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Woodburn auto shop reopens after 10-year absence

by: JANIS BRENTANO - Doug Templeton, pictured, recently reopened his automotive shop, Woodburn Carcraft, with his three sons Jim, Douglas and Michael, after a 10-year absence.It’s been a decade since the Woodburn Carcraft sign hung on the south side of town announcing itself in blue and gold. But with the business’ October re-opening, owner Doug Templeton is excited to be back and has brought his three sons into the fold, making Woodburn Carcraft a true family-run business.

When Templeton retired and sold his business in 2003, he got out of the automotive trade but didn’t retire in the classic sense. He wasn’t wintering in Arizona or fishing each afternoon.

Instead he partnered with his youngest son Michael and began remodeling and reselling homes.

Templeton also retained ownership of the automotive shop buildings and property. But when his shop tenant moved out this past fall, Templeton found himself with an empty 22,000-square-foot building and three sons interested in restarting the family business.

The Templetons outfitted the shop with state-of-the-art equipment and reopened under the original Woodburn Carcraft name just over a month ago.

“I had 10 years off and did a lot of fun things, but I’m excited to be back,” said Templeton.

Ten years ago when he sold the business, his sons, Jim, Douglas and Michael, were not interested in taking over and wanted to try other ventures. However, when his tenant moved out, he was left with not only an empty automotive garage but three eager sons.

Templeton opened his original automotive shop in 1975 and made a mark on the community with his strong sense of civic-mindedness. Over the years, he served as president of the Woodburn Area Chamber of Commerce, the Woodburn Downtown Association and Woodburn Kiwanis. In 2001, Woodburn Carcraft was named Business of the Year and Templeton garnered special recognition from then-congressional Rep. Darlene Hooley. Templeton believes in a strong sense of community and said that being involved in the community helped make his business a success.

“We really like to stay involved in the community,” Templeton said. “When I started out here in 1975, as the new boy in town, I figured the only way to get known was to join the service clubs and start helping out in the community.”

Templeton’s newly updated shop started humbly in a damp heater-less metal building that still sits on the south side of the parking lot. Templeton said they currently use it as a detail shop, but are considering tearing it down to make room for more parking.

Templeton grew up in Arizona and northern California but it was through an invitation from his sister, who lived in Newberg, that he came to the Willamette Valley and landed in Woodburn. After working at a Salem auto body shop, Templeton decided to start his own business and founded Woodburn Carcraft.

When Templeton sold his business, he and his wife, Gwen, a registered nurse at Salud Medical Center, enjoyed traveling in their RV and camping with friends. But with his wife still working several days a week, Templeton said they couldn’t be gone for too long. Now with the business reopening, Templeton said he works almost every day but is hoping to scale back and semi-retire by early next year. He will rely on his sons to run the business and each has his own area of specialty: Jim is the technician and auto body specialist, Douglas specializes in auto paint and Michael excels in office management.

Currently Carcraft is open Monday through Friday, but Templeton hopes to add Saturdays soon.

The Templetons offer a full-service auto shop able to fix both engine and body trouble, and also service recreational vehicles.

“We’re just excited to be back,” Templeton said. “We don’t want anyone to have bad luck with their cars, but when they do, we’re here to fix it.”



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  • 27 Aug 2014

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  • 28 Aug 2014

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