About Darryl's™

The Early Years

The Auch (pronounced 'ouk', like 'out') family patriarch, Ervin, a full-blood German and skilled Volkswagen mechanic, was born in Yankton, South Dakota in 1924. In 1944 he married Nancy in neighboring Utica and, following the birth of their first two sons, they moved to the booming Black Hills town of Rapid City, South Dakota in 1951, where their family grew by two more sons, the youngest of which was Darryl.

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.

Volkswagen of America

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 the Blood

Darryl was raised in the Volkswagen repair trade and shared his father's enthusiasm for the VW right away. In 1972, at the age of twelve, he built his first air-cooled engine under the guidance of his father. He worked at Erv's shop until he was 18, when he moved to Minnesota. There Darryl went to work for Dynamotive, a Volkswagen repair business, as a mechanic. After marrying in 1981, Darryl and his wife Teri moved back to South Dakota where he worked for his dad for a year. Dunebuggy Supply relocated Darryl and family back to Minnesota the following year, where he worked as a VW mechanic as well as gaining experience in the parts department.

Darryl's Auto Center

1988 spelled another big change for the Auch family. Darryl's folks, Erv & Nancy, moved to Neosho, Missouri to take their retirement jobs as caretakers of a church. Not long after, foreseeing opportunities in Missouri, Darryl, Teri, & their four kids hitched the proverbial covered wagon and headed south. Soon after arriving in the Ozarks, Darryl's Auto Center opened its doors. Darryl & Company worked on both foreign and domestic cars with a specialty in Volkswagen repair. Darryl's passion continued to lie in Volkswagen work and, after 20 years of reliable, affordable service, their Volkswagen client base had grown to become the core of their business.

New Horizons

In 2005, Darryl's™ made its first venture into the internet with a site that was somewhat stylish, yet inadequate for what Darryl envisioned for the future of his business. With the lessons learned from that first effort (and after another attempt or two over the next couple of years), DarrylsVW.com was born and looks promising as Darryl's longterm connection to the VW world. Everyone at Darryl's is excited about the future of this website, our business, and the seemingly endless enthusiasm for that beloved little car - the Volkswagen.

Life Happens

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 building air-cooled VW engines. 

Today, Darryl is doing what he loves, and carrying on the Auch family tradition that his father started some fifty years before - building the finest replacement engines for air-cooled Volkswagens to be found anywhere. We hope you will be a part of that tradition.

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