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Zip Auto - Restoring a Missoula, Montana Auto Shop with a One-Track Mind

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January 31, 2018View for printing

Rick Nash was acutely aware of Zip Auto's historical significance when he acquired the building, and decided in 2006 to restore the deteriorating structure to its former glory. Above all, Nash was determined to retain its historic usage.

With a distinctive beige and baby blue color palette and the words "SERVICE," "LUBRICATION," and "ALINEMENT" [sic] displayed on its north facade, Zip Auto is a difficult building to miss when cruising through downtown Missoula, Montana. But without the preservation efforts of its owner, turning a blind eye to the Art Moderne-style auto repair shop might have become all too easy.

Zip Auto was constructed just as the automobile craze was sweeping through Missoula. Car enthusiasts began offering automobile tours of western Montana based out of Missoula, and according to Paul Filicetti, project architect of the Zip Auto renovation, Missoula's Main Street became something of an "Automobile Row," with dealerships and repair shops springing up at a remarkable rate.

Nick Som ... WnITOK6nHIX

Reader Comments:

Grateful thanks to Rick Nash for preserving this building for its historic architecture that makes downtown Missoula such an attractive place for business owners, Missoulians and those who want to visit a town with real character.

He could have easily made it look modern but by preserving it he's ensured a historic view that is sadly disappearing in so many communities. Just wish other historic as well as new buildings could emulate this architecture so that Missoula continues to be a place people visit just for the history.

Missoula thanks you Rick. Everytime I visit I can hear history passing by in those historic vehicles in the shop.

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