When you walk into A and B Motors after passing through the small lot packed full of BMWs, Volkswagens, and other European makes and models representing a span of decades, your first greeting will come from Ellie. Ellie’s not a receptionist or cashier; A and B Motors doesn’t have anyone like in their employ. Ellie is Dave Beech’s sweet, attention-loving Miniature Bull Terrier, who like her Target mascot counterpart, has a filled-in black circle around one eye, like someone have her a good sock to the eye.
You might also notice some AC/DC or other classic rock blaring from the shop area. That’s just the kind of shop A and B Motors is, a dog-loving, rock-n-roll kind of shop. That’s just the kind of guy the owner, Dave Beech, is. Native to London, England where he studied the technical aspects of car mechanics, Dave is also a self-taught vagabond who “meandered” through Europe and Africa before landing in Orange, CA. Here he met “the Mrs.”, or so he calls his common-law wife.
“We never married, but after 45 years together, you should probably call her your wife,” he explains matter-of-factly.
Drawn north by the beauty of the Inland Northwest, the two relocated to the Priest River/Newport area, where they stayed for about five years. But steady mechanic work was easier to come by in Spokane Valley.
If you’ve never heard of A and B Motors, it’s because Dave doesn’t do much advertising. He doesn’t need to. So loyal are Dave’s customers, that they not only return to him exclusively for all of their car needs, they send others to him, especially if they have British or European models. These new clients become so impressed with Dave’s skills, his honesty, and trustworthiness that they quickly become loyal clients as well.
When asked if mechanic skills are learned or come naturally, Dave suggests it’s a natural ability, but a mechanic can always keep learning. For example, he enjoys the challenge of the electronic diagnostics that are used by mechanics these days. As for anything about the work he doesn’t enjoy, he first argues nothing, until pressed about the business and paperwork side. “Oh, yeah, well that’s a pain in the *&%,” he says. “But it can’t be helped.” People ask Dave if he’s ever going to retire. After all, he’s been in the business in the US for over 45 years.
He says, “Naw, I enjoy it too much.”
“We’re very laid back,” he continues, describing his approach to work with his two employees “We do as much b.s.’n as workin’.”
One might assume that someone with such an affinity for working on cars was influenced somewhat by a father or other family member.
“Nope. They’re all doctors and nurses.”
He admits he might be considered the black sheep of his family. Actually, though, Dave is also a doctor. Just a different kind. A doctor of cars, so to speak.