SpecialEducation

Bachman Buick: Columbus, Ohio

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I'm wondering if anybody out there might know where I could find some information on a Columbus, Ohio Buick dealership from the 1940s.

 

My dad's uncle Chuck, Charles Bachman, sold cars in Athens and Columbus Ohio in the 1940s, and moved to Evansville, Indiana in 1950.  Evansville has a nice archive and I was able to piece some things together like the location of the dealership (the building still stands) - although some of their archives look like articles written when they expected him to die, but he didn't, so not all of the data is spot-on:

 

http://local.evpl.org/search/searcharticlepersonid.asp?personid=433042

 

As I recall, he sold used cars in Athens, but sold new Buicks in Columbus.  I'm curious where the dealership was, any photos available, etc....

 

Thanks!

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Interesting story. You say the building still stands? If you have the address, have you looked for it on Google Earth ?

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I know the Evansville building still stands, but I'm looking for clues regarding his Columbus, Ohio operation.

 

Attached is what the Evansville place looked like in 1923 (which he bought in 1950), and here's the current Street View.

 

Also attached is my great-grandparents standing in front of one of Chuck's cars.  In 1954, great-grandpa was driving a Studebaker (pretty sporty for an old school teacher)...

 

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WOW Check out that '54 Roadmaster with wire wheels!!! Those white walls look to be a bit narrow? And it may be my suggestive imagination but is that an AC vent going up the rear window? That would have been the car I would have owned if I was a Buick dealer in 1954 (along with a 2 door one and a 3 speed Century Convertible he he he)  Great picture, I have added it to my "My Buick, My Love and I" file. THANKS

 

Interesting building that old dealership. But did you check out the castle next to it in the Google street scene. I take it this was maybe the couthouse and the jail was in the bottom back? Awesome. THANKS for sharing!!!

 

Good luck in your continued search for more info re the Columbus Ohio bldng!

 

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That would have been the car I would have owned if I was a Buick dealer in 1954 (along with a 2 door one and a 3 speed Century Convertible he he he)

I think if I was the big cheese at a Buick dealership in 1954, I'd have the Roadmaster for long trips (this pic would have been taken at the family farm near Lima, Ohio), and a Skylark for my around-town driving...

My wife worked at a Pontiac Buick GMC dealership in Oklahoma, and when the owner passed away in 2012, he was still driving the '79 Caballero he bought from himself decades previous.  His wife was the receptionist and she always had a fresh demo, but he never found anything he liked better than the old silver Cab (everyone knew it as the Silver Bullet).

 

Maybe that's why we aren't Buick dealers.  We're wired more for buying and driving rather than selling. ;)

Edited by SpecialEducation (see edit history)

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SpecialEducation, I posed your question to a long-time Buick Club member I know in the Columbus area.  He offered up the following response:

 

"I never heard of any Buick dealer in Columbus with the name of Bachman associated with it.  There were three dealers in the '40s to the best of my knowledge.  Columbus Buick Co. was located downtown and was owned by George Simeon.  It was first located at 288 E. Long St. and later at 32 S. Fifth St. but the Simeon's owned it for many years and I know they owned it in the 1930s.  Remember the Packard Columbus/Columbus Buick picture that I sent The Bugle many years ago?  That was from the Long St. location.

 

"Saeger Buick was on the west side of Columbus at W. Broad St. near Central Avenue (I think the address was 1390 W. Broad) and Jack Saeger owned that dealership starting in 1939.

 

"Kelley Buick was located at 3415 N. High St. and would become Bob Daniels Buick in 1950.  Mr. Kelley was killed in an auto accident around mid-year 1950.  I don't know how long he had been a dealer but IF there was much chance of a Bachman Buick dealership, I suspect this would be the most likely candidate but I really don't think so.

 

"Of all the buildings listed, only the oldest one at 288 E. Long St. still exists.

 

"I'll try to do some additional checking though."

