foster pose with one of their salvage yard¹s wreckers. Their yard, B&S Auto Wrecking & Towing, is located in Hines, Ore., and specializes in light- and medium-duty trucks.

Story and photos by Ron Kowalke

Those in the know promote finding a need and filling it as a key strategy to running a successful business. This strategy has worked well for B&S Auto Wrecking, a family-owned salvage yard located in Hines, Ore., a remote, mountainous region in the east central part of the state.

Yard co-owner Larry Foster said he specializes in pickups because that’s the type of vehicle common to the Hines area. “We’re so far from population, that’s what’s working for us.”

The “us” Foster mentioned includes his son, Gary, and Gary’s wife, Toni, who co-own the yard with Larry. In addition to the focus on light- and medium-duty trucks, the business also includes a towing and recovery service and Toni’s work as an upholstery specialist for both modern and vintage vehicles. That diversity — filling several needs common to central Oregon — is what keeps B&S Auto Wrecking successful in the face of its many challenges.

The yard, according to Larry Foster, is comprised of 40 acres that house 300 vehicles, mainly pickups and utility trucks spanning the 1950s to current. Vintage automobiles in the yard range from the 1950s through ’70s, although a fair amount of both prewar cars and trucks exist. Foster said he has titles for “most everything” in the yard. Also, the inventory is divided into project vehicles, from which no parts are allowed to be removed, and parts vehicles that can donate items.

While the business has neither a website nor computerized inventory, Toni Foster said between her, Gary and Larry, the staff has a good memory for what’s available. She added that customers can walk through the yard, but no toolboxes are allowed on the property. The Fosters will remove all parts customers select. Parts shipping is offered, but she cautioned that, due to B&S Auto Wrecking’s remote location, there are “lots of restrictions” in place.

The yard’s terrain is flat with significant aisles between the rows of vehicles. There’s lots of scrub brush surrounding vehicles, but access to viewing cars and trucks up close is generally good. With a few exceptions of like makes or models clustered together, vehicles are randomly staged throughout the yard with cars mixed with the trucks.

 

This 1971 Chevrolet Nova two-door sedan is solid all around with like-new-condition grille and bumper. Under the hood is the underappreciated 250-cid six-cylinder engine.

This 1971 Chevrolet Nova two-door sedan is solid all around with like-new-condition grille and bumper. Under the hood is the underappreciated 250-cid six-cylinder engine.

The 300 vehicles that compose the current inventory, according to Larry Foster, is about one-fourth the number of vehicles in the yard under its previous ownership. He explained that the yard was started by Roe Davis in 1931 at a downtown site that’s now occupied by a high school. “He started with about 100 to 125 Model T and Model A Fords.” Foster said Davis moved the yard to its current location on the west side of Hines in 1958. With more room than the downtown location offered, inventory dramatically swelled. At its peak, Foster said Davis had 1,200 vehicles on the property. “He had everything, including airplanes and boats.”

According to Foster, Davis sold the yard in the 1970s and the new owners held an auction “and sold everything of value.” Foster said he acquired the yard in 1988 with what little remained in inventory after the auction. Since then, with the help of his son and daughter-in-law, the Fosters have built back the yard into a key supplier of vehicles and parts to those in need.

“We love it here,” Foster maintained of the yard’s remote location. He said B&S Auto Wrecking is open year round, with hours of operation being Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, 9 a.m. to noon (Pacific Time).

When asked about the availability of tours of the yard, one of Foster’s buddies who stopped by for a visit jokingly chimed in, “Nobody comes here. We’re 120 miles from everywhere.” Even so, tours can be arranged by appointment.

To contact the yard, use postal mailing address: B&S Auto Wrecking, 29390 Wrecking Yard Lane (or P.O. Box 757), Hines, OR 97738; phone 541-573-7260; or e-mail bsauto@centurylink.net.

More treasures from the yard…

 

OR4c

Roughed up cosmetically, this 1960 Ford Ranch Wagon two-door station wagon retains donor-quality parts that are unique to this model, such as its doors. The tailgate and rear glass are also in excellent shape.

 

OR5c

Prewar offerings are rare in the yard, but the few early cars that exist, such as this five-window coupe (below) and two-door trunkback sedan, have hot rod/rat rod project potential.

 

OR6c

 

OR8c

Many solid old cars have met their end competing in demolition derbies, including this 1956 Oldsmobile sedan parked in the back of the salvage yard.

 

OR9c

It appears to have inflicted quite a bit of damage to competitors’ cars while remaining straight enough to do more slamming in a future derby. Wouldn’t 8898 have been a more appropriate number?

 

 

OR7c

Modified with a homemade bed and a one-year-newer grille, this 1958 International hauler offers a straight, rust-free cab that’s complete.

 

 

OR10c

A few trim items have been plucked from this 1960 Dodge tanker, but it’s otherwise complete and rust free. Larger trucks such as this Dodge are well represented in the yard.

 

 

OR13c

Its glass has been vandalized, but there’s plenty of solid body panels and like-new chrome that remains on this 1956 Chevrolet 210 station wagon.

 

OR14c

Marketed as a “Job Rated” truck, this 1954 Dodge flatbed appears ready to haul again with a minimum amount of restoration work needed.

 

OR12c

A deteriorating, homemade wooden cargo bed is the only item in need of restoration on this rust-free, complete 1952 Ford dually workhorse.

 

OR15c

Ford produced only 9,480 base-level Fairlane Ranchero pickups in 1966, and this example is rust free and has restoration potential as a returned-to-the-road hauler.

 

 

 

 

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