Hot Springs, Arkansas’ A-Auto & Truck lives up to their claim that they “love autos and trucks.” In particular, the older iron.
By Leroy Dritler
The slogan on the business card of A-Auto & Truck owner Ken Huchingson states, “We Love Autos & Trucks.” That slogan could truthfully be amended by adding the word “old,” because there are plenty of oldies saved in the Hot Springs, Ark., yard. During our visit, Huchingson said he had 200 to 300 vehicles remaining in his 10-acre yard, most of them dating from the early 1950s to early 1980s. Huchingson has been in business at this location for the past 35 years.
When driving by on the highway, it appears the business has been abandoned. There are several “No Trespassing” signs tacked to posts and trees, and the entrance gates are shut. There are four or five old cars and one old tractor parked in view, but the rest are hidden by brush, trees and old buildings and mobile homes. Huchingson is getting up in years and says he is only open by appointment. He is in the process of crushing all the “junk” since the price of scrap metal has increased, but wants to sell as many of the good oldies as soon as possible for parts cars or restoration projects. No parts can be removed from any vehicle, so if you need parts, you’ll have to buy the whole vehicle. Huchingson doesn’t arrange shipping, so you’ll need to take care of those details.
The yard has the same problem as many yards with uncontrolled brush, vines, briars and trees. Some of the vehicles are completely surrounded by dense vegetation, making it hard to see what kind of car or truck is actually there, and what kind of condition it is in. If you visit after a rain, as we did, wear boots, because the access roads are rutted and muddy with poor drainage.
Most of the cars and trucks in the yard are American, but there are a few foreign makes scattered about. We saw several VW bugs, a few Toyota cars and trucks, an old Subaru and others. Protected from the elements, inside of a building, are two or three mini-pickups along with a huge ’63 Cadillac Biarritz convertible. We noticed three, or maybe four, old derelict wreckers, and a few bigger trucks in the yard. The oldest vehicle we saw was a 1946-’47 Ford 1-1/2-ton truck. There’s probably a dozen or so first-generation Mustangs, and at least a half-dozen Tri-Five Chevys. In some sections of the yard, vehicles are squeezed in tight, making it tough to open doors to inspect the interiors, or even to walk between them.
As we walked by a couple of MoPar coupes, Huchingson mentioned thieves had made off with the hood scoops. Stealing has been a problem, so now a dog is on the premises. Browsing is not allowed without permission.
To make an appointment to see the vehicles, Huchingson can be reached by phone. He does not text or email, and does not have a Facebook page or website.
A-Auto & Truck 4020 Albert Pike (mail) Hot Springs, AR 71913 501-627-9421
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