Well, for the sake of accuracy, in a
sense "us" is really just "me", Gary Hurst, aka Jabba. Like many
Americans, I was always a supporter of the American car, particularly
full sized body on frame cars from General Motors. By the mid
80s, this had already made me a bit of an oddball and a decade later it
made me a downright freak in some circles. I was, however,
devoted to them as my primary automotive interest, although I would
foray into the odd Volkswagen from time to time.
In 1998, we were hit by a tornado here in metro Atlanta that did quite
a bit of damage. I knew there was trouble when i felt cold that
night and felt a tree in my bedroom as I reached over to "close the
window." Sadly, there was no window left to close at all! I
went outside and the damage was considerable. Although my dwelling was
possibly destroyed, my thoughts turned immediately to the cars:
1977 Buick Lesabre 2 door ---
1975 Cadillac Sedan Deville -- destroyed
1978 VW Rabbit -- destroyed
I loved all 3 of these cars.
The Buick was practically in dead mint condition, with 350 V8 and
THM 350 transmission, both built in house by Buick. One of the
last examples of independent divisions in GM before they went purely to
differentiation by badges. The Cadillac was a special edition
University of Tennessee car, burnt orange with a cloth houndstooth
interior, used primarily to drive a booster to games from Memphis.
The VW was also the last of the breed, German built with
mechanical fuel injection but no power boost for steering or brakes.
Three brilliant cars that were no more.
Needless to say, I needed something cool in a hurry and, outside of the
odd old Mary Kay car, it was getting harder and harder to find that in
my tradition niche. For the first time, I looked outside for cool
and what I found was a 1971 250 Mercedes. It just oozed quality
and personality and I could not wait to set it right! A funny
thing happened though as I visited my favorite NAPA store, which was
connected to the main Atlanta warehouse . It seemed they had no
parts to help me with
this car and that only the dealer could help me.
Hmm, the dealer -- this didn't sound promising, but maybe it was better
with those Euro cars than it was with old Detroit Iron. Off I
went to RBM of Atlanta! Things were even worse than I could have
imagined. Usually when you pulled into an American car dealership
with you old POS Detroit car, you'd get a few smiles and some stories
about when they had one of those. At RBM, I was being looked at
with this "what they hell did you bring this garbage on our lot" look.
I've been a pariah before, though, so I can live with that.
Then i learned something really shocking: an air filter for
my car was over $50! Something was desperately wrong here.
BuyMBparts.com was invented as a reaction to this situation back when
the internet was still largely a device for self publishing.
Along with a few others, we created a revolution in retailing
auto parts by offering deeply discounted OEM parts to supply end users
with the same parts the dealer was selling at insane prices for the
sorts of prices the local parts chains would be selling inferior
quality part for if they were carrying these lines. This was met
with great acclaim by those on the internet at the time and
we would, albeit for a short while, rule the enthusiast
world for Mercedes Parts and Classic Mercedes culture.
Today is a different world online. Just as in the external
world, Walmart has triumphed over Main Street. The vast majority
of the first generation that brought the online parts revolution is now
dead or morphed into something unrecognizable and BuyMBparts.com has
been no exception to this. When you call a parts vendor today,
you are far more likely to have your call picked up by some transient
ne'er do well working out of a large call center than sells a little
bit of everything than to find a dedicated professional who knows and
loves your car. It is simply a consequence of the broadening of
the internet to where it is truly now about the ordinary and not the
avant garde . When I started BuyMBparts.com, the typical Mercedes
owner on the internet was mostly about keeping his finely engineered
machine running as it was originally designed to run in Stuttgart.
Today, he is mostly about trying to make his 1999 ML look like a
2004. He owns a European car strictly for status and with no love
of the engineering tradition and quality history of these fine marques.
Today I am essentially starting all over again with BuyEUROparts.com.
I think for hours every day about how to create a new Main Street
revolution to energize this way of doing business, but the task may
prove too difficult. For the most part, the best I can offer is
to hang on to the old principles of Main Street and direct customer
service for those of you who still love the quality of the cars and
want to keep them up as well as you can. Just like the old guy
who keeps the old hardware store alive downtown, I have no illusions
that the world has passed me by (although I cannot for the life of me
see how this is an improvement) and continue to struggle to keep the
old ways of quality and service and value in a world that seems to be
demanding junk and madness. Will you join me in this quest
against the trend?
As for me personally, i have been mostly a Mercedes enthusiast for the
last decade, but I'm currently head over heels in love with the E30 BMW
3 series convertible that is now my constant companion. I very
much desire a Porsche as well, but those seem to fall outside of my
finances, particularly during this economic malaise we are in. I
also still have a soft spot in my heart for many old Volvos and VWs as
well as for a lot of the more current offerings from VW/Audi.
My interests are broad, so much so that I probably best understood as a
dilettante. I have a love for antique cameras, watches, hats,
films, guitars & amps, guns & ammo, etc. I am
passionately and enthusiastically involved with my kid and mostly like
to travel to places of natural beauty or that are important in
popular American culture.
I will be adding links below to give you a better of idea of
BuyEUROparts.com as a culture and as a business. I hope I can be
of service to you in the old "boss to boss" fashion and can continue on
providing value for European car enthusiasts like myself. Feel
free to call, email or message me about anything at all!
It has always been my thought that
the best source of objective feedback is Ebay feedback. While the
system is far from perfect, it's something you can't really fudge over
a long period of time.
I really have never been much for legalize. In fact, I've always
not liked it much at all as it seems to only benefit lawyers and
the courts and those who have the money to pay to buy lawyers and
courts. It is my belief that if we ever have an issue, we can
work it out resonably between us. But in the interest of
thoroughness, I share the following with you: