The History of our Building- Part 4

The men of Hendricks Motors

We have now come to our fourth chapter of the series: The History of our Building, which currently stands as Tanin Auto Electronix but began as something quite different many years ago.
In this chapter, we wanted to take a step back from the beautiful cars and show how the hardworking men of Racine’s first ever Volkswagen dealership, Hendricks Motors, liked to kick back and relax.

The second guy from the left is Gerald Hendricks- owner of Hendricks Motors

The mechanics kicking back mid-day

cigarettesmokingman-small (1).jpg
We dubbed this guy affectionately as the “cigarette smoking man”


Photo editing and refinishing courtesy of Jeff Lange at

10 thoughts on “The History of our Building- Part 4”

  1. Ryan Staudenraus

    When you see Mark next . ask him what his dad was doing there 20 years or so after VW ? I think he rented a spot there to sell his woodworking stuff . ?? But I remember he rented a spot there when the building was split up into small shops .
    I left Racine 24 years ago . I might get down there once a year . but when I do , I’ll make a stop by there . . again thanks for what your doing .

    1. We would love for you to stop in and say hi! We will also make sure to ask Mark about the other business ventures that his dad did. We know he mentioned that his dad sold Cesnas and also jetskis! Quite the well rounded guy for sure.

  2. Ryan Staudenraus

    Opps . I’m surprised Marlane didn’t correct me . the guy to the right of Hendricks is Fred not Frank . . so anyway what you have there is Gerald Hendricks and the crew of ACME Electric that wired your building . and later they did the adishion and some where along the lines AC was added to your building ,also wired by Acme electric .
    I too have a slide reader that plugs in a USB port . . I’m guessing you have Mark Hendricks’s slides ? When you’re done with them I’ll have to stop in by uncle Mark with a twelve pack . 🙂 lol ,, mean time I’ll snag them off you page .
    Again . thank alot for what you are doing . looks great . and best of luck with your business .

    1. Hi Ryan, we love putting names to the faces in the old photos from the Hendricks Motors story! Feel free to swing by any time and say hi too! Maybe bring uncle Mark and we can show you around while he gives the tour for you. He has some great stories and your family history will be well preserved by us there. It is a great building and we are proud to be able to take care of it and continue in the tradition of car related businesses being run there. All the best,
      Tanin Auto Electronix

  3. Marlane Billings

    Thanks for posting this was really interesting , my dad and brother are in the picture when the building was new my dad was thc electrician and brother was a helper. My dad Fran Staudenraus and Gerald Hendricks were also friends, and and my other brother married Gerald’s daughter years later. Acme Electric was his business name,

    1. Hi Marlane! Thank you so much for posting and sharing this with us. We are so excited to learn more about the guys and the business. It really is remarkable what they did with the VW dealership and so much fun to look back on the time capsule of photos. Feel free to email us at if you would like us to send you the digital photos we converted from the slides!
      Tanin Auto Electronix

    2. The guy to the very right in the picture is my brother Reed Harding he must have been about 16 in the picture

  4. Ryan Staudenraus

    The man to the left is “Red” Franics Staudenraus, the owner of ACME Electric,
    Acme Electric did all of Gerald Hendrick’s electrical work .
    As you go through those old slides you may find some old VW vans that say ACME Electric on them as ACME Electric bought there work vans from Hendricks motors .
    The man to the right of Hendricks is Frank . Red’s head electrician .
    Still working on who the man is on the far right .
    Me??? I’m the only grandson of both ! ,Red is my dad’s father and Hendricks is my mother’s father . . so from left to right is , Grandpa Staudenraus . Grandpa Jerry. Frank .and ??? Might be an uncle ?
    I’m Ryan Staudenraus. And thank you so much for doing the history on the old VW shop .

    1. Hi Ryan, Thank you so much for posting and filling in some of the missing info on your grandfathers and the guys! We are so appreciative of your assistance and excited to hear from a family member of the Hendricks family! We have more photos that we transferred to digital, for upcoming blog posts too. We did see some trucks that said ACME. Pretty cool! If you want to email our marketing lead, Jen at she will happily send you the photos to share with your family via digital. It is much easier than developing slides! We purchased a converter for the slides so if you all have others that you want us to help with, just let us know! Preserving the history of Hendricks and Racine is very important to us here and so much fun to share with the world. We look forward to speaking with you soon.
      Tanin Auto Electronix

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