CarQuest Auto Parts
Founded in the early 1900’s, four generations of the Stephens Family have played a vital role in outfitting the citizens of Big Timber in auto supplies. Today, Stephens Auto is the premier place to purchase auto parts for Sweet Grass County residents, local ranchers, and the platinum and palladium mine on the Boulder River.
Stephens Auto Supply is the pinnacle of change in the 21st century. Marvin Stephens, 2nd generation owner, purchased the Auto store along with his brother from their father and his brother; the Auto store was later purchased by Mark Stephens, Marvin’s son, who has brought on his two sons, Chase and Chance, as part owners as well. This is unique because generational ownership like this is often seen in agricultural operations, but not in auto supply stores.
“All of it has changed. We weren’t in this building, of course, we were in our old building [where the Family Dollar sits now]. The customers have really changed, there used to be a lot of ranchers here and we used to do a lot of business with them. We still do business with the ranchers, but there’s not as many. The cost of parts has gone up. Things were much simpler in the old days, the cars and trucks and tractors — they’re all computerized now. We still had filling stations back then too…a lot has changed, you know?”Marvin Stephens, 2nd Generation Former Owner, Stephens Auto Supply
Things have changed, but according to the next generation of Stephens Auto owners, they want to keep Big Timber as great as it was when the family business originated while keeping up with current auto trends.
“We want to keep peoples’ vehicles on the road; keep people ranching; and keep the good that Big Timber was in the 1950’s when [our] great grandpa opened this place. We want Montana and Big Timber to compete and keep up with rest of the world, but we want to keep our business the same as it’s always been: reliable. We just want to keep Big Timber great.”Chase & Chance Stephens, Stephens Auto Supply 4th Generation Part-Owners
Stephens Auto Supply is located at 404 W First Ave, Big Timber, Montana with operating hours of Monday-Saturday, 7:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m. Stephens Auto: Family owned — Big Timber raised