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Spitz Auto Parts – Family Owned and Still in Operation After Eighty Years

The Spitz family established this used auto parts operation in 1939 and it has been in continuous operation ever since then. Spitz Auto Parts is located at 12570 Lincoln Highway in Irwin, PA, (Route 30) and has been serving travelers and local customers on the famous highway for eight decades at this site twenty-seven miles west of Pittsburg.

The full-sized photo (below) and two sectional enlargements that follow it show the contents of the Salvage Yard in detail. We noticed two interesting vehicles visible after a quick perusal of the photo, an Auburn sedan at the bottom center of the image and a rear end view of a rare 1933 to ’34 Ford Victoria with the door left open on the far-left center of the picture.

Share with us what you find of interest in this Farm Security Administration image dating to 1941 via Shorpy.

16 responses to “Spitz Auto Parts – Family Owned and Still in Operation After Eighty Years

  1. I don’t see any Model T’s. I guess they had all gone for the “ground-up” restoration by then. (Pun intended.)

  2. 1934 Terraplane Brougham on the far right of the bottom photograph and possibly another ’34 Terraplane or Hudson almost out of shot to the right of that one.

  3. If this is 1941, I bet most of this got scrapped for the war effort. Aside from several panel trucks, there aren’t a lot of trucks. I suppose people hung on to trucks more than passenger cars.

    • Prior to 12/7 of `41 we weren’t at war yet; not sure if the scrap metal drive had started yet. My old man said someone once dumped a “`30s Duesenberg” for the drive here back in the early 40s. Imagine stumbling over that!

      • Hi Will, I read, the scrap drives were really only a drop in the bucket compared to what was really needed. It was more to make citizens feel they contributed to the effort.

  4. The closest panel truck, most easily seen in the last photo, is marked “Heckman’s Market”. Just for the heck of it, I googled it. There is currently a Heckman’s Orchard and farmer’s market in Effort, PA. That’s 270 miles away from Spitz Auti Parts and the current Heckman’s claims to have been established in 1962. So, not the same outfit that operated the panel in the photo. But, gotta wonder if additional research wouldn’t uncover some sort of relationship.

  5. Wouldn’t you love to go back there, grab couple cars and bring them home to now in just the way they were back then. Although it is somewhat newer than my main interests, I think that Auburn would be near the top of my list! It doesn’t look to have had much removed, and most of the damage appears not too bad. Of course, the engine could be toast. I did spot a decent mid-’20s sedan, couldn’t see enough details to identify it. Not many cars to be seen in there before about ’28. Not a lot even before ’30. Oldest cars appear to be way back in the outer areas. I wonder what could be there?

    • Yes, I try the “Bewitched” twitch constantly but I can’t seem to get back in time like she did.
      Probably the reason why I watch old movies and old television shows…for those brief moments, I can escape all of this.

  6. I spot a Chrysler Airflow just to the left and slightly up from the Plymouth sign. Only a 6 or 7 year old car then.

    • And with the “h” as you note. Grew up in McKeesport, just to the west of Irwin, and remember Spitz from taking Route 30 / Lincoln Highway to the Turnpike at Irwin. Irwin was the original western end of the PA Turnpike; the Eastern end was Carlisle.

      • In the 1890s the Post Office, in an effort to standardize and simplify the spelling of city names required all “burgh”s to change to “burg”, “borough”s to “boro” etc. This done to improve and speed up the sorting and delivery of mail. So, for a time Pittsburg was only a “burg”, but had enough political clout to get its “h” back a few years later. To this day I think it is the only “burgh”.

  7. Lived for several years in nearby North Huntingdon and Spitz was my go to junkyard. Very neatly organized but usually reluctant to let me roam. That was their loss as I always find things I’m sure I’ll need at my local U Pull It!

  8. The junk cars appear remarkably rot free for being in Western Penna, i guess this was before roads were salted.

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