WAYLAND — People came from all over the country to be at the 95 Anniversary celebration of Bennett’s Buick Chevrolet on May 20.
There were dozens of classic cars lined up in the parking lot to pay tribute to the oldest continually family-operated Buick Dealership in the world.
Bennett’s Buick Chevrolet began pulling in business in 1922 with brothers Guy Sr. and Homer Bennett.
The famous family owned business has stayed in the Bennett’s hands for four generations. Guy Jr., his sons, Jim and Guy Brooks, and grandson, Zachary Bennett are keeping the engine running.
Bennett’s Buick Chevrolet Owner Guy Bennett Jr. is proud of his sons and grandson for helping him keep the business in the hands of family.
“It has been a lot of hard work,” he said. “I started helping my dad 64 years ago when I came back to Wayland.”
In July 1922 the Bennett brothers got the Buick franchise up and running. They were directly connected to the big Buick plant in Flint, Michigan.
“They set up a garage (Bennett’s Garage) so they could service the cars too,” Guy Bennett Jr. said. “ They (Flint plant) asked my dad to do a franchise.”
The plant in Flint, Michigan was known as Buick City for many years until it shut down in 1999, which is the same year the pioneer of Bennett’s Buick, Guy Sr., passed away.
“Flint is all gone now, but it was the largest Buick plant in the world,” Guy Bennett Jr. said. “Buicks came from all over. Way back in 1958 they made the Buick Opels, and they were a hot car for us. The military boys in WWII had a chance to drive them overseas, and when they came home they were good customers. They loved those Buick Opels so much. Buick hit a low point that year, and would’ve lost everything if not for the Opels.”
The Bennett family only knew Buick for many many years, and about 27 years ago they had to buy Chevrolet trucks to keep the business afloat. They became Bennett’s Buick Chevrolet.
“That saved the company,” Guy Bennett Jr.said. “We got the Chevy trucks in 1990. We didn’t have trucks, and that became about 50 percent of the market.”
Guy Bennett Jr. recalls a Christmas card his father got in 1941 calling him a Man of Buick, and that card meant the world to him. The Bennett’s have been considered part of the Buick family for 95 years.
“I was born a Man of Buick,” Guy Bennett Jr. said. “My sons were born a Man of Buick.”
Jim and Guy Brooks Bennett started out washing cars at the family dealership when they were children for 50 cents and hour. Now Jim works in the sales, and Guy Brooks works in the service part of the shop.
“I feel proud that I am still here helping out,” Guy Bennett Jr. said. “I couldn’t do it without loyal help and loyal customers. I have met a lot of wonderful people over the years, and I appreciate what a wonderful life I have had.”
Guy Bennett Jr. said he is blessed that his sons stayed home to help out, and didn’t move out of state.
“If you want to make it 95 years in this business it takes a lot of hard work, and with that work you need to have fun,” he said. “In the middle of all of that you need to have love mixed in.”
Jim Bennett said he feels fortunate that his family still owns and operates the dealership.
“This is quite a milestone for the family,” he said. “We have had this family dealership at the same place for 95 years.”
“It is also a blessing to be able to work with dad,” Jim Bennett continued. “We are looking forward to another five years for our 100th.”
Buicks will always be in the lifeblood of the Bennett family, and it is where their roots are dug deep in the soil.
Bennett Buick Chevrolet is located at 7 South Lackawanna St. They can be reached at 866-835-3071 and are in operation Monday and Wednesday 8 a.m. until 8 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., Friday 8 a.m. until 6 p.m., and Saturday 8 a.m. until 1 p.m.