Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion Boston Subaru, an independent Subaru repair shop in Soldotna, recently moved across the Kenai Spur Highway into its new expanded building.

Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion Boston Subaru, an independent Subaru repair shop in Soldotna, recently moved across the Kenai Spur Highway into its new expanded building.

Boston Subaru transitions into new building, new name

One of Evel Knievel’s cars sits outside the front door of Boston Subaru in Soldotna, and a map of the famous stunt man’s hometown of Butte, Montana hangs on the wall.

Butte is Donald Boston’s hometown, too. Boston, the owner of the repair shop, said he never knew Knievel personally but saw his stunts half a dozen times. When it’s in good repair, the car can go up to about 40 miles per hour, but it’s set aside for some work right now, he said.

As are many others in the garage. Boston Subaru recently moved across the Kenai Spur Highway from its former location — where it was called AAA Subaru — into a brand new shop with nine bays and new equipment. The total process took about a year and a half, and Boston said he did a lot of the work himself.

“I was putting in 20-hour days a lot,” Boston said. “I haven’t had a day off since… June, I think? A while.”

The new shop, located next to the Soldotna Elks Lodge on the Kenai Spur Highway, isn’t quite finished yet. There will eventually be tanks to fill oil stationed on a loft above the main garage floor, and other little things remain to be done, Boston said. However, the business officially moved into the new garage on Jan. 3.

They’ll keep the old shop across the highway for spillover and spare storage, Boston said. Eventually, the shop will have the capability to do body work as well, though that requires a large investment.

By the time that happens, though, Boston’s son, Walter, will be taking over. Walter Boston said body work is popular in Alaska, but the buy-in is expensive and it will probably be about a year before they have that capability.

“It takes a lot of startup money, like $80,000,” Walter Boston said. “You have to have three big mixing racks … then you gotta mix it yourself. It takes experience. There are a lot of people that do it, but not that great.”

Donald Boston, who said he has run the mechanic shop for about 15 years, was planning to retire without the expansion before Walter “talked me into doing it,” he said. He said he was introduced to mechanics while working on a salvage ship in the Bering Sea out of Dutch Harbor. A veteran, he went on to obtain a degree in mechanics and operated a Subaru shop in Anchorage before coming to the Kenai Peninsula.

“Anchorage just got too big for me,” Donald Boston said. “I love it down here. I’ve been all over Alaska, and this is the best place to live in Alaska.”

The shop deals specifically with Subarus, which Donald Boston called “Alaska’s car” because they are all four-wheel drive. It is an independent Subaru repair shop and serves the entire peninsula, he said.

Throughout his time as a business owner in Soldotna, Donald Boston said he has been developing relationships in the community. He worked with a Soldotna contractor to design and construct the new building, and the sign overhead — a hand-painted image of the Kenai River — was designed and painted by a local painter, he said.

Once Walter Boston begins to transfer into more of an ownership role, his father said he plans to spend a little more time recreating.

“I’ll stay for a few years, until he gets a handle on it,” Donald Boston said. “Then I’m gonna go fishing.”

Reach Elizabeth Earl at elizabeth.earl@peninsulaclarion.com.

Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion Boston Subaru, an independent Subaru repair shop in Soldotna, recently moved across the Kenai Spur Highway into a new expanded building.

Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion Boston Subaru, an independent Subaru repair shop in Soldotna, recently moved across the Kenai Spur Highway into a new expanded building.

More in News

Courtesy photo / Juneau Raptor Center
This golden eagle was rescued by the Juneau Raptor Center over the summer after being found weak and thin.
Rescue center, birdwatchers look back on 2021

Juneau Christmas bird count was way down this year.

This satellite image taken by Himawari-8, a Japanese weather satellite operated by Japan Meteorological Agency and released by National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), shows an undersea volcano eruption at the Pacific nation of Tonga Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022. (NICT via AP)
Tsunami advisory issued after eruption

An undersea volcano erupted Friday near the South Pacific island of Tonga, triggering concerns of damaging waves across Pacific coastlines

Flowers bloom at Soldotna City Hall on Wednesday, June 24, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Multiple public works projects underway in Soldotna

Soldotna City Council received an update on eight different projects

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Hospitalizations rise as state reports increase in COVID cases

There were a total of 112 COVID-related hospitalizations in Alaska as of Friday

Terri Carter’s class celebrates the National Blue Ribbon award after their assembly at Soldotna Montessori Charter School on Friday, Jan 14, 2022. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)
A ‘pathway to a brighter and fulfilling future’

Soldotna Montessori Charter School celebrates national achievement

Homer City Council member Rachel Lord discusses her concerns with funding the Alaska Small Business Development Center Homer Business Advisory position during the Jan. 10 council meeting. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
Council says ‘yes to small businesses’

Homer City Council votes 4-2 in favor of partially funding the Homer Business Advisory position.

AP Photo / Becky Bohrer
Sightseeing buses and tourists are seen at a pullout popular for taking in views of North America’s tallest peak, Denali, in Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska, on Aug. 26, 2016.
Bridge proposed along section of slumping Denali park road

Landslides in the area go back decades but usually required maintenance every two to three years

A sign directs voters at Soldotna City Hall on March 5, 2019. (Peninsula Clarion file)
Locals to join national voting rights march Saturday

The march in Soldotna is part of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Action

Soldotna City Hall is seen on Wednesday, June 23, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna approves $32,000 federal grant for airport

The funds were made available through the American Rescue Plan Act for improvement projects at the Soldotna Municipal Airport

Most Read