In 1954, Erv took a job as a mechanic at the Murray Hansen Dodge dealership in Rapid City. This led to, with a partner, opening his own shop 'A&R Auto Repair' in 1957, where he worked on his first Volkswagen. He was fascinated with the little car, he knew he wanted to learn more. His growing experience and fascination with the VW opened a door to a business relationship with the Dries ('dreez') Volkswagen dealership in Rapid City. Dries sent all of their repair and service work to Erv and company at A&R.
Eventually, Volkswagen of America, formed in 1955 to standardize dealership service in the United States, required Dries to build their own service center to keep everything under one roof. This spelled the end for A&R, but Erv was not about to give up on Volkswagens. In 1961, the "Old Volks Home" (a name that was unique at the time) was born. Business flourished. Then, VoA began a new campaign in the mid-'60's to curb copyright infringement, forcing another change - this time it was the name. "Old Erv's Home" premiered in 1964. Erv's business continued to grow and in 1982, he retired and sold his business following 25 years of service.
In October of 2008, the Auch family and Darryl's suffered a major blow. During a routine medical checkup, Darryl's heart suddenly stopped. His doctor was able to revive him, but it stopped once more in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. Although he had been stabilized before he got to the hospital, doctors were quickly able to determine that Darryl had a serious heart valve defect that required emergency surgery. His defective heart valve was replaced successfully with a mechanical valve and, being otherwise healthy and fit, his recovery went better than average. Nonetheless, it quickly became clear that Darryl would not be able to continue to do the very physical work that he had done for the previous three decades, at least not at the same pace.
After coming to grips with the challenges he faced, many weeks consulting with his family and friends, and lots of prayer, it was clear what had to be done. Since Darryl would no longer be able to meet the grueling physical demands of crawling under cars, pulling out engines, and torquing on stubborn bolts, he knew that the days were numbered for Darryl's Volkswagen service center. So, after a few months of planning and finishing up the restoration jobs that were already underway, ultimately the service center doors were closed for good, dozens of Volkswagen vehicles found new homes, and Darryl's was simplified down to the core business of what Darryl truly loves - building air-cooled engines.
Since its inception in 2005, DarrylsVW.com had gone through many changes, both positive and not-so-positive, to ultimately arrive at what you see today, a still-small, but actively growing portal through which Darryl and Darryl's are able to connect with the ever-changing, yet always-loyal world of vintage air-cooled Volkswagen enthusiasts. Though they had a great number of loyal local customers in Southwest Missouri, they also had, thanks to the internet and DarrylsVW.com, an equally large and loyal following beyond the Missouri Ozarks. The service center was gone, but the need for quality Volkswagen products and advice remained. No longer being tied to a physical, geographic location, and feeling a pull back to their roots in the North, the Auch family and Darryl's would make another change and relocate.
So, in 2010, Darryl, his family, and Darryl's hitch up the proverbial covered wagon yet again and headed north, to the quiet woods of eastern Wisconsin. Here Darryl is still doing what he loves, and carrying on the Auch family tradition that his father started some fifty years before - building some of the finest replacement engines for air-cooled Volkswagens to be found. We hope you will be a part of that tradition.