Love for cars leads to vast parts collection
Car parts come in a great variety of shapes, sizes, ages and origins but in Christchurch have one thing in common: they are more than likely found at Butler Auto Mart.
For nearly 45 years, Butler Auto Mart has been amassing a collection of parts through savvy networking and takeovers. Today, it has more than 40,000 items at stores in Richmond, Sydenham and Hornby.
Many parts are rare, all are new – even those made nearly 100 years ago – and in every case they are immaculately preserved.
The second generation of Butlers are now closely involved in running Butler Auto Mart after founder Tony Butler shared his passion for the industry with children Maria, who works in accounts, and Edward, who oversees day-to-day operations in Hornby and Sydenham.
The flagship store on Stanmore Rd is still Tony’s turf and home to the largest holding of parts.
However, recent expansions across the city have been under the watch of Edward Butler.
‘‘All our stock can be accessed through any of our stores and if we haven’t got it, it’s only a courier away,’’ Edward says from the Colombo St store, which until two years ago was a rival car parts business.
The same year Butler Auto Mart set up in Sydenham it also reopened a shop at its old haunt on Brynley St, in Hornby, to meet demand from city’s southwest.
Staff are on hand at every store to help customers ranging from enthusiasts in need of an original part for an American muscle car to people who just want to get from A to B with the least fuss.
‘‘We’ve got experienced staff who are extremely helpful,’’ Edward says. ‘‘Anything that can break down in a car, we can find a replacement for.’’
Hundreds of books of auto parts are held to help track down hard-to-find items, and the company’s website lists a large number of available parts.
Purchases are especially easy for members of the Capricorn and Ruralco co-operatives, who can receive monthly invoices and discounts with presentation of their card.
At the Stanmore Rd headquarters, a GAS petrol service fronts the business, and a hire department is on hand with more than 30 trailers for moving everything from furniture to cars.
We’ve got experienced staff who are extremely helpful. Anything that can break down in a car, we can find a replacement for.
Edward Butler Butler Auto Mart
Butler Auto Mart sales assistant Andrew Tubb helps customers at the Colombo St store in Sydenham access a collection of more than 40,000 new vehicle parts.