Beck Motor Company, in Pierre, S.D., turns 50 this year and is inviting everyone to the company’s Sept. 12 celebration, from 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The free afternoon and evening includes the T.F. Riggs High School Pierrecussion Drumline, the Side Hackers band, pony rides, bounce house, and burgers/brat/beverages. Alongside the new, certified pre-owned and used vehicles on the Beck Motor lot, the Street Masters Car Club will show off their cars.
A raffle will give away a total of five — a set of two and a set of three — tickets to the Miranda Lambert ‘Roadside Bars & Pink Guitars’ concert in Sioux Falls, Oct. 12. Another drawing is for two tickets to the Monster Truck Jam in Sioux Falls, Nov. 8-9. Throughout the day, there will be other giveaways.
A video slideshow will spotlight the changing times, cars and people, “from lots of years, years leading up to what we are today,” said Jami Beck, marketing director. A little after 8 p.m., fireworks will be launched over the top of the Beck Motor building.
“We’ve been part of the community, selling new and used Chevrolet vehicles, for the past 50 years. We couldn’t be more proud of where we come from. We want to celebrate with you, our closest friends and loyal customers, so we’re giving you this party absolutely free,” said Jami Beck, speaking for the Beck Motor Company team.
Beck Motor Company can trace its heritage back to 1936 as the Pierre Automotive Company. In 1937, the firm became the McCallog Motor Chevrolet Company. In 1944, the firm was sold to C.W. Hinkley, who added the Cadillac car line in 1961. In 1963, it became Colonel Motors, and the Pontiac car line was added to the business.
Ken Beck purchased the firm in 1969. In 1973, it moved from its original 1930s location on East Dakota (present-day Fischer-Rounds Insurance Company) to 500 S. Grant. In June 2012, the company moved to its current location of 1905 North Garfield Ave.
Ken Beck retired and his sons, Trace and Steve, now run the business. Another generation — Bryan Beck (son of Trace and Lynn) and Joe Beck (son of Steve and Jami) — is keeping the business growing.
The firm still sells Chevrolet and Cadillac automobiles and trucks, and services all makes and models, including foreign ones. At any given time, there are about 300 vehicles on the lot. Beck Motor general has around 50 employees.
“I finished college in 1984, during the recessionary time. I sent my resume to dad, who offered me a job … on the condition I learned to spell Cadillac,” said Trace Beck. “I’m still here because of the people — the customers and staff — and being able to help people out.”
“My wife and I moved to Kansas, and ran a Taco Johns. Decided that was not what we wanted to do,” said Steve Beck. “Came back in 1991, when my daughter was about to start preschool. Dad had an opening. I’m still here because no day is the same; lots of variety. The employees and customers make the job interesting.”
Beck Motor moved to its current location because, “We were just out of space,” said Trace. Steve added, “We were landlocked and just couldn’t expand; went from a 17,000 square foot building to a 56,000 square foot building.”
“There was nowhere to park cars and put employees. Now we serve almost all of central South Dakota; from Philip to Miller and from Winner to Mobridge. We sell and service all makes. Our technicians are trained to work on all cars, even foreign cars,” said Steve Beck.