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Quality business with traditional service

Posted on Wednesday, February 6, 2019 at 11:53 am

Harvey Hinton’s shop, Harvey Auto Parts, has been at the same location for the past 34 years. He opened shop in 1985 in Claraville next to the Claraville Handy Store.  The avid baseball fan who was born and raised just a short distance from Claraville has lived his entire life in Northumberland County and has taken great pride in serving his hometown.

His business has been a constant source for local customers for over three decades, including loggers, farmers, local schools, local law enforcement and government agencies.

Hinton began his career as a young salesman for C&O Auto Parts in Warsaw. I started working for Sherwood O’Bier at C&O back in 1970 and worked there for 15 years.

Hinton started out as what was then referred to as a wagon salesman. “We had the parts on the truck,” Hinton said. “I would stop at service stations all up and down the road.”

After 15 years Hinton decided he wanted his own place.

“I was 39 years old, I told my wife that if I waited until I was 40 then I would probably never do it so I’m going to do it now.”

At first, Hinton was looking to find a building in Callao or Lottsburg to open his new shop but ended up settling in Claraville. The building was occupied by Bobby’s Marine Service which was moving to Burgess so Hinton made the decision to open his business in that vacated building.

Just like C&O, Hinton had a wagon he would send out selling parts on the road to local service stations and dealerships.

“We built up the business and still do some selling on the road but most of our business now is walk-in, Hinton said, but that’s the way the industry has gone.”

Service stations can no longer stock all the parts, belts and hoses, filters and the different parts especially with the newer model cars.

“We still have a few service stations that we sell to,” he noted, “but seventy-five-percent of our business now is walk-in.”

Harvey’s Auto doesn’t only sell parts for automobiles and passenger trucks. They also serve loggers and farmers in the area. They’re always buying heavy-duty batteries for tractors and other equipment so he keeps them in stock; along with equipment, filters or whatever they need. They also repair hydraulic hoses and fittings right there in the shop to save farmers and loggers from having to drive a long way to get them repaired.

Harvey’s carries many different parts but they’re all good quality name brand parts. “We carry Gates hoses and belts, Wix filters and Deka batteries. I stick to good quality parts,” Hinton said.

For the full article, pick up the latest Northumberland Echo 2/6/19

Harvey Hinton of Harvey’s Auto Parts demonstrates how to install fittings on hydraulic hoses at his shop in Claraville.