Unsung Heroes #86

A few weeks ago we honored Vautrin Auto Service as our Unsung Hero.

Turns out there’s another Unsung Hero almost directly across the street. Alert — and very satisfied — reader Charmian Valante writes: 

My daily read of “06880” helps me feel a little bit closer to the town I love. Last year, as you highlighted the closing of some of my favorite businesses — Crossroads Hardware, Christie’s Country Store, Commuter Cafe — I thought about my own shopping behavior, and how I could do more to support the remaining stores that are so vital to our community.

Cooper’s Auto Parts in Westfair Center is at the top of my list. I hope you might adding them to your Unsung Hero list.

Sandy, who runs the store, has uncanny ability to know exactly what part is needed for your. Then he takes the time to talk me through the installation process.


On Yelp he has a legion of fans who treasure his advice and guidance as much as I do. The reviews include:

  • “These are the nicest most accommodating, most helpful guys who an old auto nerd could ever hope to do deal with.”
  • “Coop knows parts and problems always willing to sell you only what you need to get the job done.”
  • “This is what an auto parts store should be.”
  • “They are the Car Talk guys of Westport.”

When my daughter’s friend’s tail light went out, I went to Cooper’s to get a replacement bulb. Sandy immediately knew the halogen light needed for her 2007 Camry. He gave me a box so I wouldn’t touch the bulb, and explained to me how the oils on my hand could transfer to the bulb and crack it when we installed.

On other occasions, he has come out of his shop to look at a windshield wiper, top off fluids, and help me remove bumper sticker residue (insisting on using his sample of Goo Gone Automotive rather than me buying a bottle).

I am always surprised how many Westporters don’t know about Cooper’s, considering how long they’ve been serving Westporters. Thank you for considering this.

Consider it done. Cooper’s Auto Parts: You’re our Unsung Heroes of the Week!

22 responses to “Unsung Heroes #86

  1. Sandy is an absolute treasure for our town. When I was rehabbing a couple of very used old cars for my daughters to use, he was an invaluable source of information and advice, and parts at a very fair price. The store is old school – a bit cluttered and dated, but I wouldn’t trade it for all of the corporate chain auto parts stores in the country.

  2. Dan. You need to highlight Tim Purcell from Christie’s Service and owner of the whole property. There is a story there.

    Sent from my iPhone


  3. I love Cooper’s Auto. Also, great for keys. I’ve been a customer for many years. Mary Condon

  4. I second your salutes to both Sandy Cooper, the auto parts whiz, and Greg Bernfeld, owner and master mechanic of Vautrin Auto. Neither has ever steered me wrong.

  5. Dorothy Abrams

    Always helpful.

  6. Diana Pils Marino

    I absolutely LOVE Sandy!! For decades I’ve been going to him for parts, rocksalt, keys and … gossip! He’s so knowledgeable and fun and inexpensive I’ll always go to Cooper Auto Parts!

  7. Auto parts doesn’t begin to scratch the surface of the items and services Cooper’s offers. Need a headlight bulb? Need help installing it? Neither are a problem! Can’t find that oddball tool anywhere? Ask Sandy! Cooper’s the place you go to get “that thing”

  8. Chip Stephens SHS '73

    Sandy and Coopers Auto are a throwback to great customer service and always have the part you need or will find it if they don’t.
    Hey WESTPORT head over there if you need a wiper blade or two, Sandy always installs it (no extra charge) and it will cost you half or less than your average gas station or dealer. And while you are there check out his shelf of vintage Hess Trucks. Such a great place and such a nice guy

  9. Julien Beresford

    Sandy’s also a great resource for boat engine maintenance supplies and tools. A terrific person and town treasure.

  10. “That’ll be five bucks, boss”

    Just say that line to any car-guy townie and they’ll know in an instant you are quoting Sandy – as others have said, Sandy is both deeply knowledgeable (in an era when encountering a knowledgeable person at a car parts store is a rarity) and always ready to help with advice, a tool, or his own hands. Heck, my father was a loyal Cooper’s customer before I was even close to driving myself – and long after he moved away from Westport he would often ask me if I had been in to see Sandy lately.

    My favorite Sandy story – my aforementioned father had a 1970 Opel GT, which required an odd-size oil filter. After chasing that oil filter down for my father a few times, Sandy went ahead and bought a few extra, knowing my father would be coming in for them. But my dad sold the Opel GT and then later moved out of town. When I moved back to the area a few years later, Sandy would always ask me when would my father be coming in for that special oil filter he had in stock just for him. He finally just handed the whole bunch of oil filters to me a few years ago, and told me to give them to my father as a present from him . . . my dad laughed. OK boss.

  11. Michael Calise

    Every story and there are many all lead to the fact that Sandy is a true Westport Treasure!

  12. Oh totally! Somehow I thought they were a hardware store – and I want in one day last summer needing a plunger. You know, when you need one…you need one. They explained that they were an auto parts store (wish I could read!) but offered to loan me theirs! Long story short, they wrapped it up “why should you have to touch it?” and I took it home. I brought it back and thanked them profusely. They shrugged and said, “of course!” Amazing!

  13. Like the Old Western Auto, Sandy has it, and will find it for you. Sandy, thank you my friend for always taking care of the customers. As mentioned above, Sandy WILL change your wiper blades, Sandy WILL get you the right tail light and signal bulb..Often coming out and helping you install. Coopers is more then just an Auto Parts Store. Full service all the way!

  14. Sandy has been helping me keep my 1964 Thunderbird in good running order over the last 37 years by advising what body fluids I should add to it for both the season I run the car and for winter storage. Of late I have been dropping in with my various grandchildren allowing them to select one Hess truck from his incredibly vast inventory. They are spread in nooks and crannies all over the store offering a surprise at every turn. They love it and spend an extraordinary amount of time pondering that very critical decision of “which one?“ they will liberate from the shelves. Shopping at Cooper Auto is a one of a kind experience and you don’t need to worry about free shipping.

  15. Sandy is a Wonderful Guy ,who I’ve known sense the early 70S .. Both of us had more hair way back then … His store Coopers Auto Parts is a Hidden Gem in this town …

  16. Love Sandy! He’s helped me on many occasions!

  17. Dave Feliciano

    Sandy is a true gentleman, and a legendary wizard of automobile parts and hard to find items. A Town Treasure.

  18. Marc Sandy Block

    Thanks Sandy. I second all the previous motions. You’re great!

  19. Been going there since I could drive, definitely the type of business I wish we had more of in Westport. Sandy has ordered parts for my truck, as well as given me advice on how to solve various issues with cars I’ve had.

  20. Been going to Coopers with variety of classic cars over many years…never failed to get what’s needed and, if he ain’t got, wait 24 hours and there it is.
    ALWAYS friendly and welcoming…a fun way to buy stuff.

  21. If you need parts Sandy Cooper is the man to see !Parts is his business, weather it’s wipers on a rainy day Sandy is the man , Sandy will hook you up with out a complaint, just the opposite , he always has a smile and is willing too help, I had a car over 10 years old that needed a part which GM does not make anymore the repair shop looked high & low all over the US and could not get the part, there response was that GM doesn’t make parts for cars over 10 years old!! I told them,Let me see what I can do,Now Sandy who who’s business is parts ,and only parts said Let me check! 10 days later Sandy had the new part! The Cadillac dealer couldn’t believe I had the part , bravo coopers !!!

  22. Arthur C Schoeller

    No story or anecdote here. Just piling on to add to all the others who validate that Sandy is the real deal, a joy to visit, and a great example of good old home town customer service. I look FORWARD to my windshield wipers needing replacement!