Pritchard Family Auto Stores started business in Hancock County in 1913. Four generations of Pritchards have owned and operated the dealerships beginning with Walter who opened the first store in 1913 in Garner, Iowa. John Pritchard, Walter's son, followed with the Pritchard Auto Company store in Britt which opened in 1929. Bill Pritchard joined his father John (lower left) in 1957 followed by his son Joe who continued the family's tradition by joining in 1983.
For over 94 years, the name Pritchard has been synonymous with auto sales in North Iowa. Walter began in Garner in 1913 and at one time or another all five sons worked in the Garner dealership. Bud eventually purchased the Garner dealership, and it was sold to Warren Sawtelle in 1956. Walter served a term as Mayor in Garner and also was a County Representative in Iowa's 49th General Assembly. In 1929, John and Paul opened the Britt dealership. John was a civil engineer from Iowa State who went on to work in Florida and Illinois before returning to his passion, the auto business. John worked in Klemme with brother, Paul, selling Hupmobile and Willys Overland from 1924 to 1929. In 1933, Paul went to Mason City and eventually purchased the Ford dealership there, operating it until 1964. In 1957 Bill entered the business with his father John and was later joined by his own son Joe in 1983.
In 1994, Chrysler of Forest City (Iowa's only full line, Five Star, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Sprinter, Business Link dealer) was added to the Pritchard family's auto stores. In early 2004, Fred Hoiberg's Clarion Auto Center, a full line Chevrolet, Buick, Pontiac, Cadillac, GMC Store, was opened, and later that year, Pritchard's Mason City Outlet Center, formerly the Skinner Motors store was acquired. In 2005, community growth and store expansion continued with the acquisition of the Ford store in Clear Lake, Iowa (Pritchard's of Clear Lake). The newest addition to the Pritchard Family Auto Stores is the Northwood Motors store (Ford-Chevrolet duel) located in Northwood, Iowa.
According to Bill, the Pritchard Family Auto Stores have reached many milestones over the years. "We had one customer who purchased over 50 vehicles for his own personal use from the Britt dealership," noted Bill. "We have another customer who proudly states he has purchased vehicles from all four generations."
He believes that the Pritchard generations have had the ability to be in business and serve the people of North Iowa and beyond for all these years is a credit to its qualified and loyal staff.
Chrysler of Forest City is Northern Iowa and Southern Minnesota's only full-line, Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Sprinter, BusinessLink, Five Star dealer and always maintains competitive new and pre-owned inventories of Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep vehicles. Staffed with experience sales representatives and top trained technicians, we're here to provide a fun, easy and valuable automotive shopping and service experience. Stop by our dealership today, on the south side of Forest City at 1445 Highway 69 South to see for yourself!