A car crusher works to clear the lot at Interior Auto Wrecking, which has been in business in Vernon since 1960. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star).

Auto wrecker shuts down after 58 years in Vernon

Interior Auto Wrecking is closing shop in a car industry that’s vastly different from 1960

Interior Auto Wrecking has salvaged the remains of vehicles in Vernon for 58 years, but the time has come to pack up the yard.

An industrial car crusher has been at work for the past six weeks compacting vehicles and auto parts into rows of steel.

Craig Wyllie is one of four children of Chris and Mervin Hayward, who started the business in 1960 when they opened the wrecking yard in a lot behind Lincoln Lanes. Four years later they moved to the yard at 3101 45th Avenue where the business has resided until now.

“Everything changes in life, and nothing stays the same forever,” says Wyllie.

Times have indeed changed in the auto industry; people don’t repair their own vehicles the way they used to. As a result, business at Interior Auto has constantly had to change to keep up with the times.

“In the 60s, 70s and 80s most people could fix their own cars, so they came to the wrecking yard to get parts. As cars have gotten more advanced and technical, people can’t fix them anymore. They just take them to the many small independent shops and dealerships to fix them.

“The days of the backyard mechanic are diminishing. It’s not the business it was when my parents started it. It’s changed so much.”

In its heyday Interior Auto packed 800 vehicles onto its yard and stayed consistently full. In the beginning it was the only auto wrecker in town.

Interior Auto Wrecking prided itself on supplying parts to any domestic car and most foreign cars, as well as pickup trucks and Toyota Land Cruisers.

Wyllie, along with his siblings – Heather, Ron and Diane – all played a role in the early years – especially Ron, who was the wrecking yard’s manager for 40 years.

As of Friday the lot has been fully cleared, the seven acres of land near the Village Green Mall will soon be up for sale.

Interior Auto Wrecking would like to thank their retail and wholesale customers for their patronage over the last 58 years.

READ MORE: Employer groups drop out of WorkSafeBC review in protest

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Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
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