ELIZABETHTOWN — Being the eighth oldest car dealership in the US, and certainly the oldest in New York, Egglefield Ford recently held a birthday bash to celebrate a milestone 100 years of operation in the North Country.
“It was one heck of a party,” said sales manager Peter Allen. “We had about 250 people bring their cars down for a parade — everything from Model Ts to Mustangs.”
Egglefield Ford was founded by Wilbur B. Egglefield in 1910, according to Allen, who said it moved to its current location in 1915.
“This dealership has been through the Great Depression, World War II, the Korean War, with decorated Egglefields in all three of those conflicts,” Allen said. “And with the times there were also huge changes in the countries economy, and even bigger changes in the automotive industry.”
Allen said despite all these changes the dealership has always been a strong part of the community, remaining true to an “old way of doing business.”
“It’s a way of doing things that only exists in small towns, and it’s an asset, a long term asset, that you would never find in a big dealership,” Allen said. “We give each customer the time and attention they deserve, probably because we know them all personally.”
Since 1910 Egglefield Ford has remained family owned and is now in it’s fifth generation with Cory Egglefield operating High Peaks Ford, on state Route 86 in Ray Brook, which opened in 2003.
Despite the success of both dealerships Allen said that, “with the economy the way it is,” there have been tough times in the past.
“But we managed to get through the hard times, and we did it without laying anybody off,” Allen said. “There are right around 40 families that depend on the store for their work and income. And it’s a huge tax base in E-town.”
Allen also said the dealership is community minded, sponsoring fire department race trucks, local sports teams and remaining involved in fundraisers for the Elizabethtown Community Health Center.
“It’s always been an important part of the business model here,” Allen said. “We’ve accepted reinvesting in the community as a responsibility.”