From Generation to Generation To Generation
Ron Burgess of Burgess Motors,
Keeping It Cool, Keeping It Moving
Ron Burgess just doesn't seem to get all that excited, at least not over the small stuff. His laid-back attitude and low-key demeanor pretty much defines his approach to business and life. It’s quite the opposite of what you might expect from a guy that sells used cars for a living. He says that over the years he has found that it’s best to relax and not get too overly excited about things. “I’ve learned not to have a stroke. There just ain’t anything that’s that important.” Ron says with a chuckle. “A lot of my friends have serious health issues because they get all wound up. I’ve even seen some guys pass away because of that. As far as I’m concerned, it’s not worth getting that excited over.”
Ron is second generation in Burgess Motors, Inc.; a used car dealership born and raised in Michigan City, Indiana. The company was founded by Joe Burgess, Ron’s father, who according to Ron, still stops in a couple times a week. “We call him the inspector.” Ron says as he chuckles again. “My father started the business back in the early 60’s. I’m not sure of the exact year.” Ron states as he attempts to recall. “From my father’s side of the coin, he started out by fixing cars for other people that would sell them.” Ron recanted the story as he understood it.
“My dad would paint em up, pretty em up and then get paid for em. At one point, a guy hired him to find a car and fix it up so the guy could sell it. My dad went out and found a car, he fixed it up but when it was time for the guy to pay for it the guy decided he didn’t want to give what my dad wanted… so my dad sold it himself. He eventually opened up his own lot… across the street from the guy.
Joe obvioiusly liked his adventure, buying a car, fixing it and then selling it for a profit, so he continued the new business enterprise. He opened a small lot in Michigan City and started doing it full-time for a living. Interestingly enough, after several years in business Joe bought out the guy that didn’t want to pay him for his car and this is where the Burgess Motors lot resides today. “Over the years we expanded. We continued to purchase property and build the business to what it is today.” says Ron. It was in 1996 that Ron purchased the business from his father and has been running it himself since that time.