Edited by Centurion (see edit history)
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Remember the TV show, I'VE GOT A SECRET?, well it NO secret Mr. Lamar Earl LOVES anything that has FITTY FO tied to it.

He LOVED his FITTY FO birthday., I think the world heard him SCREEMING, "YES, YES, YES", don't ya think?

Dale in indy

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Hey, thanks a bunch, Brian!

 

I know that Bachman had 3 lots between Athens and Columbus before going to Indiana, but I believe only one was a new car dealership.  Everyone in the family recalls that the only new cars he ever sold were Buicks.  One newspaper article stated that he sold new cars in Athens, but that doesn't seem consistent with the cousins' stories or other clippings.  Based on this clipping about Mr. Luck, I'd guess that at least the used side of the house in Columbus was called Bachman Motor Sales.

 

We have a family reunion in Ohio every even numbered summer, and we occasionally tour old home sites, farms, and school houses attached to the family history.  The Bachman kids were pretty small back then, so their older cousins often have better recollections about what their parents were doing in this time frame.  It would be great to find some historical documents to solidify the family history as recalled by the older cousins.

 

Thanks again! 

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Hi guys.  SpecialEducation is my son so he is talking about my uncle Chuck.  Just thought I would jump in and follow what is going on here.

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There was a comment as to whether or not the Roadmaster above had A/C.  I did not know my uncle well but have little doubt that car would have had everything!  We had never noticed anything to indicate A/C but we are not experts on that year either.

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Thanks for "jumpin in" Don. I enlarged the picture and am convinced I am seeing the clear plastic tube running between the package shelf and the top of the window as well as the small piece of chrome at the top of tube. Anybody else seeing this?

Hope you will continue following and adding to this most interesting thread

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I see what at first looks like the air tube, but the more I look, the more I think it's a reflection. I see the reflection going further back on the package shelf to be a tube. I recall the tubes to mount closer to the seat back, BUT old Smitty could be wrong, a FIRST.

Dale in indy

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BUT old Smitty could be wrong, a FIRST.

Dale in indy

I've only ever been wrong one time Smitty and that was when I thought I was wrong about something and turned out I was right. Plus you know moderators are always right. He he ha ha

But I'll defer to the gentleman from Indy and concede to having been wrong twice now. Must have been that suggestive imagination...

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Might the current Bachman Chevrolet in Louisville be a relative? I know there have been several dealers in KY and OH over the years that were all part of each other. Currently, the owners of Rod Hatfieod Chevrolet in Lexington, KY and Hatfield Chrysler in Winchester, KY started in the business in Columbus.

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I don't believe so. In 1959 he sold the Evansville dealership (which became Snyder Buick) and moved to Florida to deal in real estate. As far as I know, he didn't sell cars after '59, (but still drove late model Buicks).

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Simeon Edsel, Columbus, Ohio. Located on the southwest corner of S. Fifth St. and E. Broad St., Columbus, Ohio. The showroom for Columbus Buick, their sister dealership also owned by the Simeons, was located on the southeast corner of the same intersection. Columbus Buick became Len Immke Buick and Len Immke was friends with a guy known as Dave Thomas. The Len Immke showroom became the world's first Wendy's restaurant.

 

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Len Immke moved to 32 S. Fifth St., in the bottom floor of the Capitol Parking Garage. Len Immke changed hands in the last year or two and is now Sandoval Buick, located near the airport.

Edited by TempoNick (see edit history)
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You can look up deeds at this site:

 

https://countyfusion5.propertyinfo.com/countyweb/login.do

 

Charles C. Bachman and Beatrice Emily Bachman sold some property in 1950. The Columbus Crew Soccer Stadium and The Ohio Fairgrounds sits on one of their parcels. The other parcel looks like where they might have lived:

 

572 Woodbury Ave.

 

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Woodbury+Ave,+Columbus,+OH+43223/@39.9446381,-83.0470819,3a,30y,75.01h,86.81t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s7QLvV5JD8qTes9XraFzkIw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!4m5!3m4!1s0x88388f8f7f848e71:0xc0b85fbb1caccd!8m2!3d39.9447776!4d-83.0471277

 

http://apps.franklincountyauditor.com/ParcelSheet/010-068193-00

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That's good stuff, Nick.  Thanks!  Looking at the Streetview, it seems the south side of 5th & Broad has been modernized since those days...

