Western Auto Store

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Elite Barber Shop - Blue Bird Motel - Western Auto Stores - Ruth's Frock Shop - Statler Studebaker

Western Auto Store in 1955, behind the two front stores.

"The mechanic nodded distractedly, as if he was slightly impressed [by the fact that nobody could start Biff's car except him]. He pulled a clipboard out of his truck and checked the paperwork. / 'Let's see,' he said as he read the paper before him. 'The bill comes to three hundred and two dollars and fifty-seven cents.' / Biff turned a shade of red almost as deep as the Western Auto sign."
—From Back to the Future Part II by Craig Shaw Gardner (quote, page 144)
Biff: " 300 bucks for a couple of dents? No, hey, that's bullshit, Terry."
Terry: "No, Biff, it was horseshit. The whole car was filled with it."
— Discussion in front of Western Auto

Western Auto was a store that sold automotive supplies, such as tires, car batteries, brake shoes, tools and other equipment for maintenance of a motor vehicle. Hill Valley had such a store on the north side of Courthouse Square. On November 12, 1955, Biff Tannen and Terry (who repaired Biff's auto) walked into a Western Auto store while they talked about repairs, and Marty McFly (who had come back to 1955 a second time) used the opportunity to sneak into the back of Biff's convertible. Moments later, Biff came out of the store with several cans of motor oil and threw them onto a blanket in the back of the car. It was the first of many painful experiences that day for Marty, who happened to be hiding under the blanket.

In 1931, the spot where the store would be was occupied by a similar store Eastern Auto Sales.

By 1985, the downtown Western Auto store had either closed or moved. The building was occupied at that time by the campaign headquarters for Hill Valley Mayor Goldie Wilson, who was running for re-election.

In 2015, the store and its window was divided into two shops: Hill Valley Gifts and The Hydroponic Gardner.

Behind the scenes

  • Western Auto stores also sold items like bicycles, hunting rifles, and other non-motor items, particularly in small towns.
  • Most of the remaining Western Auto stores in the United States were converted to Advance Auto stores by 2003. However, there are a few former franchises that retain the name, such as a store in Newport, Tennessee.
  • Although Hill Valley Gifts was created as part of the set of 2015 Hill Valley for Part II, the north side of the square is barely glimpsed in the film. The store had a picture of a large rose next to the doorway, but the name itself is visible only in a picture taken on the set during a break in the filming of Part II [1]

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