In 1971 Alby Quinlan, Colin McHale and Rob Howell left their jobs as young men to start their own automotive spare parts business in South Albury.
In 1972 they opened a shopfront at 325 Townsend Street and set about making a name for themselves, with a full-time sales representative on the road travelling from Oaklands and Rand to Wangaratta, Bright, Myrtleford, Jingelic, Dartmouth, Corowa and everywhere in between.
With access to some of the biggest brands in the industry they forged ahead.
They saw Dartmouth Dam emerge from a valley and the Hume Highway built from as far south as Wangaratta to as far north as Holbrook.
They had regular delivery runs around Albury-Wodonga servicing workshops and service station garages.
In 1992 the business lost its namesake Alby Quinlan, who passed away suddenly leaving a giant hole, not only in the business, but the Border community.
In 1999 Colin McHale’s son Chris entered the business, starting out driving deliveries in the local area.
He went on to become the company sales representative until 2004, when original partner Robert Howell retired, leaving Colin and Chris to continue on.
With growing sales and staff numbers the business grew and became one of Victoria’s top agents for Wesfil Australia as well as Narva electrical, NGK and Penrite oil.
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In 2014 Colin McHale passed away suddenly.
Colin was the final member of the original founders.
He had worked at Quinlan's Auto Spares in the same building at 325 Townsend Street since the first days in the early 1970s.
Chris and his wife Amanda, along with Colin’s wife Carmen, continue to run the business today.
They work alongside their staff – Ty, Sarah, Paul, Karen and Ethan.
Quinlan's Auto Spares are still leading stockists of Wesfil Australia, Narva Electrical, NGK and KYB, Bendix Brakes and Penrite oils plus Wasp Steering and Suspension products.
A recent addition to the store is GearWrench Tools.