Wagar sells dealer Buick GMC to Wernig Chevrolet

GAYLORD — For the first time in more than 50 years, the Wagar name will be out of business in Gaylord.

Tom Wagar confirmed that he had sold the Buick GMC dealership his family has operated for more than half a century to Gene Skiba of Jim Wernig Chevrolet. The two dealers are located opposite each other on South Otsego Avenue.

“We moved to Gaylord (on) November 17, 1963. (We) are from Wyandotte, my mother and father and five sons Wagar. At that time we sold Pontiac Buick GMC and Rambler and lived behind a dealer on First Street,” she says.

“We bought (the company) from Jack and Ernestine Allen (and) it’s called Gochas Garage. I first started working when I was 11 pushing brooms for 25 cents an hour so I could buy a slot car set from the monkey ward (Montgomery Ward & Co.),” recalls Wagar.

He mentioned several reasons for selling the dealer.

“I’m 66, no Wagar in the wings to take over, the car business isn’t what it used to be, estate planning, greed, and to drop a dealer on my two boys and have them sell them for half price, I’ll roll in my grave. Gene is very generous and a pleasure to deal with, he will turn a shop into a vending machine in no time. I enjoy running it like my dad Ford and mom Connie did back in the 60s. I will miss talking to customers as they wait for their car most of the time fixed, good chat. I want to thank everyone who came into contact with the Wagar family during our 58 year journey,” Wagar said.

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