Honoring longtime dealerships.
The NADA Century Award recognizes those new-car dealerships that have been in the transportation business for 100 years or more. Founding dealers—and the dedicated families behind them—persevered by learning how to adapt to changing business conditions and consumer demands.
Many early dealers started before there even was much of an auto industry. This includes Amable Normandin, a blacksmith and sleigh maker from Montreal. Normandin started a buggy-making shop in California in 1875, then began selling cars in 1906. Today, the dealership that bears his name sells Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram.
Over in Minnesota, another blacksmith named Steve Tenvoorde also sold bicycles. Tenvoorde and his pal P.R. Thielman—nicknamed “the daredevils”—brought the first automobile to their hometown of St. Cloud in 1899. Three years later, Tenvoorde was selling cars, and in 1903 he became the second franchised Ford dealer—three months before the Ford Motor Co. was incorporated.
And in Indiana in 1847—some 170 years ago this year—Wesley Hare started what would become one of the largest wagon, buggy and carriage dealers in the Midwest. Cars were added in 1912, and soon included Cadillac, Hupmobile, Overland and Studebaker. By the 1930s, the store sold 25 cars annually. Today, Hare Chevrolet sells thousands of vehicles a year and is run by the sixth generation, sisters Courtney Cole and Monica Peck.
There are dozens of Century Award winners with similar family histories. ❖
For a complete list of winners or to apply for the award, go to
nada.org/century. To download this story in the convention magazine, visit
1852 | Schaefer & Bierlein, Inc.
1924 | Normandin Chrysler/Jeep, San Jose. Calif.
1847 | W. Hare & Son, Inc., Noblesville, Ind.
1897 | Hill International Trucks, LLC, East Liverpool, Ohio