by Terry Rogers
On December 2, after 57 years of ownership by the Wright family, Milford NAPA Auto Parts Store came under new ownership. Tim Millman purchased the business as an addition to his auto repair shop.
“Since I already owned an auto repair shop, this seemed like a good addition,” Millman said. “With an auto repair shop, I buy a lot of parts and have purchased them from this store many times. When the opportunity presented itself, it seemed like a great idea just to go ahead and do it.”
Millman says that he does not intend to make any changes other than to extend the hours to make it a little more customer friendly. He explained that the staff at the store was amazing and many of them have been working there for 25 to 30 years which is why he was planning on keeping them all on board.
“I have a background as a mechanic,” Millman said. “I have lived in Delaware my whole life. For 25 years, I lived in Milton before moving to Milford. I grew up in a family of truck drivers and mechanics so working on vehicles just seemed to come naturally to me. I’ve been in the business for more than 40 years.”
Milford NAPA was originally known as Wright’s Auto Parts, founded by Joseph L. Wright who passed away in 1998. Wright opened auto parts stores in Milford and Bridgeville, retiring in the late 1980s after 26 years in the business. Before opening the auto parts store, he and his father owned and operated Wright’s Pontiac in Milford. Wright was a World War II Navy veteran and served on the Milford School Board as well as a member of the first board of Polytech. He also helped build Woodside Vocational School.
Millman says that much has changed when it comes to auto repairs over the past 40 years.
“There is a huge difference now than when I started,” Millman said. “There are a lot more computers in cars today and this makes it much harder for the backyard mechanic. Some of the equipment we use to diagnose problems cost $30,000 to $40,000 and the average person just can’t afford to have those lying around.”
Milford NAPA is open Monday through Friday from 8 AM until 5:30 PM and on Saturday from 8 AM until 2 PM. The store is located at 31 Milford-Harrington Highway.