Maurice W. Quanbeck ~ MTTA Hall of Fame 2005
This year, the MTTA Hall of Fame inductee is a country boy born at Deaconess Hospital in Billings and raised in the Blue Creek/Shepherd area. He spent grades 7-12 in a one-room schoolhouse in Shepherd and graduated from high school in 1954. In December of 1954, he entered the Navy and was honorably discharged four years later. After attending Montana State College and studying mechanical engineering for 3 quarters, he went to work for John Deere where he would work during the day until 1968. Early in the service, he had met Frank Kemmerer, and, in February of 1959 when they were out of the service, the two started an automobile repair business in a one-stall garage with a dirt floor and a wood heater. It was so cold in the garage during winter that when overhauling an outfit, it would only thaw out one side at a time. For nine years, Maurice Quanbeck worked days for John Deere and nights for M&W Repair.
In 1968, Maurice moved M&W to 7th Street in Bozeman and purchased the Auto Electric Station during that time. The first wrecker built was a slide-in single boom hand-crank on a half-ton pickup. It didn't take long to figure out that it wasn't going to do the job. The next wrecker was a twin-line 460 Holmes on a '52 Chevy with a medium-duty chassis which became truck #3 with the wrecker body placed on a new '66 GMC medium-duty. #4 was a 750 Holmes on a '52 White and later #11, a 650 Holmes on a '55 Chevy, and #15,a 500 Holmes on a '75 GMC, were added. #11 became #18 when the wrecker body was put on a '74 Chevy. #14 was a 750 Holmes on a '68 Kenworth conventional and was also built by Maurice. Now, of course, almost all of these trucks have been replaced by newer models and higher numbers, #52 now being the top number.
A GMC dealership was added in 1970, and a trucking company, Mid-Montana, was started in 1970. Mid-Montana ran up to fifteen trucks for close to twenty years. In 1975, thanks to the business outgrowing its facility once again, Maurice moved M&W to an 8000-square-foot shop on Rouse Avenue, currently has ten employees, and operates a number of light, medium, and heavy-duty tow trucks, tractor-trailers, tractors, service vans, and other equipment.
Maurice has now owned and operated M&W Repair, Inc. for over forty-six years, is a lifetime member of MTTA, and currently serves on the Montana Highway Patrol complaint committee.
It is with great pleasure that MTTA inducts Maurice Quanbeck into the Hall of Fame to join Milo Casagrande, Frank Stoltz, Patrick Gilboy, and Dennis Frownfelter.