VanGundy’s plans to keep name under new ownership

Van Gundy’s AMPCO Inc., as seen Friday from Riverside Parkway, has been sold but will retain its name under the new ownership. Most of the staff will stay with the company, except for co-owner Dean VanGundy, who wants to retire. His son, Randy VanGundy, now vice president, has become a consultant for the new owner, Western Metals Recycling

Van Gundy’s AMPCO Inc. has been passed down through three generations in the 83 years since it opened.

Vice President Randy VanGundy said he considered extending the auto salvage and metal recycling business to a fourth generation. But by the time his 4-year-old son will be ready to run the business, Randy would like to be retired.

That retirement date will wait at least a few years as VanGundy has become a consultant for the business and its new owner, Salt Lake City-based Western Metals Recycling.

Western Metals Recycling purchased Van Gundy’s on Monday and plans to keep the Van Gundy name on the business at 645 Fourth Ave. Most of the staff also will remain with the company, except for VanGundy’s father and co-owner of the business, Dean VanGundy.

Randy VanGundy said his dad gradually was becoming less involved in the business and wanted to retire. That doesn’t mean he wants to relax, though.

“I don’t know what he’s going to do, but you know him, he likes the politics part,” Randy VanGundy said. “I’m not sure at this point what he’ll do, but I’ll keep him busy.”

Randy VanGundy said he and his father quietly had been considering selling the company for awhile. He said he doesn’t remember if Western approached him or the other way around, but after a long sales process, he is satisfied with the new ownership. Western Metals Recycling is owned by The David J. Joseph Co., which is based in Cincinnati and owns recycling, brokerage and transportation companies in 22 states.

“They just have a lot of horsepower to add,” Randy VanGundy said.

He said the new ownership will allow the company to make some safety changes and put in an ATM. VanGundy said he’s not sure how many jobs will be added, but he expects the new ownership to add staff and offer more benefits than he could afford as a small operation.

Ann DeWert, spokeswoman for The David J. Joseph Co., said the Van Gundy’s AMPCO name will remain “at least for the near future.” DeWert said the company doesn’t plan to make any service changes at this time and plans to “retain the staff that is there today.”

Randy VanGundy said he valued the ability to grow more than maintaining local ownership. But he does appreciate the company will retain some of the recycling company’s traditional values.

“I considered it an honor for the size of this corporation that bought us to want to retain the VanGundy name,” he said.

Van Gundy’s history in Grand Junction includes a fire in the 1960s; the addition of AMPCO, which stands for Automotive, Metals & Plating Co., to its name; and a short move stemming from the construction of Riverside Parkway.

“To move a scrap yard, whether moving next door or not, still is a lot of work,” VanGundy said.


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