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Gordon Mackenzie Sr. began the Battery Distributing Co. in the 1930s, operating the business from his home at 41st and Quintara. The business originally sold batteries and battery accessories. Anna Mackenzie handled the book-keeping, while Gordon traveled around the Bay Area selling and delivering products. In the 1950s, Mackenzie secured a contract with Union Oil to be a distributor of their branded products to their Union Oil gas stations. Products sold were batteries, chemicals, accessories and basic tune-up/oil change and auto parts.

Gordon Mackenzie, Jr. began working with his father in the Battery Distributing Co.. In the 1950s but in 1960, after Union Oil decided not to renew independent distributor contracts, Gordon, Jr. established the Gordon Mackenzie Warehouse at 34 Page Street. The company sold Accurate Tools and EIS brake parts, and the business operated on the three-step distribution system: Manufacturers sold to a warehouse; the warehouse sold to an auto parts store (jobber); and that auto parts store sold to both the public and the automotive repair facility.

Gordon Mackenzie Warehouse did wholesale business only with auto parts stores in the Bay Area. Gordon Jr. serviced customers and delivered merchandise; his wife, Anna-Maria, and mother (Anna) handled the book-keeping; and his father (Gordon Sr.) helped with daily warehouse activities and deliveries.

As the business grew the family added employees to help with warehousing, customer service and deliveries. In the late 1960s, the older generation moved into semi-retirement. (Gordon Mackenzie, Sr. died in 1976; Anna Mackenzie in 1986.)

Mackenzie Warehouse purchased its first computer in the late 70s. That was not only the significant change to the business, however, for in 1970 Mackenzie Warehouse was one of the first auto parts warehouses to purchase a line of replacement parts for Japanese cars known as SBH (Lazorlite). Japanese cars were then considered to be a fad that would eventually disappear.  <Continue>