New business revved up by reaction: Cartwrights celebrate grand opening, already juggling robust client list

From left: Gary Stokem, a NAPA sales representative, and NAPA store owners Dan and Tammy Green pose with their 1956 Ford F100, along with Patrick and Jennifer Cartwright.

Patrick Cartwright was given a new lease on life, so he’s making the most of it.

He and his wife, Jennifer, were married less than a month ago. The day after the wedding, they took possession of their new business, Northwest Automotive Customs Inc. Then on Saturday, Aug. 15 – just 20 days later – they held a noon Grand Opening in Creswell that topped all of their expectations.

“At 11:30, I thought, ‘Is anybody gonna show up?’ Then at 11:45 we had a whole parking lot full of cars,” Cartwright said. “We had a ‘show and shine,’ there was food and drinks, we gave away raffle prizes and had a 50-50 drawing for Veterans Legacy. It was a great turnout, a fun time for everybody.”

Cartwright, a lifelong Eugene resident before moving to Jennifer’s house in Cottage Grove, has been in the auto detailing biz for 30 years.

In 2017 he was doing some work in Madras on the day before Thanksgiving – which also happened to be the day before his 50th birthday – when he had a heart attack. He had to be life-flighted to St. Charles Medical Center in Bend … where he almost didn’t live to tell his frightening story.

“I got there and they handed me some paperwork to sign, then all of a sudden the lights go out. Later, I thought I had blacked out from the medication, but I had actually died for 3½ minutes,” Cartwright said. “They had to shock me with a defibrillator, like, eight times, and they put in two stents. My valve had closed off.”

He was told there was a 50% chance that 35% of his heart would be damaged from the heart attack. “A year later there was no damage. I’m healthy,” Cartwright said. 

His life was saved, but the good news was only beginning. 

Gary Haslip with his 1968 Oldsmobile Hurst.

“Jennifer was our office manager. We got together in February of this year and it wasn’t long before we decided to get married,” Cartwright said. “Now, here we are three weeks later with this awesome building and we already have $500,000 worth of restorations to do.

“This whole thing – everything – has been like a dream come true.”

Amazing, during the middle of a pandemic, that business could be booming – any business.

“We got six more jobs from walk-in customers (Saturday),” Cartwright said, adding that he has clients from as far away as New Jersey and Vancouver, B.C. 

An odd twist about the business name: The previous owners had a hobby shop, but before that, Northwest Auto Care was the tenant at 335 S. Front St. Now, it is Northwest Automobile Customs Inc. 

“We had no idea,” Cartwright said. “We already had our name registered.” 

Both Patrick and Jennifer were effusive in their praise of the local community. They didn’t know that Creswell’s moniker is “The Friendly City,” but said the nickname certainly fits. 

“The local community can stop in for a cup of coffee anytime,” Jennifer said. “We try to keep everything local, and it’s been a great experience so far.”

“The support we’ve had from everyone in opening the shop has been tremendous,” Patrick said. 

It’s the kind of thing that happens when one is granted a new lease on life. 



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