This Is South Dakota’s Oldest Auto Dealership
I got my first car, I mean the first car I could call my own, in the summer of 1972. It was a '63 Chevy Impala, two-door hardtop (I know, I know, young folks are asking 'What's a hardtop??), with 'three-on-the-tree'. It cost an incredible $500 and it was, ahem... well worn. Press that gas pedal down and watch the blue cloud float out the tailpipe.
But it was mine. All mine. And I loved it. I mean, didn't we all love our first car, no matter what it was? After all, it was ours! Wax it up, a couple of bucks of gas, and we were off to the drive-in.
When I bought that first car the President of the United States was Richard Nixon (that didn't end well). American League baseball pitchers still hit for themselves (that designated hitter thing will never last). The Miami Dolphins didn't lose a football game (well, that's changed too). The Minnesota Twins didn't play at Target Field, and they didn't play in the Metrodome either. They played at Metropolitan Stadium (it's gone now, replaced by some little mall or something).
But hold on, if that seems ancient, let's go back to when South Dakota's oldest auto dealership opened up.
In that year, the United States added a state... Oklahoma became number 46. There was a Roosevelt in the White House and his name wasn't Franklin.
And that year, the year of 1907, is when South Dakota's oldest auto dealership opened.
Wegner Auto in Pierre.
Wegner Auto is a fourth-generation auto dealer and, not only that, they are the oldest Buick Dealer in the United States under the same family name! I'm thinkin' there must be a lot of customer service and customer satisfaction to be around and thriving 112 years after you opened the doors!
And I can just imagine that farmer or rancher out in the field with his horse and plow when he hears it...the rumble and rattle of something coming down that Hughes County gravel road. The horse turns his head, the dog starts barking (wonder if they chased cars in those days) and a lady stops hanging wet clothes on the clothesline to take a look.
Why that's one of them new-fangled horseless carriages from that Wegner place in town!