Daurio Auto-Truck has been the Auto Parts Supply Leader
in the Pueblo Community for 55 years and is family owned and operated
John Daurio will celebrate 40 years in the auto-truck salvage business on Pueblo’s far east Side. The shop area in the back of Daurio Auto-Truck is clean as a whistle and dotted with tables and chairs. The racks of engines look recently dusted and spiffy. In the sea of wrecked cars and parts that is Pueblo’s auto salvage row, Daurio’s brown-canopied white building framed with junipers remains a remarkable bright spot at 3701 E. Eighth. Customers carry prized purchases through the brick and tan counter area where sales are tallied via computer, which also automatically adjusts inventory counts. Today, Nick and Mike Daurio are holding an open house from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to celebrate their dad John’s 40 years in business. Any and all customers of the salvage company are welcome, the elder Daurio said Wednesday. Daurio’s has grown to encompass 20 acres in four lots, with entire buildings devoted to specific parts. “And nothing touches the ground,” Daurio repeats as he strides from building to building, from one pile of absolute junk to another. Old pickup beds become big boxes for aluminum scrap. Tight drums hold antifreeze, air-conditioning fluids and dirty gasoline what will be hauled away to the appropriate disposal area. He likes to show off the steam cleaner – “We were the first one to get one of these – where engines are hosed down. The washing water is caught beneath the concrete floor and travels through five separate drains until it finally emerges separated from all impurities. “See, it’s crystal clear,” Daurio said. At the same time the oil has been cleansed and is deposited in a drum for recycling.
The business even retains Daurio’s original building, a 12 by 14 foot, wooden building tucked behind a large metal parts shed. Inside, the tiny building holds an neat inventory of rack and pinion steering. Daurio’s 40 years in business began with the simple leasing of a Texaco station at 29th and Fifth Avenue in 1957. Two years later, he moved to the Standard station on Bonforte across from the Ramada. That’s where he added a 24-hour wrecking service to his service station business. When pressure came to remove the wreckers from the front of the station in 1971, he moved to this spot. “It was empty land, just blank,” he recalled, and he and his wife, Charlene, had a struggle on their hands to make ends meet. But about the same time Don Ware opened Don’s Sportcar nearby and the two struck a bargain: Daurio would handle American-made cars and parts, Ware foreign-built. “I got an insurance contract in Denver and I took the American cars and he took the foreign. Then he got a contract and took the foreign and I took the American.” It’s been that way ever since, Daurio said, “and all of it on a handshake.”
Daurio credits his sons – and longtime employees like Filbert LaCrue who’s been with him 39 years – for the business’ success. “All four boys worked while they were in college,” the University of Southern Colorado. Nick began when he was 13, 26 years ago; Mike joined him out of college. The two are partners in the business now. Son Ron is a dentist in Pueblo. John Jr. is a CPA in Florida. Daurio also sells cars they’ve reclaimed and restored and has a dozen or so housed in a garage that also includes five convertibles that aren’t for sale. They are the first cars the boys owned and one of his own.