Otis Martindale, Our Founder

Otis MartindaleOur founder, Otis Martindale grew up during a time in history that most of us in today's business world find hard to imagine. That time was the great depression.  It was a time when all that many a good man owned was his personal integrity. A time when a mans word was his bond and his handshake his guarantee. 

Growing up in this time of  hardship with the guidance of Christian parents formed in Otis the qualities of honesty and fairness which would later serve him well in the business world. The Martindales were a farm family and through hard work and thriftiness were able to make it through the hard times better than many families.

They always had food on the table and were able to sell some of their surplus produce to buy other necessities. However during this time many things were in short supply  and couldn't be had even if you had money to buy them. The Martindale farmhouse was located just off  of  a major highway in north Texas and there was many a hungry traveler came by that went away well fed. It has been said that no one ever left Mrs. Martindale's kitchen hungry.

Auto Parts Sales

Otis's first major venture into the business world was a small grocery store on West Henderson in Cleburne, Texas which was started with funds which Mary Jo, Otis's wife and lifelong partner, saved during his service in WW II. Then in the 1950's Otis and Jo bought a service station in Blum, Texas and in the 1960's they started selling auto parts at this location.

It was during this time that Judy Martindale was a young girl growing up around the auto parts business. She says her daddy just couldn't stand it if he had a customer that needed a part and he didn't have it. If he didn't have it he would go get it.

The reason this bothered Otis so much is due to the hard times that Otis had witnessed as a child when people couldn't get what they needed. It was now a time of plenty and if one of his customers needed something he was determined that they should have it!

4M Parts Warehouse

By the early seventies Otis, Jo and their three oldest sons had opened a second retail store in Cleburne Texas and in 1978 4M Parts Warehouse was started in a leased building. After suffering through a devastating flood in 1979 the wholesale warehouse business grew rather fast and in 1982 moved to its current location at 402 E. Chambers.

As everyone in the auto parts business knows, this industry has changed dramatically since Otis's early days. In the 1960's  you could stock about  20 starters and alternators and have coverage for 90 to 95 percent of the cars on the American road. How many hundreds would it take to have this coverage in todays market?

Even though we have nearly tripled our stock within the last ten years we know it would be virtually impossible to stock every part for every automobile ever made.  Knowing this can we really expect to carry Otis's rule of trying to never say "no" on a part into the 21st. Century? The answer to this is yes, this will always be our goal.

Daily Auto Part Runs

We intend to use whatever innovative ideas and technology available to us to achieve this end. However our first line of attack on this situation is to never forget another old  Otis rule, "If you don't have it, go get it!".  We have two trucks that make daily runs to the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex .

If the part can be had from any of our many suppliers it will be picked up that day and ready for shipment on that customers next delivery, either that night or the next morning.  Our plan  for the near future is to keep expanding our inventory, keep looking for new suppliers and to expand our delivery routes, especially the "night train".  Whatever it takes for our customers to have the most parts availability at a reasonable price with the earliest delivery.

In Memoriam

Otis has now been out of the parts business for many years, but his forward thinking has stood the test of time. After a long bout with leukemia he was taken to "That house not made with hands eternal in the heavens" on January 26, 2004.  Our loss is heavens gain.