For the first time since Clar Hansen moved his Auto Center to Vine Street, the parking lot is empty.
Clar’s Auto Center didn’t close. It moved to the Peterson/Ninigret Industrial Depot on Dec. 31.
“They county bought my property in 2018 and gave me until the end of 2019 to move out,” said Ed Hansen, owner of Clar’s.
Ed’s father, Clarence Hansen, opened Clar’s Auto Center in 1957. The auto center has had a few different homes in Tooele since it opened 63 years ago.
In 1980, Clar Hansen built the building at 64 E. Vine Street for his auto center and it has stayed there for the last 40 years. Ed Hansen took over the business from his father in 1995.
Ed Hansen said he started working for his father as soon as he was old enough to hold a wrench.
“One of my earliest memories was working on helping my dad rebuild generators he sold,” Ed Hansen said. “And that was back when I was 5.”
In a 2007 interview with the Transcript Bulletin, Clar Hansen said that when his business moved locations in 1962, his son Jerry was 8 and Ed was 4.
“They literally became mechanics at that time,” said Clar Hansen. “They were doing work rebuilding parts of engines. … I had people come up and say, ‘Is this the place that has the two little boys working in it?’ And when I said ‘yes,’ they said, ‘This is where we wanted to come.’”
Clar’s Auto Center is now located at the Peterson/Ninigret Industrial Depot at 10 S. Garnet Street, Building 669, Suite 18, the former home of Brian Hall’s Autotech.
“Mark Minor bought Autotech from Brian Hall,” Ed Hansen said. “He’s going to rename his business Royal Automotive. Clar’s Auto Center will operate out of the same location with the same employees we had on Vine Street.”
The Clar’s Auto Center sign is inside the shop at the depot. Ed Hansen said it soon will find a perch in the parking lot out front of the shop.
“We’re still doing the same quality service we always have, just the location has changed,” he said.