Welcome to our History Page

With 40 years of history, we thought you might enjoy a little journey back in time. So, take your time, look around, and learn a bit about the history of Durango Premier / Durango Small Car and import vehicles in general. 

The Original shop sign

Durango Small Car, Import Cars, Parts, Classic car, history, old

Rick & Steve Decide Durango is the Place to Be!

 The story of how it all started...straight from Rick!


"During a motorcycle trip to Colorado in the late 1970s', my brother Steve phoned me while I was working at our shop "Rogers Brothers Automotive" located in East Lansing Michigan. Steve enthusiastically shared with me that he had discovered the perfect mountain town in southwestern Colorado that would be the quintessential location to open the specialty automotive repair shop that we both dreamed about.

     Steve and I wanted to escape city life in the midwest, and the splendor of Durango with its pristine and majestic mountains, the welcoming small community feel, and of course the skiing, seemed to offer a better quality of life. Thus, the inception of Durango Small Car, 40 years ago. 

     Throughout the years I have had the privilege to acquaint myself with so many wonderful customers from the Four Corners, as well as people just traveling through in need of car repair. I have been honored to work with a great staff and quality technicians.

     HAPPY 40th BIRTHDAY, Durango Small Car, and thanks Tracy and Don for keeping our dream alive!" Rick


The year was 1979!

Audi, SUV, Import Auto, Auto Repair,

Evolution of the European Import

As the European vehicles changed, so did Durango Small Car. While they continued to work on Volkswagen, Fiat, Porsche, and other small cars, European cars were getting bigger and more luxurious...Mercedes Benz, BMW,  Audi. And Durango Small Car stepped up to the challenge and that service continues today!

Durango Small Car began importing parts from Europe and expanded their service to include the sale of European parts to other local shops and dealers.

Mercedes, Auto Repair, Import, BMW, Import auto repair

Today - Your Premier Auto Repair and Maintenance Specialists for European and Asian Imports

Durango Small Car still works on Volkswagen's and Fiats, but so much of our business is focused on the luxury European and Asian Imports, including sedans, SUV's, Crossovers, vans and even some trucks. We also work on most domestic cars and SUV's as well. We are focused on providing quality service at competitive prices, saving you the drive to Denver or Albuquerque.

A Bit of Import trivia

Benz Patent Motor Car - The world's first automobile 1885-86

Benz Patent Motor Car - The world's first automobile 1885-86

Benz Patent Motor Car - The world's first automobile 1885-86

Benz Patent Motor Car - The world's first automobile 1885-86

While there is not a clear cut answer, the Library of Congress give credit to Carl (Karl) Benz as the inventor of the first gasoline powered automobile. Many suggest he created the first true automobile in 1885/86. To read more, check out the following sites:  

https://www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/mysteries/auto.html

https://www.daimler.com/company/tradition/company-history/1885-1886.html

photo credit - Daimler.com

One Millionth Beetle - It's All About the Bling!

Benz Patent Motor Car - The world's first automobile 1885-86

Benz Patent Motor Car - The world's first automobile 1885-86

VW, Beetle, One million, bling,

As you might guess, the Volkswagen (or People's Car) has a long and storied history. Way more than we can cover here. The final design by lead engineer Ferdinand Porsche and his team was complete in 1938, but because of WWII, real production didn't begin until 1945. It was so popular that in just 10 years, Volkswagen manufactured their one millionth beetle - now on display at the  Zeithaus Autostadt Museum in Wolfsburg Germany,

 Photo: Richard Copping 

Who Designed the First European Hybrid/Electric Vehicle?

Benz Patent Motor Car - The world's first automobile 1885-86

Which Asian Auto Maker Launched the First Luxury Sub-Brand?

image133

 Porsche. Well, Ferdinand Porsche to be exact. The father of Porsche developed the Mixe in 1900, which was a 4WD series-hybrid version of "System Lohner-Porsche" electric carriage while employed at Lohner Coach Factory. 


 By Unknown - photo from 1902, Public Domain 

Which Asian Auto Maker Launched the First Luxury Sub-Brand?

Which Asian Auto Maker Launched the First Luxury Sub-Brand?

Which Asian Auto Maker Launched the First Luxury Sub-Brand?

Acura, Integra, Toyota, Lexus, Infiniti, Honda

 Acura holds the distinction of being the first American-Japanese automotive luxury brand, which was launched in 1986. Toyota and Nissan followed in 1989 with their Lexus and Infiniti brands respectively.  

Toyota Crown was the first Asian automobile imported into the US in 1957.

Celebrity Jag

Which Asian Auto Maker Launched the First Luxury Sub-Brand?

Which BMW Launched the M Motorsports Division?

Jaguar, McQueen,

 One of Steve McQueen’s favorite cars was a Jaguar XKSS. Built in 1958, it is one of only 16 made. He received driving bans twice during the 10 years he initially owned the car. He sold it, then quickly bought it back and owned it until he died. It is currently in Jay Leno’s museum. 


Photo & info from   

https://www.rcnmag.com/garage/cool-was-the-rule

Which BMW Launched the M Motorsports Division?

Which Asian Auto Maker Launched the First Luxury Sub-Brand?

Which BMW Launched the M Motorsports Division?

image134

The BMW 3.0 CSL was the first model that came out of the Motorsport Division as part of a motorsport lineup from 1972 to 1975. 

It was a lightweight version of the 3.0 CS,  built to be eligible to compete in the European Touring Car Championship, but sold 

as a street legal sedan.

 This image was originally posted to Flickr by nakhon100 

Check out this cool video - 1950's BMW Isetta!

Check out this cool video from our friend at Mike's Beemer in Miami. Thanks for sharing! That's really cool. We want to drive one too!