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Oh, wow.  It looks like the old building was demolished in 2007.  I had been in the area more than once not long before that happened.  If I'd known, I would have made it over there...:(

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See that, I found one source that said the building was demolished in 2007, but I thought it interesting that the current structure followed the same footprint, down to the curved section that approaches the street.

 

This site states the building was extensively renovated, which I tend to believe is more accurate.  It also includes a photo showing Wendy's and Immke signs...

http://delta.wosu.org/2012/capturecolumbus/original-wendys-location-on-east-broad-street/

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As Centurion's friend noted, and this document confirms, Simeon owned the dealership at 5th & Broad through the time period that the Bachmans were in the area.  I'll continue to pursue the Kelley Buick angle...

 

If nothing else, we are leaving a nice trail of bread crumbs for the next person interested in Columbus dealerships to follow!

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Matt, I have received further information from my friend, Bob, regarding this subject:

 

"My long time friend and co-worker, Paul Bussert, researched the name using various Columbus city directories and did find some information but it would seem to confirm that Charles Bachman was NOT a Buick dealer in Columbus. 

"The earliest records from the late 30s show he was a typewriter repairman before becoming a salesman for Thompson-Davies Chevrolet in 1940 and 1941.  When we moved to Columbus, it was Paul Davies Chevrolet and later Hugh White Chevrolet.  The building at 390 E. Broad St. is now owned and utilized by the Columbus College of Art and Design.  

"After that, he was involved in the financial industry before operating a wholesale and retail USED CAR business in 1945 through 1949 or 1950.  It would appear that he left Columbus sometime in 1950. 

"Paul has also included photos of the properties where he lived as found on the Franklin County Auditor's website.  Mr. Bachman's used car business at 585 S. High St. was just south of downtown as is obvious in the photo."

Matt, I am uncertain regarding the best way to get these various files to you, but, if you will send me an e-mail, I would be happy to forward to you.  My e-mail:  brianL@americanconstco.com

 

 

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Some further information regarding the Buick dealerships in Columbus, with thanks to my Columbus friend:

 

"The photo shown (in TempoNick's post above) is of the original Wendy's location at 257 E. Broad St. but that was NOT a showroom for Columbus Buick/Immke.  While that location was on E. Broad St. east of S. Fifth St., the predecessor to the Wendy's was Tommy Heinrich Steak House.  It had served as an auto dealership as well (Jan Ross if I remember correctly) but there was no association with Buick.  Columbus Buick was on the east side of S. Fifth St. at the corner of Capital St. (one block south of E. Broad St.) and the address was 32 S. Fifth St.  This was the showroom and service facility for Columbus Buick and later Len Immke (in 1963).  When the Capital Parking Garage was built across the street at 31 S. Fifth St. (around 1973/4/5), the lower level became the home to Len Immke Buick until they moved to S. Hamilton Rd.  The 32 S. Fifth St. showroom became Immke's used car showroom although some vehicles were parked in a portion of the lot on S. Fifth St. that was adjacent to the Wendy's location."

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Dad was having a little trouble with his slide scanner tonight, so I was trying it out on my laptop.  Unfortunately, this image isn't very sharp, but the guy on the far right is dad's uncle Chuck.  The first kid standing, who seems more interested in his lollipop than than the camera is my dad.

 

Grandpa would have been behind the camera; I don't know why he always cropped the cars out of the photos so severely.  Didn't he know that it was the cars that we would really want to see 60 years later?;)

 

Kodachome slide from 1958

bachman.jpg

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