Longtime Las Vegas musician in tune with Subaru vehicles

When Southern Nevada automobile executive Pete Findlay journeyed to Southern Nevada from Panaca in 1959 to begin what would eventually become known as Findlay Automotive Group, little did he know that a professional trumpet player would become one of his best customers.

Now 71, Tony Scodwell is capitalizing on the fact that one of Findlay’s first franchises was Subaru, which was added to product lines at 3025 E. Fremont in 1971.

Scodwell is on his third Subaru in what undoubtedly has created a beneficial customer-dealer relationships.

A resident of Southern Nevada since the early 1960s, Scodwell came to town from Beloit, Wis., to perform with Frank Sinatra, Harry James, Stan Kenton, Tommy Dorsey, Buddy Rich, Doc Severinsen and other legendary performers .

Also an accomplished photographer, Scodwell and his wife, Mary, decided in 1998 that they wanted to shoot photos of trains during the winter near Flagstaff, Ariz. In need of a well-handling vehicle during what can be treacherous conditions in the mountains, the Scodwells rented an all-wheel drive Subaru wagon.

“We were heading for the hills in the area and really needed a vehicle that could handle the terrain,” said Scodwell, who builds trumpets in his Las Vegas workshop. “The Subaru impressed us right from the get-go.

“It had been snowing heavily. We got into the mountains and were literally Pro Rallying our way using the snowbanks as berms. The Subaru performed very well, and I became a fan of the car on that trip.”

Not long after the trip to Flagstaff, the Scodwells purchased a 1999 Subaru Wagon before following with the purchase of an 2002 Legacy Wagon and finally buying an 2008 WRX.

“I got 100,000 miles on the first two Subarus, so there certainly wasn’t any question about the durability of the car,” Scodwell said. “Because of that, I went over to see Subaru of Las Vegas General Manager Burton Hughes and a white 2008 WRX was sitting on the lot with the extra equipment that would have been ordered anyway.”

Hughes made Scodwell a deal that he couldn’t refuse and as his 2002 Legacy wagon was a desirable trade, the WRX found a new home.

With his photography business changing directions and no longer needing the 10-foot carrying capacity the Legacy wagon offered, the WRX was a perfect fit, he said. An added benefit was the slightly larger rear seating area.

He said the WRX has been a great performing vehicle and several trips to wine country and a 3,000-mile trip through the Idaho mountains demonstrated the superb handling qualities and excellent gas mileage the WRX delivers.

“We have had such good success with the Subarus in the past that there probably be more Subarus in the Scodwells future,” Scodwell said.

Subaru of Las Vegas is at 5385 W. Sahara Ave. For more information call 702-495-2100 or by visiting www.subaruoflasvegas.com.