Quale “T” opens in Sumner

A new automotive shop has opened at 1418 Wood Ave. near downtown Sumner.

By Daniel Nash

The Courier-Herald

A new automotive shop has opened at 1418 Wood Ave. near downtown Sumner.

Quale “T” Automotive (pronounced “quality”) relocated from Federal Way in September, bringing with it a full-service automotive business from oil changes and routine maintenance to custom modifications.

Owner Mark Quale has more than 25 years of experience as an auto mechanic and has owned his own shop since 1994. His shop in Federal Way was closed by the city when it was determined his shop was in the middle of a planned road project to connect Pacific Highway and 356th Street. The experience discouraged Quale from relocating within the city.

“I’ve been doing this a long time and I like the feel of a small town,” Quale said. “And Sumner has been very good to us so far. We’ve been busy every day and people keep coming in with new projects.”

“We’ve only been open a couple weeks, but we’re doing extremely well for a couple weeks,” Service Manager Lonny Vara said.

In turn, Quale “T” offers a shuttle service to clients and a convenient location near the Sounder train station.

The shop occupies a three-bay garage next to the train tracks. The facility is a functional work in process. All the pieces necessary to run the shop are in place, but small touches – like a facade to separate the customer desk from the shop – still need to be put in place.

“Mark is a whiz,” Vara said. “He’s able to build anything. He took care of the desk up front and soon he’s going to be building the wall between the shop and the desk.”

Quale prefers to work on older model cars, since those are what he learned his trade on, he said. In addition to tune-ups and repairs, he also crafts custom additions for cars, especially four-wheel drive vehicles.

In the bay farthest from the shop entrance, a few of his projects were recently on display. A mid-90s sport utility vehicle had a half-finished heavy-duty bumper attached to its front-end. On the ground was something resembling an oversized metal spider: a heavy web of metal bars that was close to becoming a finished exterior roll cage.

“This thing represents about 100 hours of work,” Quale said. “So you can see, I’m not afraid of doing bigger welding projects. If you’re willing to pay me, I’m willing to work.”

Quale and Vara are currently the only employees of Quale “T” with Quale performing mechanical work and Vara handling the customer service side of the business.

Even with the small staff, the shop is open 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. With three garage bays to hold projects, the duo will be looking for two more experienced mechanics as business picks up.

To comment on this article view it online at www.blscourierherald.com. Reach Daniel Nash at dnash@courierherald.com or 360-802-8210.

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@courierherald.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.courierherald.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 500 words or less.

More in Business

Mail Express was fined $7,500 by L&I. Photo by Ray Miller-Still
Local business fined by LI for failing to wear, enforce masks

The Mail Express Business Center was fined $7,500, the most of 11 businesses.

Volunteers organized to tie up corn stalks to street lights at the end of September in preparation for the Friday Night Market. Photo by Ray Miller-Still
Enumclaw organizing Friday Night Markets this month

The first market will be on Oct. 9 at the corner of Cole St. and Myrtle Ave.

Don Brunell
Coronavirus stimulates RV sales and rentals | Don Brunell

Recreational vehicles rentals have increased 650 percent this year.

Stock photo
Union files charges against QFC, Fred Meyer over Black Lives Matter button ban

Grocery store workers condemn ban; QFC spokesperson says wristband options available to employees

Coronavirus compounding recycling calamity | Don Brunell

Daily medical waste is now totaling 240 metric tons.

At Fitness For Life, it’s all about empowering women

Nikki Staab opened her second location in Enumclaw last June.

Facebook purchases unused Bellevue REI headquarters

The companies will also each donate $1 million to the Eastrail

How businesses and drones help restore scorched forestlands | Don Brunell

Drones can help plant trees 150 times faster than an experienced (human) tree planter.

Time to revisit forest management | Don Brunell

While COVID-19 has the country metaphorically on fire, America’s forests are actually burning.

How five minutes a day can alter your financial future

A new habit is hard to learn, but you’ll benefit in the long run.

The pandemic’s roots: UW Bothell team models the coronavirus

A team of computational scientists has developed web-based software that maps the virus’ protein spikes.