Valley’s oldest auto repair shop celebrates 90 years of service

Festivities include a $5K Disney giveaway

Wilhelm Automotive, the Valley’s oldest family-owned and operated automotive repair shop, is celebrating its 90th anniversary. To thank its loyal customers and the community, Wilhelm is hosting a $5,000 Disney gift card giveaway.  Customers can enter to win through October. The business operates nine shops across the Valley.
Why Disney? It so happens that both Wilhelm and Mickey Mouse were born the same year: 1928.

Wilhelm’s longtime presence in Arizona began in the late 1880s when the original settlers arrived from Peoria, Ill. Tuck Blackwell set up a blacksmith shop to serve the hardy souls making the desert their new home. He eventually sold his shop, and it became the Jennings Brother’s Garage.

In 1928, young Joe Wilhelm who was only in his early 20s partnered up with his uncle John Ansel to buy the Jennings Brother’s Garage, and they opened Wilhelm Garage. The farmers of the early West Valley depended on Wilhelm Garage to keep their machinery in running order and often accepted crates of vegetables as payment.

In 1979, the Wilhelms sold the garage to Charley and Mary Jane Gyder, who continued the tradition of the family business with their sons, Thomas and Doug. They were tapped as the next generation of business owners in 1996, and Wilhelm Automotive expanded to occupy five locations, with the Peoria operation remaining as the company headquarters. Today, Chris Garman, grandson of Charley and Mary Jane Gyder, is the third generation to run the family business.

The philosophy that Joe Wilhelm established was to perform quality service, do everything possible to accommodate customers and give back to the community.

“One of the greatest gifts of my family’s ownership here at Wilhelm Automotive has been our ability over the years to give back to our community. Support for building the Peoria Center for the Performing Arts as a home for Theater Works in Oldtown Peoria has been one of our greatest community achievements. I thank our team members and customers for giving us 90 years in business and making such great things possible,” Wilhelm Chairman of the Board Thom Gyder said. 

Now through October, Wilhelm will offer customer specials, including a complete oil change service at a special anniversary price. The special anniversary package includes a complete oil change plus full Car Care inspection, tire rotation and free roadside assistance if needed in the future.

Customers can enter to win the Disney gift card giveaway at any store location through October. No purchase is necessary, terms and conditions apply.

Wilhelm Automotive operates nine shops in the Valley. The locations include Peoria, Goodyear, Litchfield Park, Happy Valley, Surprise, Tatum Ranch, Cave Creek, Arcadia and the most recent location in Anthem.

The Glendale Star

The Glendale Star
7122 N. 59th Ave.
Glendale, AZ 85301-2436
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Peoria Times

Peoria Times
7122 N. 59th Ave
Glendale, AZ 85301-2436
Ph: (623) 842-6000
Fax: (623) 842-6013

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