Dick's Auto celebrates 50 years of automotive service
Business second-oldest in Didsbury
Dick’s Auto Service had just celebrated not only being the second-oldest business in Didsbury, but also its 50th anniversary.
The automotive business, currently owned and managed by Rick Wannamaker, was originally opened Mar. 1, 1962 by Dick Wannamaker.
The business was located across the train tracks on the other side of the Didsbury downtown, before it moved to its current location.
“I rented the current location, and put a hoist in, and had it rented for a year,” said Dick.
When the site’s owner went bankrupt, however, Dick was pressed to buy the shop in just a week’s time, and managed not only the purchase, but to pay off the site over the next 10 years.
After Dick’s retirement, Rick bought the business, and has been managing it since 1999.
Both of the Wannamakers are fully licensed mechanics, with a lengthy background in the field and a love of the work.
Rick would even work at the shop in his youth, between hockey games, according to Dick.
“Grease was in his nails when he was young,” said Dick.
Over the years, the shop saw a few changes, with new hoists added, and the former gas pumps the shop had eventually being removed.
The service options of the business have also expanded over time.
“Options on vehicles is huge, compared to what it used to be,” said Rick.
The shop has won several awards for its service in its 50-year stretch, including two gold Reader’s Choice picks for best auto repairs through the Mountain View Gazette.
As for what has kept Dick’s Auto in business successfully for so long, Rick replied, without blinking an eye: “Honesty.”
“I used to say, if I can’t fix it, you don’t buy it,” said Dick. “Rick lives to that policy as well. Sometimes you gotta bite the bullet and do it all over again if you have to, if that’s what it takes, and it pays in the end.”
“We have two really good employees here as well,” said Rick. “We have excellent staff here.”
Future plans for Dick’s Auto will be to keep “doing what we’re doing”, according to Rick.
As for Dick, he still fondly recalls his days working in the shop himself.
“I’ve enjoyed all the years I spent here,” said Dick. “And I’ve enjoyed all the work with people.”