Brainerd's Bedford Buick Business

  • Sunday, March 20, 2011
  • Harmon Jolley
Bedford's Buick Service was located at 3455 Brainerd Road.  Click to enlarge.
Bedford's Buick Service was located at 3455 Brainerd Road. Click to enlarge.

Over the course of its long history, General Motors acquired or started various brands of automobiles. Divisions were created within the GM organization, and given a certain amount of autonomy to bring innovation to each brand. Customer loyalty to a particular GM brand increased.

Benjamin C. Bedford, a local mechanic, was a fan of Buick automobiles. He had associated with this brand in the 1940’s, when he worked for Valley Motors. The company was the representative for the Buick and Pontiac lines of automobiles, and was located at 1219-25 Broad Street.

By 1950, Mr. Bedford had gone into business for himself by opening the Brainerd Garage, located at 3455 Brainerd Road. A few years later, he renamed the enterprise “Bedford’s Buick Service.” His wife, Pearl, was the bookkeeper of the garage.

In the 1950’s, urban growth was pushing east of Missionary Ridge into Brainerd. Some of Benjamin Bedford’s business neighbors at the time were the Brainerd Launderette (3451 Brainerd Road) and Austin Feed and Seed (3462).

Over the next few decades, many customers had their Buicks serviced at Bedford’s. If the cars couldn’t be driven to the garage, then they could be towed by Bedford’s wrecker service.

The Buick brand, with its familiar trishield logo (the coat-of-arms of founder David Buick’s family) and ventiports (portholes) on the front fenders, was later carried in Chattanooga by McKinney Buick, then Amos & Andy Buick, and Long's. Today, Integrity Automotive has Buicks, along with Cadillacs and GMC vehicles on its lot.

Bedford’s Buick Service continued in operation into the 1970’s. By the 1980 city directory, though, Benjamin Bedford was listed as “retired.” He passed away in 1987.

If you have memories of Bedford’s Buick Service, please send me an e-mail at jolleyh@bellsouth.net.

The Bedford's building in more recent years.  Click to enlarge.
The Bedford's building in more recent years. Click to enlarge.
Memories
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