You probably know him as Mayor of Courtenay. You might know him as a former police officer.
What you might not know about Larry Jangula the businessman is that he has a long-running car parts business.
“When I grew up in the Prairies, I was always crazy about 1956 Ford cars,” said Jangula, whose first vehicle was a ‘56 Ford Crown Victoria. “I thought they were the most beautiful cars in the world. What was unique to me about them was that it was the only car that had the exhaust that came through the back bumpers. This was when Thunderbird motors were the rage.”
He started buying parts for a growing car collection by visiting Ford garages, back when most items wound up in landfills. Young Larry would scour garage attics and purchase everything he could find — new or used — to do with the era of his car. He would then sell parts on Hemmings Motor News magazine.
“I sold those new parts all over North America, and even some to Europe. I had a Swedish customer, I had an Australian customer.”
Then he started buying and restoring cars, like the 1955 glass top Crown Victoria that was the “honeymoon car” of he and his wife Jeanette.
Jangula would sell surplus parts at swap meets and through magazine ads. He then approached companies that manufactured Ford parts — emblems, door handles, rust repair pieces, antennas, weather stripping, windshields, springs and upholstery.
“Most parts are re-produced,” Jangula said. “I just built it up. It took me about 20 years to get well enough known to where I was dealing with the big companies on a wholesale basis.”
He buys wholesale from companies and has items shipped to an address in Blaine, Wash.
“I’m a commercial importer, so I bring in the parts through the border.”
If a car owner wants something brought up, Jangula can usually help. For instance, plenty of eBay sellers won’t send items to Canada because of extra costs at the border.
“So I actually receive and import parts for people as well. The people I deal with are enthusiastic. Most of them are about 40 to about 75 years of age. It’s a really interesting thing. It’s very positive.”
There’s an element of trust involved in the business. Over the years he’s only been stuck with one or two NSF cheques.
As for his personal car collection, Jangula owns a trio of restored vehicles: a ‘57 Ford Fairlane convertible, a ‘56 Crown Victoria glass top and a ‘56 two-tone blue Ford convertible.