On Thursday morning, June 14, DeVere “Rob” Dove III,, several family members and employees of the organization celebrated the company’s 55th anniversary with a Great Bend Chamber of Commerce coffee and ribbon cutting to unveil the newly remodeled dealership at their long-time location on west 10th Street.
Dove’s grandfather, DeVere Dove, purchased the Buick, Opal, Studebaker dealership in Great Bend in 1957. In 1965, he acquired Oldsmobile and Cadillac, and in 1967 they moved to their current location, and the town grew up around them.
In 2009 they added Chevrolet, and in 2012, they became a Dee Dove Chevrolet, Buick and Cadillac, after his father, DeVere "Dee" Dove II.
“It has been a very wonderful experience for my family and organization,” Dove said, and credited the people who work with and for him as well as his customers, for the organization’s success. He also took the time to talk about his competitors like Marmie Bros.
Dove has fond memories of car buying trips he used to take with his dad and Marmie Motors dealer Jerry Marmie, before the days of computers.
“We were good friends and good competitors,” he said. “We used to take trips to Kansas City together almost weekly, if not monthly, and some of the stories of our trips back home....”
Owner of Marmie Motors, Jerry Marmie, spoke about one of those trips home.
“We were having a steak one night before we came home,” he said. “He had bought a Cadillac that day, and at the time, wire wheel covers were all the hot deal. He had bought one with just regular wheel covers, and it didn’t look too good, so he called this guy and said he needed a pair of wire wheel covers, and the guy said, ‘I’ll get my guys on it and I’ll get you a set tonight and I’ll send them to you tomorrow.’ The next day, we go back out to get in the car to come home, and the Cadillac right next to us had no wire wheel covers. The dealers were a little high handed back then.”
As the room erupted into laughter, DeVere Dove confirmed it was a true story.
Joining the turnout was Jason Reynolds, one of the stars of “Mudcats,” a cable television show that presented at last weekend’s Bottoms Up Outdoor Showcase at the Great Bend Expo Center. Reynolds brought along four of the dogs from his dog show, Dorito, Cheeto, Frito, and Shadow, to mingle with the crowd. He and his crew present what he calls a “family-friendly” dog show and “noodling” demonstrations. Noodling is a hand fishing technique spotlighted on “Mudcats.”